The U.S. 10 year alliance with Pakistan is a question of trust now.
The relation between U.S., Pakistan is facing an uncertain future and many in Washington are questioning is Islamabad a reliable ally?
Will U.S. ever trust Pakistan for its war against terrorism and al-Qaeda?
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday called back foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar from the U.S. amid strained ties with Washington following an accusation that Pakistan was supporting the Haqqani terror network.
The gradually warming Pakistan-U.S. ties have suddenly turned sour in the aftermath of the September 13 brazen terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, which senior American military and government officials have squarely blamed on the North Waziristan-based Haqqani militant network, led by Sirajuddin Haqqani.
U.S. military commanders have accused Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, of supporting the Haqqani network for carrying out two attacks on the U.S. embassy in Kabul and U.S. military base in Afghanistan’s Wadak province this month.
This has prompted U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to warn that the U.S. could do everything it could to defend American forces from the Pakistan-based Haqqani militants staging attacks in Afghanistan, including operations inside Pakistan.
Panetta’s warning was followed by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s decision to cancel his planned trip to the United States that was scheduled for September 16.
The killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces on Pakistani soil, paved way to the tensions between the two nations. It is a relationship that for years has been marred by mistrust.
America has been the blessing in disguise for Pakistan with their innumerable aid for Pakistan. The alliance between the two countries began in 2001, a joint effort to fight against terrorism namely al-Qaeda and Taliban until recently, Pakistan offered support for U.S. drone strikes in tribal areas targeting al- Qaeda and Taliban leaders which became massively unpopular among the Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, leader of the opposition in National Assembly, said that the present war on terror Pakistan was a result of U.S. using Pakistan in the most abominable manner and weakened it to the extent that almost all institutions are facing crises.
He further says Pakistan’s pro-U.S. policies have destroyed the economy, the living, and peace. “It will not be far from truth to say that America has incapacitated us by injecting the sweet poison of aid.”
There has been disquiet about Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan for several years now. After the attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul in 2008, Washington had pointed to ISI complicity in the incident. But American unhappiness with Pakistan has never been so directly expressed as now.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar went a step further and warned the US that if such allegations continue, it “will lose an ally”. And Interior Minister Rehman Malik specifically warned the US against taking any unilateral action against the Haqqanis in Pakistani territory. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani remarked last week, the U.S. needed Pakistan in Afghanistan, observing that the Americans “can’t live with us. They can’t live without us.”
- Pakistan Says U.S. Afghan Policy Shows ‘Confusion,’ ‘Disarray’ (businessweek.com)
- Pakistan: U.S. “can’t live without us” (cbsnews.com)
- U.S. Should Consider ‘All Options’ With Pakistan, Graham Says (businessweek.com)
- Pakistan warns that US accusations may cost Washington an ally – Los Angeles Times (news.google.com)
- Pakistan criticizes U.S. spy agency comments (cbc.ca)