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Thursday, September 21, 2023

US-Pakistan Relations: Geostrategic Compulsions and Shifting Alliances

In the intricate web of international politics, the relationship between the United States and Pakistan stands as a compelling case study, reflecting the complex dynamics at play in a rapidly evolving geopolitical landscape. As the world order undergoes transformation, both nations find themselves grappling with a multitude of challenges.

A lot of water has flown down the rivers from the time of the disintegration of the USSR, the demise of communism and the emergence of the USA as the sole superpower.

It’s a well-known fact that the policymakers in Washington guided by the Zionists and the neocons had earmarked Islam as the next threat to capitalism and the new world order.

China was seen as an emerging threat and Russia as a possible resurgent threat. Future policies were tailored accordingly.

Read more: Why economic cooperation is key to strengthening the US-Pakistan relationship

Understanding the matter better

While the eastern drive in East Europe of NATO was aimed at encircling Russia, efforts were made to checkmate China’s progress through containment. The Muslim world was bled and weakened through the war on terror.

Today, the US has lost its exclusiveness and global hegemony and is faced with multiple threats. These is Russia, China, nuclear North Korea, nuclear Pakistan, Iran laced with missile power and possibly nuclear capability, and Turkey after the caliphate is restored this year.

Shifting alliances and fortifications of the Eastern bloc led by Russia and China, BRI, and fear of losing the Eurasian belt are the biggest worries of the USA.

While the US is losing friends, China on the other hand is increasing its influence and friends through its peace and cooperation initiatives.

Pakistan and USA have had love-and hate-relations. The US dislikes Pakistan but does not want to get rid of it due to its geostrategic location and its nukes.

Pakistan is geographically contiguous to China, Afghanistan, Iran and India. It acts as a bridge for Central Asia; Baluchistan is full of precious minerals; Gwadar and Mekran coast are launch pads to the Indian Ocean. The critical zone of the Middle East lies on its western flank. Russia is eager to draw benefits from CPEC and hence has veered toward Pakistan. None can ignore the dynamics of the 65% youth bulge of Pakistan and the strong traces of jihadism and the spirit of sacrifice in the society. Above all, Pakistan’s armed forces have earned a high reputation due to their splendid performance in the 20-year war on terror.

Read more: What is the future of US-Pak relations amidst US baleful intentions?

In other words, it is a geostrategic compulsion of the US to remain tied to Pakistan. But it has always aspired to keep Pakistan dependent, managed and compliant.

Today the policymakers in Washington are finding themselves in a quandary

On one hand are the appeals made by IK to sort out Pakistan and to save him from the tightening hand of law.

IK and his lobbyists are playing the human rights card vigorously and want Pakistan to be put under sanctions. They want the IMF to further tighten the screws, and to force the PDM govt to throw in its towel and the army chief to resign.

IK’s appeals are becoming meaningful when seen in the backdrop of mounting support of the US Congress members. 80 members have raised their voices in support of the beleaguered IK.

The Pakistani lobby supported by the Indian lobby in the USA has played a big role in garnering the support of these Congress members. So far the State Dept is cautious and has not given any indication of applying any punitive actions on Pakistan. No draft has been made or resolution moved by the pro-IK Congress members to condemn Pakistan.

What has restrained the Biden regime from ignoring the concerns of Congress members is IK’s diatribe against the US, holding the US responsible for his ouster. He had played this theme extensively for a long period which had become a cause of embarrassment for the Biden regime. Although IK changed his stance, he has proved to be shifty and unreliable.

We must remember that the US has historically betted on a running horse

IK is now an injured horse, and has become a lame duck. The US would never like to waste its time and resources on a horse that has been pushed out of the race, and that too at the cost of straining it’s relations with Pak Army. The Pentagon and GHQ have maintained close ties since the 1950s, irrespective of its changing relationship with the civilian govts in Pakistan.

Read more: US-Pakistan relations ‘very good’, President Trump upsets Indians at rally

We must not also ignore the hard reality that the US is no longer in an enviable position as it used to when it dictated it’s terms. Its policy of sanctions has also proved worthless.

Lastly, the charge of human rights violations is very weak when seen in the backdrop of the US , UK, Israel and India’s track records. The much misused and exploited cards of human rights and democracy have become redundant since the champions of the two are the biggest violators.


The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, defense, political and security analyst, international columnist, and author of five books with his sixth book under publication. asifharoonraja@gail.com.The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not represent the editorial policy of Global Village Space.