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Pak 'most anti-US country': CRS

By T V Parasuram in Washington
February 19, 2005 15:15 IST
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Notwithstanding its cooperation with the US in the war against terrorism, Pakistan is probably the "most anti-American country" in the world right now, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The assessment of the depth of Pakistan's anti-Americanism is attributed by K Alan Kronstadt, who is in charge of analysing Asian affairs for the CRS, to a "senior expert."

Adding to US concerns about Pakistan's domestic political developments, Kronstadt says, are increasing signs of Islamisation and anti-American sentiments.

While Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf  vowed in August 2003 to "finish off extremism," Kronstadt notes, Pakistan's Islamists routinely denounce Pakistani military operations in western tribal areas, resist government attempts to reform religious schools that teach militancy, and harshly criticise Islamabad's cooperation with the US government.

The analysis of developments in Pakistan, which has been updated till February 14 this year, has just been released.

In another report on Pakistan, updated till January 28, 2005, Kronstadt says: "Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence is suspected of involvement in drug trafficking."

In March 2003, a former US ambassador to Pakistan told a House International Relations Committee panel that the role of the ISI in the heroin trade during 1997-2003 was substantial.

"Reports indicate," says Kronstadt, "that profits from drug sales are financing the activities of Islamic extremists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir. Pakistan's counter-narcotics efforts are hampered by lack of full government commitment, scarcity of funds poor infrastructure, government wariness of provoking unrest in tribal areas, and acute corruption."

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T V Parasuram in Washington