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Dangerous Bond

 

Editorial. Rajiv Sharma. XXV. VI. XV

 

 

US flag-fnbworld US Eclipse Over PAK Pak flag-fnbworld

 



Rajiv Sharma By Rajiv Sharma


 

Pak militia
enter Swat Valley-fnbworld

 

International relationships between any two countries are based on equality and mutual respect. However, the dynamics of US-Pakistan relations are different where sheer exploitation of a sovereign country by a more powerful country is a norm not exception. This exploitation has acquired ominous proportions in the last 35 years, especially after Russian invasion of Afghanistan. The sheer scale of it could well be unmatched in the history of civilized world. 


 

Pak PM Sharief with US
Prez Obama-fnbworld


Pakistan: A failed
state-fnbworld

 

Is Pakistan’s blind obsession to usurp Kashmir from India so strong that it allows itself to be brazenly used and abused by the superpower in some misplaced hope? Whatever is the reason, the paradox of unequal US-Pak relationship continues to perplex the political observers throughout the world. Whatever is the reason, the unfortunate fact remains that Pakistan has not only brought itself to the level of almost a failed state but also plunged its people into the abyss of bloody internecine, fratricidal wars. The US-Pak nexus has badly mauled Pakistan politically, economically and socially. So much so, under US influence Pakistan has often undermined the tenets of Islam, the religion which inspired its very creation.


The people of Pakistan have by now understood well the dubious role of the US that has brought it to its present sorry pass.  More than 80% of them consider the US as their number one enemy. Ironically, the government of Pakistan is not able to identify the ugly face of its mentor. 


The US-Pakistan relations can be divided into three broad periods: Pre-1980 era, 1980-2001 and post 2001 era. During a UN debate on Kashmir in 1948, India, a nascent nation was shocked to its core when USA and its ally Britain supported Pakistan’s position on Kashmir. India’s logical plea that accession of Jammu & Kashmir became final when the ruler of the princely state had signed the instrument of accession was ignored by America. The bitterness caused there between the two countries continued for many decades, thereafter. Further, the US was somewhat wary about India’s inclination towards the concept of socialism that it unwittingly considered as a euphemism for communism. On the other hand, feeling insecure at its vulnerable position in the subcontinent, Pakistan was in search of a powerful ally like the USA. The support on Kashmir issue had already catapulted Pakistan into its lap. There began a series of misfortunes for Pakistan.

 

The 7th fleet-fnbworld

 

In 1955, Pakistan openly joined the USA’s war against communism by being a part of CENTO. In 1956, Pakistan leased a major part of Peshawar airport to America to use it for intelligence gathering of Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles. Pakistan hoped that the US would reciprocate the gesture by aiding Pakistan in its unholy bid to usurp the territory of Kashmir. Pakistan was able to gather courage to attack India in 1965 only due to this implied understanding. Here, it was the turn of Pakistan to get shocked when America refused to provide it aid in any form during the war. This exposed Pakistan to a formidable enemy like India who had learnt its lesson from the China fiasco barely three years ago. Pakistan again trusted the USA during 1971 Bangladesh liberation war. The US did not help Pakistan in any way apart from dispatching its 7th fleet towards Bay of Bengal. Incidentally, this fleet was retracted once Indian ally Soviet Union threatened USA of retaliation. Pakistan was dismembered.  


7th Fleet emblem-fnbworld

A democratic regime under Z.A Bhutto was established in Pakistan after the 1971 war. This was marked by a sharp deterioration in its relationship with America. All economic aid to Pakistan was stopped on one pretext or the other. During those times, USA was looking towards building bridges with China and engaging with India to counter growing influence of China. Pakistan went out of its radar till 24 December 1980, when America required Pakistan again. 


 

The scale of use and abuse of a sovereign Pakistan acquired new dimensions after 24 December 1980, when Soviet force invaded Afghanistan. America lured Pakistan with resumption of aid worth billions of dollars and in return secured Pakistan land to train & arm Jihadis to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. The dreaded organizations like Taliban and Al Qaeda which have been tormenting the world till today were all joint products of US-Pak nexus which built and trained private armies to fight the American war in Afghanistan.


