US-Pakistan friendship must be an all-weather: Forbes

WASHINGTON: The relationship between Pakistan and the United States must be an all-weather friendship, and a stronger Pakistan is in the interest of the United States, says an article published in Forbes, a leading American magazine.

“Partnerships like one of Pakistan and United States ought not to be short-lived or short-tempered. There’s no room for fluctuation. Rather it must be an all-weather friendship,” says the article titled “The On-Again And OFF-Again U.S.-Pakistan Alliance”.

The article noted that during the recent visits by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to the United States, the United States extols the ‘resilient’ U.S.-Pakistan partnership and reaffirms its commitment to Pakistan.

The author traced the ups and down in ties between the long-time allies which dates back to early 1950 including the role of the United States in Pak-India wars of 1965 and 1971.

“As history can attest, Pakistan, despite providing materiel, manpower, and, debatably, army bases has had meager to no backing from the United States during the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1965 and 1971, where the Soviet Union was readily deposable to India. The Indo-Soviet tryst is a paragon of diplomatic relations in the 21st century.”

Referring to the Afghan war in 1970 and Pakistan’s role, the article states that after defeating the Russian army, the then US President Jimmy Carter withdrew from Pakistan leaving two million Afghan refugees precipitating the genesis of the Taliban.

Though the United States has ushered tremendous undertakings to expunge terrorism, it still has a long way to go to dismantle fundamentalism, which can only take place with the cooperation of Pakistan, it said.

According to the article, Pakistan’s location is still very strategic for the United States. Pakistan can still play a crucial role in the diplomatic relations of the United States and China.

“The United States needs a strong Pakistan to dislodge the fundamentalist’s fervor. Its army needs to be taken into confidence,” says the article.

“Time and time again, Pakistan has been deemed the ally of allies. But the incontrovertible truth is this: A stronger Pakistan is in the national interest of the United States. A politically weak Pakistan is direct danger for its arch rival India, and particularly the United States.”

Source: APP