By Masood Ali Mir
US-Pakistan relations are in cold waters, as the Trump administration has suspended aid to Pakistan and accused the South Asian nuclear power of deceit and hypocrisy. Pakistan, right from its birth has been a close ally of the United States. The relationship between the two countries began just after two months of Pakistan’s independence and has survived, even though in a see- saw manner, till today. It has seen many ups and downs and many positives and negatives. As an alliance partner, Pakistan joined US security alliance systems like SEATO And CENTO in the heydays of the Cold war and bloc politics during the 1950’s. In order to feed its population in its worst time and to have the basic infrastructure for economic development, Pakistan got much needed economic assistance from the super power. United States also played an important role in the modernization of the defence capabilities of Pakistan.
The two fought the spread of Communism jointly in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the World. Both supported Afghan insurgents against the Soviet Union. Pakistan undermined it’s sovereignty on various occasions in order to promote the security of the United States. It received the most drone Strikes from the NATO forces. Right from the 9/11 attack, the US leadership was always praiseworthy towards Pakistan.
If the two nations had remained close in their relations then what prompted the current administration to lock horns and deter the Pakistan at this critical juncture of international power politics . A few factors may have contributed towards this aggressive US policy like:
(a) Pakistan’s closeness to rising China:
(b) China’s increasing presence in the South Asian region;
(c) US failure to establish a friendly regime in Afghanistan and to maintain law and order there;
(d) India’s closeness to the United States;
(e) The Modi doctrine which mainly believes in Pakistan bashing and in isolating the country at the international level;
(f) Donald Trump’s ill world view;
(e) Emerging Afghanistan -India – US triangle and its insistence to exclude Pakistan from Afghanistan.
There is a general perception that Trump’s decision is final and there is now hardly any chance for improvement of ties between the two countries. But, it is a hard fact of international politics that “there are no permanent friends and foes” and it is national interest which matters the most. The Trump administration has just suspended aid and has not cancelled it yet. History has proved that Pakistan is always a good friend and a bad foe. It is believed that if the US truly wants to check extremism in South Asia, it can never be possible without Pakistan’s active involvement. US needs more Pakistan this time than Pakistan needs it. Russia and China are providing much more to Pakistan than what the US has suspended hence there is every possibility that the US may revise its decision very soon and renew its ties with Pakistan once again.
The author is a freelancer. He can be reached at: [email protected]