Essay On Pakistan America Relationship

The United States first established diplomatic relations with Pakistan on 20 October 1947.

The relationship since then has been based primarily on US economic and military assistance to Pakistan which Pakistan never seems to get enough of.

Pakistan is a major non-Nato ally of the United States, even though, for some odd reason, it keeps pretending that it is one of the biggest anti-US, super-duper power in the world.

The United States is the second-largest supplier of military equipment to Pakistan and largest economic aid contributor but Pakistanis refuse to acknowledge this and insist that the equipment and the aid actually come from Saudi Arabia via Dubai on flying camels.

In 1955 Pakistan became a member of the US-run Central Treaty Organisation (also known as Central Free Treats Organisation). The promise of economic aid from the US was instrumental in creating the agreement. Getting the enigmatic Coca-Cola formula was also a motivation.

During the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, the US did not provide Pakistan with military support as pledged. This generated a widespread feeling in Pakistan that the United States was no longer a reliable ally.

According to the US it cut off weapons supplies because Pakistan military had started the war with India by using its soldiers disguised as Kashmiri Mujahideen.

However, the Americans did consider nominating these Pakistani soldiers for the Oscars in the Best Character Actor category. They lost due to the obvious Christian-Jew bias in Hollywood.

In 1971 Pakistanis were angry at the US again for not bailing them out from yet another war they started against India.

Just why Pakistanis kept testing their friendship with the US by starting hopeless wars with India is anybody’s guess, but some experts believe Pakistanis found bullets and bombs better tasting than the Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookies the US send instead for the Pakistani war effort.

In April 1979, the United States suspended most economic assistance to Pakistan over concerns about Pakistan's nuclear program under the Foreign Assistance Act.

The Pakistan government, then under the benevolent dictatorship of General Ziaul Ghaznavi, retaliated by banning the sale of Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookies and publicly flogging over 200 young men just for the heck of it.

However, since God works in mysterious ways and (according to the Pakistan Ideology) is more akin to listening to the prayers of pious military generals, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan forced the US to rethink about its Pakistan policy.

The Russian invasion of Afghanistan (inspired more by smuggled John Wayne movies than Karl Marx), highlighted the common interest of Pakistan and the United States in opposing the evil Soviet Union.

In 1981, Pakistan and the United States agreed on a $3.2 billion military and economic assistance program aimed at helping Pakistan deal with the heightened threat to security in the region and its economic development needs. The deal was code named ‘LOL!’

The poised, pious, powerful Zia regime distributed the military aid among the Pakistan military, Afghan mujahideen, enterprising gunrunners, drug barons, university students and wedding planners; whereas the economic aid was used to develop Pakistan’s economic infrastructure by building madrassas, madrassas, madrassas and mosques.

Pakistan with US, Saudi and divine assistance armed and supplied anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan, eventually defeating the Soviets, who withdrew in 1988 but left behind a number of bored Arab, Afghan and Pakistani fighters.

These fighters wanted to recreate Afghanistan not like what it was just before the Soviet invasion but what Afghanistan was like on the eve of the first Bronze Age.

After the Cold War

Prior to the September 11 attacks in 2001, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were key supporters of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Taliban were a large group of herdsmen who were convinced that goats were more valuable than women and sheep had more feelings than human beings.

By 1996 they were ruling Afghanistan.

The Pakistan-Saudi support to these unkempt herdsmen was an integral part of the Pakistan military’s "strategic depth" objective vis-a-vis India, Iran, Russia and the Vatican City.

After some reckless piloting by some Arabian camel jockeys who went on joyrides on planes, eventually ramming them into New York’s World Trade Centre, Pakistan, led by General Puppu Musharraf, reversed course and dumped the herdsmen after he was put under pressure by the US.

US president, George W. Wuss, had threatened Musharraf, growling that the US would bomb Pakistan back into Stone Age if he didn’t dump the herdsmen. What Wuss didn’t realise was that a back-to-Stone Age scenario was exactly what the herdsmen and their supporters in Pakistan were working for. Hee Hee.

