With the elimination of the most wanted person of the decade, Pak-U.S ties are strained once again. Distortion of Pakistan’s image internationally, shall impel many other countries to review their relations with her. Already, the immediate neighbour and former foe of Pakistan has designated her as a ‘sanctuary of terrorists’.
Despite the permission to carry out drone strikes the U.S has been frequently demanding from Pakistan to ‘do more’. Unfortunately and surprisingly, Pakistan did more than it should have or what was expected by behaving like a ‘silent spectator’ while the operation carried out by the U.S Navy SEALs wiped off Osama bin Laden from Abottabad. This operation is called an ‘exception’ by the Pakistani leadership while the U.S claims that it was a ‘legitimate’ act. The COAS General Ashfaq Pervez Kyani categorically stated that such an act won’t be tolerated in future. The astonishing fact is that before passing such a statement he did not ponder over the fact that it was Pakistan’s ignorance which made such an act possible at the first place. It is pertinent for Pakistan to revamp and review its foreign policy. Pakistan’s national security is at stake. America is looking towards us with belligerence and threatening to cut off aid if the Pakistani leadership cannot justify the presence of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. It is high time that all the political parties should sit together and try to develop a strategy which can ensure decreased dependence on the U.S aid. Imran Khan has already taken a laudable step in this regard by condemning the drone strikes. If we don’t wake up now while the leaders will remain preoccupied in trivial things like reconciliation efforts to win the numbers game then there will be endless confusion and chaos.
This was originally posted in The Nation newspaper on 9th May 2011