Pakistan’s love-hate relationship with the US
Once upon a time what united Pakistanis was hatred against India. Now we have the US.
Once upon a time what united Pakistanis was hatred against India. Now the nation has set its sights higher: it is now the US that brings out the worst passions in us. India has quietly receded to the background despite the fact that it is busy building dams on rivers allotted to Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty and is massively upgrading its army’s arsenal.
On the other hand, the US, which has come to our aid every time we started a needless conflict, has become enemy number one. Had the US not forced India to cease fire during the 1965, 1971 and 1999 conflicts, as well as the 2001 and 2008 standoffs, the consequences for Pakistan could have been disastrous.
Added to this is the fact that the US is Pakistan’s largest donor. It is one of the biggest markets for our exports and one of the major sources of our remittances.
And we are ready for the sake of a few thankless Afghans to take on the might of the US, never mind the negative impact that it may have on our economic well-being and international reputation. For those who think that without the Haqqani network and other Taliban outfits, we will lose our toehold in Afghanistan to India, let me assure them that we already have. Just as in the past, the Haqqanis and other armed Afghan outfits being pampered by us today will turn against us tomorrow.
During the days of Taliban-run Afghanistan, the war-ravaged country became a sanctuary to the most hardened sectarian terrorist outfits that had killed countless numbers of our innocent Shiite and non-Muslim countrymen. Every time Pakistan would ask the Taliban to expel them, they would refuse, citing the Pashtunwali code. The Haqqanis, who today are linked to Pakistan, will do exactly the same tomorrow.
If Pakistan does not withdraw support for the Haqqani network, it will surely become an international pariah, and the day would not be far when its name would be taken with the likes of North Korea and Syria.