Pak-US ties: A tale of one-sided love

Pak-US relations: A tale of one-sided love
By Tahir Ali Khan

https://dailytimes.com.pk/236047/pak-us-relations-a-tale-of-one-sided-love/

Pakistan is an ally of the US in the War on Terror (WoT). Despite having done more than any other ally in the WoT, it is accused of not having done enough to wipe out terrorism.
Feeling neglected, Pakistan has responded with its improved relations and alliance with China and Russia. And it now says it has done enough and it is the US that has to do more now on that front.
A comparative study of what Pakistan and the USA have been doing for each other show the relationship has been a sad story of one-sided love.
Ignoring the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)’s invitation for a visit in 1951, Pakistan’s then Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan flew to the USA. In 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower requested Pakistani Prime Minister Mr Suhrawardy to lease Peshawar Air Station to the American Army for keeping an eye on the USSR and its ballistic missile programme. Pakistan accepted. All this annoyed the Communist regime. It threw its entire weight later in India’s favour, armed it tooth and nail and supported it abundantly.
Pakistan opted for the US and the “Free World” but had been left to tackle eventualities on its own. It joined the SEATO and CENTO thinking that the US/West would come to its rescue but it did quite the opposite. In 1965, when India attacked Pakistan, the USA, instead of supporting it militarily or financially being an ally, slapped sanctions on supply of military equipments to Pakistan. And in 1971, USA’s Seventh Fleet “couldn’t arrive in time” to defend it against USSR supported Indian aggression leading to its dismemberment.
Pakistan had successfully negotiated a deal between USA and China in 70’s. A Chinese leader during these parleys had reportedly told the US envoy not to neglect Pakistan but the US quickly abandoned its ally and silently allowing India to dismember it with the support of the USSR.
In April 1979, the US administration that had whole-heartedly supported the Israeli atomic programme and the “Jewish” Bomb, accusing Pakistan of trying to have an “Islamic” Bomb and citing military dictatorship, imposed sanctions on Pakistan.
However a few months later, when it needed Pakistan’s help against the Red forces in Afghanistan, the US changed course, forgot about dictatorship and the “Islamic Bomb” and sent Dr. Berznisky with a package to Pakistan. Pakistan fought for the West. But when their interests were safeguarded with the defeat and withdrawal of USSR from there, the US/the west left it to bear the sinister aftermath of the militancy alone. Agonisingly, the threat of Pakistan’s nuclear programme surfaced again. And in 1990, as the country by then had lost its strategic importance, the US, under the Pressler amendment, imposed sanctions on Pakistan, whereby every kind of military assistance was banned again to Pakistan. During those years, it did everything to deprive Pakistan of its indigenous nuclear and missile development programme.
This US indifference and double standards with Pakistan continued until the tragedy of 9/11 again made vital Pakistan’s help. Musharraf, the very man who was not entitled to a Photo-session with the US President for being a dictator, became their ‘friend’ overnight. All sanctions were lifted against Pakistan. Pakistan jumped into the WoT. But even then it was made just Non-NATO ally. While Pakistan was denied any atomic energy, with India a civilian nuclear deal was finalised.
The US administration was so selfish vis-à-vis Pakistan that though Pakistan had paid for F16s aircrafts, it neither handed over the F16s to it nor returned the money it had paid for them. Instead, it took from it the maintenance expenditures for these F16s which were held back by the US for sanctions.
Pakistan has come to help/rescue the US twice in Afghanistan. In 1980s, it joined hands with it to defeat the invaders –the USSR. In 2001, it supported it though the US was itself an invader. Then it fought the puppet regime in Kabul; now it supports their ‘puppet regime’ there. Then, they dubbed ‘Mujahideen’ as freedom fighters and Pakistan accepted. Now they dub them terrorists and it accepts even now. Pakistan allowed American army to use its military bases for launching attacks on Afghan soil.
Pakistan even killed its citizens the US considered as its enemies. The US said Dr. Abdul Qadeer is “guilty” of nuclear proliferation and he was immediately put under house arrest. Pakistan even arrested Mulla Zaeef- Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan- for the US for the first time ever in world’s history. It had arrested more than 500 top Alqaeda associates and handed them over to it. Alqaeda since then has attacked Pakistani leaders frequently. Alqaeda had done no harm to Pakistan till then. Pakistan became their enemy when it supported the US in WoT.
The WoT and the resultant militancy and terrorism have badly impacted Pakistan’s economy. Careful estimates put the overall loss at around $120bn. It has resulted into the deaths of thousands of its valiant security personnel and civilians in terrorist acts. But despite all this, it openly questions Pakistan’s commitment to WoT and is still far from being satisfied.
Pakistan arrests and kills the enemies of the US –like Alqaeda, Daesh and Afghan Taliban –considering them its own enemies. But the US openly befriends Pakistan’s enemies and renders them every diplomatic, military, scientific and financial help. It has had ignored and didn’t target the militants fighting against Pakistan until recently. It attacks its territory (the Silala attack), meddles in its internal affairs and thus creates problems for its leaders.
Pakistan needs to be dealt fairly and respectfully as an ally. The policy of doubting its intentions and demanding more from Pakistan will hardly do the US any favour. It only will push Pakistan away towards more reliable allies in China and Russia.

Tahir Ali Khan is an academic and researcher. He blogs at http://www.tahirkatlang.wordpress.com and can be reached at tahirkatlang039@gmail.com

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About Tahir Ali Khan (Official)
I am an academic, columnist, and a social worker.

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