WASHINGTON - Ahead of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to the United States later this month, a campaign to portray Pakistan in bad light appears to have begun in bid to influence public opinion against the country.

Within the last couple of days, hostile articles have appeared in two major publications accusing Pakistan of duplicity in its dealings with the US and for being a dangerous country. Pakistan Army has also come under attack in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post by Fareed Zakaria, an Indian-American journalist, who also quoted former Pakistani ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani in alleging Pakistani interference in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, at the State department briefing, Indian correspondents have stepped up attacks against Pakistan while posing their questions at the news briefings.

"We cannot solve the problem of Afghanistan without recognizing that the insurgency against that government is shaped, aided and armed from across the border by one of the world’s most powerful armies. Periodically, someone inside or outside the US government points this out," Zakaria wrote in the Post. "Yet no one knows quite what to do, so it is swept under the carpet and policy stays the same. But this is not an incidental fact. It is fundamental, and unless it is confronted, the Taliban will never be defeated. It is an old adage that no counterinsurgency has ever succeeded when the rebels have had a haven. In this case, the rebels have a nuclear-armed sponsor"

Zakaria describes the Pakistan army as the "godfather" of the Taliban, warning that as long as Pakistan military and its mindset are unchecked and unreformed, the US will face a strategic collapse as it withdraws its forces from Afghanistan.

"As the United States draws down its forces, Pakistan again seeks to expand its influence through its long-standing proxy," Zakaria wrote.

Zakaria said that Pakistan has mastered the art of pretending to help the US while actually supporting its most deadly foes.

"Take the many efforts that US officials have recently made to start talks with the Taliban. It turns out that we were talking to ghosts. Omar has been dead for two years, while Pakistani officials have been facilitating 'contacts' and 'talks' with him," he wrote.

"This is part of a pattern. Pakistani officials, from former president Pervez Musharraf down, categorically denied that bin Laden or Omar was living in Pakistan — despite the fact that former Afghan president Hamid Karzai repeatedly pointed this out publicly. “I do not believe Omar has ever been to Pakistan,” Musharraf said in 2007."

On the other hand, an ex-CIA official said that Pakistan is the most dangerous country venerable to the danger of terrorism, a falling economy and a fastest growing nuclear power.

“While Pakistan is not the most dangerous country in the world, it is probably the most dangerous country for the world, and as such, a serious case for close and continued US working with Pakistan can be made,” Kevin Hulbert, an ex-CIA intelligence officer who was retired in 2004, wrote to The Cipher Brief.

“As a country venerable with the triple danger of terrorism, a falling economy, and the fastest growing nuclear power, Pakistan has the potential to create more nightmare scenarios for US policymakers than any other country,” said Hulbert.

The illusion of the sixth largest country in the world being a failed state is a theoretical disaster that would unclose a world of casual reactions, he said.

“Rather than risk it, and as much as we might like to move on, we really should increase the level of engagement with Pakistan, not decrease it,” he mentioned.

Kevin Hulbert said that many drift lines in Pakistan now appear to be moving in the false direction.

For many years, Pakistan wasted its currency and power in making of jihadist militants to attack India in a war of weakening. It chased an unhelpful double-dealing game with the world, on one side it supported good radical Muslims and on other side Pakistan use them in its proxy war with India, he observed.

“The fight against Al-Qaeda was largely seen as a US fight, not a Pakistan fight, and Pakistan’s lack of enthusiasm to make the hard choices required to challenge the growing threats of radical extremism, created a monster,” the former CIA official said.

Terrorist groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, are suddenly allied with Al-Qaeda, while Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Pakistan Taliban, the Afghan Taliban, and other assorted criminals and non-state actors are intent on bringing down the elected government of Pakistan.