When the envoy Richard C. Holbrooke arrives here Monday looking for ways to stop a runaway Islamist insurgency that is destabilizing Pakistan, he will find a pro-American but weak civilian government, and a powerful army unaccustomed and averse to fighting a domestic enemy. In a nuclear-armed nation regarded as an ally of the United States and considered pivotal by the Obama administration to ending the war in neighboring Afghanistan, Mr. Holbrooke will face a surge of anti-American sentiment on clear display by private citizens, public officials and increasingly potent television talk shows. Some remedies offered by his hosts are likely to be unappealing. On almost every front, Pakistani leaders are calling for less American involvement, or at least the appearance of it. The main reason for the swell in resentment here is the very strategy that the United States government considers its prime success against Al Qaeda: missile strikes delivered by remotely piloted aircraft against militants in Pakistan's tribal areas. To the surprise of many Pakistanis, who had been promised by their leaders that the new administration in Washington would be different, American drone aircraft fired missiles at two areas in the tribal belt just three days after President Obama's inauguration. According to the Pakistanis, as many as 21 civilians were killed by the strikes, in North and South Waziristan. Fury at the continued airstrikes is considered one of the reasons for the poor showing of President Asif Ali Zardari in public opinion surveys. Many Pakistanis view Mr. Zardari as too close to his American patrons. He is widely believed to have agreed to a request from President Bush for a widening of the drone strikes, which had been conducted far more sparingly before Mr. Zardari came to power last September. In an effort on Saturday to assuage an angry public, Mr. Zardari told an audience in Peshawar, in the North-West Frontier Province, that he would argue against the drone attacks during Mr. Holbrooke's visit. According to the Pakistani state press agency, Mr. Zardari said that the drone attacks were "counterproductive" and that the "day was not far away when these attacks will be stopped." Mr. Zardari's sudden appearance in Peshawar, a city virtually under siege from the Taliban, just two days before Mr. Holbrooke's arrival was his first there since he became president. He was reported to have said that the visit by Mr. Holbrooke, Mr. Obama's special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, would give him the opportunity to educate the administration. "We will tell them fighting was no solution to the imbroglio," Mr. Zardari was quoted as having said, "and let us handle it in our own way, as we know better than them as to how best the issue could be tackled." Pakistani officials said they agreed with the American assessment that the airstrikes had killed some of the senior leadership of Al Qaeda. But the civilian casualties that have accompanied the attacks have accelerated anti-American feelings and made the Pakistani military appear feeble, they said. They argued that short-term tactical gains were likely to be outstripped by long-term strategic losses. "Even when the real militants get killed, there is also a high probability that unarmed civilians get killed," said Farhatullah Babar, the spokesman for Mr. Zardari. "People get galvanized and become sympathetic to the militants." The best alternative, Mr. Babar and former and current military officials said, was for the Americans to share intelligence with the Pakistanis, and for the Pakistanis to carry out the attacks. If Pakistan conducted the air raids, they said, the militants could not contend that the battle against them was "America's war." At the very least, the Pakistanis say, they will drive home to Mr. Holbrooke the need for American military aid to help fight the insurgents " in particular, helicopters and night-vision gear. In a startling example of its shortcomings in counterterrorism, the Pakistani Army has been unable to thwart the FM radio signal of the leading Islamic militant in the Swat Valley, an area just 100 miles from this capital city. There, an army division of about 12,000 men has lost ground to the roughly 3,000 Taliban. The radio programs of the militant leader, Maulana Fazlullah, have proved a virulent weapon, forcing landowners to flee, terrorizing the police and spreading hatred of the government. A spokesman for the army, Gen. Athar Abbas, said the militant's radio broadcasts were difficult to track because they "shifted from one place to another." The army is trying to get the technology to jam the transmissions but has been unable to do so, he said. In a recent briefing of Pakistani journalists, the army said it had acquired a strong transmitter from China but had not yet installed it. Those kinds of failures, and the fact that none of the top leaders of the Pakistani Taliban have been killed, have prompted sharp criticism of the army from politicians aligned with Mr. Zardari. In a televised interview, one such politician, Hasham Baber, a member of the Awami National Party " which controls the North-West Frontier Province " accused the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency and the army of being allies of the militants. Even if the United States increases military assistance for fighting the insurgency, it will be difficult to coax a better counterterrorism performance from the Pakistani Army, in part because of its deep suspicion about the United States' intentions. Mr. Obama said last week that a central goal would be to prevent nuclear-armed Pakistan from destabilizing Afghanistan. By that, he is widely understood to have meant that the jihadists who use the tribal area as a base to attack American troops in Afghanistan, and to sweep down elsewhere in Pakistan, must be conquered. Some Pakistani strategic planners, however, interpret Mr. Obama's plan to send more troops to Afghanistan as a direct threat to Pakistan, and in particular to its nuclear arsenal. The belief, according to a senior Pakistani military officer, is that additional forces in Afghanistan would spill over into Pakistan. "Afghanistan is irrelevant," said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "The American troops are designed to create a mess in the tribal areas and in Pakistan, and take the nukes." whom a Pakistani judge released Friday from house arrestAnother major irritant in the bilateral relationship that could hamper cooperation from the Pakistani military stems from the decision by the Bush administration to complete a nuclear deal with India, Pakistan's archenemy. The deal permits civilian nuclear trade between India and the United States, even though India has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. This enhanced relationship was interpreted as a serious snub to Pakistan, said Maleeha Lodhi, who served twice as Pakistani ambassador to the United States. "The Indo-U.S. deal," she said, "signified to the Pakistani military that while Washington saw its ties with Pakistan in tactical terms, the strategic relationship was forged with India." To overcome qualms in Pakistan about the United States, Mr. Holbrooke is likely to emphasize Washington's plans for a drastic increase in aid to the country's educational, health and judicial systems, all areas that the United States has supported in the past, but to little effect because of deep corruption. In line with legislation for the assistance written by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. when he was in the Senate, Mr. Holbrooke will insist that the flow of aid depends on Pakistan's determination to act against terrorism. Pakistanis see that condition, too, as demeaning. "An approach that treats Pakistan from the paradigm of 'hired help,' rather than valued ally," Ms. Lodhi wrote in a Pakistani daily paper, The News, "should be unacceptable to Islamabad."