Relations between unequal
The terror that struck America on September 11, 2001 was dragged back to Afghanistan and is now being spilled over into Pakistan. Three thousand people lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The war in response to these terror attacks has claimed more than forty thousand innocent lives in Pakistan alone. More than thirty five thousand civilians and five thousand of Pakistanís armed forces personnel have been killed in less than a decade of war. The body count is increasing with every passing day. The human cost of the war against terrorism is still being paid by Pakistan and an end to these sacrifices is nowhere in sight. In addition to the sufferings caused by terrorism, the predator drones operated by the American CIA have brought increased misery for the Tribal people of Pakistan. The drone operations began in Pakistan during the month of June 2004 with the tacit, reluctant agreement and involvement of the Pakistani authorities but are now in effect running beyond Pakistanís control. Numerous resolutions have been passed by the present Parliament to stop these drone attacks in Pakistanís territory but the U.S administration has hardly given any heed to these demands. The Americanís in their own wisdom are efficiently eliminating high value targets but in reality contrary results are being produced. This futile exercise is yielding into higher number of sworn enemies of the American and NATO troops in Afghanistan and around the world.
The Salala attack by NATO forces left twenty four of Pakistanís son martyred intentionally and deliberately. The most astonishing fact of this unequal relationship between the U.S and Pakistan is the arrogant but pathetic behavior of the U.S. Demands for an apology on the NATO attack are being rewarded with threatening tones of disengagement and punitive action against Pakistan. Though Pakistan may not be an equal of the U.S but it is none the less a sovereign country and reserves the right of reciprocity in its relations with the U.S. The decision of the present government to suspend all NATO supplies route from Pakistan is a commendable one and highly appreciated by the people of Pakistan. The decision to stop NATO supply lines unless an apology is rendered and guarantees assured that no such incident would take place in future are the most appropriate manner Pakistan could have acted.
Recognizing Pakistanís limitations of influencing U.S behavior it is imperative that Pakistan should base its relationship with U.S on reciprocity. The free lunch Pakistan has been hosting for the U.S and NATO forces should come to an end. The narrative of the U.S of being a partner and allies of Pakistan is nothing but all-lies.
óThe writer works for IPRI.