Pakistan’s game changers and lost opportunities (2)

Pakistan’s Game Changers & Lost Opportunities

Since its birth in 1947, Pakistan has struggled to realize its potential and transform into a developed, prosperous nation. Time and again, successive governments have promoted various projects and initiatives as potential “game changers” that would finally unlock rapid economic growth and improve the welfare of Pakistanis. However, for a variety of reasons, these much-touted game changers have consistently fallen short of their promised impact.

The Nuclear Program: A Costly Deterrent

Pakistan’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability beginning in the 1970s was justified as providing a deterrent against military threats from a much larger India. After demonstrating its nuclear capability in 1998, Pakistan acquired a nuclear deterrent but at a high cost. The sanctions that followed starved key sectors of investment and talent, setting back economic development for years. While securing territorial integrity, the focus on defense spending has starved education, health and infrastructure – areas more likely to uplift ordinary citizens’ lives.

Gwadar Port: White Elephant or Strategic Asset?

The development of Gwadar Port was announced as a game-changing infrastructure project that would energize trade, connect Pakistan to Central Asia, and develop underdeveloped Balochistan province. While geostrategically located, minimal shipping traffic raises questions if the port will ever emerge from underutilization. The local Baloch population continues to protest over lacking economic benefits, with militant attacks and movement restrictions creating uncertain security for businesses. For now, the port remains a showcase project not yet delivering transformative impact.

CPEC: Road to Nowhere or Road to Prosperity?

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) promised a massive $64 billion investment building roads, power plants and special economic zones. The completed projects have patched infrastructure gaps but thus far failed to catalyze industrialization or exports at the scale imagined. Pakistan’s external debt has climbed as CPEC projects utilize expensive Chinese loans. Energy projects have been dogged by corporate disputes over tariffs and guaranteed profits assured to Chinese companies. While useful transport infrastructure connects north to south, the eastern Indus region remains neglected. The promised economic revolution awaits as CPEC 2.0 plans are still being charted.

Missed Opportunities

Beyond flawed execution, Pakistan’s dependence on mega projects versus broad-based development has caused many missed opportunities. Never has agricultural productivity seen sustained government focus, missing immense potential in fertile lands and a huge rural populace. Likewise, consistent underinvestment in health and education has resulted in human capital deficits now impeding economic advancement. Pakistan also failed to develop its endowment of minerals, gas and other natural resources, losing out on mining/extraction industries seen in comparable developing countries. Tourism featuring stunning mountain geography and ancient historical sites also remains untapped.

Unlocking Pakistan’s Promise

Decade after decade, Pakistan’s promise remains unfulfilled as a few glossy game changers fail to uplift human development indicators or catalyze across-the-board economic activity that impacts ordinary citizens’ lives. Smarter strategy is for consistent, stable policies across changing governments to develop pillars vital for growth. Ensuing points are some fields which require immediate addressal to uplift normal life in Pakistan

• Human Capital Investment: Quality healthcare, education, skills training and opportunities for women/youth to drive productivity

• Infrastructure Development: Transport, Energy, Water Resources, and Urban Planning

• Institutional Reform: Property Rights, Financial Access, Regulatory Framework, E-Governance

• Balanced Regional Growth: Rural Development, Small Cities/Towns, Spread Industries

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Pak-US-Relations

Pak – US Relations Part – 5

Change in Pak-US relations after 9/11

Pakistan’s relationship with the US changed in a big way after the September 11 attacks (9/11). Until then, because the US and Pakistan have different strategic goals, their relationship could at best be called a “partnership of convenience.” But President George W. Bush’s “either with us or against us” threat on November 6, 2001, and President Pervez Musharraf’s quick “yes” under pressure made it into a forced marriage. The US asked Pakistan to work with the US-led coalition against the Taliban government and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and Pakistan agreed. Pakistan thought that it would get help with its money problems as a “dowry.”

Within a few days, the US gave a total of $673 million in grants as part of a plan to help. It also changed the terms of a $379 million debt and made it possible for the US Agency for International Development (US AID) to restart its office in Pakistan after being closed for seven years. In August 2002, the US changed how it would pay Pakistan its $ 3 billion loan. This was made up of $2.3 billion in official development aid, which had to be paid back over 38 years, and $700 million in non-official development aid, which had to be paid back over 23 years. Japan, Britain, and other countries in Europe did the same.

This also made it possible for Pakistan’s foreign debt to be rescheduled in a way that was good for the country, and aid packages were sent to help fight poverty and help refugees. The IMF gave Pakistan a loan of $1.3 billion to help it fight poverty and make up for the damage the war in Afghanistan has done to its economy. After the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility, there was a rearrangement by the Paris Club. Few countries, like Poland, Jordan, Egypt, and Yugoslavia, were able to do what Pakistan did in the Paris Club. Its total debt, which was about $12.5 billion, was reset to be paid off over 38 years for the concessional part and 23 years for the non-concessional part, with 15 and 5 years of grace, respectively. To get an idea of how much of a relief this is, just think about how nearly half of this debt was set to be paid off in the next 5–6 years.

Pakistan agreed to work with the US-led alliance against the Taliban government in Afghanistan and the Al-Qaeda group

Pakistan named one of the US’s most important non-NATO allies

Both the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank decided to give about $1.5 billion through their “concessional windows” to help with the reforms over the next few years. Pakistan was able to get better access for its goods to markets in Europe, which would mean a nett gain of $400 million per year. The US said that they would do something similar. In February 2002, the White House said that it wanted to work with Congress to give Pakistan more help, especially in the areas of debt relief, greater trade, educational reform, and cooperation in defence and security. Before the end of 2003, President Bush agreed to give Pakistan a break on its debt of up to $1 billion. Around the same time, US help said it would give Pakistan $50 million a year in help, and by 2004, that amount would go up to $80 million. In August 2002, it decided to give Pakistan a grant of $100 million to help pay for educational programmes there over the next five years. Pakistan is one of the two countries where the US AID Mission Chief said, “We will have much stronger programmes.” The other country is Afghanistan.

Sources outside of the government say that Pakistan’s economy had a “solid macroeconomic recovery (within)… five years.” Given Pakistan’s low level of growth, the long-term outlook was still uncertain, but the medium-term outlook for creating jobs and reducing poverty was the best it had been in more than a decade. Since 2001, the amount of people living in poverty has gone down by 10%, and Islamabad has slowly increased spending on development, including a 52% real increase in the budget for development in FY07, which was a step that needed to be taken to fix the underdevelopment of its social sector as a whole. The fiscal imbalance seemed to be manageable. It was caused by chronically low tax collections and increased spending, such as the costs of rebuilding after the earthquake in October 2005.. In 2004 and 2006, the growth of GDP stayed between 6 and 8 percent. This was due to growth in the industry and service sectors. The biggest threat to the economy was still inflation, which jumped to more than 9% in 2005 and then went down to 7.9% in 2006. The central bank tried to keep growth going by making money tighter and raising interest rates in 2006. The steady money that workers sent home from abroad ($10.95 billion in 2005) helped the country’s foreign exchange savings.

