United States’s Relations with Pakistan – Inam Khawaja

United States’s Relations with Pakistan

By

Inam Khawaja

 

The history of Pakistan’s relations with United States of America shows that since the signing of the ‘Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement’ on May 19, 1954 and the signing of ‘Mutual Security: Defense Support Assistance Agreement” on January 11, 1955 Pakistan has not violated any provision of these Agreements and has been an honest ally of  USA. The US on the other hand has time and again acted directly against Pakistan’s interests.

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  1)   In October 1955 US let down Pakistan with respect to promised military aid reference telegram from the Consulate General at Lahore to the Department of State of Oct. 4, 1955 quote:-

 Pouching dispatch on talk with General Ayub who says US let us down on military aid to Pakistan likely be exposed in Consembly with result various Mid-East countries will take ‘I told you so’ attitude on [or?] argument “You cant trust Americans”

Says his face now red re contentions he made to King Saudi Arabia who personally warned in Pindi in 1954 “Americans can’t be trusted”. Says he also “had certain knowledge” that Shah of Iran felt the same way and so he Ayub sent an emissary to convince Shah USA different from British.”  (refer page 444, Foreign Relations, 1955-1957, Volume VII)

2)   In October 1962 US sent George Ball (Under Secretary of State) to Pakistan along with Duncan Sandys (Minister Commonwealth Relations UK) and put pressure on President Ayub to stop the planned military action by Azad Kashmir Army to capture Akhnur thus cutting off land route of Kashmir with India. (At that time India was being badly mauled in its war with China).

 

3)   In 1965 US placed an embargo on arms sales to Pakistan and choose not to provide Pakistan with military support as pledged in the 1959 Agreement of Cooperation.

4)   In April 1979 the United States suspended all economic assistance to Pakistan over concerns about Pakistan’s nuclear program.

 

5)   It may be noted that Military sales and economic aid was resumed in 1981 after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. On October 1, 1990 US   again suspended all military sales and economic assistance by applying the Pressler Amendment. Furthermore it totally abandoned Afghanistan and even closed its Embassy in Kabul.

 

6)   In May 1998 when India conducted Nuclear tests USA put pressure on Pakistan not to conduct nuclear tests and when Pakistan went ahead and carried out nuclear tests USA imposed stringent economic sanctions on Pakistan.

 

After the demolishing of the World Trade Centre on 11, September 2001 Musharraf  naively in his Commando bravado  made verbal agreements with US and provided military bases, flight corridors, cooperation with CIA to arrest and hand-over Al-Qaeda operatives, induction of US troops in Pakistan ostensibly for training,  transport of provisions through Pakistan for US forces in Afghanistan etc. In fact he should have let the Foreign Office to do the negotiation which was headed by Raiz Khokar an experienced and able Foreign Secretary.  

USA has been fighting in Afghanistan since October 2001 now almost thirteen years, the longest war in their history. There are over 130,000 US and allied troops in Afghanistan. This is no different from Soviet Union which had about the same number of troops and after nine years threw in the towel and left Afghanistan in February 1989. The US and its allies are in the same situation and have finally decided to leave by the end of this year. However instead of accepting their failure they continue to blame Pakistan about insurgents in North Waziristan. This is exactly what the US Army did after their failure in Vietnam when General Westmoreland blamed Laos and Cambodia for allowing their territory to be used by the Viet Cong. However the difference is that at that time Nixon was the President, Kissinger was the Secretary of State (a man of great vision and intellect) and Helms was the Director of CIA, all very powerful and intelligent civilians who saw the failure of the army and extracted US out the unpopular Vietnam war which was in any case not in American interest.

In contrast today there is a President who is beset with an economy in doldrums, Susan Rice the National Security Advisor and General Petraeus the Director of CIA. Petraeus has come to this post after his military failure as Commander of ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan.  Furthermore, Panetta has moved up from head of CIA (after the failure of CIA in Afghanistan) to the post of Secretary Defense. True to form to cover up their dismal failure in Afghanistan both militarily and politically the Pentagon and CIA are now blaming Pakistan.

One would like to ask Mr. Panetta as to what his CIA was doing while the Taliban traveled from the so called ‘bases’ in North Waziristan  to Kabul travelling about 200 Km in Afghanistan? Why were they not interdicted while they travelled 200 Km with the weapons, ammunition, explosives and their other gear? How and from where they acquired the vehicles they used in the attacks? The fact is that the Taliban are very much based in Afghanistan where they have popular support which provides them with safe houses, stores for weapons, transport, ammunition and explosives which interestingly are all of US origin.

It is time that the US accepts the facts and faces the hard truth that their thirteen year war in Afghanistan is a total failure both politically and militarily. The nationalist Islamic Taliban is stronger than in 2001 and the Americans have not been able to win the hearts and minds of the Afghans. Their attempt to split the Taliban through Rabbani ended in his assassination. Taliban have survived over a decade of American onslaught both militarily and politically and today they are stronger and far better organized than they were in 2001. They have the support of over 60 percent of the Afghans. The recent Taliban attacks on the Intercontinental Hotel and on the fortified US Embassy and the twenty two hour firefight in the heart of Kabul was actually their message to the Americans to prove and demonstrate their presence and support in Kabul.  It is time the US exit Afghanistan with an understanding with the Taliban rather than blaming Pakistan or ISI.

According to the survey taken by Pew Research Centre of USA only 11 percent Pakistanis had a favourable view of USA that is 89 percent Pakistanis were opposed to USA. It is significant that this survey was taken before Salala attack it must have significantly increased since then.

The recent threats to Pakistan by top American officials have to be taken most seriously by us. It would be disastrous to take them lightly and consider it an effort to just put pressure on us to take action against loyal Pakistani citizens in North Waziristan. It is speculated by some that there is a very strong view that if a decision is taken to act according to American dictate there is a possibility of a split in the forces. One needs to evaluate if this is the American’s real intention because this could provide them an excuse to act against our nuclear assets. One US think tank has recently proposed the development of a US-Indian nexus for this purpose.

After a break of about three years the US Pakistan strategic dialogue has started with a statement by Kerry; “It remains essential for the United States and Pakistan to continue to find avenues of cooperation on counter-terrorism, on nuclear security.” 

Pakistan finds US obsession with our nuclear security sinister especially in view of their silence on Israel’s nuclear assets.

The people of Pakistan are firmly behind their Armed Forces. Every political party is united in its resolve to stand firmly against those American dictates which are against our national interest. The people of Pakistan know what their national interest is and we do not need American advice on this matter.

Karachi, January 28, 2014.

 

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