The diplomatic relationship between Pakistan and United States is a matter of importance. It is a debate of strategic partnership and a tale of friendship. Systematically the relationship was born in 1947 to have a direct entry of the United States in the region of South Asia. Hence both states worked on a bundle of agreements to strengthen their relationship. However, there was a turn of events that took place in 1965, 1971, 1998 & 2001, where both nations faced hardship. The papers bring light upon these scenarios and narrate them from a natural perspective. The ideas that are discussed in the paper is to give future solutions for Pakistan to deal with the United States.
Pakistan, USA, New World Order, Ayub's Era, Cold War
After the emergence of Pakistan as a sovereign state, the United States established its ties with Pakistan and welcomed them to become their partners. Both countries worked in different sectors, where the U.S provided economic, social and military assistance to Pakistan. Various agreements and pacts were signed between both states, and one of the most famous was CENTO and SEATO in order to strengthen and improve relationships (Naaz, 2001). In 1965 Pakistan and India went on a war, where Pakistan was expecting U.S. Support, but unfortunately, this didn’t happen, and the U.S. refused to provide military assistance to Pakistan. That was a grief moment for Pakistan that, in time of need, its ally didn’t show up and make them realize that its partner is not a reliable one. Yet again, in 1971, India & Pakistan faced another general war; as a result, Pakistan lost its Eastern part (Bangladesh), and the U.S. didn’t show any considerations (Hagerty, 1995).
In 1990 United States imposed sanctions on Pakistan where they cut off all the military assistance to them under the Pressler Amendment. Systematically the U.S. lost its whole credibility in front of Pakistan.
In the wake of India’s nuclear program, Pakistan responded with a nuclear test in 1998 that declared Pakistan as the first Muslim country to become a nuclear state (Ganguly, & Hagerty, 2012). However, in Washington, that was an alarming condition for them, and President Clinton postponed its visit to Pakistan. The government of the U.S. propagated new sanctions of Pakistan under the Glenn Amendment, where the sale of military hardware’s and other loans was restricted.
After 9/11, U.S. showed their interest in
Pakistan to regain their ties and to support them in the War on Terror. Pakistan fully cooperated with the U.S. despite the past experience having with them.
Pak-US. Relationship in Historical Perspective
The Initial Era (1947-1952)
Short after the partition, Pakistan was developed as an independent state in 1947 by President Henry. S Truman wrote a congratulatory letter to Quaid e Azam and invited them to join the Western block. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, visited the U.S. in the 1950s where both state representatives shared their values to work for a longer run (Sayeed, 1960). Pakistan was in need of the infrastructure and development sector, and the U.S. promised them that they would give their support to Pakistan in every domain.
Hence it is clear that U.S. was desperately needed the support of Pakistan because India joined the Communist block with USSR. Therefore, U.S. availed the opportunity to get entry into the South Asian region with the help of Pakistan.
The Dynamic Period & Ayub's Era (1952-1969)
Cold War and Regional Cooperation
When World War 2 ended, both U.S. and USSR went on a Cold War, where both nations were in a race of global dominancy. During that era, the U.S. was in need to have a strategic partner to support them in the quest for Super power status. President Ayub Khan was invited on a state visit to the U.S., where President J.F Kennedy received him (Kux, 2001). Ayub Khan assured him that Pakistan would cooperate with the U.S. in every matter, and the influence of Communism will not impact their relationship. The U2 spy plane incident also took place from the airbase of Peshawar, and that was a clear example that Pakistan had faithful terms with the U.S.
Pakistan was the first country that declared China as a state at the forum of the United Nations (Kent, 2013). However, the relationship between China and Pakistan seemed to be unpleasantry for the U.S. because that made the U.S. vulnerable. In the initial phase, the U.S. was in confrontation with China over the issues of Tibet and Taiwan.
Nonetheless, Pakistan played the role of mediator to improve ties between Sino and the U.S. and sent their Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to Beijing (Berridge,1994). Pakistan always regarded both states and wanted to keep them in the same manner. But China always showed her best interest in Pakistan to support them economically and militarily, unlike the U.S.
The growing economy of China is also assumed as a threat indicator for the United States. Pakistan always tried its best to cope with misperceptions between both states. Pakistan and China are working on a bundle of projects which is unacceptable for the U.S. However, Pakistan welcomed the U.S. for a peaceful environment.
On the other hand, U.S. showed more interest in India over China which is prevailing instability in the South Asian region.
The Initial Mature Experience of 1965
The War of 1965 between Pakistan and India was a sudden event where Pakistan was expecting to have military assistance from the U.S, but this didn’t happen (Rashid, 2012). Even though the pacts that were signed between both nations were legitimate evidence that the U.S. will help Pakistan in the wake of war.