Nevertheless, imagining an age when the military was made up of club carrying half-naked ape men, and when macho men and petite women didn’t have a uniform fetish, and when Coca-Cola was yet to be invented, Musharraf joined the US in its "Error on Terror" as an ally.

Having failed to convince the Taliban to hand over Osama Bin There Done That and other members of al-Calendar, Pakistan provided the US a number of military bases for its attack on Afghanistan, along with other logistical support such as double-talk, half-baked cakes, diarrhea pills and a pair of poodles.

Since 2001, Pakistan has arrested over 500 al-Calendar herdsmen and handed them over to the US, but they have kept the more muscular and pious looking ones for themselves, lodging them on the mountains of Pakistan’s rugged rock ‘n’ rolling tribal areas to tend to the military’s strategically depth sheep.

In return for its support, Pakistan had sanctions lifted and has received about $10 billion in US aid since 2001, primarily military, whereas rest of the aid is used in growing juicy grass which a majority of Pakistanis eat so that their military can keep eating cake.

In June 2004, President George W. Wuss designated Pakistan as a major non-Nato ally, making it eligible, among other things, to purchase advanced American military technology and Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookies with extra icing.

Pakistan has lost thousands of lives since joining the US Error on Terror. Most were killed by the irritated Taliban herdsmen (approximately 35,000) and some by American drone attacks (approximately 9000). But many Pakistanis believe most were killed by the drones (approximately 2 million) while the rest by innocent men with an abnormal combustion condition in which normal, peace loving and pious men suddenly combust in and outside mosques, shrines and markets.

This condition is blamed on the tempered polio drops these poor souls were given in childhood by Zionist agents masquerading as NGO workers.

Ruing its strategic mistakes in the area, new US president, Barack Obamarama, conceded that the US had made the mistake of "putting all its eggs in one basket" in the form of General Pappu Musharraf.

In Pakistan, Musharraf was eventually forced out of office under the threat of impeachment, after years of political protests by lazy lawyers, confused civilians, overexcited politicians and bored mullahs.

With Obamarama coming into office, the US promised to triple non-military aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion per year over 10 years, and to tie military aid to progress in the fight against militants. This has rubbed the military in the wrong way which, along with its allies in the shape of fat pious men, has claimed that such non-military progress in Pakistan is against the Pakistan Ideology.

The military might have a point here because some extremely brilliant media men such as the scholarly and judicious Sangsar Abbasi (author of the acclaimed books, ‘Jews Must Die’ and ‘The Wonders of Flogging Women in Public on the Pretext of the Shariah Wah, Wah, Wah’) have warned that non-military progress in Pakistan can lead to moral corruption and obscenity in the society and all that juicy grass that most Pakistanis eat will go to waste.

The purpose of the new aid is to help strengthen the democratic government led by President Asif Ali Bhutto Zardari Bhutto and to help strengthen civil institutions and the general economy in Pakistan, and to put in place an aid program that is broader in scope than just supporting Pakistan's military. BLASPHAMYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

Sorry about that. Present US-Pakistan relations are a case study on the difficulties of diplomacy and policy making in a multi-polar world (especially by men with assorted bipolar disorders).

The geopolitical significance of Pakistan in world affairs attracts attention from both India and China (and for some odd reason, from Surinam as well), making unilateral action almost impossible from the US. This was explained in an article titled ‘Grrrr…’ by an American policy expert.

In February 2011, the US administration suspended high-level contacts with Pakistan after ‘The Everybody Loves to Hate Raymond Davis’ incident occurred.

Raymond Rambo Davis, an alleged private security contractor and Sushi expert, was on an American diplomatic mission in Pakistan when he shot dead two Pakistani locals and claimed that it was in self-defense after the two attempted to rob him.

Pakistan acted tough on Davis despite US demands for him to be freed because he enjoyed diplomatic immunity. However, the Pakistanis eventually let the bugger go when the US promised to increase its supplies of Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookies, but this time according to the dictates of Islamic law. That’s why Betty Crocker cookies now have the word ‘Halal’ inscribed on them.

On May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 am the head of al-Calendar, Osama Bin There Done That was killed by a United States special forces unit led by an army of T-1000 Terminators, in the Pakistani city of Abburstabad.