In the defence area, too, steps were taken to get cooperation going again. In July 2002, the US said it would sell six cargo planes to Pakistan. This would be the first big military sale between the two countries since 1990. Six planes, equipment, services, and training sites were part of the $75 million deal. “The proposed sale will (improve) the United States’ foreign policy and national security,” the Pentagon said in defence of the move. Pakistan would be able to help the US-led military operation against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network more if it had these planes.

Within five years, the wheel went all the way around, bringing back memories of how things were during the height of the Afghan Jehad. Pakistan was named one of the US’s most important non-NATO allies. The Defence Security Cooperation Agency told Congress on June 28, 2006, that it planned to give Pakistan a $5.1 billion Foreign Military Sales package to update the F-16s, which were the best fighters in the PAF. The US company Lockheed Martin was given a $ 144 million deal to start making 18 F-16C/Ds for Pakistan. The project was supposed to be finished by November 2010. Conformal fuel tanks, helmet-mounted cueing systems, Link 16 data links, and electronic warfare tools were all part of the package. 500 Raytheon AIM-120C5, 200 AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, and 2,100 precision-guided bombs were part of a $650 million deal for weapons.

In December 2006, Pakistan Air Force and Tusas Aerospace Industries of Turkey signed an agreement to update up to 32 F-16A/Bs. Also, the Pentagon told Congress that it might sell three P-3 planes with airborne early warning systems (AWACS) worth $855 million to Pakistan. “Pakistan plans to use the planes with the E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning System for its naval forces,” says the Pentagon. Pakistan would be better able to stop terrorists and drug dealers from entering or leaving the country with the help of the updated planes.

Pakistan did get more money and better weapons because of the gift. But in exchange, it had to help the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) fight the Taliban and Al-Qaida in Afghanistan without any conditions. It did this, which more than made up for what it lost.

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How Boycotting American Brands Can Deliver Economic Punch

With more than 220 million young and active consumers, Pakistan is still a great place for American companies to grow in technology, fashion, franchising, and cars. There are, however, growing anti-American feelings in Pakistan that are linked to geopolitical issues. This is a big risk that should be avoided. It’s possible that the effects on the economy will hurt business balance sheets and jobs back home. Few examples are defined in following subsequent paragraphs:

McDonald’s has more than 50 locations in Pakistan’s biggest towns and makes about $200 million a year. Most of the money made at McDonald’s restaurants goes back to the company as royalties and fees, even though each restaurant is owned by a different company. If they lose the Pakistan market, they could lose about $35 million a year in sales. The impact would certainly put their plans to grow further on hold.

Coca-Cola and its main packaging partner make more than $500 million in sales in Pakistan. If people don’t buy Coca-Cola, the company will lose $250 million in sales.

On average, Apple makes more than $800 million a year from phones and tablets sold in Pakistan. If Apple lost just 20% of its sales, it would lose more than $160 million around the world. Moreover, will lose ground to Android rivals in a key developing market.

Major US brands in fast food, drinks, household goods, and technology could lose more than $3 billion a year in sales if people continue to boycott their products. The fallout from lower sales in Pakistan also threatens American R&D and innovation projects that depend on strong foreign sales to pay for new product development.

Actually, boycotts may only seem like a show of support, but they have real economic effects that are seen in the bottom lines of American companies and the jobs they support. Given the current political unrest, Pakistan’s large consumer base makes it an important test case for businesses trying to decide how to balance their ideals with their business goals.

Pak-US-Relations

Pakistan /US Relations Part -11-The Harsh Reality

Why Pakistan Does but US Never Considered Pak an Ally ?

The claim that “the US has bullied Pakistan more than any other ally” is based on a false premise and is only partly true. The US did pick on Pakistan the most and hurt it the most, but it would be wrong to call Pakistan a friend. Alliances are always made between people who need each other just as much.

Pakistan – Follower of a Super Power:

A country in the Third World that lives from hand to mouth and crisis to crisis is at best a camp follower of a Super Power. So was Pakistan, even though the US sometimes took care of it when it was in trouble.

Most Pakistanis, who were naïve, thought the US was on their side most of the time. If they felt let down, they only have themselves to blame.

British India was split up at a time

when the Cold War had “solidified” and clear lines had been made between the two rival superpowers. India’s original status in the UN was passed down to it. Afghanistan was the only country that didn’t recognize Pakistan at the UN. Pakistan joined the world body on September 30, 1947.

Soviet Union – British policy:

The Soviet Union saw the British policy of “divide and rule” in the way that India was split up. It had “used its veto power often to keep many countries from joining the UN.”

But because Pakistan was in a good spot and had a lot of people—it was the second-largest Muslim country in the world after Indonesia—and because Stalin didn’t like Gandhism, it quickly accepted Pakistan.

Pakistan made its relationship with Russia an “either-or” affair and ended up “neither” here “nor” there

Pak’s Chance to Align with Soviet Union

India had everything handed down to it, from institutions to facilities to resources. Pakistan, on the other hand, had to start from scratch. Pakistan was scared by the war in Kashmir and India’s move to hold back Rs 55 crore of Pakistan’s Rs 75 crore share of assets until the Kashmir issue was settled.

Why Pakistan needed help on beginning :

One source says that Pakistan’s Foreign Office began with just one typewriter. Before India was split up, there were 16 companies that made weapons, but none of them went into Pakistan. So, Pakistan really needed help on the political, economic, financial, and security levels.

It was so desperate that it chose to join the West. It chose a building in Washington to be its Embassy less than two weeks after it became independent. It made formal ties with the US on October 20, 1947, and with the Soviet Union in December 1949, which was more than two years later.

Role of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru :

On the other hand, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to get close to Moscow, even though Joseph Stalin made it clear that he didn’t like Gandhism, India, or Nehru.

He sent his sister Vijay Lakshmi Pandit to Moscow as the first Indian Ambassador. On August 13, 1947, she was asked to prove who she was.

She “begged Bhai to let her stay in India so she could celebrate Independence Day at home, as she had always wanted to do.” But “she was told that Moscow was important and that the 15th of August was a holiday there.”

In her book, she wrote that she was sad that “Stalin did not meet her or greet her during her more than two-year stay in Moscow.”

“Nehru was not a fan of Stalin.” He thought that Gandhism was a “reactionary movement” that was opposed to communism.