Mature Experience of 1969 — 1972
Nixon’s strategy for creating a new form of balance of power was introduced, which aimed to include new nations (Lampton, 2013). The strategy was favored by Pakistan and emphasized to call China in the allied block. Hence Beijing was isolated in the international community. The strategy didn’t provide prolong benefits to both nations (Sökmen, 2015). On the other hand, Bangladesh was created, and Pakistan was left with unarm of its of one unit.
Birth of Nuclear India (1974 - 1977)
In 1974 India tested its first-ever nuclear explosion named “Smiling Buddha” (Schrafstetter, 2002). From the Indian perspective, it was a peaceful test, but in reality, that was based on a defensive purpose to counter the deterrence of China’s nuclear posture. By the time I heard the news, they straightly went to the U.S. to pressurize India. Hence no sanctions or actions were taken against India from the U.S., and they left Pakistan to face a nuclear India.
Afghan War (1979 – 1988)
In the late 1970s, the Soviet invaded Afghanistan and took control of their red army in the entire country. Once again, in the turn of the event U.S. seek the help of Pakistan in order to overthrow the communist from the country. The Soviets were defeated with the help of Pakistan, and the U.S. took the opportunity into their own hands (Riedel, 2008). As a result, Pakistan was granted with $3.2 billion aid package for the next six years.
Pakistan’s Quest for Nuclear status (1988 — 1998)
After the end of the Afghan war, the relationship between Pakistan and United States came on a stable condition due to the collapse of the USSR. On the other hand, U.S. was getting close to India despite its illegal nuclear status, and on the border side, India was showing a hostile posture to Pakistan (Ganguly,& Kapur, 2010). In 1998 finally, Pakistan tested six successful nuclear tests. This a historic moment for Pakistan but didn’t appreciate by the U.S., and once again, distances have emerged.
9/11 Saga and War on Terror
After the Twin Tower incident, the U.S. asked its allies to help them in Afghanistan to combat terrorists. Pakistan was considered as their key partner in order to support them in the region. The relationship between both states was normalized, and the U.S. asked for direct support of Pakistan. Despite the fact, the war on terror badly destabilized Pakistan and curtail its security and economy. Nonetheless, Pakistan played a pivotal role in counter-terrorism in the region and helped the U.S. logistically and morally, but this wasn’t appreciated in the longer term (Dunham, 2005). Now Pakistan is facing the war in Afghanistan in its own territory.
2011 NATO Incident & Raymond Davis
In 2011 NATO convey attacked two Pakistani check posts in the Pak- Afghan border region, where 24 Pakistani soldiers were martyrs (Yasmeen, 2013). The reports claim that it was an accident carried out by the NATO troops, but after the investigation, it was claimed that it wasn’t an accident. The same year another incident took place where a covert U.S. military contractor named Raymond Davis open fire in a public area in Lahore and, as a result, killed two Pakistani civilians. The public outcry was high and anti-American sentiments increased in Pakistan.
Key Issues between Pak-U.S. Relations
The foreign policy of America has a high range of issues with Pakistan that includes terrorism, religious extremism, proliferation and border disputes with its neighboring countries. In contrast, Pakistan views challenges with the U.S. in its international policies are; Indo- U.S. nuclear deal, ban on military aid, narcotics and border trafficking through Afghan borders and least support in International forums (Wishnick, 2002).
Security and Terrorism
Pakistan has been the biggest victim of terrorism in the globe, where it has lost many innocent lives due to this War on Terror. The Law Enforcement Agencies of Pakistan are going a tremendous job of launching massive counter-terrorism operation within the country. Numerous terrorist outs are banned inside the country with the help of the National Action Plan (NAP) Weiss & Hassan, 2016). But the slogan of “Do More” from the American side is never prevented despite knowing all the efforts done by the Pakistani side.
Kashmir issue is one of the oldest dispute that is held in the United Nations, and Pakistan always wanted to realize America that they should bring a solid resolution to an end to this problem. The U.S. has always taken this issue non-seriously not to impact their relationship with India.
Pakistan shares a large border with Afghanistan that links two of its biggest areas Baluchistan and FATA. India and Afghanistan infiltrate insurgency in these two regions via Pak- Afghan borders, and such insurgent elements are destabilizing the country (Roberts, 2009). Pakistan has handed over a large number of records of these activities to the U.S., which are carried out in the state.
America enjoys a fantastic foreign relationship with India, where both states are working on various agreements like trade, energy, defence and economy (Clinton, 2011). On the other hand, U.S. is trying its best to give permanent status to India at the floor of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Such involvement of America is creating hurdles with Pakistan to improve their relationship.
Pakistan has suffered from this cancer, and as a result, it has destabilized its economy and internal stability. Most of the foreign investments are impacted by domestic terrorism. International companies have evacuated their offices from Pakistan due to security issues. While the U.S. didn’t provide sufficient funds to Pakistan to overcome this turmoil.
