Dr Muhammad Khan
The Pentagon spokesperson, Adam Stump has clarified that, $300 million payment; due to be reimbursed to Pakistan under the Coalition Support Fund is not being released. He was categorical in saying that, “The funds could not be released to the Government of Pakistan at this time because the Secretary has not yet certified that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani network.” Earlier in May 2016, US refused to provide promised eight F-16 aircraft to Pakistan under a similar pretext. It was Republican Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who initiated a move to block the $700 million funding for these promised aircrafts to Pakistan.
These developments are regretful and upsetting for the Government of Pakistan and particularly its armed forces, which are actively involved in combating the terrorists in Pakistan. Pakistani armed forces have achieved unparalleled successes during the fight against terrorism, ever since it started in 2002. Whereas the US and NATO forces could not achieve any worthwhile success during almost one and half decade, the Pakistani sacrifices and gains have been tremendous and unmatched.
It is unfair and indeed discriminatory that, Obama Administration and particularly Pentagon has decided to block the amount, which otherwise is a peanut, if compared with the total expenditures, incurred by Pakistan, while fighting against the terrorism. The Coalition Support Fund (CSF), started after 2002 by US for its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan is not a charity, but indeed, what these countries rendered support to US operations in these countries.
Pakistan has greatly contributed towards US military operations in Afghanistan. Apart from playing very active part in the war against terrorists by its security forces, US and NATO forces used the Pakistani military bases and roads and aerial space for their logistic support. Bulk of US and NATO troops were supported logistically from Pakistani soil. Therefore, the support, Pakistan has rendered to US was much higher and valued than, the $300 million CSF.
From 2001 till date, the economic losses, Pakistan has suffered are over $120 billion and received only $14 billion in bit and pieces. Besides, Pakistan suffered lot of human losses, over 62,000 during its fight against terrorism. The numbers of injured persons increase many folds. In fact, this amount has no real value for Pakistan; however, it reflects US discriminatory approach and its attitude as a thankless super power.
In the entire war against terrorism, Pakistan never distinguished between good and bad Taliban nor supported the Haqqani network. During ‘Operation Zarb-i-Azb’ Pak Army has achieved tremendous successes, once it dismantled the terrorist’s bases in North Waziristan. Today, NWA is free of terrorists and there is normalcy returned in the agency. US officials, Pentagon and even Secretary of State John Kerry recognized the achievements of Pakistan and neutrality of Operation.
In a recent statement, the spokesperson of Pakistan, Mr NafeesZakaria has clarified that, “Pakistan does not draw any distinction between any terrorists and we have taken up the fight against terrorism and the terrorist elements within Pakistan.” Indeed, these are mere accusations based on misperceptions or else to please the eastern neighbour of Pakistan, with whom, it has strategic partnership.
Analysing the Pak-US relationship since the independence of Pakistan, there has been a uniform pattern of US responses towards Pakistan. US promised to do everything and anything for Pakistan, once it needed it, but backtracked from all promises upon achieving its goals. In 1990s, US imposed strict sanctions on Pakistan, after it achieved its strategic goal of disintegrating the former Soviet Union through a covert war, making use of Pakistani soil and Muslim Jihadists from all over the world. At that time too, US President refused to certify about the Pakistani nuclear programme and it imposed sanctions like Pressler Amendment.
Through same amendment, US president (s) has been certifying that, Pakistan does not have nuclear weapons from 1985 to 1989. Since US needed Pakistani support during this period, therefore, no question was raised about Pakistani nuclear programme. After withdrawal of Soviet forces and disintegration of USSR, US imposed sanctions on Pakistan in 1990. This US selfishness was even recognised by the former Secretary US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, once she visited Pakistan in 2012. She even assured Pakistan for not repeating the mistake in future. However, under the same administration, where Hllary is a candidate for the next US President, US blocked the CSF to Pakistan. In no way, the fund is a charity, but Pakistan has already contributed for US and even for the drawdown of its forces from Afghanistan, which could not have been possible without Pakistani support.
There is need that, rather being too much discriminatory with Pakistan, US should reconcile its relationship with Pakistan. As a super power, Washington should not be dictated from New Delhi. On its part, Pakistan has to adopt a policy, free of US influence or any other country. Let us formulate a foreign policy free from dictations and demands, which is based on pursuing the national interests and national aims and objectives. All bilateral and multilateral relationship of Pakistan should be based on reciprocity and equality.
— The writer is International Relations analyst based in Islamabad.