Origionally published in Pakistan today newspaper
The writer is a clinical psychologist and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The nature of Pakistan-US relations is not easy to analyse. It has passed through a number of different stages. The era of Cold War was full of different surprises for Pakistan. History has proved that big powers don’t feel reluctant to use developing powers for their own purposes. So USA-Pakistan relationship is no exception. At the end of World War-2, the USA emerged as a major power. This further created a number of issues for the rest of the world. A power tussle started between two major blocks. America found Pakistan an important ally because of her geographical location that further helped the superpower increase its sphere of influence in Asia. This relation was further strengthened after Pakistan signed SEATO and CENTO. Furthermore, the US had no issue in getting permission from Pakistan to use her military bases for spy purposes, such as the U-2 incident. The Afghan War further strengthened the relationship between both countries. Though Afghan War was in no way an American war, still America fought it with full might by providing support to Afghan mujahideen army
At that point, Pakistan became the most important ally of America. Afterwards, Pakistan was left at the mercy of God when America suddenly decided to stop all help to Pakistan at the end of Afghan War. It was followed by the Pressler Amendment and a number of other sanctions making our nuclear explosion an excuse for it. This was not the end. Then 9/11 happened. It initiated a new chapter in America-Pakistan relations. Then began the never ending war on terror. Pakistan again joined the American camp. America made full use of the geostrategic location of Pakistan. Then president Obama came with his soft power mantra. Pakistan has been a security centric state since its formation, and this increased the dependence of Pakistan on the west.
Timely completion of CPEC will bring to Pakistan economic prosperity and as a result Pakistan will stand on its own feet without the need of any foreign aid
Pakistan put in her best efforts to make things better. It provided the NATO an easy access to Afghanistan. It played a major role in curbing the menace of terrorism. It started Zarb e Azb to eradicate terrorism. And it took action against a number of terrorist organisations, but was never appreciated. Now President Trump is overflowing with anti-Pakistan rhetoric. He has accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists. Pakistan responded to this by saying that it had done a lot to eradicate terrorism. America went on repeating the “do more” mantra. Pakistan is now assertive enough to reply to such allegations.
The New Year started with a tweet of Trump accusing Pakistan, and said that Pakistan had given them nothing but lies and deceit. But the president is sadly ignorant of the fact that the northern areas of Pakistan had come under the influence of terrorists after the Afghan War, but now almost all the areas have been cleared. Last year, the (now former) secretary of state, Rex Tillerson and secretary of defense, James Matties, visited Pakistan. They seemed satisfied with the performance of Pakistan but went on repeating the “do more” mantra.
Now the question arises why they emphasise this do more policy. May be America wants to maintain its influence in Pakistan, and to keep it in its camp. It is not wrong to say that Pakistan is moving away from America, and has developed amicable relations with China and Russia. The priorities of Pakistan are changing because of CPEC. Other than this, history has proved that America never felt reluctant with adopting any measures in order to achieve its goals. It seems as if American policy toward Pakistan is one of brinkmanship. This is perceived after analysing the rhetoric and belligerent statements coming from America. America sees Pakistan through the prism of Afghanistan.
Now what should Pakistan do?
1. The policies of Pakistan should be proactive rather than reactive.
2. Pakistan must be assertive enough to present her stance at the international level.
3. Pakistan must tell America to put the efforts in order to stop cross boarder firing on the Durand Line.
4. Pakistan should make America realizs about their allegation.
5. Pakistan should reduce her dependence on America.
6. Timely completion of CPEC will bring to Pakistan economic prosperity and as a result Pakistan will stand on its own feet without the need of any foreign aid.
In a nutshell, Pakistan has done a lot in order to bring peace in the region. Owing to its efforts, the menace of terrorism has been eradicated in many areas. America must realise that results cannot be achieved overnight. America must think before it speaks; otherwise one major ally can join the opposite camp. Short cuts are a mere fancy. Patience and perseverance are the keys to success. America must realise this truth before visualising a better future.