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Sports

AFP
October 14, 2010
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The anatomy of US-Pakistan alliance on Afghan war

Sports

AFP
October 14, 2010

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After 10 days of blocking the key Nato supply line to Afghanistan at Torkham, the government of Pakistan reopened its borders crossing only after the US administration formally apologised for killing three soldiers of its front line ally in the war on terror. The gory and ugly incident that killed the targeted Pakistani soldiers will go down in history as the first of its kind wherein one ally killed its allied soldiers in a war that was mutually being fought. Pakistan’s ambassador to the US while talking to the media in the US said that “we are allies, not a satellite”. At home, the interior minister wondered “whether we are (considered) allies or enemies”. In the context of the alliance of sorts, the status of Pakistan being an ally is markedly becoming nominal. The US’s unbridled and repeated military incursions and actions against Pakistan’s sovereignty expose the pitfalls in the already fragile alliance between the two countries against the war on terror. This was not the first time when the Nato supply line into Afghanistan was closed by Pakistan. It was closed earlier also in 2008, though briefly, when US Special Forces raided into Pakistani tribal areas. The closure of the supply line is documented in 2009 Congressional Research Service’s report that was authored by K. Alan Kronstadt. The report also cites killing of 11 Pakistani Frontier Corps soldiers through US bombings in June 2008.
The decision to block the Nato supply line through its territory was a consequence of Nato’s arrogant violations of sovereignty of Pakistan. The wholehearted support that the decision received from its citizenry exacerbated the already inflamed ubiquitous anti Americanism in Pakistan. The torching of scores of Nato fuel and supply carriers indicated the hurt, anger and disbelief that Pakistanis faced at the hands of its much touted ally. They were hurt because the sincerely cooperated with US in an unpopular war for almost a decade the consequences of

which now haunt them as they lagged behind in all facades of its development.
We in Pakistan and the world are constantly being told by the American authorities about the money that has purportedly flowed to Pakistan for its alliance with US on terror war, though the affects are not seen anywhere on ground. The dynamics that drive the relationship between the US and Pakistan appear to be very fragile today as the degree of mistrust spirals up. The commitment of Pakistan government and the Army is doubted; the reckless military adventures of the US in the Pakistani territory without information, no sharing of intelligence on major developments and keeping Pakistan at bay on developments on the American and Afghan progress on talks with the Taliban are some examples that irritate the mutual relationship. The killing of Pakistani soldiers by Nato and the closure of Nato supply line by Pakistan in retaliation has further dented what now appears to look like a forced relationship.
The war in Afghanistan is no easy for either of the two countries. However, the impediments associated with discretion granted by General Patraeus to the field commanders tantamount to shaking the very foundations of the fragile relationship between the two countries. The discretion granted to the field commanders can have a devastating effect on the existing strategic paradigm between both the countries as a result of some rash decision on ground. Testing the Pakistani grounds for any misconceived adventure will not find any takers in Pakistan as depicted through enormous reaction on killing its soldiers for they always stood united for the cause of Pakistan.
The results of more incursions into the sovereign territory of Pakistan on one pretext or the other might bring the respective forces on a disastrous face to face situation. Sanity must prevail; if at all the Americans want to amicably quit Afghanistan unless they have decided otherwise to take the war into Pakistan one day.

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