THIS refers to the article ‘Redefining Pak-US relations’ (June 2) which has rightly concluded that Pakistan needs to reset its relations with the United States, and to do so very clearly. Looking back at the history of Pak-US relations, it is quite frustrating to note that Pakistan has always tried to create the impression that the US gives priority to its relations with Pakistan over its ties with India.

Since the heady days of Central Treaty Organisation (Cento) and Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (Seato), the US has never missed a chance to sideline Pakistan in favour of India. This was quite glaring in 1962 when it blatantly ignored Pakistan’s concerns that the massive military aid it doled out to India would be used against Pakistan, which ultimately happened.

Actually, the US policies towards Pakistan or India have never changed. The priorities of successive US administrations, both Republican and Democrat, remain dominated by American interests.

Pakistan’s fast growing strategic relations with China cannot be an excuse to cast any shadow on the US policy towards Islamabad. As far as the US bases in Pakistan are concerned, the country should learn from past mistakes.

Now, with total commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan needs to tread a cautious path and never commit a folly again to get sucked into any new game on behalf of the US.

Abid Mahmud Ansari
Islamabad

(2)

THERE is a lot of talk these days about the emerging contours of the relationship between Pakistan and the United States, especially in the backdrop of recent happenings in Afghanistan. With the past as our guide, Pakistan wants to break free of the ‘duty’ to serve the parochial US interests. The effort is to embark on a new era in bilateral ties defined by mutual respect and trust.

Pakistan is also trying to have a more broad-based relationship with the US by focusing on aspects other than military cooperation, like trade, technology and other facets of modern economy. Also, Pakistan would cherish American neutrality in the subcontinent. Pakistan’s stance seems to be fair and logical.

Farrukh Zaman
Islamabad

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2021

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