He didn’t back India when it came to Kashmir or Goa. He called Nehru a “running dog of imperialism” in front of everyone. Even though the Indian mission in Moscow tried to get him to come to the Soviet Union, he did not ask him to go there.

President Harry Truman asked Nehru to come to the US in early May 1949. He did this to take advantage of Nehru’s anger. The news “caused a stir in Karachi, because (Prime Minister) Liaquat Ali Khan had not been invited, and in Moscow, where it was seen as more proof of India’s preference for the West.

” Khan, who was travelling abroad at the time, was “offended” that he was “ignored.” He said that Pakistan couldn’t wait any longer. She has to take her friends where she finds them.” When he got to Tehran on May 16, 1949, from Cairo, he asked the Pakistani Ambassador there to get him an invitation to the Soviet Union.

Through the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, the request was sent to Moscow. The official offer, signed by Joseph Stalin, was sent to the Pakistan Embassy in Tehran and the Foreign Office in Karachi on June 4.

Four days later, Pakistan said that Khan and his wife would be going to Moscow soon.

The Western media made a big deal about it being the “first visit of a Commonwealth Head of Government to the Soviet Union” and wondered if it would happen at the same time as Nehru’s trip to the US in October.

But Khan never made it to Moscow, even though Nehru’s visit did happen as planned. Instead, in May 1950, he went to Washington for a 24-day state visit.

Pakistan quickly suggested the trip, and the Soviet Union agreed to it right away. So why didn’t it happen? Political experts have different ideas about why the visit was cancelled without warning, even though it would have “changed the course of Pakistan’s relations with the outside world” and kept the country from being “totally dependent on the US.”

Many people think that the move was a “flirt with Moscow” to get Washington to invite them. But Jamshed Marker, a well-known ambassador who has worked for Pakistan for 42 years, says that Moscow never sent a written offer.

Another Pakistani diplomat, Dr. Samiullah Koreshi, agreed with Marker’s claim when he wrote that “no written invitation to Liaquat was found in the foreign office archives and files.” It was all a verbal request from the Soviet Charge’d Affaires in Tehran.

When Liaquat agreed, they offered him different dates that he couldn’t make, and when he mentioned the last date, they stopped responding.

Abdul Sattar, who was Pakistan’s Foreign Minister after he retired as Foreign Secretary, refers to the visit as “an episode in which the invitation was accepted but not honoured.” He says this to say that he disagrees with both of them. Independent experts are sure that Pakistan got a written offer.

They talk about Khan’s speech in Boston on May 25, 1950, in which he said, “He would be going to Russia; no date has been set, but the invitation is there, and I have accepted it.” On the other hand, people in Pakistan who know a lot about this subject disagree.

Given this, and the fact that Stalin was very clear that he didn’t like Gandhism, India, or Nehru, it seems very unlikely that the immediate verbal offer wasn’t followed up with an official letter.

Liaquat Ali Khan was a moderate socialist who cared about Pakistan’s freedom. He told an interviewer that Pakistan would have “a policy of non-alignment” just three days after it became independent. But he had to deal with strong opponents.

The most important of these people was Finance Minister Ghulam Mohammad, who was a strong US ally and saw communism as a “threat.” As a former bureaucrat, he had the backing of the bureaucracy.

He was born and raised in British India and, like the bureaucracy today, was fascinated by Western ideals and ways of life. So, he was “in a position to put pressure on (Prime Minister Khan) and sometimes went against him.” He “strongly opposed” Khan’s plan to go to Moscow and told him to “either run the country or leave.” Khan didn’t have a base of support in Pakistan. He couldn’t afford to upset the government.

Khan also needed the backing of Islamists inside and outside of the Constituent Assembly. He “might have thought” that his trip to godless Moscow would make the far right, which was trying to Islamize Jinnah’s secular Pakistan, fight back.

Also, both the US and UK were against this meeting. Sir Laurence Grafftey-Smith, the British High Commissioner in Karachi, told Foreign Minister Sir Zafarullah Khan that Americans and Britons would be suspicious of his planned trip to Moscow.

These demands got to Liaquat Ali Khan, and he gave in. The offer was a gift from God, but it was thrown away. It came from a country that is close by, is a superpower, and is Pakistan’s sworn enemy’s enemy. India would have lost a lot of ground to Pakistan because of the visit. It would have given Pakistan more power in negotiations with the US.

Political Snub :

Pakistan, on the other hand, made it a “either-or” situation and ended up neither here nor there. Instead, Nehru went for “both,” even though Stalin didn’t like it, and he got “the best of both worlds.” In a strange way, Pakistan not only blew the chance, but also upset Moscow. It was a “political snub” that “deeply hurt the pride” of a Super Power and cost them a lot in the end.

Mushtaq Ahmad said that it was “a big diplomatic mistake.” In short, Pakistan burned its boats and joined the US camp, which turned out to be a dead end it couldn’t get out of, mostly because of two things.

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Pak-US-Relations

Pakistan /US Relations Part -10-The Harsh Reality

US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement: Haqqani Network

In 2001, President Pervez Musharraf told President Bush that Pakistan stood with the US. But it didn’t take him long to understand that the US was not on Pakistan’s side. After scaring Pakistan into submission, the US was going all out for India.

In 2008 ,Financial Action Task Force was sent to Pakistan. Just pakistan look bad. In this situation, the US said that Pakistan was working with the Haqqani Network, which Pakistan rejected.

Jalaluddin HaqqaniHaqqani Network :

Jalaluddin Haqqani, a Zadran Pashtun from Paktia who lived from 1939 to 2018, started the Haqqani Network in 1970. Up until 1992, he was in charge of the Network.

During the 1980s, people in the US called him “goodness itself.

“Reagan said he was a “freedom fighter.”

The Network was one of the most CIA-funded groups that worked against the Soviet Union. Haqqani joined the Taliban in 1995 because Osama bin Laden inspired them to do so. The Network kept strong links with Al-Qaeda, the anti-India group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group. Estimates of how many it is vary. A 2009 New York Times article said that there were “about 4,000 to 12,000” of them. Two years later, the Combating Terrorism Centre (CTC) said that it had “roughly 10,000-15,000” people working for it. Later that same year, Sirajuddin said that 10,000 soldiers mentioned in some news stories. Actual was “less than the real number.”

Most likely, the CTC’s numbers are accurate.

The Haqqani network was the first group in Afghanistan to use suicide strikes. It is thought to be behind about 10% of the attacks . On the Coalition troops. About 15% of the deaths. It was feared because, according to the Wall Street Journal.

it was the Taliban’s “most radical and violent branch.

” The US military leaders saw it as “the most resilient enemy, the most lethal network” . “one of the biggest threats to the U.S.-led NATO forces and the Afghan government.

