Need to re-align Pakistan-America relations

Need to re-align Pakistan-America relations

Pakistan and USA are old allies but their relations have never remained steady and lasting. Their relations were at its best in the 1950s during Eisenhower era when Pakistan became part of the defensive arc against communist expansionism. Relations began to wane in the wake of 1962 Sino-Indo border clash after the US unjustifiably tilted towards India which was closely aligned with the then Soviet Union and disturbed the regional balance of power. President Kennedy pressed Ayub Khan not to exploit India’s highly vulnerable position by starting a war in occupied Kashmir as had been suggested by China, and assured him that the US would play its role in settling the dispute. Misled by the false promise, Pakistan lost a golden opportunity.

Pakistan got another shock when Washington being an ally of Pakistan unfairly disrupted military and economic aid during 1965 Indo-Pak war. Moscow on the other hand continued to supply war needs to its ally India. Had Pakistan not been denied critical spare parts and ammunition, it could have placed India in a tight corner and held negotiations at Tashkent from a position of strength. Stoppage of US assistance program had a debilitating impact on Pakistan’s third 5-year development plan which had all the potential to make Pakistan a strong economic power.


The US again played a biased role in 1971 when it stopped its military assistance to Pakistan and not only blocked military supplies but also directed Muslim countries friendly to Pakistan not to supply any arms. India on the other hand kept receiving military supplies from USSR, Israel and other countries. The US provided economic aid to India and arms to Mukti Bahini under the cover of refugee aid. When Pakistan desperately tried for a ceasefire in East Pakistan, the US didn’t use its clout to get any UN resolution passed. The USSR on the other hand which had stood behind India vetoed each and every resolution favoring Pakistan. The story of arrival of American troops and that of 7th Fleet proved illusive. The US played a role in dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971 despite the fact that Pakistan was instrumental in creating a détente in Sino-US relations.

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