ISLAMABAD - A decade after the 9/11 attacks unleashed the United States' global war on terror, Pakistan's Islamic hardliners have become adept at frequently using slogans such as "death to America" and "down with America" in venting their anti-U.S. anger.
So it was not surprising that hardline Islamists in the days ahead of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 chose to note just one side of the picture - theirs.
"If America would not have launched this big and bad global war in the name of combating terror, the world would have been a more peaceful place today," said Maroof Khattak, a young firebrand Islamist student from a religious 'madrassah' school in Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad. "The 9/11 attacks were a reaction to U.S. policies, especially the U.S. support for Israel. There was no justification for the U.S. to launch a counter-attack."
Khattak's sentiment was echoed by Usmanullah Khan, another young Islamist. In an interview just outside Islamabad's "Red Mosque" near the city's Aabpara district, Khan predicted an eventual popular Islamic uprising in Pakistan "which will be driven by anti-U.S. sentiment".
In 2007, Pakistan's army troops stormed the Red Mosque after more than a week-long gunfight between well-armed and war-hardened Islamists inside the compound and government troops. The army eventually seized control of the mosque.
Four years later, the Red Mosque remains not only a regular place of pilgrimage for Islamists but also a spot for venting anti-U.S. anger. "The U.S. takes the lead on human rights violations all over the world. Where was America's conscience when so many of our people were killed too? There was not a single word of protest from Washington after the Red Mosque episode," said Khan.
At the time, independent analysts said the 2007 encounter became unavoidable for Pakistan's army after Islamists holed up inside the Red Mosque began firing at troops deployed nearby.
Despite the heated rhetoric, senior officials in Pakistan's government claim that anti-U.S. sentiment across the country is often exaggerated.
"Most Pakistanis just want a quiet and peaceful life for themselves, for their children," said one Pakistani diplomat who previously served at the country's embassy in Washington and agreed to speak to CBS News on condition of anonymity. "Today, the problem is that any demonstration by these people (Islamists) immediately gets huge play on our media, especially TV channels. Ordinary people just want to go about their lives in search of a better future."
Others across the Aabpara district are keen to leave behind the 2007 Red Mosque episode and move on.
"I don't care so much about what America is doing to the world," says Saleem Malik, a fruit seller. "As long as my family's needs are met, I will be happy."
Malik, a father of six, laments being forced to keep three of them at home because his meager monthly wage - the equivalent of $75 - is not sufficient for their school fees.
Western official say an important driver of political sentiment, including anti-U.S. feeling, relates to widespread poverty in Pakistan, where at least one-third of the population lives in a state of extreme impoverishment.
"These poverty-stricken people are angry at the way they live their lives. For many such people, expression of anti-U.S. feelings is a consequence of their own living conditions," one United Nations official told CBS News on condition of anonymity.
Hasan Askari Rizvi, a Pakistani commentator on politics and security affairs, said anti-U.S. feeling, though spread over large parts of Pakistan, also gets exaggerated at times.
"You can't disagree with the claim that the anti-U.S. feeling in Pakistan comes from important groups who are also well-organized in expressing themselves" said Rizvi. "But beyond a certain stage, you have to ask yourself, exactly how widespread is this feeling?"
Khattak and Khan, the two hardcore Islamists, eventually agreed that the fault lines that have aggravated conditions for Pakistanis in the decade since 9/11 lie within their own country.
"In the past 10 years, Pakistan's economic conditions have become worse than before because we have had a succession of corrupt leaders," concludes Khattak. But Khan insists "at the very least, countries like the United States should have abandoned support to Pakistan's leaders. These people are too corrupt."
ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan - Four months after U.S. Navy SEALs tracked and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan's northern city of Abbottabad, Taj Khan eagerly disputes the claim as "nothing but a fabricated story."
As Pakistanis across the country brace for possible terror attacks in the days leading up to the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York, residents of Abbottabad such as Khan are still caught in disbelief.
"The Americans wanted to create a big facade and give themselves a prize ahead of the 9/11 anniversary, so they came up with Osama bin Laden. Did anyone see Osama bin Laden's corpse?" asks Khan, a taxi driver who spoke to CBS News and regularly commutes from parts of Abbottabad to Bilal town - the neighborhood where bin Laden spent his last days hiding in a towering mansion.
Khan is among those who still question the claim of bin Laden's discovery in Abbottabad, in part because the terrorist leader's mortal remains were buried at sea and without a public funeral.Continue »
A team of eight young, fit men who dressed in western clothes -- some even used surgical masks to conceal their faces -- carried out a coordinated plan to breach the security of an American aid contractor's Pakistani compound when they kidnapped him during the weekend, a law enforcement source told CBS News.
(At left, watch the latest report on the kidnapping)
Enough information has been gathered on Saturday's abduction of contractor Warren Weinstein in Lahore, Pakistan, to establish a timeline of the incident, according to the source. Pakistani officials have questioned a number of people in their investigation but haven't made any progress, CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports from Kabul. No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction.Continue »
The Financial Times says U.S. officials have confirmed that Pakistan allowed Chinese engineers to pick over the wreckage of a top-secret U.S. helicopter which crashed during the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad.
