Forging a new relationship: Pakistan, US might cut ‘black and white’ deal

Published: July 5, 2012

The new agreement known as the 'package deal' will outline ‘each and every aspect’ of relationship between Pakistan and the US. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan and the United States are likely to enter a ‘black and white’ agreement which seeks to remove ambiguities in an otherwise fragile relationship. The agreement will spell out both areas of cooperation between the two countries and their respective limitations regarding the relationship.

According to officials, the understanding was reached as part of the ‘package deal’ which paved the way for resumption of supplies for the US-led foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan through vital land routes in Pakistan, officials said.

A Pakistani official familiar with the development revealed that the US was initially reluctant to negotiate such an accord since the existing ‘vague’ arrangements served its purpose. However, Islamabad managed to convince Washington on the issue during intense discussions aimed at breaking the deadlock on Nato supply lines, the official added.

Pakistani interlocutors informed their American counterparts that the November 26 incident would not have taken place had there been a written accord between the two sides.

“Salala like incidents had been taking place for years and the reason was a lack of written agreement,” said the official, who asked to remain anonymous.

“It was important that we put an end to this practice and it is only possible if we have clear agreement with the US,” the official added.

He said the new agreement will outline ‘each and every aspect’ of relationship between Pakistan and the US.

“We don’t want to leave any ambiguity in our relationship with the US,” he maintained.

Another official confirmed that the seven-month long standoff had provided both sides an opportunity to narrow down their differences on many other issues.

The official disclosed that the two sides had exchanged ‘non-papers’ identifying each other’s limitations during marathon talks between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar in New York last September. But the process ceased following the diplomatic standoff over last year’s Nato air strikes on Pakistani check posts which killed 24 soldiers. Talks on the proposed agreement will begin soon with exchange of high-level visits from both sides, he said.

For this purpose, the head of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), will travel to Washington soon to discuss and identify areas of cooperation in the intelligence field. This will be Lt General Zaheerul Islam’s maiden trip to the US since he took charge of the ISI a few months back. He was scheduled to travel in May but had to delay his trip due to lingering stalemate between the two countries.

“Now that the standoff is over, the DG ISI will soon visit the US,” said a security official.

US to repair road infrastructure

Though, Pakistan dropped its earlier demand of imposing additional transit fee and taxes on trucks carrying good for NATO forces, the US has agreed to provide funds for repairing damaged roads due to the heavy traffic. “The US will soon announce the financial package for this purpose,” said a Pakistani official.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2012.

Reader Comments (15)

  • BaDbOy
    Jul 5, 2012 - 6:20AM

    Mr. Brown you know how to deal with Uncle Sam. Don’t tell us what Mr Brown up-to and what Uncle Sam wants from you. Mr. Brown you are just like Uncle Sam and we have no right to ask either of you what are you both Uncles are up-to.

    Recommend

  • Sexton Blake
    Jul 5, 2012 - 6:24AM

    Of course, at the top of the agreement will be no more drone attacks on Pakistan sovereign territory, won’t it?

    Recommend

  • Hammad
    Jul 5, 2012 - 7:47AM

    Pakistan has been made joke of a country by our rulers; both, civilian and military. Mr. Zardari is undoubtedly the worst country has seen in her history.

    Recommend

  • Sandip
    Jul 5, 2012 - 8:05AM

    Ha! Ha! Ha! It’s all about the money, Honey.

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jul 5, 2012 - 8:08AM

    If you don’t trust someone do you really think putting something on paper bridges that gap? Pakistan has a well deserved reputation as a duplicitous country making deals with everyone and not keeping many/any of them.

    Recommend

  • Not me
    Jul 5, 2012 - 8:35AM

    Just move on. Be pragmatic.Unless Pakistan is economically strong it will have to sing the song of others.
    Wiping out terrorism is in interest of Pakistan….fast track this please

    Recommend

  • Raza Khan
    Jul 5, 2012 - 11:20AM

    It’s all about how much more money we can extract from US!

    Recommend

  • syed Imran
    Jul 5, 2012 - 12:02PM

    If its all true than a very good achievement

    Recommend

  • harkol
    Jul 5, 2012 - 12:05PM

    Really now! A B&W deal?

    Like Drone attacks will be formalized and rationed (say two per week – not more)?

    Like CIA operatives will be registered and monitored?

    Like Pakistan will divulge all its ‘strategic actors’ to USA and USA will put in B&W the actions it plans to take on Mulla Omar and co?

    Just because there was a deal of convenience, US & Pakistan have more against each other than things in common. This relationship isn’t going anywhere.

    Recommend

  • Javed Afridi
    Jul 5, 2012 - 12:15PM

    @Sandip:
    So what did you thought? Was it for the life hereafter?

    Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 5, 2012 - 2:43PM

    LOL !!! I don’t think so ! Uncle Sam has now really got your number marked out, hence this relationship will be dictated on their terms and not on mutual or Pakistan’s basis in future !
    Pakistan have had their chances over past decade and they have either wasted them or blantantly decided to play their own games with US.

    Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2012 - 3:15PM

    Vienna,July 5,2012
    All on paper. No secret deal no ambiguity. Pakistan opens
    the routes with out making the U.S.open purse strings.
    Announcements apart the papers are to be signed from both
    sides.It is a developing situation;wait and WATCH.Who would
    be sitting on the Pakistani MUSICAL CHAIR ? Dictators out
    but dictation is IN IN IN + IN.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

    Recommend

  • munnabhai
    Jul 5, 2012 - 8:06PM

    At least the US is better than China. American aid exceeds China’s aid to Pakistan.Pakistan shouöd learn to shut the terrorism tap.

    Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2012 - 8:22PM

    Dear Hedgefunder,

    It is simply false to state that the U.S. dictates the terms of our relationship especially when the negotiations took over seven months to resolve and Pakistan stayed adamant in having its terms met. The U.S. and Pakistan are two strong and proud nations that value equality and both felt it was time to revisit the terms of our engagement. The question of dictating terms to each other shouldn’t arise because we wouldn’t even be working together if we didn’t share a common stance against terrorism. The reality is that both of our nations require each other’s cooperation in the WOT. We’ve wasted enough time due to our differences. It’s extremely important that we have a healthy working relationship with each other. This is the only way to battle our common enemies. We’ve been able to weather the storm, and now it’s important that we focus on eliminating the elements that are preventing us from bringing peace and stability to the region. We are glad to see that the importance of achieving our common objectives is once again being placed above everything else. We are happy to see the U.S. and Pakistan move forward for the betterment of the region. We reiterate what Ambassador Sherry Rehman said in a statement, “We appreciate Secretary Clinton’s statement, and hope that bilateral ties can move to a better place from here. I’m confident that both countries can agree on many critical issues, especially on bringing peace to the region.”

    Recommend

  • antanu g
    Jul 5, 2012 - 9:41PM

    @Sandip:
    Yes its all about money…US lost over 2 billion US $ for getting supplies through alternate sources..read Mr.Panetta,s confession in US Senate hearing a week or so back. And at this time of difficult times in US economy, 2 billions are certainly about money.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan