An unfriendly ally

  • The USA favours India too much

Although in the early 1950s Pakistan, by joining SEATO and CENTO, became a US ally, and since the launching of the War on Terror has been enjoying the status of a non-NATO ally, the reality is that the USA has never treated it as such. It has not supported Pakistan in furthering her strategic interests in the region nor done anything positive to discourage India from adopting a hostile posture towards it.

Notwithstanding the fact that Pakistan has rendered unprecedented sacrifices in men and material in the War on Terror and has played a vital role in facilitating peace deal between Taliban and the USA and the commencement of the intra-Afghan dialogue– acknowledged across the globe and by US itself– it continues to endorse Indian propaganda against Pakistan as a supporter of terrorism, particularly with regard to the incidents that have been happening in India.

Since forging a strategic partnership with India along with its Western allies, the USA refuses to remove the blinders from its eyes to see the state terrorism being perpetrated in Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Indian support to Baloch insurgents and its sponsorship of acts of terrorism in Pakistan about which authentic evidence has been provided to it and the UN in the form of a dossier. It has invariably chosen to pressurize Pakistan to do more and as bought the Indian narrative of Pakistani involvement in incidents like the Mumbai terrorists attack without appreciating the ground realities and the Indian lack of cooperation in furthering the investigations into the incident.

The dilemma is that Pakistan cannot afford a rupture in relations with a superpower like the USA. In the conduct of foreign relations, engagement is the name of the game. Pakistan however needs to recalibrate her relations with the USA, keeping in view its long-term strategic, economic and geopolitical interests. The guiding principle in this regard should be that we belong to this region and our strategic, economic and security interests are inextricably linked to it

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Reacting to the conviction of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, a leader of Lashkre Taiba, for his involvement in terror financing, the US State Department in a tweet said, “We are encouraged by the recent conviction of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. However, his crimes go far beyond financing terrorism. Pakistan should further hold him accountable for his involvement in terrorist attacks, including the Mumbai attacks.”

The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was right in dismissing the US concerns and the insinuations of the tweet in this regard, saying, “The State Department is encouraged to reserve its concern for the active aiding, abetting, planning, promoting, financing and execution of terrorist activities by India for which sufficient irrefutable evidence has been provided. Pakistan is fully abiding by its own statutes and fulfilling international obligations. The investigations, prosecutions and subsequent convictions, through due process, are a reflection of effectiveness of Pakistan’s legal system, which operates independent of any extraneous factors or influences. The legal process in the Mumbai case remains stalled due to reluctance by India to send witnesses for cross-examination by a Pakistani court.” It was a rare and much-required rebuke to the USA for her unreasonable stance on the issue. It may not nudge any change in the US perspective on the issue, which is blinded by her own strategic and commercial interests and te Indian role in furthering her ‘Contain-China’ policy, but it is absolutely imperative for Pakistan to keep hammering at the subject and asserting her own narrative on the issue.

The dilemma is that international politics is bereft of humanity, the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the norms of human morality. That is the reason why the issues like Palestine and Kashmir, in spite of a myriad UN resolutions purported to resolve the issues, remain unresolved.

What Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done in Indian-occupied Kashmir, in disregard of the UN resolutions and India’s international obligations, constitutes an affront to the conscience of the world community and the UN. Pakistan has persistently been sensitizing the world about the blatant violation of human rights and the killing spree by the Indian security forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir and also the threat that the Indian posture towards Pakistan poses to peace and security in the region. But the international community, particularly the USA and its allies, continue to show indifference to the unfolding scenario in the region and the Indian criminal acts, which have also been regularly documented by human rights organizations like Amnesty International as well as corroborated by two reports of the UN Human Rights Commission. The international media has also been continuously unmasking the Indian atrocities in Indian-occupied Kashmir and the building humanitarian crisis.

Nothing seems to affect this indifference. The USA and its allies are blinded by their strategic and commercial interests and the anti-China role of India. Their attitude is actually the cause of encouragement for India to continue her communal policies within India, as well as the inhuman treatment of the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir and ending the special status of the state by scrapping Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. A report in The Los Angeles Times in the backdrop of this development, claimed that India had taken the US administration in confidence before going ahead with its plan to end the special status of the state and making the territory part of the Indian Union. The foregoing developments and amply prove that the USA is an unfriendly ally for Pakistan.

A peep into recent history also corroborates the foregoing inference. When India attacked Pakistan in 1965, the USA refused to come to the aid of its ally and even stopped the supply of military hardware to her. It imperiled Pakistan’s security through the U2 incident. It helped India start its nuclear programme but tried everything within its power to stop Pakistan from going nuclear to address our security concerns vis-à-vis India. After the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, it pulled out, immediately leaving Pakistan to face the consequences. It has signed a Civil Nuclear Agreement with India in contravention of NPT rules and protocols of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, paying no heed to Pakistan’s security concerns. It is also leading a campaign to make India a permanent member of the UN Security Council, which can have far-reaching consequences for the South Asian region, particularly in undermining Pakistan’s security interests and jeopardizing settlement of the Kashmir issue in conformity with UN resolutions. The USA is trying to leave Afghanistan courtesy a Pakistani role in facilitating it, but it wants India to play a dominant role in Afghanistan in the post-withdrawal era, neglecting Pakistani concerns. It is also trying to sabotage CPEC in collaboration with India; a project of tremendous transformational dimension in economic terms for Pakistan and the region.

The dilemma is that Pakistan cannot afford a rupture in relations with a superpower like the USA. In the conduct of foreign relations, engagement is the name of the game. Pakistan however needs to recalibrate her relations with the USA, keeping in view its long-term strategic, economic and geo-political interests. The guiding principle in this regard should be that we belong to this region and our strategic, economic and security interests are inextricably linked to it.

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Malik Muhammad Ashraf
Malik Muhammad Ashraf is an academic. He can be contacted at: [email protected]
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