The operation, codenamed Operation Neptune Spear and Other Phallic Symbols, was ordered by the United States President Barack Obamarama.

Numerous allegations were made that the military of Pakistan had shielded Osama Bin There Done That. Critics cited the very close proximity of Bin There’s heavily fortified compound to the Pakistan Militancy Academy, I mean, Pakistan Military Academy.

US government files, leaked by Trikileaks, disclosed that American diplomats had been told that Pakistani security services were tipping off Osama Bin There Done That.

Most Pakistanis were scandalised. They were sure that the American accusations were part of a huge international Reptilian conspiracy funded by western multinationals, Jewish bankers and Congo bongo players against the Pakistan military and its fat pious allies.

Al-Calendar threatened to kidnap Betty Crocker and subject her to the torture of listening to Ali Azmat talk about the political, social, cultural, scientific, spiritual and psychological Zionist plot behind Einstein’s E=MC2 followed by hours and hours of taped Deepak Chopra lectures.

Nevertheless, Pakistan remains to be a major non-Nato ally as part of the US Error on Terror. A leading recipient of US military assistance, Pakistan expects to receive approximately $20 billion, slurp.

Perhaps, if the US simply reduced this aid to a couple of stacks of West Virginian grass for Pakistanis to eat?

However, in the aftermath of the Osama incident, Pakistan Army cancelled a $500 million training program and sent all 135 US trainers home, but not the hundreds of Uzbek, Chechen, Afghan and Arab trainers training Pakistani herdsmen in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

But who’s counting.

 

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

The last calendar year was by far the most tumultuous in a decade of tense and mistrustful relations between Pakistan and the United States. It began with CIA contractor Raymond Davis shooting and killing two Pakistanis in broad daylight in Lahore, then only worsened in May when Osama bin Laden was found and killed in a US raid at a compound near the Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad (an episode that severely angered Pakistanis and embarrassed the Army, which was domestically seen as unable to secure the homeland against foreign intrusion and internationally suspected of providing refuge to America’s worst enemy). Tensions escalated further as the US began pressuring Pakistan to attack the Haqqani Network (HN), a Taliban group with safe havens in North Waziristan. Pakistan refused, and crisis hit when the HN launched a twenty-two hour assault on the US Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul. An infuriated Admiral Mike Mullen, outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, lashed out against Pakistan, saying the HN was a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. Weeks of diplomatic efforts finally thawed relations, but just as the situation stabilized, a NATO attack on a Pakistani checkpoint in Salala in late November threw the relationship into a tailspin. Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers died in the two-hour assault. Pakistan was furious, immediately suspending NATO supply lines and boycotting the Bonn conference on Afghanistan held in early December.

The crises of 2011 prompted debates in both countries over how to move forward. In Washington, several administration officials and members of Congress have argued for sidelining Pakistan and giving India a larger stake in Afghanistan. Others insist that it is important to tread carefully and that Pakistan cannot just be dumped. In Pakistan, many are arguing for complete disengagement while others are pushing for new rules of engagement.

There are two fundamental problems undergirding US-Pakistan troubles. First, instead of a broad partnership that includes trade and cultural linkages, the two countries have a one-dimensional transactional relationship centered along security concerns, i.e., the war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In a way, General Jehangir Karamat, Pakistan’s retired Army chief and ambassador to the US, underscored this point, saying that, in his assessment, “US-Pakistan relations were at their worst because relations between the Pentagon and the Pakistan Army were unstable.” US-Pakistan relations are further complicated because of clashing security interests, especially vis-à-vis the Afghan Taliban.

Related Essay

The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan’s Past, Pakistan’s Future

Apoorva Shah | essay

To those familiar with Pakistan’s history and politics, it's little surprise that Osama bin Laden turned up there. As more than half a century of problems show, the country faces a deep identity crisis it must soon address if it hopes to survive.

These two problems will not yield to quick diplomatic fixes. Barring a fundamental re-thinking, Washington and Islamabad should get used to making the best of an ambiguous alliance, and one that, going forward, will be limited, transactional, and security-centered, featuring competition over the endgame in Afghanistan, cooperation in the fight against al-Qaeda, and a trimmed-down and conditional aid structure.