America is aware that anti sentiments in Pakistan are growing day by day due to their own mistakes. Pakistan has always provided a forum to them like U.S. – Pak strategic dialogues to overcome all the barriers. Such negotiations weren’t taken in a practical manner in order to clear all the misperceptions.
Nuclear Weapons and Missile Proliferation
The United States is quite worried that there is a huge arms race going between Pakistan and India, which is destabilizing the stability of the South Asian region. In this context, Pakistan is playing as a responsible nuclear state which is complying with international legal nuclear bodies. While India has a bad record of violating international norms. Despite the fact, both states are non-signatory to Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but Pakistan has always fulfilled its position to prevent any activities regarding proliferation issues.
Democracy and Human Rights
Western Democracy was always has been the main agenda of the U.S. in Pakistan; the country has seen a major part of dictatorship in its period. Currently, Pakistan is having a democratic form of government that is working with a coordinal relationship with its military institutions. The U.S. is dealing with Pakistan in a non-serious manner and not giving support to its democratic transition.
As far as human rights are considered, Pakistan is working constitutionally to promote human values and integrity. After the establishment of NAP, the government of Pakistan, with the help of the military, ordered to give executions to non-state actors who were responsible for bringing terror into the country. Rather than promoting the stance, the U.S. states that the country is violating human rights norms by giving direct executions to these terrorists.
After the Afghan War, Pakistan facilitated a huge number of Afghan refugees in its country on the advice of the United States. Most of the refugees were unregistered, and they were a big burden on the country’s economy. In the current scenario, Pakistan is sending back all of the Afghan refugees after facilitating them for nearly two decades. The U.S. has a big objection to this action and wants Pakistan to keep them for another term. Hence the country is facing an overpopulation issue and cannot facilitate them anymore due to security and economic issues.
Pakistan is under a severe energy crisis that is badly impacting its economy. Both U.S. and Pakistan have signed various agreements over energy to build a dam, hydel projects and solar plants. But practically no steps were taken from the U.S. side to overcome the energy crisis.
Regionally Pakistan is working on various counter-
terrorism operations and, on the other side, facing a hostile attitude of India on its eastern borders. This year State Department blocked the delivery of F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan under the influence of India. Pakistan has a mechanized arms force but deprived of advanced military hardware’s to improve its security paradigm. However, Pakistan stated that these fighter jets would serve a broader purpose like counter-terrorism operations and border security, but State Department ignored the Pakistani stance on the agenda.
The Way Forward
The series of mistrust between both states remains, but expectations remain high for each other to build a prosperous relationship. From the future perspective, both want to have closeness and harmony. Nonetheless, after the recent Presidential elections of the United States, Donald Trump is elected as the 45th President, and the relationship between both states had become vague. There are certain measures that can be carried out to improve the relationships.
Realization of a Responsive Friendship
In the War on Terror, Pakistan played a key ally role for the U.S., where it has demolished terrorist’s sanctuaries and other communication channels. Hence both state should realize that without each other support, they cannot prevail in stability in the South Asian region. Pakistan has supported American on numerous occasions and proved to be their real ally. However, this time both states should keep trust in each other and resolve their differences. For both U.S. and Pakistan, it would be fruitful to have a good relationship to keep other world order peaceful.
The Geo-Strategic Importance
The geo-strategic location of Pakistan is the essence of this country that can benefit American and each dimension. Pakistan is the gateway of Asia and connects other regions like Central Asia, East Asia and the Middle East, with access to hot and cold waters. Trade and economic opportunities can be easily availed through Pakistani territory that can help the U.S. to have a great role in international trade activities.
Sustaining World Peace & Order
There is a need to form a policy that includes Pakistan as their main companion to sustain international peace and order. Such policies were taken in the past years during the Cold War era when Pakistan was given a respectable position at the U.N. forum. There are many peacekeeping operations where Pakistan took place, like in Somalia. The U.S. should resolve primary issues of Pakistan that are a hindrance in its way to becoming a progressive nation, and the U.S. should primarily work on the Kashmir issue and water disputes which is Pakistan dealing with India.
U.S – Pak Strategic Dialogues
The U.S-Pak strategic dialogue is one of the milestone forum available to both nations(IQBAL). It was started in 2011, where each year, the Foreign Ministers of both states took part and discuss different agendas. The activity is fruitful where both representatives share their values to overcome differences and misunderstandings. There are multiple areas where dialogues are held; energy, security, education, trade, culture and politics. Such a forum should be used continuously to improve future scenarios.
Fulfilling Trust Deficit
One of the prime issues both states face is the trust deficit because of unhealthy past experiences. There are a number of restraints that can be seen in both states for each other, and on a political level, the U.S. feels reluctant to call Pakistan their main partner in South Asia. While in Pakistan, the government tried to convince the U.S. on multiple occasions, but nothing has been done. Although, after the Salala incident, Pakistan feels insecure from the American side that they will never cooperate with them. Hence both nations need to maintain trust with each other in order to move forward.
