Rocky road

Rocky road

The United States’ relationship with Pakistan has not “collapsed,” according to diplomatic sources quoted in this newspaper on Tuesday. The statement coincided with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is “somewhere in Pakistan,” which was then followed by a rebuttal from Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

In the preceding week, Defence Minister Chuadhry Ahmad Mukhtar said that Pakistan might face sanctions if it did not resume the transportation Nato supplies to US forces in Afghanistan, while Pakistan is still waiting for an apology from the US over last November’s attack on Salala check post.

There are growing fears that despite being a US ally over the years, Pakistan may be dealt a financial blow over these strained ties. This, while the US has shown no indication of halting drone attacks inside Pakistan’s tribal areas.

With this growing lack of trust, what route should the government take in its “negotiations” with the US?

Should it allow the resumption of Nato supplies?

If, as is feared, the US decides to impose sanctions on Pakistan, what impact will it have on the country? invites its readers to give their valuable feedback and insight on this debate…


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46 Responses to “Rocky road”

  1. haris says:

    Nato supplies should be resumed immediately, Pakistan has to watch out for its broader interest. We cannot afford strained relations with a super power. This is the right time to get maximum concessions from the US.

  2. Nasah (USA) says:

    United States is not the adversary of Pakistan — USA is a a FRIEND of Pakistan — and that friends can on occasions take liberties with each other that the enemies or the strangers cannot.

    Salala was an accident — even if it was not — friends should deliberately give the best interpretations to a friends act not the worst — for the sake of maintaining the friendship.

    The United States is winding down the war in Afghanistan — NATO supplies should be allowed to proceed for this process to run its course smoothly — this is not the time to earn enmity — this is the time to help earn the gratitude of a powerful friend who is trying hard to extricate itself from the morass called Afghanistan with dignity — and it should be incumbent upon a friend like Pakistan to do everything in its power to help USA leave with a saved face — if for nothing else — at least in the name of Pakistan National Interests.

    Because the United States can leave but Pakistan cannot — Pakistan has to live with Afghanistan — not in combat but in peace — and for that Pakistan will be needing the United States in its camp – not in the enemy camp.

    • Ashar says:

      I wonder what the reaction of our FRIEND the USA would have been, had the situation at Salala been reversed. I wonder if our FRIEND would have been as composed as Pakistan if we had attacked and killed 30 of their soldiers. And in any case, shouldn’t friends treat each other with respect and seek apology when mistakes are made? Especially, mistakes, of this magnitude.

      I have often wondered if it is the US that needs us more or we need them. The answer is not clear but the fact that this friendship has been one sided for a very long time is crystal clear. While we have sacrificed over 40,000 lives on this terror war of our FRIEND and suffered losses in excess of US$80 Billion, despite all this we are labelled as the bad guys in our friends Press daily. There is no praise, no grief, no support. We are crumbling under international debt because of our friend’s direct and indirect interference in our internal and external matters, we are facing a suicide bomb attack every 3 days and we are short of power, water and critical resources yet our Powerful and Resourceful friend even withholds payments for services rendered.

      I believe the friendship of the US has cost us more then we can bear, we may not be worse off under the shadow of her enmity. I propose we start shooting drones down and if they send in fighter jets then we should take out the airfields where they take off from…..what is the point of dying this slow death, lets see how far the US is willing to go.

      Matter of fact, we should arm the Talibaan, who are not the enemies of the US as US has openly declared, with anti Armour and Anti Aircraft weapons and see how long the US survives in Afghanistan! Your progress in Afghanistan has been through our good graces, otherwise you would have been humiliated worse then the Soviets!

  3. Gohar says:

    I think US should go ahead and Sanction pakistan. This way, we will have an excuse to drop these drones that kill our people. They refuse to stop drone attacks, they refuse to give and apology, they threaten us with sanctions…my dear fellow pakistanis…these aren’t our allies…these are strategic foes. Our allies are Iran (the most important of them all), China and Russia. If we expand our economy using their help i.e. trade…in a matter of years, we will beat poverty inshallah…we don’t need USA. A back stabbing friend. We all best pray that Mr Imran Khan come into power to change pakistans relations slightly. We don’t benefit USA at all and they DEFINITELY do not benefit us as a whole. They benefit the rulers. I.e. Gillani and Zardari. Our PM so much ‘garuur’ its crazy…look up in the quran…look how these people are described and their fate.

    • Raja says:

      China, Iran and Russia are dud economies. China has grown, what ever it means, by reverse engineering and all its equipment’s are laughed at world wide. Let’s think with brains. The weather friend is a big fraud. It is using Pakistan as its cat’s paw.

      • Ashar says:

        Just another Indian joker, aren’t you mate? Almost every European/American/Japanese brand uses Chinese factories/plants to produce products. Chinese products are available in different qualities where the lowest quality would rival the best that India can produce while the best would rival anything that is made in Japan/US or Europe!

      • Jamal says:

        China has stuck by Pakistan whatever the weather, only in Chinese newspapers will you find angry editorials against drone attacks killing civilians in Pakistan. As for Chinese equipment laughed at world wide, you couldn’t be further of the mark, perhaps in America, but then the “Made in USA” tag is a bigger running joke.

  4. Essjay says:

    May we have:
    “Courage to do what we can
    Humility to accept what we cannot
    Wisdom to know the difference.”

    In international affairs one has to be Equal to be treated as Equal.

    Pride is harmful. False pride is suicidal.

  5. Jamal says:

    It’s an election year in the United States, an all facets of the US media are portraying Pakistan as an enemy state. This despite the fact the released documents seized by US forces during the Abottabad operation prove that Pakistan is genuinely incompetent when it comes to capturing Al-Qaeda. We lack the ability to track cell-phones, which is how the US ultimately got Bin Laden.
    A public apology will be impossible, a private apology between the armed forces after the elections will suffice, but Pakistan must use this leverage to eliminate more the debt accumulated against the US, nothing in life is for free after all.

  6. Samir says:

    The Pakistani government needs to find a face saving solution. The best course of action is to be pragmatic about the issues mentioned above. The negotiations have to be with the armed forces as much as with the americans. The drone strikes though deeply unpopular, are very effective at eliminating terrorists. The intelligence agencies have to stand up and admit that publicly. That would alleviate the pressure on the political parties. The NATO supplies have to be resumed as well. Pakistan’s bargaining position is getting weaker every day in this regards. In return, the U.S. must apologise publicly for negligence of its armed forces.

    A western diplomat had said in the late 60s that Pakistan is the only nation in the world that negotiates with a gun to its own temple. While there are hardly any saints in international politics, being a perpetual rogue nation does not help Pakistan in the long term.

    • Mustafa says:

      Samir, I agree with you what you said except “In return, the U.S. must apologise publicly for negligence of its armed forces.”. Are you saying in the culture of Pakistan there is no such thing as “friendly fire” means friends killing each other by mistake? Asking US apology means Americans deliberately fired at Pakistanis. It is unbelievable America could do this deliberately when they are are working jointly with Pakistan on war of terror. on Facebook on Facebook