More Pakistan aid cuts could be needed

Tensions between Islamabad and Washington again came to a boil on Monday, when Pakistan's head of intelligence abruptly canceled high-level talks with the CIA. 
The talks, slated for this week, would have been the first visit by Pakistani intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Zaheer ul-Islam to Washington, according to reports in the Washington Post
 Islam was scheduled to meet with CIA chief David Petraeus to discuss a slate of national security challenges facing both countries.  
But the head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, scrubbed the visit due to "pressing commitments" back in Islamabad, according to a Pakistani military statement issued Monday.  
However, a top Pakistani official confirmed to the Post that the meeting was cancelled due to growing furor in the country over American lawmakers decision to slash U.S. aid to Pakistan. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to cut $33 million for Pakistan, or $1 million for each year of a prison sentence given to Shakil Afridi, a doctor who helped the CIA locate al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. 
The Senate panel also voted to block $250 million in military aid until Pakistan reopens supply routes into Afghanistan to American and coalition forces.  
Gen. Martin Dempsey, President Obama’s top military adviser, said Monday that Senate lawmakers made the right call by voting to trim aid to Pakistan....
The reaction in Pakistan suggest they have not gotten the message.  More aid and trade measures maybe required, along with negotiations with India.  Pakistan keeps backing itself into a corner with the Islamic religious bigots and away from outside supporters.  It is likely to find itself very isolated.

If aid is important to Pakistan, it will open the logistic routes into and out of Afghanistan and release the doctor. The country is looking like it is on the side of the bad guys right now and it needs to change that dynamic.  If it does not, it could find itself at war with the US if we have to force a withdrawal through Pakistan and its ports.


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