The On-Again And Off-Again U S- Pakistan Alliance

Mehrunnisa Wani

Pakistan’s ostensible sheriff, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, was stateside recently. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was welcomed in October. In these meetings the United States extols the “resilient” U.S.- Pakistan partnership and reaffirms its commitment to ameliorating an ailing Pakistan.

Even now, unremitting as it is, Pakistan’s fidelity is questioned and its less than deferential attitude has it characterized as a frivolous, mood swing-prone comrade. (Shouldn’t the powers-that-be have known about the presence of Osama Bin Laden on its soil? Were Pakistanis informed of the raid? Afghanistan claims that the fall of Kunduz to Taliban insurgents was facilitated and orchestrated by Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence.)

The relationship precedes formal resolutions of 1954; it dates back to Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan’s assassination in 1951, which prodded and advanced the Western doctrine in Pakistan.

As history can attest, Pakistan – despite providing materiel, manpower, and, debatably, army bases –has had meager to no backing from the United States during the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1965 and 1971, where the Soviet Union was readily deposable to India. The Indo-Soviet tryst is a paragon of diplomatic relations in the 21st century.

In the ensuing years, the United States was successful in putting together a coalition of Muslims to combat Soviet communism by dint of Pakistan. After defeating the Red Army, President Jimmy Carter withdrew from Pakistan leaving two million Afghan refugees precipitating the genesis of the Taliban.

Though the United States has ushered tremendous undertakings to expunge terrorism, it still has a long way to go to dismantle fundamentalism, which can only take place with the wholehearted cooperation of Pakistan. Partnerships like one of Pakistan and United States ought not to be short-lived or short-tempered. There’s no room for fluctuation. Rather it must be an all-weather friendship. Pakistan’s  location is still very strategic for the United States: neighbors include Iran, India, China, and Russia. And not to mention, its role as a poster child of the Muslim ummah. Courtesy www. forbes.com




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