Since the discovery of Osama Bin Laden from Abbotabad, the Pak-U.S. relations seem to be heading towards nowhere. Though there have been efforts to make the relations work, there has not been evident success. Rather, the deterioration has reached to its climax as the U.S. has announced a pause in $800 million military aid to Pakistan.
The healthy relations among Pakistan, U.S. and Afghanistan have been considered a very vital one for combating the growing terrorism and militancy in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for finding out ways to discuss political compromises with Taliban leaders for lasting peace in the region. But the current blow to Pak-U.S. relations is going to harm the counter-terrorist efforts to a great extent.
U.S. government seems to be under pressure for cutting military aid to Pakistan. The American Senators have already asked Obama to have a cut in the aid to Pakistan, especially after the Osama incident. The public opinion is also inclining in the same direction. Obama, who has to go through presidential elections next year, seems to avoid great divergence from the expectations of the people of America.
Further, U.S. troops stationed in Islamabad for training purposes have also been asked to return to their country and many high-profile visits after the twist in the relations have not been able to bear fruits. One of the basic reasons has been that the U.S. government and the military leadership seem dubious of the role of Pakistan in the efforts against terrorism and they believe Pakistan has not been doing much in that regard, rather they believe, it has been some way or the other supporting it.
Pakistan on the other hand has been going through much in the war against terrorism in general and in the Osama incident in Abbotabad in particular. Pakistan Army and political leadership see the one-sided U.S. operation in Pakistan as a violation of Pakistan's territorial jurisdiction and a blow to Pak-U.S. relations. Moreover, Pakistan has been going through much agony after the blames of supporting the terrorists on one hand and suffering as a result of the deaths of many innocent people because of terrorist plots on the other hand.
This fact can in no way be neglected that Pakistan can play a vital role in the war against terrorism and though its Army has carried out operations in certain parts of the country in the pursuit of the same objective, still there are strong terrorist networks in the regions neighboring Afghanistan border. Pakistan's decision to favor the fight against terrorism has made many stanch enemies.
And in all these efforts U.S. has been supporting Pakistan militarily. But there has always been a touch of mistrust in the Pak-U.S. relations in this war. U.S. has kept on asking Pakistan to do more and Pakistan has always asked for more support from U.S. this mistrust has kept on hampering the relations every now and then and has put the war against terrorism in great danger.
If the current pause in the military aid to Pakistan does not end soon, it will further spoil the relations. Pakistani authorities are never going to keep the counter-terrorist operations continue in the absence of the foreign aid because it will have to suffer economically if this aid along with the other ones that have to follow are cancelled or even paused for a long period.
This will ultimately favor the terrorism and its growth in the region. The three main contributors in the war against terrorism – Afghanistan, Pakistan and U.S. – must be in complete co-operation with one other to put an end to this menace, but unfortunately all three at the moment are with divergent considerations. The military successes achieved so far, can be wasted considerably if not pursued properly with diplomatic and political prudence.