Just the excuse we need to cut off the billions in annual aid.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Despite mounting pressure from the United States since the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, seems unlikely to respond to American demands to root out other militant leaders, according to people who have met with him in the last 10 days.
While the general does not want to abandon the alliance completely, he is more likely to pursue a strategy of decreasing Pakistan’s reliance on the United States, and continuing to offer just enough cooperation to keep the billions of dollars in American aid flowing, said a confidant of the general who has spoken with him recently.
Such a response is certain to test American officials, who are more mistrustful of Pakistan than ever.
Emboldened by the May 2 raid that killed Bin Laden in Pakistan, American officials say they now have greater leverage to force Pakistani cooperation in hunting down Taliban and Qaeda leaders so the United States can end the war in Afghanistan.
The United States will now push harder than ever for General Kayani to break relations with other militant leaders who American officials believe are hiding in Pakistan, with the support of the military and intelligence service, a senior American official said.
These leaders include Mullah Muhammad Omar, the spiritual leader of the Afghan Taliban; the allied militant network of Sirajuddin Haqqani; and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that the United States holds responsible for the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, in 2008, the American official said.
Pakistani officials, meanwhile, are anxiously waiting to see if any new intelligence about Al Qaeda in Pakistan spills from the American raid that could be used to exert more pressure on them, and what form that pressure might take.
But those who have spoken with General Kayani recently said that demands to break with top militant leaders were likely to be too much for the military chief, who is scheduled to address an unusual, closed-door joint session of Parliament on Friday to salvage his reputation and explain the military’s lapses surrounding the American raid.