PM warns U.S. against “negative messaging”

Pakistan’s prime minister warned Washington on Tuesday that continued accusations of playing a double game in the war on militancy only risked fanning anti-Americanism in his country.

Yusuf Raza Gilani, speaking in an interview with Reuters, also said any unilateral military action by the United States to hunt down militants of the Haqqani network inside Pakistan would be a violation of his country’s sovereignty.

Relations between Washington and Islamabad have deteriorated sharply following last week’s blunt allegations by the U.S. joint chiefs of staff that Pakistan’s military intelligence agency was linked to militants who carried out a Sept. 13 attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

“The negative messaging, naturally that is disturbing my people,” Gilani said in the interview. “If there is messaging that is not appropriate to our friendship, then naturally it is extremely difficult to convince my public. Therefore they should be sending positive messages.”

Asked how Islamabad would respond if there was a unilateral military operation by the United States inside Pakistan to go after the Haqqanis, Gilani responded: “We are a sovereign country. How can they come and raid in our country?” He said Pakistan had conveyed to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that such unilateral action “will not be acceptable to Pakistan”.