Pakistan's New Leaders Balk at Giving US Free Rein

Unilateral action against terror targets would be 'counter-productive'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 12:13 PM CDT
A Pakistani officer stands guard as an T-82 tank rolls past during the Pakistan National Day parade in Islamabad, Pakistan on Sunday, March 23, 2008.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – If the US was hoping the new government would give it leeway to strike at al-Qaeda within Pakistan, those hopes were dashed today, as the ruling coalition said such attacks would be “counter-productive.” Pakistan had been a US ally in the war on terror under President Pervez Musharraf, but his hold on power has weakened in recent months, Reuters notes.

“Direct intervention, hot pursuit; we are not supportive of it yesterday, we are not supportive of it today,” said Pakistan's foreign minister, laying out the government's new foreign policy. The coalition is worried a US assault would cause an uprising among tribes along the relatively lawless border with Afghanistan; those tribes have largely opposed Pakistan's own actions against militants.