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Can Pakistan force US to back off special ops and drone attacks?

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“Above all, what they’re annoyed about and motivated by is the sense that they don’t know what’s going on in their own country,” says Marvin Weinbaum, a former Pakistan specialist at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. “If they’ve decided to play harder ball now, it’s because they feel they have some leverage to change a situation they don’t like.”

That “leverage” comes as a result of the case of Raymond Davis, the CIA security contractor who caused a national uproar in Pakistan in January when he killed two men he said were following him in Lahore – and who turned out to be Pakistani intelligence agents. Mr. Davis was arrested on murder charges and was only released after the US applied intense pressure.

“The Pakistanis took the heat [from the Pakistani public] for letting Davis go, and in effect they’re now out for something in return,” says Dr. Weinbaum, now a scholar-in-residence at the Middle East Institute (MEI) in Washington.

Pakistan is not demanding the CIA’s complete departure from its territory, although it is calling for all US intelligence contractors to leave the country. Nor is Pakistan demanding an end to all drone strikes.

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