Pakistan and the US: A too-close embrace?

Asad Hashim writes:

It is of little surprise that in the weeks following the killing of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda’s leader, in a Pakistani military garrison town, the Pakistani relationship with the United States has been described using various analogies of romantic dysfunction: as an abusive relationship, as one partner cheating on another, and as a failing marriage where the partners stay together for the sake of the children.

The children, in this case, being various distinct (but linked) violent, armed groups that are waging war on both parties, separately and at times in concert.

But if the relationship between these states really is a romantic entanglement gone wrong, then the latest batch of US embassy cables to be leaked by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks is like having access to the email and text message exchanges between the two, revealing the many faces of the partnership.

In short, the cables show that while the Pakistani government wears a certain face in public, rejecting US missile strikes on its territory and military cooperation on Pakistani soil with aggressive rhetoric about sovereignty, in private, both military and civilian officials approve (or “acquiesce”, to use a term from one of the cables) to both of these.

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2 thoughts on “Pakistan and the US: A too-close embrace?

  1. Christopher Hoare

    The biggest issue is that the Pakistani population has a history of rising up to bloodily protect their sovereignty—against Brits and Hindus mainly. The weakly protected sovereignty that Zardari and Kayani project is everywhere usurped by the Americans and their interests in the region.

    Let us be clear—that the sovereignty of a state lies with its people, not its government. The government merely leases the exercise of sovereignty from the people. If they do not properly protect that sovereignty, the people have the moral authority to rise up and reclaim it.

    The US does not respect the sovereignty of any nation—evidenced by the way they usurp it if they can get away with it. In the Washington view, the superpower has the title to the sovereignty of the whole world, and acts upon that assumption wherever it can. The fundamental instability of our world’s peace will never be corrected as long as this remains US policy.

  2. DE Teodoru

    Pakistan’s role in the elimination of binLaden will only gel as people try to retrospectively understand the coming Us disentanglement from Afghanistan. And then the issue will be that Obama took us on a long ride in a “Nasty, Nasty Pakistan” making America look like amphetamine hop heads who can’t make helicopters work when it counts but do climb down ropes to shoot unarmed people. There was no reason for Pakistan to be made to look so bad for so long as for us to be made to look like Mafiosos.
    Silence is golden….but apparently not when statesmanship thinking is abandoned for purely Chicago-type politics. Two microcephalic administrations just can’t realize what precedents they are setting with their intel fish story. Pakistan is covered by us and in return is spreading the muck all over us for all Thitd World to see in service of China. Alas, politics and tweeting your “weiner” don’t mix as Americans just can’t manage to do the latter instead of the former or at least both. Our nation is run by a bunch of “tweets”!

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