Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, September 21st, 2020

Struggling to Revamp Frayed Relations

Less than a month later than Al-Qaeda terror network's mastermind in Pakistan, several high ranking US officials have paid trips to Islamabad to restore trust and cooperation between the two countries in fight against extremism. The United States Foreign Secretary, Hillary Clinton, arrived in Islamabad on Friday May 27, 2011 to meet Pakistani officials on the recent developments.

Acknowledging Pakistan's sacrifices she said that both the countries needed to "redouble efforts" to counter extremism and terrorism. Terming the "Al-Qaida syndicate" still a threat after the killing of its leader Osama bin Laden, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "The United States and Pakistan have worked together to kill and capture many terrorists on the Pakistani soil." She said it could not have been possible without the close cooperation between the two governments.

Secretary Clinton said that relations between the United States and Pakistan had reached a turning point after the killing of Osama bin Laden and Islamabad must make "decisive steps" in the days ahead to fight terrorism. Clinton was joined by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, to deliver a twofold message. The United States wants to soothe nerves and hurt feelings following the raid nearly a month ago by U.S. Navy SEALs on bin Laden's compound, a strike that was kept secret even from Pakistan's top Army and intelligence officials. But Clinton and Mullen also were telling Pakistan it must show renewed commitment to U.S. security interests, chiefly to eradicate safe havens for militants who attack U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The US foreign policy administration immediately began revamping relations with Pakistan after Osama's murder in Abbattoabad brought about harsh criticism against the Pakistani government for failing to aptly fight terrorism or even having links with the notorious network. In the early days after the blowing news of Osama hunt by US forces near the Pakistani capital, analysts said the US-Pakistani strategic partnership was on the verge of a crucial change. Pakistani presidents' trip to Moscow and China was, by some experts, interpreted as a possible U-turn in US-Pakistan fragile relations.

On the other hand, US congressmen asked Obama administration to rethink the country's relations with Pakistan. However, Pakistan's strategic significance for the US-led war against terrorism remains unquestionable. No need to say, the war on terror is far from over unless militancy is uprooted in the region. For getting the job done, the international community needs to get Pakistan's role in the process reinforced. The US administration has frequently reiterated that, despite tense relations with Pakistan, the US will not risk any damage in bilateral ties with it. In spite of edgy relations between the two allies, both sides agree that they need to considerately carry on cooperation to bring an end to the scourge of terrorism.

Fighting against terrorism has served as axis for cooperation between the two states and this very factor asks both parties to actively work on the long exhausting mission. However, responsibilities need to be based on transparent mechanisms to avoid further blunders such as those committed during the last decade.