Pakistan-US Relation in The Aftermath of Obama’s Re-election
Alam Rind
11/27/2012

 

As 2014 is approaching fast, USA doesn’t seems to have a viable exit strategy from Afghanistan. Their safe and respectable exit from war torn Afghanistan largely depends upon Pakistan’s support. Recognizing this fact US publicly seeks to have enduring relations. What perplexes the government and establishment of Pakistan is the negative approach adopted by US government presumably foisted by Pentagon and CIA, that is, to coerce Pakistan into supportive role. US duplicity stands exposed by persistent media bashing and projecting themes like providing safe haven to Osama Bin Laden (OBL), arrest and investigation of Dr. Shakeel Afridi for supporting US operations to track down OBL, hearing of human rights concerns in Baluchistan by US Congressional committee, attack on Salala post etc. Such acts keep Pakistan at the edge. While the government remains in limbo anti-state and anti-US elements take advantage of negative propaganda against Pakistan to vent anti-US feeling among masses. Such activities continuously drifts Pakistan away from USA and may also impinge on long term American interests in the region.

With the re-election of Obama one can easily conclude that there won’t be any change in US policy towards Pakistan, rather existing carrot and stick policy will continue at least for some time. Rogue organizations will benefit as the existing policy continues to provide them with plausible excuses to continue with their struggle and in the process carry out destruction of Pakistan. This on going pandemonium can only be controlled by bringing peace in Afghanistan. Towards this end Pakistan has agreed to free 10 mid-ranking Taliban leaders on the request of Afghan government and after negotiations with Afghan High Peace Council. It appears that if these individuals manage to succeed in establishing contact of Afghan government with Taliban, Mullah Baradar believed to be number two of Mullah Omar may also be released in later time frame. It is a sought of a gamble that has been taken to give peace a chance. Pakistan has acted prudently and in its best interests brushing aside coercive tools employed by American establishment and media.
From Obama-Romney Presidential debates one can conclude that Americans will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in 2014. The stated American policy for Af-Pak was to defeat Al-Qaeda and to secure Pakistani nuclear weapons. At this point in time Americans have succeeded to some extent in weakening Al-Qaeda by eliminating OBL but their second objective i.e. to secure Pakistani nuclear weapons from American perceptive is far from achieved. Though President Obama tactfully avoided commenting on the issue Romney said, “Pakistan is important to the region, to the world and to us, because Pakistan has 100 nuclear warheads, and they're rushing to build a lot more. They'll have more than Great Britain sometime in the relatively near future. They also have the Haqqani network and — and the Taliban existent within their country. And so a — a Pakistan that falls apart, becomes a failed state would be of extraordinary danger to Afghanistan and us.” These remarks clearly underlines American fears if not intentions of Pakistan becoming a failed state. Certain quarters feel that the second phase of American operation in the region has started and to substantiate their argument they cite surge in terrorist activities in Pakistan. Defining future Pakistan-US relations based on such extreme assumptions won’t be appropriate. Pakistan is a hard country that can withstand tremendous amount of pressure. Since 9/11 and American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 their is no secessionist voice heard in Pakistan except from few marionette Baluch leaders living abroad.
Pakistan is a huge country with immense amount of resources and is inhibited by innovative and vibrant population so it will not be possible to break this country through shear propaganda. In any case harm to Pakistan won’t be acceptable to regional powers like China and Russia. Still if God forbid, Pakistan disintegrates, situation in Afghanistan will further deteriorate. It will destabilize the region to the extent that India may also face collapse at the hands of separatist movements persisting in its different regions. Regional and global powers are fully aware of the catastrophe that may unfold in such a situation. Therefore, such conspiracy theories are out of place and needs to be shunned. Future Pakistan-US relations will be strictly in line with the national interests of the two countries. Americans will have to watch Pakistani interests in Afghanistan to ensure it security and peace in the region and Pakistan would be reciprocating by extending support and facilities to Americans for safe exit and to maintain presence in Afghanistan. It will be in the best interest of Pakistani’s to concentrate in putting their house in order than contemplating external threats.