The main source of US-Pakistan tensions has been the war in Afghanistan, and recent scuffles are linked to the shifting American strategy there. In 2009, the Obama administration set a goal of reversing the momentum of the Taliban by carrying out counterinsurgency operations in southern Afghanistan. The main objective was not to defeat the Taliban, but to create a situation that could allow for a face-saving withdrawal. The 2009 troop surge was aimed at gaining control in major cities and roadways and imposing costs on the Taliban that would force them to the negotiating table. These objectives would be bolstered by the parallel Afghan-led national reconciliation program announced in January 2010, two months after the November surge. The US publicly supported the process and even established a special fund of $1.5 billion to provide monetary incentives to Taliban fighters.

However, Pakistan’s role was crucial in the success of this program. While NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) targeted the Taliban in Afghanistan, Pakistan was supposed to launch an operation against the group’s bases in North Waziristan. It was to then follow this with political pressure that would force the Taliban to negotiate with the US and the Karzai government. Pakistan, whose security establishment has continued to provide refuge to the Afghan Taliban over the past decade, refused to comply. Leaders of all three major Taliban factions live in Pakistan, with a large part of the leadership of Mullah Omar’s Quetta Shura having relocated to Karachi. According to a study published by the London School of Economics, ISI representatives sit in on the meetings and decisionmaking of the Taliban’s major councils. Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid has written that members of the Taliban even travel abroad on Pakistani passports.

That Pakistan would support a Taliban insurgency should be hardly surprising. First, Pakistan sees the Taliban as the group in Afghanistan that is the least averse to its interests and most capable of blocking increased influence by India, which Pakistan’s military-intelligence establishment fears might pick up the pieces in Kabul following a US withdrawal. It is this strategic calculation, more than anything else, that has prevented Pakistan from cutting the Taliban loose, and it was disastrously naive for US policymakers to think that they could buy off such a deeply held security obsession for temporary offerings of $1.3 billion a year in aid.

It is also true that deviousness in this situation has not been a Pakistani monopoly. While it has been insisting that Islamabad press on with attacks against the Taliban over the past year, the US has held secret meetings with Taliban representatives in Germany and Doha, Qatar—and kept Pakistan out of those talks. This only increased Pakistani insecurity and reinforced the idea that Washington will ignore its interests in the Afghan endgame.

The US goal in Afghanistan now is to reach a negotiated settlement that allows it to withdraw most forces, leaving a few thousand behind on bases in the north and west to protect the government in Kabul and carry out limited counterterrorism operations against al-Qaeda and other groups that threaten the government or US interests. A Time magazine blogger captured the new strategy poignantly, saying, “Counter-insurgency is so 2007. . . . All the cool kids are into counter-terrorism now.” Moreover, the US and Taliban are also moving toward more serious negotiations. Some initial confidence-building measures such as the opening of a Taliban political office in Doha and the release of Taliban prisoners from Guantánamo are being undertaken.

Prospects of peace, however, cause disunity as much as prospects of war. Pakistan is already suspicious of the Qatar initiative because the US has kept it (and Afghanistan) out of the dialogue. It also won’t hesitate to exercise its influence over members of the Taliban leadership in exile. It has jailed several members of the group and is keeping others under house arrest and will undoubtedly seek several preconditions and concessions before it releases them to participate in the reconciliation.

It is also true that while negotiations shimmer, mirage-like, on the horizon, the Taliban has continued to systematically assassinate people in Karzai’s government to weaken the regime, and there is no guarantee that they will cease such attacks between now and 2014. Any future Taliban attack threatens to again raise the heat between America and Pakistan.

Finally, the negotiations themselves will prove a tough endeavor. During the bargaining process, the United States’ rational goal will be to concede as little as possible in terms of power and control to the Taliban and other Pashtun groups being supported by Pakistan, while Pakistan’s goal will be to draw away as much power as possible from the US and its Afghan allies, who are mainly composed of ethnic Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras and belong to the group formerly called the Northern Alliance. Moreover, Pakistan, like other countries in the region, would not want a long-term American military presence in Afghanistan and will also make that an issue that will continue to complicate the tug-of-war with the US over ultimate outcomes in Afghanistan.