Once Soviet forces left Afghanistan, the Americans began to block aid to Pakistan on various pretexts including the Pressler amendment. The relationship between Pakistan and the US began to deteriorate quickly and continued to deteriorate. After the Soviets had left Afghanistan, Pakistan was left to fend for itself. It was left to deal with thousands of battle hardened, professionally trained, heavily armed Mujahedeen. When such clandestinely trained unbridled force did not have an enemy to fight, they began to fight against each other and against the government of Pakistan. Pakistan began to implode. Bomb blasts, gory street mayhem and terror attacks on innocent people became order of the day. Then Pakistan foolishly encouraged some of these Mujahedeen to become active in Kashmir. As a result, from 1990 onwards, India also became a victim of many terrorist attacks on its soil perpetrated by the US trained Pakistani insurgents. But US paid no heed to India’s complaints till September 2001. 


Bin
Laden-Zawahiri- al qaeda-fnbworld

As stated, US-Pak relations again took another turn in September 2001. The US had begun an all out war on terror. It felt the need to include Pakistan that had earned a dubious reputation as a fountainhead of world terrorism by that time, as its strategic partner. On the other hand, India being a victim of terror, which could have been its natural ally in this war, was not given equal importance. It is quite surprising that the US could believe that Pakistan would take action against the terror groups engaged in Kashmir despite its blind obsession with Kashmir issue. 


America resumed aid to Pakistan once again. A congressional report suggests that Pakistan received a little more than $ 31 billion from 2002 to 2013. The lavish aid made Pakistan forget the past. Relationship suddenly improved. The US now wanted to use Pakistani land to fight its own war. It now wanted Pakistan to eliminate and help it eliminate anti America terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The same terrorists, who were trained, armed and nurtured jointly by Pakistan and the US in 1980s. 


After American offer of new ties and massive aid, it took just two days for the military government in Pakistan to decide that it would use its might to eliminate the very terrorists which it had been nurturing and training for 21 years. The move divided all Pakistani establishments vertically. The wars within intensified. Internal hemorrhage became profuse. The bomb blasts and killings became more frequent.


The irony cannot be lost that in 1980 the US and Pakistan trained and armed terrorists to fight America’s war. Twenty-one years later, the US and Pakistan fought to eliminate the same terror groups they had jointly brought up. On both occasions, Pakistani land was used and each time Pakistan bled and continues to bleed. It is altogether another matter that Pakistan has also used American aid to develop its nuclear weapons, to foment trouble in India and to support certain anti America terrorist groups like Haqqani network, Afghan Taliban and anti India Lashkar e Taiba and others to promote its own surreptitious activities. This cloak and dagger type relationship has helped neither both of them nor the world. But this unholy nexus has caused maximum harm to Pakistan. It is suffering badly, its polity is bleeding and its people are being killed and maimed on the streets. 


Obama
Watching Osama raid-fnbworld

 

Even Barack Obama who came to office on the promise of a fairer and more equitable world order, could not come to Pakistan's rescue. His obsession with Osama Bin Laden made him shut his eyes to the precarious plight of people of Pakistan. His Abbottabad mission continues to be mired in conspiracy theories. However, it is widely believed that US marines entered Pakistan and attacked Osama's hideout without even informing the government of Pakistan. This was a blatant interference in the sovereign rights of a friendly country. Suffice to say, Pakistan continued to be treated unfairly by successive regimes of the US. 

 

All is not lost yet for Pakistan. All this may reverse. Pakistan has to have faith in Democracy. Only a democratically elected government can bring the country out of the present mess. The biggest impediment in this process is ‘Pakistan Army’, which has been playing in US hands all along. That probably explains why America does not encourage democracy in Pakistan. Its actions in the past have shown that it has always helped military dictators to gain strength and distanced itself from democratically elected leaders in Pakistan. 

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