Is a shift in Pakistan's policy towards America on the cards?

History of relationship
Change of Command Stick in Pak Army
Change of Command Stick in Pak Army

The history of Pak-American strategic relationship goes back to the era of the creation of Pakistan. When Pakistan came into being, it was offered both by the Soviet Union and the United States of America to be a part of their alliance. Pakistani Prime minister, Liaqat Ali Khan, declined Soviet Union’s offer in favor of American and visited Washington which made ground for a long-term relationship in future. Pakistan joined the pro-Western alliances of SEATO and CENTO and worked as a partner for the United States of America against the Soviet influence. During the Afghan Jihad, Pakistan and America both supported the Mujahideen to defeat the invading Russian forces. Similarly, Pakistan supported the USA when it attacked Afghanistan on the pretext of the war on terrorism.
Divergence in Opinion
The opinion of Pakistani and American political and military circles began to diverge on how to deal with the Afghan issue. The difference was there but not that much visible till the presidency of Donald Trump when he directly blamed Pakistan for being a safe haven for terrorists. Pakistan responded in defiance.
Views of American establishment
American policymakers and especially the military is wary of the role of Pakistani military and intelligence in the Afghan war. The blame that Pakistani intelligence is playing a double game in the war by supporting NATO and American mission on one hand and supporting some pro-Pakistan groups like Haqqanis and anti-Afghan Taliban on the other hand.  American military commanders blame that Pakistan has provided safe heavens to the retreating Taliban from Afghanistan and they attack ISAF forces after resting in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The leaders in America says that we have given Pakistan more than $40 billion for its role in Afghanistan and have lost more 5 thousand forces in operation but so far the war is on the stalemate and the main factor responsible for this is Pakistan.
Due to the influence of Indian lobby in Washington, the American leadership is uttering the words put by Indian extremist Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in their mouth. The Indian stance that Pakistan has constantly targetted the Anti-state groups like TTP but has neglected and has given safe passage to the anti-Indian groups has got some place in the minds of American policymakers and they are now repeating the same words.

What Pakistan says?
The Pakistani establishment, political leaders and especially the general public have a huge anger over the pro-Indian policy from the America government. In response to the American’s claim of disproportionate aid, the Pakistani government has calculated that the total losses suffered by Pakistan amounts up to more than $150 billion and the number of lives lost by Pakistan is more than 70 thousand including more than 10 thousand law enforcers. The Americans also used the Pakistani land as a supply line for transporting weapons and other things to their forces in Afghanistan.  The military and government in Pakistan are also on the same page when they say that the claims by American general that Pakistan is supporting can be countered by the same logic that most of Pakistani Taliban’s leaders are hiding under the umbrella of Afghan forces and are being supported by the Indian consulates both with men and weapons.
The Pakistani public is also severely against the American stance and they criticise the American military for killing hundreds of innocents for killing a handful of terrorists.  The public also doesn't have that goodwill for the USA that they have for China because of the fact that most of the funds coming from America fill the pockets of the rulers instead of going towards the welfare projects.

What is ahead?
The Pak-American historical relationship can rightly be called as the relationship of ups and downs. It has always seen temporary phases of the differences between the two countries and hopefully, this phase will also be a temporary. Both the countries need each other for different purposes and none can move without the other.  What we need is strong people to people ties between instead of the military relations, solely. No major policy shift accepted from both countries!
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About Muhammad Asim

Muhammad Asim is a passionate blogger and the founder and editor of the Politicalaxis.com
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