WASHINGTON — The administration of US President Barack Obama is divided over the future of its relationship with Pakistan following the killing of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
US commandos killed bin Laden in an urban compound only 55 kilometers (35 miles) from the Pakistani capital Islamabad on May 2.
The newspaper said that some officials, particularly in the White House, have advocated a strong US response.
“You can?t continue business as usual,” the paper quotes one of several senior administration officials as saying, who discussed the sensitive issue only on the condition of anonymity.
“You have to somehow convey to the Pakistanis that they have arrived at a big choice.
“People who were prepared to listen to (Pakistan?s) story for a long time are no longer prepared to listen,” the official went on to say.
But few officials are willing to consider the alternatives if Pakistan makes the wrong choice, the report said.
Every available option — from limiting US aid and official contacts to unleashing more unilateral ground attacks against terrorist targets — jeopardizes existing Pakistani help in the war on terror, The Post noted.
Military success and an eventual negotiated settlement of the Afghanistan war are seen as virtually impossible without some level of Pakistani assistance, the paper pointed out.