Pak-Us Relations: a Friendship of Needs

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Pakistan Studies

Thought Paper 3

Pak-US relations: A friendship of needs

Author: Asim Siddique

Pak-US relations: A friendship of needs

Pakistan’s relation with America over the years can be described as a fair –weather friendship. It is not like a Pak-china friendship that blossoms in all seasons. Pak-US friendship thrives on mutual threats and short-term incentives. It’s a friendship that has seen many highs and lows over the five to six decades and has been subject to trends of international politics. Pakistan could be America’s most ‘allied ally’ during the cold war and in another instance, could be subject to extreme military sanctions on demonstrating its defensive capabilities to deter their rivals in the South Asian region Although a stable, democratic and prosperous Pakistan is seen vital U.S interest in the region but the exploitative nature of Pak-US friendship has hindered the progress towards that goal. Anti-American sentiment are widespread in Pakistan despite America providing huge economic and military-aid to Pakistan. The Pakistani masses have grown resentful against America’s exploitative tactics and their influence in Pakistan’s domestic affairs. America should work towards building a long-term strategic relation with Pakistan and try to encourage the democratic norms that are well established in their own country. It is imperative that the governments in both the countries should be on the same page on mutual benefiting issues like eradication of regional and global terrorism. One would have to analyze past policies of both Washington and Islamabad to determine the reasons, why they have failed in building a multi-dimensional, long term and an enduring relationship.

In order, to analyze Pak-US relations we would concentrate four important issues that played critical role in development of this relation. These issues are: Kashmir dispute, Pakistan’s nuclear program, the war on terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the emerging...