” A US Ambassador said it was “the worst of the worst, a pure and simple group of killers.”

In 2010, the US offered $5 million in cash for information that led to the capture of the group’s boss, Sirajuddin Haqqani. The amount of money on his head was later set at $10 million.

The ANA was trained and armed to the teeth by some of the world’s best armies, but they were driven out by just 75,000 random soldiers

Sep 2011: Obama Administration forces Pak to do more

Most people thought that the Haqqanis were “semi-autonomous” Taliban offshoots. Their “operations were run by small, semi-autonomous units based on tribal and sub-tribal ties, often under the direction of Haqqani commanders and with their logistical support.” But both the Taliban and the Haqqanis said that the Haqqanis were a part of the Taliban and not a different “network” that was independent or only partly independent from the Taliban.

The US said that “the network had ties to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and Pakistan’s army had been reluctant to move against them.” The New York Times said that Pakistan saw the Network as an important way to protect its interests in Afghanistan if the U.S. left that country, so it didn’t want to do anything against it.

Pakistan disputed these claims, but the US did not believe them, and the Network’s ties to Pakistan “remained a sore spot in relations between Pakistan and the US.”

In September 2011, the Obama administration told Pakistan it needed to do more “to cut ties with the Haqqani network and help get rid of its leaders.” If Pakistan didn’t do what it was asked to do, the US would “act unilaterally.” Pakistan called the accusations “pressure tactics… to move the war theatre” and told the US that it couldn’t do anything more than what it had already done.

The US changed its mind and, within a month, asked Pakistan to help it start talks with the Taliban. Those talks took place in the UAE, but they didn’t go anywhere. The Haqqani Network was named a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) by the US in 2012. Operation Zarb-e-Azb, a big operation that started in June 2014 in North Waziristan, got rid of all foreign and local militants, including the Haqqani Network. Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, a top leader of the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, liked what Pakistan did on November 5, 2014.

He said that the Haqqani Network had become “fractured” and useless. As part of its National Action Plan, Pakistan banned the Network in 2015.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said that the Trump administration “recognised that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a political solution was needed.” It wanted to leave Afghanistan in a good way and needed Pakistan to save its face by bringing the Taliban to the Doha Peace talks. But, as usual, it kept threatening Pakistan by blowing hot and cold.

On August 21, 2017, President Trump said that Pakistan gave attackers safe places to hide. He said that “Pakistan had given refuge to the same groups that try to kill our people every single day.” He said things that hurt Pakistan and asked India to do its part in the war. Again, on January 1, 2018, Trump was critical of Pakistan, saying, “They’ve only given us lies and deceit.

” He said, “I’m cancelling a $300 million payment to Pakistan from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) because the country hasn’t done enough to go after Afghan Taliban militants and their safe havens in Pakistan.”

But in October 2021, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee proved that Pakistan did not “suppose (covert) support for the Taliban during the war.” The Secretary of State admitted that “most of the pro-Taliban decisions Pakistan made were made because of American pressure.

” He also said that the “Trump administration asked the Pakistani government to release three top Taliban commanders, including Mulla Baradar, as part of (the Doha Peace) process,” which was “centred on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.” The Secretary vouched for “Islamabad’s good work at the request of the US.

” Earlier, on September 14, 2020, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, said that “the success of the Afghan peace process would not have been possible without Islamabad’s sincere and unwavering support.

” People were happy to hear that “the imminent peace deal was the result of 14 months of painstaking negotiations between the US and the Taliban, which were brokered and helped along by Pakistan.”

The US’s claims and Pakistan’s doubts that the Haqqani Network had safe places to stay were very interesting. The US told Pakistan it had to cut links with the Haqqani network and help get rid of its leaders. At the same time, it pushed Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the table for talks.

Pakistan said it had nothing to do with the Haqqanis/Taliban but was still able to get them to talk to the US and try to change their minds. And, as we’ve seen, the US both criticised and praised Pakistan at the same time. In the same way, the CIA was able to find Osama Bin Laden and kill him in one of the best places he could hide.

It could also kill “hundreds of high-level leaders of the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, the Haqqani Network, and other organisations.” For example, 70 Taliban leaders were killed in just ten days in May 2017.

Baitullah Mehsud, who started the TTP, Hakimullah Mehsud, who took over after him, Fazlullah, who was in charge of the TTP, Hafiz Saeed Khan, who was the leader of ISIS-K and Akhtar Mansour, who was in charge of the Afghan Taliban, were all among them.

Five Eyes, Mossad, RAW and NDS, ISAF troops were unable to reach Jalaluddin Haqqani, who died of natural causes in 2018.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, his son and heir, is still carrying a $10 million head on his shoulders. And the US keeps putting the blame on Pakistan.

Even with the help of 300,000 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stationed in another 300 camps all over the country. Ashraf Ghani’s government was unable to control areas outside of Kabul where ISAF troops were based.

It is said that even some NATO/ISAF members had to pay bandits in their own areas for protection. Even though the Super Power gave air support. It was only 75,000 random fighters who were able to get rid of the ANA.

This was despite the fact that the ANA had been trained .They supplied by the most powerful military in the world. In an ironic twist, all of the blame for this shame was put on Pakistan. This sets up the relationship between Pakistan and the US and gets us back to where we started. The US has always bullied Pakistan and played “The Wolf and the Lamb” with it. Pakistan has always given in. Why? That’s the question.

Pak-US-Relations

Pak – US Relations Part – 9

War on Terror: Catastrophic Mistake

The United States’ “War on Terror” was an interesting mistake. During it, friends fought with, against, and tricked each other all at the same time. So, it was only natural that it got what it earned. Pakistan stood by Washington’s puppets in Kabul because it thought it was a friend of the US that wasn’t in NATO. It gave up its alliance with the Afghan Taliban, which was right next door, and made the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is a branch of the Taliban, its enemy at home. In return, Kabul stabbed it in the back, and Washington handled it like it was forced to work for them. It was constantly whipped to do more and better work.

The US gave up on Kabul and gave the Taliban the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Doha. After the US left, the ANA gave up without putting up a fight and gave themselves over to the Taliban. And Kabul’s night watchman ran away with stolen US dollars on an aero plane. In order to reach its global goals, the US started promoting India, which is Pakistan’s biggest enemy, as its deputy sheriff in the area. It went too far to keep steady pressure on Pakistan. It got Pakistan on the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and kept the fear of blacklisting hanging over its head like the sword of Damocles. It helped Afghanistan and India help the TTP terrorists hurt Pakistan and keep the country on its knees. It called the TTP a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and killed its shady leaders, both of which were classic examples of double-dealing at its best. This was done to keep the TTP in line and send a message to Pakistan that the TTP leadership would not be able to backstab them.

