Pakistan-US ties

Published: March 31, 2012

KARACHI: The nation is keeping its fingers crossed for the new terms of engagement that parliament will decide regarding our ties with the US. Our parliamentarians would do well to focus on the concept of interdependence rather than subjugate their recommendations to the idea of sovereignty. Sovereignty means having the ability to handle our problems ourselves with our own resources. Unfortunately, at this stage we lack the capability to do so and I doubt we will acquire it in the near future.

To become a sovereign state we need to be self-sufficient and live without the support of other countries. If the parliamentary recommendations demand obedience from the US on matters that only benefit Pakistan, then these recommendations will be useless.

What our parliamentarians need to realise is that there is a huge middle ground available regarding our ties with the US, which provides us with many opportunities and possibilities. The mindset that views US as ‘evil’ is hardly expected to see the benefits of a prolonged relationship with that country that can help us to achieve economic and social security for the people of Pakistan. This mindset is sick with the imagined threats of foreign invasions, interventions and attacks.

The real threat that we face is not from the US, but these ‘reform blockers’, who in the name of misguided ideology and tainted ideas about sovereignty, create hurdles in establishment of a purposeful and meaningful relationship with the US.

If we fail to look beyond the Salala incident and beyond our ideas about sovereignty, we will not have a meaningful and rewarding relationship with the US and may end up enduring more Salala-like incidents.

Lt Col (retd) Muhammad Ali Ehsan

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2012.

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