The Pak-US relations since 9/11 and in its aftermath in the engagement in war on terror had never been so frigid as they are now. The ties between both countries stand at the weakest juncture in their history when both sides have shown each other a cold shoulder. Even the negotiations between the two sides to restore NATO supplies continued for six weeks but failed to reach any consensus and the disappointed US had to call its negotiation team back. This frigidity in Pak-US ties didn’t come overnight but rather is an outcome of a series of errors made by US that stirred fury of government, military, security agencies, civil society and the mob equally. The attack by NATO over Salala check post on November 26 last year resulted in the martyrdom of 24 Pakistani soldiers and despite several demands made by Pakistan for a formal apology, US stubbornness not to extend one had drawn huge hue and cry and stimulated resentment in the whole nation.
In January 2011, a CIA contractor Raymond Davis shot two people dead in Lahore stating that they were trying to mug him, a claim that later proved false in the investigations. Four months later to these killings, US top terror target Osama Bin Laden was killed in Abbotabad in a raid conducted on May 2 that violated Pakistan’s sovereignty. And the attack at Salala check post in November 2011 at last brought the two allies who were until yet working closely to combat terrorism into confrontation and shifted them onto a battle of protecting their egos. Sticking firm to its stance of wanting an apology over the loss of the precious lives of our soldiers in the Salala attack, Pakistani government kept the NATO supply route ceased without succumbing to mounting pressure by US which even tried to blackmail Pakistan by threatening to impose several sanctions and to curtail the US aid funds. Even the increase in transit fees is not enough as the Ambassador to US Sherry Rehman said, Pakistan had not closed the supply lines for leveraging a price advantage and the talks mainly focused on Pakistan’s demand for an apology over the November 26 incident.
The adverse comments about Pakistan recently made by US defense secretary Leon Panetta during his visit to India and Kabul last week also added fuel to the fire. Panetta before giving this statement that US is losing patience with Pakistan should have had thought that Pakistan has already lost its patience with US due to its unfair policies and dictatorial attitude in the past. Apart from this senior CIA officials and members of US government have been putting up allegations over Pakistan that it is exporting terrorism to Afghanistan through proxies, supporting the Haqqani network and allowing the border region with Afghanistan to be used as safe havens for terrorists. All such allegations are derogatory, further pave way for mistrust between the intelligence and security agencies of both countries and clearly negate of the sacrifices Pakistan made in the war on terror as it has lost the lives of over 35,000 citizens and 4,000 soldiers in the terror wave gripping all major cities of the country.
Why US wants Pakistan to blindly follow its orders and keep its security’s interests on the back foot? Attacking Haqqani network doesn’t support Pakistan’s interest in the long run because the security experts and strategists believe that it may act as its ally in future in fusing the conspiracies and machinations chalked out by the Indian agencies illicitly operating in Afghanistan. While US is planning to pull out its troops from the region by 2014 but intensifying pressure on Pakistan to launch operation at Haqqani network seems senseless and a deliberate attempt to destabilize Pakistan which is still reeling from the effects of the terror wave plaguing the entire country due to its engagement in war on terror. US in past decade had been attuned to run the relationship with Pakistan on dictatorial basis, one orders and the other obeys, and now when the latter means Pakistan said ‘No’ for the first time to guard its self esteem, the US is finding it hard to understand the changed but appropriate behavior.