The US’s non-NATO ally was always in danger of being put on a black list because of the FATF

Doha Negotiations without knowledge of Afg Government

The US was just as sneaky with its puppets in Kabul as it was without them. According to the proceedings of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it “walked into the Doha negotiations without letting the Afghan government know what was going on. “The talks with the Taliban were mostly about the US leaving Afghanistan, and the Taliban were reminded that they could attack Afghan forces but not US troops. And, with a wink, it said that Pakistan’s friendship with the Haqqani Network was to blame for Afghanistan’s loses. During the War, which lasted for more than 20 years, Pakistan’s Armed Forces killed more than 18,000 TTP terrorists and destroyed their infrastructure and support base in the country. At least 1,100 attackers from Al-Qaida were also killed or caught. Many TTP members fled to Afghanistan, where some joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province and others stayed with the TTP. In 2019, there were between 3,000 and 4,000 TTP terrorists in Afghanistan, according to the US Department of Defence.

Without a question, Pakistan’s Armed Forces are in the top 10 in the world. But the insurgency killed 83,000 people and cost the country $150 billion. It also forced 3.5 million people to move and make it hard for them to get back on their feet. Obviously, the TTP would not have been able to live and grow without help from other countries. Pakistan said that it had “significant proof” that India helped the TTP to make Pakistan unstable and to fight against Pakistan’s Afghan policy. It also said that India was giving money to the Taliban in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Baluchistan. When 132 innocent children at the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar were brutally killed in December 2014, there was no question in anyone’s mind that “a banned group could not operate on such a large scale unless it was funded by foreign powers.” The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), which is the Indian spy agency, gave money, equipment, and training to the TTP terrorists in the Indian consulates on the Pak-Afghanistan border. In the same way, Afghanistan treated the militants as “guests” and gave them freedom of movement and access to government-run clinics for medical care. The National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s intelligence service, went too far to help them. Afghan President Abdullah Abdullah has said on record that the TTP has “a foothold in Afghanistan.” In private, the NDS leaders also admitted that “they (had) set up attacks against Pakistan.”

In the early days of the War, when Pakistan was fighting the TTP, the US, Australia, and Japan were trying to get India to join them in a strategic alliance. The US brought up the idea of “more maritime cooperation” between the four armies because of how well they worked together to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad,” as it came to be called, began officially in 2007. It was “matched by joint military drills called “Exercise Malabar” that were bigger than anything that had ever been done before. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pulled Australia out of the partnership in December 2007. His successor, Julia Gillard, brought it back in June 2010. From then on, it never turned back. Without a question, the partnership was mostly aimed at China. However, as India’s role in Afghanistan shows, it also had major effects on Pakistan.

At the same time, the US made it possible for the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement (2008), also called the “123 Agreement.” The process, which began in 2005, took more than three years to come to fruition. Under the deal, the US lifted a ban on nuclear trade with India that had been in place for 30 years. It also asked the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to let India out of its obligations. This made India the only country that had nuclear weapons but had not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and could still make nuclear deals with other countries. This gave India a clear advantage over Pakistan in terms of strategy. The FATF was just another way to put pressure on Pakistan. It made sure that the US’s non-NATO ally was always afraid of being put on a black list and grouped with Iran and North Korea. In 2008, Pakistan was put on the “grey list” because it was “found” not to be doing enough to fight terrorists. This was done while Pakistan was in the middle of Operation Rah-e-Haq and fighting in Swot against the TTP-TNSM alliance (Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi). In 2012, when Pakistan’s Armed Forces were trying to stop a rise in terrorism attacks across the country, the injury-cum-insult was used again.

In February 2018, Pakistan was back in court to hear what the FATF thought about the International Cooperation Review Group’s (ICRG) tracking report. Before the FATF could decide, it asked for permission to send a compliance report on the ICRG’s charge sheet. The request was “accepted, and the meeting ended on a positive note.” But Pakistan was put on the “grey list” because of “huge pressure from the US” at the FATF’s plenary meeting in Paris on June 29. The U.S., UK, France, and Germany “claimed that Pakistan had not taken the steps needed to stop terror financing on its territory.” The decision was based on the ICRG report, which said that “Pakistan had made some progress on three of the four major areas of concern.” Cash theft across borders was the only area where Pakistan said it was making slow progress and not having much success. The result went against the FATF rules, which said that countries with weak economies should be treated more kindly.

FATF rules said that Pakistan only needed the support of three member countries to be taken off the list. The most clear hopes were China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. But the US, with help from India, did everything it could to win over China and Saudi Arabia. China was offered a position as vice president of the FATF, and Saudi Arabia, which was an observer, was given full membership. Turkey stayed strong, but it couldn’t save Pakistan by itself. Acting U.S. Secretary of State Alice Wells said that the decision was made because of Pakistan’s “inability to take concrete actions against Hafiz Saeed, the (accused in) Mumbai attacks, and (anti-India) organisations like Jaish-e-Muhammad and other sectarian” groups. Hafiz Saeed was found guilty of funding terrorism by Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Court in September 2020. Pakistan has also “taken sufficient measures” to meet the FATF’s demands. But it is still on the “grey list,” which means that the FATF is keeping a close eye on it. On February 25, 2021, Dr. Marcus Pleyer, who is President of the FATF, said, “What is important now is that Pakistan completes the action plan.”

Pak-US-Relations

Pak – US Relations Part – 8

Entrance of Pak Troops in FATA in 2002

President Pervez Musharraf was forced to go along with the US attack of Afghanistan. But his leaders, who had to follow the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) of October 5, 2007, which Condoleezza Rice worked on, turned a done deal into a chance for themselves. Musharraf and Benazir were humbled by the fact that “she had worked for many sleepless nights to bring Musharraf and Benazir together.” As a result, they convinced Washington of Islamabad’s continued servitude and, by doing so, made sure that they would stay in power, even though it cost the country a lot. The US “War on Terror,” which Pakistan was forced to join, made it normal for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to rise up against the state of Pakistan and for the Therik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to form. The US carpet-bombing scared away a lot of Afghan, Arab, and Central Asian terrorists, who left Afghanistan for the tribal areas of neighbouring Pakistan. This meant that the so-called Frontline State against Terrorism had no choice but to go after them.

In July 2002, Pakistani troops went into FATA for the first time since the country got its freedom in 1947. This happened after long talks with different tribes. But when the military action started in South Waziristan, several Waziri sub-tribes saw it as a “attempt to subjugate them” and refused to hand over foreign militants to the army. This made the “security campaign against suspected Al-Qaeda militants” into “an undeclared war between the Pakistani military and the rebel tribesmen.” By 2004, different clan groups in FATA had made it clear that they were in charge. They would fight with the military and talk with Islamabad at the same time. In the process, they killed about 200 tribal leaders in the area who were for Pakistan. The use of drone strikes in the same year only made things worse. The last nail in the coffin was the October 2006 drone strike on a madrassah in Bajaur that was run by Sufi Muhammad’s Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM). The US “War on Terror,” which Pakistan was forced to join, made it normal for the FATA to rise up against the state of Pakistan and for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan to form.