Pakistan’s Options & Prospects
In this position, Pakistan should seek other options for forming it self-sufficient. This would help Pakistan not to rely more on the U.S. and move to other countries to create a good reputation in the international community. Hence this doesn’t mean that Pakistan would show its back on the U.S. but to open its doors for discussions all the time. However, this will make a chance for Pakistan to display their standing in world politics that how important a part they are playing in international peace and stability.
Protection of National Interest and Sovereignty
Apart from having good foreign relationships with other countries, Pakistan should never compromise on its national interest and sovereignty at any cost. In the past years, the country has seen a large number of Drone attacks on its land that has curtailed its stability. Hence such activities must be prevented as a first priority in order to defend the motherland. While the U.S. should respect the national interest of Pakistan and its sovereignty.
The internal territory of Pakistan should be protected from any hostile act that can sabotage its dynamics. America should not have any intervention in the internal affairs of Pakistan, but they should play a mature role to strengthen the country by providing their advice and moral support to the Pakistani government. This will allow both countries to make a great bound.
Relationship with China
Pakistan and China are the key partners in the South Asian region and working on enormous projects. The long deep friendship of both doesn’t seem to be tolerated by the U.S. because both China and Pakistan are developing immense economic and defence equipment on an indigenous basis. One of the hallmark project led by the states is China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that is estimated at approximately 62 billion dollars (Arsalan, & PAKISTAN). The joint venture includes energy projects, trade, rail road, highways, dams and seaport. The CPEC will connect China and Pakistan trade activities via highways and deliver goods through Gwadar Port. Hence U.S. attitude towards this venture is unsatisfactory and propagating propaganda that China’s involvement in Pakistan is more like colonization. Therefore, as a superpower, U.S. should appreciate this project and also send an invitation to become a part of this venture which can be beneficial for every state.
Negative Role of India
Under the administration of Narendra Modi, Pakistan and India have suffered from many restraints (Hall, 2016). The foreign policy between both states was curtailed by the anti-Pakistani syndrome created by Modi. Moreover, U.S. is establishing deep ties with India to work on various avenues and ignoring Pakistani stance in front of Indian establishments. However, the deep involvement in Afghanistan of India is destabilizing Pakistani regions and indirectly infiltrating insurgency in the regions of Baluchistan. The U.S. is well of Indian sponsored terrorism in Pakistan, and this is the time that the U.S. must condemn India for its vicious role in the region.
Status of Neutrality
For Pakistan, it is mandatory to maintain its status as a neutral state in global politics. There were many turns of events in the international domain where Pakistani was called to give its direction role and compromised to do so, i.e. 9/11. Now it’s time that Pakistan should be neural with its partners. This would be a good strategy to deal with the U.S. in international affairs.
Economic & Welfare Assistance
The war on terror has destroyed the economic and welfare indicators of Pakistan, which will take a long-time implementation to overcome. The U.S should grant aid packages to Pakistan to sustain its economy and progress. There are certain U.S. funded projects that working taking place in Pakistan for development works like U.S. Aid, but there is more needed to insert such programmes.
In the wake of Donald Trump strategy that was declared in August 2017 for Afghanistan and its integral stability (Bin, 2017). He announced the negative role of Pakistan in the country and harming U.S interest. The announcement was a sad moment for Pakistan which has further destabilized the relationship between both states. Hence at this moment, Pakistan made clear statements on the floor of U.N. that its role in the South Asian region is liberal and cooperative.
Mediators or Third-Party Intervention
Pakistan should develop good ties with countries like Australia, UK, France and Canada for future progress. These countries can play a mediator role to maintain and strengthen the relationship between Pakistan and America.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that U.S. and Pakistan relationship has a deep history. That was started after the independence of Pakistan to make a positive and friendly foreign policy in the world, where Pakistan wanted to make a good position in the international community. However, there were many challenges that were faced by Pakistan while dealing with the U.S. and the turns of events.
Pakistan always fulfilled American desires in international politics; it can be the Afghan War or the War on Terror. Both wars have resulted in negative consequences for Pakistan, where the country suffered from economic and human loss. The element of trust decreased between both states due to pulling Pakistan into direct conflict. Pakistan is still suffering from U.S. wars and needs financial assistance to stabilize itself.
Pakistan and America both should sit together to resolve their misunderstandings and disputes with each other. Both nations can form a joint committee where their representatives can deal with their issues, and this will work as a bridge between both states.
Nonetheless, the relationship between U.S. and Pakistan is crucial to be implemented because the support of a superpower is much needed in international affairs. So, support of America for Pakistan is important to sustain international peace and security.