Confidential cables to Washington from the American embassy in Islamabad, obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations, illustrate deep clashes over strategic goals on issues like Pakistan's support for the Afghan Taliban and tolerance of Al Qaeda, and Washington's warmer relations with India, Pakistan's archenemy.
One cable, sent less than a month after President Obama assured reporters that Pakistan's nuclear materials "will remain out of militant hands," expressed concern that a stockpile of highly enriched uranium, stored for years near an aging research reactor in Pakistan , could be used by militants to build several "dirty bombs" or perhaps an actual nuclear bomb.
That cable is among the most unnerving evidence of the complex relationship -- sometimes cooperative, often confrontational, always wary -- between America and Pakistan nearly 10 years into the American-led war in Afghanistan.
Over all, though, the cables portray deep skepticism that Pakistan will ever cooperate fully in fighting the full panoply of extremist groups. This is partly because Pakistan sees some of the strongest militant groups as insurance for the inevitable day that the United States military withdraws from Afghanistan — and Pakistan wants to exert maximum influence inside Afghanistan and against Indian intervention.
In one cable, Ms. Patterson, a veteran diplomat who left Islamabad in October after a three-year stint as ambassador, said more money and military assistance would not be persuasive. “There is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance levels in any field as sufficient compensation for abandoning support for these groups, which it sees as an important part of its national security apparatus against India.”
In a rare tone of dissent with Washington, she said Pakistan would only dig in deeper if America continued to improve ties with India, which she said “feeds Pakistani establishment paranoia and pushes them closer to both Afghan and Kashmir focused terrorist groups.”