Fluctuating Pak-US ties

A senior official of the US National Security Council Lisa Curtis had a meeting with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and later with Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal in Islamabad on Monday in an apparent bid to defusing the prevailing tension in bilateral relationship. Though no details of the meetings were officially announced, it is widely believed that the two sides were focusing on behind-the-scene efforts to save the relationship from complete breakdown.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of a number of frosty moves by Washington, the latest being at the just concluded meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris, where the United States used all sorts of diplomatic manoeuvring to include Pakistan’s name in the grey list. The outcome of the FATF has further dented image of the United States in the eyes of people of Pakistan, as friends and allies do not behave like this. The visit of the US official at a time when tempers are high in Pakistan is a clear testimony that the United States is continuing with its familiar carrot and stick policy to get Pakistan on its side as far as its policy in Afghanistan and the war on terror is concerned. After building pressure in Paris, the US is engaging Pakistan into talks in Islamabad apparently to get some undue concessions. It has become a war of nerves and it has to be seen who gets what at the end of the ongoing engagement and disengagement process. There are clear statements from civilian and military leadership of Pakistan that the country has done what it could in the war against terror and now it is time for the international community to do more. It is, therefore, to be seen how this is translated into reality as a result of new terms of engagement being negotiated by the two sides. Pakistan must not succumb to any pressure and carry forward the dialogue process on the basis of mutual interests and there should be no compromise on issues like Indian role in Afghanistan, free for all movement across Durand Line, border management, early repatriation of Afghan refugees to their homeland and patronage of India by the United States at the cost of right of self-determination of Kashmiri people.

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