Monday, 18 March 2013

Pak-US Relationships: Shifting Paradigm

With the caretaker setup being installed, there is an urgent need to revisit Pakistan-US relationships. Analysis of the prevailing situation has becomes all the more important as critics seem to be divided into two distinct but opposite groups, one saying United States need Pakistan's support and second trying to prove that Pakistan needs US support to overcome internal and external threats facing the country.

However, both the groups strongly believe that musty relationship could prove detrimental for both the countries. After the commencement of withdrawal of US-led Nato troops and other hardware from Afghanistan, there is need for safe passage and speedy and cost effective movement.

No one can deny the fact that Pakistan offers the most cost effective route. Therefore, it is suggested that United States must avoid any encounter with the groups that consider it 'Occupier of Afghanistan'. However, the main concern remains fusty relationship between the US and Karzai administrations.

In such a prevailing scenario there are growing fears that some of the Afghan warlords may intensify their attacks on Nato troops and even on Afghan forces. One of the positive points is that both the US and Pakistan governments are trying to improve relationship by removing the irritants.

However, commencement of work on Pakistani portion of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline has been taken by the US administration an act that makes Pakistan liable for imposition of economic sanctions. Most of the experts are of the consensus that since Pakistan needs to overcome its energy crisis US administration must not oppose this project.

The pipeline offers a reliable and cost effective solution for Pakistan’s looming energy crisis that is adversely affecting its economy and GDP growth rate. Experts are also of the consensus that an economically strong Pakistan can help in maintaining peace and also ushering economic activities in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Nato forces.

Any adverse decision can intensify anti-US sentiments and imposition of economic sanctions on Pakistan could lead to poor law and order situation that may delay general elections in the country. Any unrest in Pakistan can also cause disruption in the movement of Nato troops and hardware through Pakistan.

Over the years Pakistan has been able to weed out militants and contain their movement across the border and any lapse could prove fatal for the three stakeholders: Nato, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Unfortunately, support of the rebel groups in Arabian Peninsula, North Africa and Syria has proved beyond any doubt that United States has been supplying funds and arms to the groups. Now it is also being said in Pakistan that United States is supporting those militant groups that are busy is creating ethnic divide and sectarian killing.

In fact there is complete consensus that those undertaking sabotage activities and killing people are funded by the external elements and often fingers are pointed at United States, India and Israel.

Some of the quarters have been demanding that United States should provide extra funds to Pakistan for purchasing arsenal to secure its common borders with Afghanistan and India.

As against this, there is a growing realization that improving relationship among Pakistan, Afghanistan and India is more important than accumulating arms. Living constantly under state of war and spending billions of dollars has yielded no result. The time has come to develop better understandings among these countries to ensure more spending on the welfare of people.

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