Arsalan Jamal Ghauri
THE milieu of Pak-US ties has never been at the same level of comfort and warmth and carries a long history of ebb and flow in the relationship due to multiple reasons. Sometimes the misunderstanding instigated on the matter of alleged support to terrorists, sometimes it was Pakistan nuclear programme and at another time it was an outcome of the Indian efforts to damage Pakistan through its strong lobby in the US. Incidents like US operation against OBL in Pakistan and NATO attack on Salala, both in 2011, the slogan of ‘Do More’ against terrorists and US drone strikes within settled areas are few examples of Pak-US misapprehensions. There remained a visible trust deficit, which continues to hinder successful cooperation.
However, despite all these ups and downs in the past, US has never been able to abandon Pakistan due to its important geopolitical significance which is very difficult to circumvent. Evidently, Pak-US relations have had a history of roller coaster rides. And of all these long and variable relations between the two countries, it is US who remained focus on preserving and promoting its interests only and discreditingPakistan’s efforts and cooperation in doing so.
Relations with US have cost Pakistan thousands of lives, billion of dollars and immeasurable damage to her social and security fabric. And yet President Trump did not hesitate in demanding Pakistan to ‘do more’ while unveiling its long awaited Afghan policy. In post-World War II era, Pakistan opted to side with USA instead of USSR. It would not be wrong to say that USA’s ingress in this region become possible only due to the open and strong facilitation of Pakistan.
At that time, Pakistan’s support to the US block was indispensible, vital and much needed tohave a check on USSR’s expansion and contain her influence globally. In 1956when Pakistan’s policy was very blunt and clear in favour of US; the then secretary of State Mr Dulles statement of ‘defending India in case Pakistan attack her’ exposed inner intentions of US towards Pakistan. Later on, in 1965 war between Pakistan and India the highly anticipated US military help appeared to be the greatest hoax.
In 1969 US perceived China to be more threatening and hostile than USSR. However, soon the Sino-USSR clashes erupted on border. Nix on considered supporting China to balance and contain Soviet Union. President Yahya facilitated first ever visit of Kissinger or any US official to China in 1971,which laid the beginning of the US-China efforts to discuss the issues that haddivided them over the years. Once again Pakistan justified her friendship to bridge USA with China, which is regarded as one of the greatest milestone in US history. The real test of Pak-US relations began after USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Pakistan not only extended unlimited support to US against USSR but also became host of millions of Afghan refugees. These afghan refugee camps later on served as safe havens for terrorist coming from Afghanistan and wrecking havoc into Pakistan. Under the aegis of Pakistan, the USA not only gained victory against her arch rival but also emerged as a sole super power of the World. And in return, Pakistan was awarded with sanctions in the name of Glenn and Presser’s amendments. Amid this scenario, it would not be wrong if one describes the US policy towards Pakistan as betrayal at its best and hypocrisy beyond words. Then come the 9/11 incident which shocked the world. USA entered Inwar against terrorism and again wanted to utilize her old forgotten friend Pakistan to defeat Al- Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.
Pakistan accepted US offer tocooperate in true letter and spirit. Resultantly, Pakistan entered into a bloody civil war which costs over 120 billion of dollars and at least 66000 of lives so far.Military and civilian officials and infrastructures have been ruthlessly attackedsince joining the USA in this war. Before joining there was no suicide attacks, no slaughtering of army men and killing of civilians in Pakistan.
All these blessings were the result of Pak’s support to USA. In response Pakistan was compensatedby only 33.4 billion dollars as US aids and donations with a label of DO MOREattached. Almost every head of USA did not appreciate the sacrifices of Pakistan in the way these should have been. However, the recent speech of Trump depicts the most humiliating, hostile and rude sentiments for Pakistan. Not only he denied the role of Pakistan in this war, but also blamed Pakistan forsupporting terrorists.
This is something unacceptable and rejected by not only the government but all other segments of the society including a common man of Pakistan. Mr Trump’s immature and faulty current policy shows that he has no regards to the sacrifices given by Pakistan. For many in Pakistan the decision for joining USA and dismissing USSR was a blunder after getting independence. Pakistan is always treated as the AuntSally by USA. Whenever US loses, Pakistan becomes a scape goat. USA stillpursue her disposable policies by using Pakistan’s support as a tissue paper.
In the wake of US’ recent anti Pakistan policy shows, strong consensus is brewing inside Pakistan to abort the policy of complete submission to USA and should bere placed by the independent policies like that of North Korea, Turkey and Iran. Sovereignty and security stood first. If US continued to violate in the shape of drone attacks, unjust criticism or sanctions, then Islamabad needs to bring majorshifts in her foreign policy.
To pen it all, if the friendship with the discovery of Columbus—USA is not favouring the supreme national interest of Pakistan then the options of being neutral, alienated and not cooperating USA in the region arewide open. All the sincere relations towards USA not even brought a good nameto Pakistan and the US is solely responsible for taking these relations to the point of no return.—Email