Within a year, the TNSM and the other small terrorist groups turned to Swat. They took control of the area in just two weeks, from October 25 to November 7, 2007. They promised to enforce their version of Shariah laws, which included the death sentence for barbers, music shop owners, and thieves and a ban on girls learning to read and write. On November 15, the Pakistan Armed Forces started Operation Rah-e-Haq to take back control of the valley and force the rebels to work together under one flag. So, in December 2007, Baitullah Mahsud put together the TTP and became its head. The “franchise of Al-Qaida” said that its goal was to “topple the government of Pakistan by waging a terrorist campaign against the armed forces and the state.” At first, it was made up of 13 war-hardened Pashtun, Islamist, and terrorist groups that were based along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. But then it started recruiting criminals from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and even South Punjab, including Swot, Malakand, Tank, Buner, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, D.I. Khan, and Kohistan. It was made up of a loose network of different groups. Their power was proportional to their size and limited to their own regions. Within a year, there were rumours that there were 30,000–35,000 of them.

On August 25, 2008, Pakistan banned the TTP, froze all of its bank accounts and assets, stopped it from appearing in the media, and said that the heads of its leaders would be put up for sale. The Pakistani military went on the attack, killing or causing TTP members to flee to Afghanistan, where they were treated as “guests” by both India and Afghanistan. Operation Rah-e-Haq went on until 16 February 2009, when a deal to stop fighting was signed with TNSM. In the short-lived agreement, both sides decided that Shariah law would be enforced in Swot as long as certain conditions were met. In the West, people were very angry about the deal. This caused the government and the TNSM to have different ideas about how to understand the agreement. By the end of April 2009, the TTP rebels and the Pakistani troops were once again facing each other. The troops started Operation Rah-e-Rast the next month, and three months later, all of the militants were gone. By the end of August, when 1.6 million of the 2.2 million people who had been moved back home, things were back to normal.

Baitullah Mahsud was killed by a drone strike in August 2009. Under Hakimullah Mahsud, who took over as his replacement, the TTP stepped up its suicide operation all over the country. On September 1, 2010, the US named the TTP a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO). They also named Hakimullah Mehsud a global terrorist and offered a prise for information leading to his capture. On November 1, 2013, they killed him with a drone. By 2014, the TTP was up and running, and North Waziristan was where it was based. It had “seriously disrupted the national life in all its aspects,” slowed down the country’s economic growth, and caused a lot of death and damage. It had also “stopped life in FATA” and “constantly scared the entire peaceful and patriotic local population.” This gave terrorist groups like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Al-Qaeda, Jundallah, and the Haqqani Network more confidence to join the fight.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb

The attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on June 8, 2014, for which the TTP and the IMU took credit, was the last blow for Pakistan’s Armed Forces. Operation Zarb-e-Azb started on June 15 with up to 30,000 forces. In the “Summer-Fall operation,” they broke up terrorist networks and “flushed out” foreign and local fighters hiding in North Waziristan. In the process, about 930,000 people from more than 80,000 families were moved within their own country. Still, “as a result, the overall security situation got better, and since 2008, the number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan has dropped to its lowest level in six years.” But the massacre of 132 innocent children at Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, just six months after Operation Zarb-e-Azb’s “success,” and the rise in terrorist attacks across the country showed that the US had pushed Pakistan into a never-ending war that required one military operation after the other.

So, on February 22, 2017, Operation Radd-ul-Fassad began with the help of Rangers and Pakistan Police. In the country-wide operation, which was meant to “consolidate the gains of Operation Zarb-e-Azb,” security agencies “conducted more than 371,000 intelligence-based operations (IBOs), including 50 major operations, and recovered 72,227 weapons and 5 million rounds of ammunition, dismantling the terrorist support base, their facilitators and financiers in (KPK’s) tribal districts and Baluchistan.” The goal of the operation was mostly reached. But even though they won the fight, the war kept going. From July to November 2020, TTP leader Noor Wali Mehsud was able to convince different splinter groups, such as the Amjad Farouqi group, one faction of the LeJ, the Musa Shaheed Karwan group, Mehsud factions of the TTP, Mohmand Taliban, Bajaur Taliban, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, and Hizb-ul-Ahrar, to join the TTP. This gave the terrorist group a new chance to fight against Pakistan.

Ironically, while Pakistan was fighting the US’s war and killing its own people, the US was trying to get India to join a strategic alliance and was laughing as India and Afghanistan stabbed Pakistan in the back.

Pak - US Relations

Pak – US Relations Part – 7

Permission to CIA against usage of drones

President Pervez Musharraf was scared by President Bush’s clear ultimatum on November 6, 2001, so he quietly gave the CIA permission to use unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to target “terrorists” in Pakistan from Shamsi Airfield. He wanted Pakistan to be in charge of the drones, but the US did not agree. In 2004, drone strikes were started by the US Air Force. They were run by the CIA’s Special Activities Division. It had done hundreds of raids by 2018, most of them in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which are near the border with Afghanistan. There was a lot of coordination between these activities and drone campaigns in Afghanistan just across the border.

The US said that the attacks were “precise” and that no bystanders were hurt because of this. But that was not the case. The strikes did cause a lot of unintended damage, which led to them being criticised and blamed in the end. On June 3, 2009, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) criticised the US for not “keeping track of civilian casualties from its military operations, including drone attacks.” First, the US questioned the UNHRC’s “jurisdiction over US military actions.” Then, it said that the “military was investigating any wrongdoing and doing all it could to provide information about the deaths,” which it never did. On October 27, 2009, Philip Alston, an investigator for the UNHRC, criticised the US for not responding to the UN’s concerns. He also asked the US to ensure that it was not breaking international law by killing people randomly with drones on the Afghan border. “Otherwise,” he said, “you have the problem that the CIA is running a programme that kills a lot of people and there is no accountability under international law.” In a report he gave to the UNHRC on June 3, 2010, he said that the US was the country that used targeted killings the most.

