The relationship between the US and Pakistan has often been compared to a troubled marriage.
A week since Osama Bin Laden’s discovery, living under the noses of the Pakistani intelligence services, some wonder if it’s heading for divorce.
Some US lawmakers are threatening to suspend billions of dollars in annual aid. Some commentators say Pakistan should be declared a rogue state.
It hardly looked as though Pakistan was trying to patch things up when its prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced an inquiry into how Bin Laden came to be hiding in “plain sight” then in the next breath exonerated its military intelligence service, the ISI – the body seen as most likely to have known about it.
The name of the CIA’s station chief in Islamabad has also leaked – for the second time this year. That’s being seen as ISI retaliation for its embarrassment over the night-time US raid.
It may be this is all an elaborate smokescreen by the Pakistani government, to minimise the domestic backlash it is facing.
That’s the implication of a Guardian story that there was a secret deal allowing US forces to conduct unilateral raids inside Pakistan if they knew Bin Laden’s hiding place, with Washington accepting that the Pakistani government would then publicly denounce the assault.