Citing anonymous sources close to the White House and the CIA, the FT report says Pakistan's powerful military and spy agencies granted Chinese scientists access to the helicopter's tail section, and even allowed them to take a sample of the high-tech machine's skin, which makes it invisible to radar.Continue »
ISLAMABAD - Indonesian security officials on Wednesday took custody of an alleged terrorist arrested in Pakistan and linked to the 2002 bombing of a nightclub on the Indonesian island of Bali, a senior Pakistani security official and a western diplomat separately confirmed to CBS News.
Umar Patek was arrested in Pakistan's northern city of Abbottabad in January, about four months before U.S. Navy Seals tracked and killed Osama bin Laden in the same city.
While speculation has been rife that the two men may have come in contact with each other in Abbottabad, the Pakistani security official who spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity described the suspicion as "nonsense."
Confirming news of Patek's imminent departure from Pakistan, the security official said, "Umar Patek is now in the custody of Indonesian officials and they are making preparations to fly him out of Pakistan".Continue »
As American intelligence narrowed its search for Osama bin Laden to the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, after tracking the movements of an al Qaeda courier, the CIA sought confirmation that the terrorist leader was holed up in a compound in that city before risking a military operation.
The Guardian newspaper reports today that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has arrested a prominent doctor who was allegedly hired by the CIA to run a fake immunization drive, in order to acquire DNA samples from children living in an Abbottabad compound and compare them to samples obtained from bin Laden's sister.
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's top army commanders on Tuesday appeared to reject U.S. military assistance for the ongoing fight against militants of the Taliban and al Qaeda in the country's region along the Afghan border, a gesture which will likely add to the existing strain in ties with Washington.
The commanders met for the first time with Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Pakistan's army chief of staff, since the Obama administration announced cutting up to $800 million in planned military assistance for the nation.
Amid tense relations with the United States, Pakistan officials have increasingly pointed towards Beijing as the country's natural ally, offering the possibility of becoming at least a half-substitute to ties with the U.S.
On Sunday, The New York Times reported that the Obama administration was suspending and in some cases canceling up to $800 million in annual military aid and equipment to Pakistan - more than one-third of the $2 billion earmarked for security assistance annually to the South Asian country.
U.S. officials have "conclusive and reliable" intelligence showing Pakistan's premier spy agency directed the killing of a journalist after he wrote embarrassing reports suggesting militants had infiltrated the country's military, reports the New York Times.
Shahzad wrote about terrorism and security for the Asia Times Online and other publications. Police said the 40-year-old's body bore signs of torture when it was found at the beginning of June after he had been missing for two days.Continue »
His name was not given, but the Times said the commander was a well-known and senior player among Pakistan's array of armed fundamentalist groups, and his remarks fly in the face of assurances by the Pakistani government that any support for militant groups has dried up since the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States.Continue »
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's demand that all U.S. personnel and aircraft immediately vacate an airbase in the south of the country, and the United States' reluctance to meet that demand, is turning into a dispute which could linger as yet another irritant in the relationship between the two nations - which is already being tested to a worrying degree - according to Western defense officials in Islamabad.
That relationship began to descend rapidly on May 2, when a team of U.S. Navy SEALs stormed a compound in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad and killed Osama bin Laden, without telling anyone in the Pakistani government they were going to do it.
On Wednesday, defense chief Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar said Pakistan had told the U.S. to leave the Shamsi airbase in Baluchistan province. Though never acknowledged publicly, the base is widely believed to be used as a storage and launch site for some of the unmanned drone aircraft the CIA use to target militant suspects in the "surgical" strikes relied on so heavily by the Obama administration.
ISLAMABAD - The U.S. faces the challenge of quickly establishing alternative facilities from which to launch drone aircraft inside Afghanistan after Pakistan ordered U.S. personnel and hardware out of a base believed to have been used in the past for CIA drones, two senior Western defense officials tell CBS News.
Concern mounted Wednesday over the future of Pakistan's clandestine support for Washington's use of drones after the country's defense minister announced Pakistan had told the U.S. to vacate the small Shamsi air base in the southwestern Baluchistan province.
Only "Pakistani aircraft will be flown from Shamsi in future," Pakistani defense minister Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar told reporters. "No U.S. aircraft will fly from Shamsi."
"U.S. personnel will not be allowed to use the Shamsi air base," a senior Pakistani government official added to CBS News.
ISLAMABAD - Al Qaeda and the Taliban appear to have ordered their cadres to increasingly use women to carry out suicide and armed attacks, Pakistan's security officials and western defense officials have told CBS News.
Members of the security community looking at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region widely noticed reports this weekend that a couple armed with assault rifles and grenades raided a police station in the south Waziristan region along the Afghan border, and took hostage 12 to 14 policemen for several hours. Later, the couple blew themselves up when faced with an attack by Pakistan's security forces.
Reports in Pakistan's media described the man and woman as "husband and wife" though a senior Pakistani security official said the claim could not be independently verified.Continue »
Western diplomats say that, while Pakistan depends on the U.S. for billions of dollars in military and economic assistance, Washington also requires Pakistan's help to gather intelligence on the movement of militants across the Afghan-Pakistan border.
But Pakistan's position has hardened on the issue of full-fledged military operations in north Waziristan ever since U.S. Navy SEALs attacked and killed Osama bin Laden in the northern city of Abbottabad last month. The country's civil and military leaders reacted angrily to the attack, arguing that any operation by foreign forces in the country must be undertaken only with Pakistan's prior knowledge and permission.Two timed blasts kill 34 in Pakistan