“The Pakistani government had been doing two things at once. They kept giving the US secret permission to attack, even though they said they didn’t like it”

Formation of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

After the Salala debacle (November 26, 2011), the drone strikes stopped right away. In December 2011, the US turned Shamshi Airfield over to the Pakistan Air Force. But it took seven months to talk about restarting land routes to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), but it only took two months for the US to get Shamsi Airbase back. On January 10, 2012, the drone attacks started up again. In the first week of June 2012, Navi Pillay, who is the head of the UN’s human rights office, went to Pakistan. He asked for new investigations into the “random” drone strikes, which he said were “violations of human rights.” In response, on June 18, 2012, Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, released a critical report in which he called on the US to explain why it uses targeted killings instead of trying to catch the suspected Al-Qaida and Taliban members. In March 2013, the UN’s Special Rapporteur, Ben Emerson, went to Pakistan to look into civilian deaths. He also said that the strikes were “an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty.” But it wasn’t until May 2013 that the US government said in public that it supported the “drone war.” It put all of the blame on Pakistan and said that it couldn’t “control and keep track of terrorist activities.” So, under Article 51 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, it had no choice but to use drone strikes in self-defense. In a speech he gave at the National Defence University on May 23, 2013, President Obama said, “We act against terrorists who pose a continuing and immediate threat to the American people and when no other government is able to deal with the threat effectively.”

Up until that point, each Pakistani government had been doing the same thing. They kept giving the US secret permission to attack, even though they said they didn’t agree with it. In fact, they “not only agreed informally to the drone flights, but also asked the U.S. to do more of them in 2008.” Amnesty International “strongly condemned the strikes” in October 2013. It said that some of the strikes could be seen as illegal killings and war crimes because of the number of civilians who died without reason and because Pakistan’s sovereignty was broken. In December 2013, the walkout ended. In May 2014, it was said that the “drone war” was “pretty much over.” But the strikes kept going until 2018, even though they were much smaller. The CIA and other sources have different numbers for how many militants and civilians have died. The CIA’s figures are based on a controversial method that “counts all males of military age in a strike zone as combatants, unless there is clear intelligence after their deaths that proves them innocent.” The New America Foundation said that 80% of terrorists had been killed. Several independent experts disagreed with this number, saying that “far fewer militants and many more civilians” had been killed. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism said that between 2004 and 2017, 429 drone attacks killed between 2,514 and 4,023 people. Of those, only 424 to 969 were civilians, including 172 to 207 children, and 1,162 to 1,749 were hurt. Pakistan said that most of the people who died were terrorists from Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. But a Brookings Institution story says that “drone strikes may have killed 10 or so civilians for every militant they killed.” This extra damage gave the harmless people who were hurt one more reason to turn against the government of Pakistan. Of course, the US was the main one to blame, and it was right that it was blamed and punished. Even though Pakistan was forced to join the US attack of Afghanistan, it was seen as a partner in “killing its own people.” This lack of thought is what made people in FATA hate Pakistan and led to the formation of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Pak-US-Relations

Pak – US Relations Part – 6

ISAF Routes to Afghanistan

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is led by the US, needed Pakistan to attack and take over Afghanistan, which is landlocked. Its first and most important goal was to get goods to Kabul in a safe and inexpensive way. At the start of the war, the airlift was the third biggest in history, after the Berlin Airlift and the Gulf War Airlift of 1990. Since the cost of airlifting was $14,000 per tonne, which was up to ten times more than the cost of land transport, everything but the weapons had to be moved by road. There were many ways to get to Afghanistan by land. Iran through Chabahar was not an option for the US and its allies, but there were two other land routes to Kabul: one through Pakistan, called Ground Lines of Communications (GLOC), and the other through Russia and Central Asian Republics, which became known as the Northern Distribution Network (NDN). Most NDN traffic went through Riga, Latvia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan. Poti, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan were also popular paths. A third route was taken to escape the often dangerous interior of Uzbekistan. It went from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan, then through Tajikistan, and then from Termez, Uzbekistan, into Afghanistan. But compared to Pakistan, all of these lines took five times longer and cost five times more money. From the port of Karachi in Pakistan, there were two land paths. One road went over the Khyber Pass, into Afghanistan at Torkham, and ended at Kabul. This route brought supplies to the north of Afghanistan. The length of this trip was about 1,600 km. The other route went through Baluchistan Province, crossed the border at Chaman, and finished in Kandahar, which is in southern Afghanistan. Most of the ISAF’s fuel and other non-lethal supplies were moved by GLOC. “The military burned an average of 575,000 gallons of fuel per day, and 80% of that fuel came from Pakistani refineries,” said the Associated Press. So, “about 1,000 oil tankers went through Pakistan every month,” as the sentence says. Also, “about 4,000 containers carrying food for ISAF every month” went through Pakistan 80% of the time.

Post Salala Incident Happenings

In 2002, Musharraf made two “one-sided” agreements that were only good for him. Pakistan decided, among other things, to let the ISAF military supplies go freely to Afghanistan. Before the Salala incident on November 26, 2011, when Pakistan shut its borders to ISAF supplies to protest the killing of its troops, the US was happy with this deal. The US started using the NDN lines right away, even though they cost $100 million more per month than the GLOC. This showed that Pakistan had saved the US billions of dollars in the cost of a war that has been going on for over 20 years. The stoppage over Salala lasted for more than seven months, and during that time, thousands of containers were left in parking lots near border points. Because of this and the extra cost of the NDN routes, the US had to arrange the reopening of GLOC. This gave Pakistan a chance to “fix Musharraf’s mistake.” But the talks that followed got stuck over two major points. Pakistan asked the US to pay a passage fee for each trailer or container and say sorry for what happened in Salala. Pakistan said that since 2002, NATO crates had damaged the country’s roads to the tune of Rs100 billion without paying anything in return. It asked for $5,000 for each trailer or container. The number included the cost of fixing all of the damaged infrastructure, as well as the cost of protection and a new rate. The US turned down the request right away. Pakistan dropped the bet to $1,000, which turned out to be between $1,800 and $2,000 per trailer or container after other fees. This was also turned down by the US, which said, “It won’t be priced out of reach.” In the same way, the US didn’t give an inch on the apology. Earlier, President Barack Obama had said he was sorry, but he didn’t apologise. Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta said in June 2012 that they were “not willing to apologise” and that “I think it’s time to move on.” Even though they seemed to be playing games, the US “believed that without cooperation from Pakistan, it would be a horrible task to have an honourable exit from Afghanistan and a logistical herculean effort to bring back its equipment and troops from this war-torn country without safe passage and support from Pakistan.”
So, on July 3, 2012, when relations between Pakistan and the US were at their worst ever, the two sides decided to break the stalemate. The US Secretary of State said she was sorry for “the losses the Pakistani military had to go through.” The Finance Minister of Pakistan said that Islamabad was required by the 2002 deal to not charge any transit fees. The US Secretary of State praised Pakistan for giving in “in the larger interest of peace and security in Afghanistan and the region.” This was meant to make Pakistan feel better about having to swallow a bitter pill. And, as against $3 billion, payable to Pakistan military from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for counterterrorism measures, which had been withheld since the closure of GLOC to ISAF in November 2011, the US agreed to release only $1.1 billion. It took it another six months to repay $688 million on 6 December 2012. After 9/11, the CSF was set up to help Pakistan and other US partners pay for the costs of the War on Terror. It was, by no means, US help. It was used to make payments that were mostly rebates. Despite the patch-up, Pak-US relations stayed on the rocks. The trust gap, betrayed, inter alia, by the killing of Osama Bin Laden in the CIA-led Operation Neptune Spear (2 May 2011) in Pakistan, without Pakistan’s knowledge, and the Salala onslaught six months later, continued to grow by the day. The US continued to “(accuse) Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of maintaining ties to militants targeting U.S. troops in Afghanistan” and, therefore, withhold reimbursements time and again. Pakistan continued to lament that its contribution and sacrifices were not being recognised adequately; dispel the “myth that (it was) a beneficiary of tens of billions of dollars”; and complain that even its real costs were not being reimbursed in full and in time. Nonetheless, the forced marriage, bereft of mutual trust and respect, lived as an ineludible necessity till the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Pak-US-Relations

