The deputy head of the CIA and a top US envoy launched a push to repair relations with Pakistan on Thursday following the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in an army town, officials said.
Patching up ties could be difficult because Pakistanis are still seething that the US didn't tell them in advance about the May 2 raid near Islamabad, and US Congressmen are threatening to cut off billions of dollars amid suspicions that elements of Pakistan's security forces may have harbored bin Laden.
Also, a new survey taken before the raid by the Washington-based Pew Research Center showed US popularity in Pakistan has fallen to an all-time low, with just 11 percent of Pakistanis holding a favorable view of the country and President Barack Obama. The survey, which was released Tuesday, polled 1,970 people in Pakistan in April and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.Still, the US and Pakistan have a strong mutual dependency that is difficult to break. The US needs Pakistan to help resolve the war in Afghanistan, and American funds are critical to propping up Pakistan's economy and bankrolling its powerful military.
Marc Grossman, the Obama administration's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, is scheduled to meet with senior Pakistani civilian and military leaders in Islamabad on Thursday, said US Embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez.
His counterpart on the trip, Michael Morell, deputy director of the CIA, is slated to meet with Pakistani intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, said Pakistani officials briefed on the visit. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.