Dr Muhammad Khan
AS per January 3, 2018 press briefing of the State Department of United States, US has decided to suspend the security assistance, it has been giving to Pakistan. State Department spokeswoman Ms. Heather Nauert said, “We will not be delivering military equipment or transfer security related funds to Pakistan unless it is required by law.” Although State Department is in the process listing the items, come under the security assistance, however, Pakistani security apparatus is absolutely clear about the direct and indirect areas, which comes under the US sanctions. Indeed, U.S has started doing this since 2016, which means this is part of US policy, not a spontaneous decision of the Trump. It has been a constant United States policy. Right from 1950s (beginning of alliance), the cold war era, United States has been making use of Pakistan and Pakistani geopolitics and abandoned it, once it desired so or no more needed. The maximum President Trump could do was exposing his imprudent personality which is otherwise known world over now.
Historically, as described by Edward M. Rowell, the former Diplomatic and Consular Officer of US President, Pak-US relations have “careened between intimate partnership and enormous friction-reflecting the ups and downs of global and regional geopolitics and disparate national interests”. While maintaining a balanced relationship with India, even during the Cold War era, US relations with Pakistan have been “intense and extraordinary volatile.” Analysts view that Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan maintained good relations with Pakistan whereas, in the periods of; Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Bush senior and Clinton, there remains chill in the relations of both countries. The two tenures of President George W. Bush, from 2001 to early 2009, have mostly been a period of improbability, owing to the so called global war on terror. Subsequently, during the reign of President Obama, there have been vagueness and chill in the bilateral relationship of United States and Pakistan. The Trump era is otherwise being seen as impulsive and irresolute for almost entire globe, thus Pakistan could not be an exception.
Tracing the regional security of South Asia, Pakistan’s alliance with U.S and Western world throughout during the cold war has kept its (Pakistan) relations with the former Soviet Union at the lowest ebb. The western association indeed more frequently irritated USSR, which considered Pakistan as an rival. The former Communist union threatened Pakistan many a time of the dire consequences for acting as a proxy of United States. However, sequel to Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, Pakistan provided all out assistance to U.S and west in their covert guerrilla war, which resulted into disintegration of the former in early 1990s. This western strategy of promotion of global Jihad against former USSR left deep rooted effects on the Pakistani society in the form of extremism, militancy, weapon and drug culture and many other social ills, which Pakistan is facing since 2001.
A majority of Pakistani masses considered that the ongoing instability, extremism and terrorism within Pakistani society is because of its crest fallen alliance with the US since 1950s. While disregarding Pakistani contributions and sacrifices, it made for the US in its entire history, including over 70,000 human losses, over $123 billion economic losses (in the post 2001 era), United States preferred its long term alliance with India. Today, whatever US is implementing in the form of direct and indirect sanctions, the suspension of security is indeed directly useful to India. US New National Security Strategy-2017, announced in December 2017, is based at the victimization of Pakistan and promotion of Indian role.
As per CNN reporter, Evan, US has decided to freeze the security assistance of Pakistan for the time being and has subjected it to Pakistan actions against terrorists, particularly the Haqqani Network. “Security assistance funding and pending deliveries will be frozen but not cancelled, as we continue to hope Pakistan will take the decisive action against terrorist and militant groups that we seek.” On its part, Pakistan feel that, it has dealt with terrorists without any favourites and Haqqanis are inside Afghanistan, where US has total control. The terrorists of TTP like Fazullah and thousands of his associates have taken refuge inside Afghanistan and CIA alongside RAW and NDS are providing them all out assistance to attack Pakistan masses and its security forces.
Over the years, Pakistani security apparatus has attained self-sufficiency in the field of defence equipment. Today, the aircrafts of PAF are being manufactured, modified and overhauled at the PAF Complex Kamara and Naval Frigates and submarines are being manufactured and overhauled at Naval Shipyard, Karachi. Pakistan Army has attained self-sufficiency in almost all Small Arms and heavy weapons. This includes the Tanks and APCs at POF Wah and HIT Taxilla. In brief, the Armed Forces of Pakistan are no more dependent on US weaponry and war munitions. Rather, it is better that, we finally get rid of such states which have been exploiting Pakistan throughout. Let’s have bold and united response from entire political and military leadership of Pakistan to US on its very immature decision of suspending Pakistan security assistance which otherwise was a peanut. Pakistani nation is proud of its armed forces and their achievement in counter the US and Indian sponsored terrorism.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.