Pak – US Relations Part – 5

Change in Pak-US relations after 9/11

Pakistan’s relationship with the US changed in a big way after the September 11 attacks (9/11). Until then, because the US and Pakistan have different strategic goals, their relationship could at best be called a “partnership of convenience.” But President George W. Bush’s “either with us or against us” threat on November 6, 2001, and President Pervez Musharraf’s quick “yes” under pressure made it into a forced marriage. The US asked Pakistan to work with the US-led coalition against the Taliban government and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and Pakistan agreed. Pakistan thought that it would get help with its money problems as a “dowry.”

Within a few days, the US gave a total of $673 million in grants as part of a plan to help. It also changed the terms of a $379 million debt and made it possible for the US Agency for International Development (US AID) to restart its office in Pakistan after being closed for seven years. In August 2002, the US changed how it would pay Pakistan its $ 3 billion loan. This was made up of $2.3 billion in official development aid, which had to be paid back over 38 years, and $700 million in non-official development aid, which had to be paid back over 23 years. Japan, Britain, and other countries in Europe did the same.

This also made it possible for Pakistan’s foreign debt to be rescheduled in a way that was good for the country, and aid packages were sent to help fight poverty and help refugees. The IMF gave Pakistan a loan of $1.3 billion to help it fight poverty and make up for the damage the war in Afghanistan has done to its economy. After the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility, there was a rearrangement by the Paris Club. Few countries, like Poland, Jordan, Egypt, and Yugoslavia, were able to do what Pakistan did in the Paris Club. Its total debt, which was about $12.5 billion, was reset to be paid off over 38 years for the concessional part and 23 years for the non-concessional part, with 15 and 5 years of grace, respectively. To get an idea of how much of a relief this is, just think about how nearly half of this debt was set to be paid off in the next 5–6 years.

Pakistan agreed to work with the US-led alliance against the Taliban government in Afghanistan and the Al-Qaeda group

Pakistan named one of the US’s most important non-NATO allies

Both the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank decided to give about $1.5 billion through their “concessional windows” to help with the reforms over the next few years. Pakistan was able to get better access for its goods to markets in Europe, which would mean a nett gain of $400 million per year. The US said that they would do something similar. In February 2002, the White House said that it wanted to work with Congress to give Pakistan more help, especially in the areas of debt relief, greater trade, educational reform, and cooperation in defence and security. Before the end of 2003, President Bush agreed to give Pakistan a break on its debt of up to $1 billion. Around the same time, US help said it would give Pakistan $50 million a year in help, and by 2004, that amount would go up to $80 million. In August 2002, it decided to give Pakistan a grant of $100 million to help pay for educational programmes there over the next five years. Pakistan is one of the two countries where the US AID Mission Chief said, “We will have much stronger programmes.” The other country is Afghanistan.

Sources outside of the government say that Pakistan’s economy had a “solid macroeconomic recovery (within)… five years.” Given Pakistan’s low level of growth, the long-term outlook was still uncertain, but the medium-term outlook for creating jobs and reducing poverty was the best it had been in more than a decade. Since 2001, the amount of people living in poverty has gone down by 10%, and Islamabad has slowly increased spending on development, including a 52% real increase in the budget for development in FY07, which was a step that needed to be taken to fix the underdevelopment of its social sector as a whole. The fiscal imbalance seemed to be manageable. It was caused by chronically low tax collections and increased spending, such as the costs of rebuilding after the earthquake in October 2005.. In 2004 and 2006, the growth of GDP stayed between 6 and 8 percent. This was due to growth in the industry and service sectors. The biggest threat to the economy was still inflation, which jumped to more than 9% in 2005 and then went down to 7.9% in 2006. The central bank tried to keep growth going by making money tighter and raising interest rates in 2006. The steady money that workers sent home from abroad ($10.95 billion in 2005) helped the country’s foreign exchange savings.

In the defence area, too, steps were taken to get cooperation going again. In July 2002, the US said it would sell six cargo planes to Pakistan. This would be the first big military sale between the two countries since 1990. Six planes, equipment, services, and training sites were part of the $75 million deal. “The proposed sale will (improve) the United States’ foreign policy and national security,” the Pentagon said in defence of the move. Pakistan would be able to help the US-led military operation against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network more if it had these planes.

Within five years, the wheel went all the way around, bringing back memories of how things were during the height of the Afghan Jehad. Pakistan was named one of the US’s most important non-NATO allies. The Defence Security Cooperation Agency told Congress on June 28, 2006, that it planned to give Pakistan a $5.1 billion Foreign Military Sales package to update the F-16s, which were the best fighters in the PAF. The US company Lockheed Martin was given a $ 144 million deal to start making 18 F-16C/Ds for Pakistan. The project was supposed to be finished by November 2010. Conformal fuel tanks, helmet-mounted cueing systems, Link 16 data links, and electronic warfare tools were all part of the package. 500 Raytheon AIM-120C5, 200 AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, and 2,100 precision-guided bombs were part of a $650 million deal for weapons.

In December 2006, Pakistan Air Force and Tusas Aerospace Industries of Turkey signed an agreement to update up to 32 F-16A/Bs. Also, the Pentagon told Congress that it might sell three P-3 planes with airborne early warning systems (AWACS) worth $855 million to Pakistan. “Pakistan plans to use the planes with the E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning System for its naval forces,” says the Pentagon. Pakistan would be better able to stop terrorists and drug dealers from entering or leaving the country with the help of the updated planes.

Pakistan did get more money and better weapons because of the gift. But in exchange, it had to help the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) fight the Taliban and Al-Qaida in Afghanistan without any conditions. It did this, which more than made up for what it lost.