US considers tougher approach with Pakistan

February 12, 2011 02:57

WASHINGTON — A standoff between the United States and Pakistan over a jailed American embassy worker took an ominous turn Friday when police accused the man of "cold-blooded murder" and the US responded with thinly veiled threats to cut valued aid and access for Pakistan unless he is released immediately.

The case of Raymond Allen Davis has opened one of the worst breaches in memory between the United States and a critical counter-terrorism partner. His detention has become a point of national honor for both nations, and a rallying point for anti-American suspicion in Pakistan.

US officials hinted broadly that they may cancel or postpone an invitation to Pakistan's foreign minister to visit Washington this month.

Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case is before a court, said the Obama administration also is considering a slowdown in visa processing for Pakistanis seeking to come to the United States. The US also is considering suspending or cutting back on military and educational training programs with the Pakistani armed forces and suspending or cutting back on civilian educational, scientific, cultural and local and state government exchanges, one official said.

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