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Pak Us Relations

  • Date Submitted: 05/18/2011 01:11 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 32.4 
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The Pakistan - US Relationship
Former Pakistan Ambassador to the US,
Dr Maleeha lodhi examines the contiuning
evolution of a troubled love-hate relationship
and the efforts to bring it to even keel
Pakistan - US relations can be divided into three distinct phases: The Cold War period; the years of crisis in the relationship from 1990 to 1993; and the current phase of repairing, rebuilding and redefining relations in the post-Cold War era. To review the latter, it is necessary to place the current phase in its historical context.
The foreign policy of Pakistan, from the very inception of the country
over half a century ago, was driven by the quest for security. Pakistan's geographical location and historic legacy confronted the country with a grave threat to its security and territorial integrity. The Kashmir dispute, bequeathed by British colonial rule, and India's hegemonic ambitions placed us in a perpetual state of confrontation with New Delhi. To make matters worse, India's relations with the then Soviet Union, a power with expansionist designs in the region, compounded Pakistan's security dilemma. The partnership between Pakistan and the US can therefore be described as a strategic necessity during the Cold War.
Throughout the four decades of the Cold War, the two countries forged a partnership to contain Soviet expansionism, and for Pakistan by extension, Indian hegemonic impulses backed by Moscow. As a result, South Asia became deeply enmeshed in the structure of superpower rivalry, while Pakistan's membership of military pacts like SEATO and CENTO earned it the pejorative designation of the most allied ally' of the US.
This Cold War relationship was in many ways a subset of the two countries' other strategic concerns. Pakistan's being India, while for the Americans it was the containment of communism. The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 however, brought a convergence of Pakistan and US interests and concerns.


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