While the US seeks a political settlement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, its policy against al-Qaeda is to “disrupt, defeat, and dismantle” the organization and prevent its return to Afghanistan or Pakistan. The war against al-Qaeda is an area in which the US and Pakistan have cooperated in the past and will continue to cooperate in the future. Since 2002, Pakistan has been steadily attacking al-Qaeda in the tribal areas and arresting its operatives in Pakistani cities. Several members of al-Qaeda, including senior member Younis al-Mauritani, were arrested in Pakistan in 2011. 

The war against al-Qaeda, however, raises the key issue of drone strikes. Since 2004, the CIA has been conducting a drone campaign inside Pakistan that has eliminated hundreds of al-Qaeda fighters and their local allies. Last year alone, at least three top al-Qaeda operatives, including military chief Ilyas Kashmiri, were killed through drone strikes.

The drone program has, however, been an issue of contention for two reasons. First, these strikes are unpopular with the Pakistani public because of the civilians who perish in the collateral damage. A 2011 Pew survey found that sixty-one percent of Pakistanis disagreed that missile strikes were necessary and eighty-nine percent said strikes kill too many civilians. A survey carried out within the tribal areas by the New America Foundation found that seventy-six percent opposed US missile strikes and forty-eight percent said they kill civilians rather than militants. 

While Pakistan’s official policy has been to condemn drone strikes, the military and the civilian government have supported them behind the scenes. In one cable released by WikiLeaks, Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani was quoted as saying, “I don’t care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We’ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it.” General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani, the powerful head of the Pakistani military, was reported to have even requested more drone support in South Waziristan. Moreover, these strikes have occurred with intelligence sharing between the ISI and CIA, with the human intelligence that is required to conduct the strikes coming from Pakistan. Finally, until recently, the drones often flew from Pakistan’s Shamsi Airfield.

But a shift in policy has now taken place with the forced vacation of the Shamsi air base and the Pakistani Parliament’s recommendation that “no unauthorized incursions into Pakistan’s airspace” occur. Based on Pakistan’s new policy, drones can no longer fly out of Pakistani bases and Pakistan itself should have an increased role in the decisionmaking over the strikes. According to Zafar Hilaly, a retired Pakistani diplomat, “due to the indiscriminate and hugely counterproductive attacks of recent years, Pakistan wants to limit their number and also be informed of the strikes and the targets prior to their occurrence.”

Despite these shifts, however, the drone program will continue to be an area of cooperation between the two countries. This point was clearly illustrated through the two strikes that took place on January 10th and 12th of this year. The strikes killed Aslam Awan, a senior al-Qaeda aide, and also allegedly targeted Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Movement of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), an al-Qaeda allied group. Several more strikes have taken place since, and despite tensions over the Salala incident no sustained opposition has been voiced from Pakistani officials, evidencing continued cooperation in the drone program and the fight against al-Qaeda.

US aid to Pakistan, a third major issue between the two counties, has become contentious as relations have deteriorated and American policymakers and elected officials have often charged that Pakistan has been given more than $20 billion in recent years in effect to bite the hand that was feeding it. But this is an issue, from Islamabad’s point of view anyhow, that is not as simple as it appears. First, in terms of the breakdown of US financial transfers to Pakistan, based on figures compiled by the Congressional Research Service, from 2002 to 2011 Pakistan is supposed to have received approximately $5.7 billion in security aid, $7.47 billion in economic aid, and $8.9 billion in Coalition Support Fund transfers. Thus, out of $22 billion, US aid to Pakistan has totaled approximately $13.2 billion in ten years. The remaining $8.9 billion, or forty percent of the total, has actually been reimbursements to Pakistan for the costs it has incurred in fighting al-Qaeda and its allies, and not aid.

Second, aid disbursement has been chaotic. Many times payments have been delayed, millions have often remained stuck in the pipeline, such as money from the Kerry-Lugar bill, and Pakistan has been owed money from previous fiscal years.

