Problems in Pak-US ties need to be quickly resolved
Hope has now been built up that the President during his address to the joint session of the Parliament on 17th of this month, may outline the broad features about the kind of ties we should have with United States. The President, and so has the Prime Minister, made it clear that pressures for giving up the Pak-Iran gas pipeline will be against the nationís aspirations. United States should understand that its desire for Iranís economic strangulation cannot be shared by sovereign States. India and China, have followed independent foreign policies, and have forged ahead in bringing prosperity for their people. If Pakistan, for some reasons and because of some autocratic or authoritarian regimes, preferred to accept dictation from outside, those leaders and their policies, vanished with their departure from the scene. A new administration, answerable to the people, is now in power. President Zardari at his Larkana speech some months back, had already made it abundantly plain that he and his government would do what it thought best for their country. Dictation to Islamabad was a thing of the past.Recently, a responsible US official advised Pakistan to look for alternate sources like windmills, solar power etc to meet its power shortages. Such lolly pops are least required. Pakistan has enough talent in science and technology, and it can make a nuclear shield for its safety, it can surely solve its energy problems. It would have been better, if the same US official had offered on behalf of the US government to install mega power plants, and help us build our nuclear energy resources, as the Americans have done for India. Perhaps such suggestions, may have carried more weight. Pakistan government, failing to provide the much needed economic relief to the people, and accused of corruption and misgovernance, has taken some bold decisions in the realm of foreign affairs. The change was visible after Hina Khar took over as Foreign Minister.
Having said that it must also be emphasized that Islamabad should never ignore the fact that America is not only an important country, it is also the only super power at present, and will perhaps be for a considerable period of time to come . It has to be friendlier to us, and respect us as a sovereign, independent country, capable of pursuing its own objectives. Future ties have to be on the basis of equality. As stated earlier Pakistan-US ties, at lowest ebb, are still retrievable, provided some genuine effort is made from both sides. Lip service would not be enduring, and is not in the interest of either country.
The Pakistani ambassador in Washington too must be conveyed the correct guidelines to play her role better. Her assignment, otherwise will be rendered meaningless. She has to present Pakistani viewpoint to the Americans. She can do this only when her perceptions about her government policies are clear to her. The Parliamentary Committee has taken rather too long to finish its work. Let us hope that the period of uncertainty will now end because the Americans too have been waiting for the recommendations of the committee and the governmentís decision to act on that.
The Americans are genuinely worried over the unnecessary delay in the matter. They have been looking for alternate sources of transporting their supplies to their troops because of suspension of the Pakistani routes.
A bit of advice here will not be out of place that while the general opinion about the Americans is not very positive, the educated class, and those familiar with world histories and international scenario, consider US an important ally.
They have respect for America. Also the Americans have been too generous in giving visas to Pakistan, compared to many other countries of the world. Our efforts therefore, should be to strive for a lasting relationship, but as equal partners.