Pakistan braces for a deep and wide US assault

PESHAWAR – When the US State Department tagged China and Pakistan as “countries of particular concern” (CPC) for reputedly violating religious freedoms, Islamabad saw the criticism as the front edge of a potential wider diplomatic assault.

Pakistan’s powerful army, which autonomously handles much of the nation’s foreign relations, reportedly perceived the announcement as veiled US criticism of its broad tilt toward China and alleged hidden role in facilitating the Taliban’s seizure of power in Kabul.

Though Pakistan’s so-called “deep state”, led by its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, likely believes that the worst is yet to come from its traditional US ally, Pakistan’s foreign office quickly rebuked the US State Department’s CPC assessment as “arbitrary and selective” and in disregard to ground realities.

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