Finally, US aid has not made enough of an impact on Pakistani civilians to provoke any significant gratitude. Most do not see the benefit of civilian aid, much of which goes to foreign contractors, or is distributed by the government to its cronies and supporters. Moreover, some Pakistanis see US aid as a way to force Pakistan to fight America’s wars. In the absence of tangible benefits and in the face of war wariness, many average Pakistanis are now said to favor the end of American aid so Washington loses the power to compel Pakistan to agree with its objectives.

In the aftermath of the bin Laden raid, and because of congressional desire to cut expenditures, the US-Pakistan aid relationship has changed in the last year. For example, $700 million of military aid was frozen in July 2011, when Pakistan expelled American military trainers. Congress has also made economic and security aid conditional upon Pakistan fighting militants. Although the Obama administration was influential in tripling non-military aid to Pakistan through the Kerry-Lugar bill, experts are predicting a future shrinking of economic assistance as well. Currently there is a bill in the House of Representatives titled the Pakistan Accountability Act, which seeks to cut all aid to Pakistan, except for money for the protection of nuclear weapons. The bill has yet to be voted on, but it foreshadows where the aid relationship is headed. It is quite possible that, over the next few years, US aid to Pakistan will become minimal, except for funds for protection of nuclear weapons.

Pakistan is often described in Washington as “double-dealing” and “duplicitous.” Pakistani analysts describe their country’s relationship with the US to me as “unequal” and “humiliating.” Najam Rafique, a US expert at the Institute of Strategic Studies, in Islamabad, said, “Pakistan has been treated with contempt by the US; it’s been mistreated and ordered around.” Sadly enough, both characterizations are accurate. After 9/11, the US essentially coerced Pakistan to join the Global War on Terror and, since then, often forced it to act against its own perceived interests. Pakistan, on the other hand, accepted Washington’s monetary incentives but undermined the US effort by providing safe havens to its enemies.

The lack of a broad partnership between America and Pakistan prevented the building of mutual trust or the alignment of interests. Instead, the two countries settled for a one-dimensional, transactional relationship centered along security concerns. What was missing was a synchronicity between the two countries’ security calculus for the “AfPak” region. Nor is there much evidence that this state of affairs will change, a point painfully obvious to foreign affairs experts in the US and Pakistan alike. Bruce O. Riedel, a former CIA officer who authored the Obama administration’s 2009 policy review for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was recently quoted in the New York Times Magazine as saying, “I can see how this gets worse . . . And I can see how this gets catastrophically worse. . . . I don’t see how it gets a whole lot better.” Similarly, Zafar Hilaly, a retired Pakistani diplomat, recently said to me, “This relationship is not headed anywhere—our ways part, our paths are divergent.”

While disengagement is not an option—the continuation of relations today despite the horrors of 2011 illustrates this point—limited collaboration is the best that can be expected. Even as both countries cooperate to eliminate al-Qaeda, their positions in the Afghan endgame will be competitive. Pakistan will seek concessions before it allows the Afghan Taliban to fully participate in negotiations. Moreover, it will seek greater influence for its allies in a future Afghan government, while the US will push to secure the power of its Afghan allies. Finally, military and economic aid to Pakistan will be conditional and results-oriented.

It is important to point out that although such a relationship can accomplish short-term objectives, it cannot tackle mid-to-long-term challenges. That is why there is a crucial need for Washington to vigorously rethink relations with Pakistan. US regional interests and Pakistan’s geopolitical importance warrant a pragmatic, complex, and dynamic Pakistan policy. The US plans to maintain sizable bases and a military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014. It also has interests in Central Asia because of the region’s vast reserves of oil and natural gas. On the other hand, Pakistan is a nuclear-armed state led by corrupt and unaccountable leaders and institutions, with a weak economy, growing population, and a youth bulge. Moreover, it suffers from resource scarcity and mismanagement (especially in water, gas, and electricity) and will need resources to provide postconflict stability in many parts of the country. In the long run, the US can scarcely afford a minimalist relationship with Pakistan. It must engage Pakistan on multiple dimensions and create partnerships to encompass the government, business, and financial sector and civil society. The alternative to such a creative rethinking is not pleasant to contemplate.

Shehzad H. Qazi is a research associate at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

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