American officials are expressing outrage that Pakistan has convicted Shakil Afridi of treason. He is the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA to locate Osama bin Laden prior to the U.S. raid in Abbottabad a year ago that killed the al-Qaida chief. But many Pakistanis do not believe that the United States has their best interests at heart, and they are outraged at continuing U.S. violations of Pakistan's sovereignty, including the Abbottabad raid itself.
What we have here is so much more than a failure to communicate. U.S. conventional wisdom holds that the Pakistanis are simply misguided, that they don't realize that the United States and Pakistan share a mutual interest in defeating militant extremists who would like nothing better than to topple the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan and the Pakistani government as well.
So far, however, the United States has failed to convert Pakistani leaders, and especially the Pakistani people, to the U.S. version of reality. As the United States draws down troops in preparation for its exit from Afghanistan, and its influence wanes, bringing the Pakistanis around to the U.S. point of view will become even harder.