DESPITE a policy of restraints being exercised by Pakistan, the United States continues to build up pressure on Islamabad in line with its policy of forcing the country dance to its tunes. On Thursday, it announced to suspend military aid worth $255m and the State Department also put Pakistan on special watch list on account of religious freedom.
With this, nearly all US assistance – security, military and economic – stands suspended and Washington is even not reimbursing from the Coalition Support Fund the amount that Pakistan has already spent in the war on terror, which amounts to $9b. It is regrettable that throughout the history of bilateral relations, the United States always used the military and economic assistance as a tool to make Pakistan do things against its national interests and more regrettable was the attitude of our civil-military leadership, which readily succumbed to such pressure tactics and showed no spine to protect the honour of the nation. However, for people of Pakistan the suspension or end of the US aid would make no difference as $33b aid the US boasts to have provided to Pakistan is nowhere to be seen on ground. No one knows where this aid has been spent as it has not led to improvement in the life of people of Pakistan. There are reasons to believe that the US aid mainly went to its own contractors, NGOs and Pakistani elite. Otherwise too, no aid can matter when it comes to protecting national honour and prestige. It is encouraging that the entire Pakistani nation has decided not to surrender to Washington’s uncalled for demands of ‘do more’ at the risks of serious threats to security of the country. Our response is being mulled by the relevant platforms and on Thursday, Parliamentary Committee on National Security, combining together parliamentary leaders in the Senate and the National Assembly, reiterated not to make any compromise on national honour and decided to hold further meetings to prepare the country’s response to the challenge thrown by the United States. Washington would surely increase the pressure in days and weeks to come and therefore, we must have a robust strategy to counter moves against our national interest.