Kayani sets principles of Pak-US relations
Pakistan wholeheartedly threw its weight behind the United States in the war on terror and incurred huge losses in men and material since 2001 but regrettably all this cooperative spirit and endeavours have not translated into a dependable partnership mainly because Washington always applied pressure tactics and ignored the universally accepted principles of sovereign equality. The bad blood so created touched its extreme when the United States deliberately killed Pakistani soldiers at Salala forcing Islamabad to review terms of engagements with the United States. After suspension of ties for seven months, the two sides have resolved most of the problems through intensive negotiations and in line with the spirit of the recommendations of the Pakistan parliament. This has also been acknowledged by General Allen who declared that significant progress was being made in improving cooperation with Pakistan and that he was pleased with the upward spiral in the mutual relationship. General Kayani’s assessment of the prevailing state of bilateral relations is almost similar as he believed that their meeting has helped towards improving strategic and operational understanding between Pakistan military and ISAF. However, perhaps, in view of the track record of the United States, the COAS stressed transparency in relations with the US and wanted it to be based on mutual trust and respect. We believe that General Kayani has set principles for a mutually beneficial cooperative relationship and the United States will have to respond positively if it is interested in a dependable and sustainable relationship with Pakistan. These principles are grounded in parliamentary recommendations that are reflective of aspirations of the Pakistani nation and have backing of civil and military organs, politicians, civil society and media and the United States that claims to champion the cause of democracy should respect them in letter and in spirit.