It is always a great opportunity and good fortune for a nation to be on the right side of the Great powers. Great in terms of values, systems and people, USA commands huge political and economic clout, that can help build weaker countries and serve the humanity at large. But to be too close to such a power (as we have been) is also quite risky, as any misunderstanding or crossing of interests can wreak havoc on the smaller and weaker erstwhile friends. Because of the deep ingress in the polity and economy of allies, later can create tremendous leverage for the greater power. This is exactly what is happening to Pakistan (and maybe Saudi Arabia).
It may be futile to remind the American people, Pakistan’s roles in SEATO, CENTO, creating bridge to China, Russo Afghan War, etc. But the ongoing Afghan campaign and the price that Pakistani people and armed forces are paying for siding with USA cannot be easily dismissed. And what a great advantage US is contriving by lumping the reasons of their failure in Afghanistan on hapless Pakistan. The Pakistani governments probably went wrong in not establishing a transactional relationship, and in their misplaced sincerity went for emotional links.
Americans can possibly boast of huge tranches of aid and grants afforded to Pakistan, during the history of wavering relations, but that did not bring an iota of change in the social and economic woes of common man. And let us not discuss , here, for the time being , who is to be blamed for that. Anyway this was a short perceptual background that may not be aligned with the thinking of many.
American interests in our region range from stemming the political, military and economic expansion of China and Russia, up to closely watching Iran, Pakistan and CARs for different reasons. Thus their desire to stay in Afghanistan and/or have a strong partner/proxy (with some overlapping interests) in the shape of India, can be easily understood. But in pursuit of these interests dumping longtime partner Pakistan, needs to be reviewed by US Strategists.
Even if America was earnestly planning to leave Afghanistan in a certain timeframe, some new developments in the region (like CPEC etc ) and elsewhere, (like a more assertive Russia) have definitely forced a change in their strategy. After finding a willing partner in the shape of India, prospects look much better for United States , to further her interests in the region. While forging this newly found alliance, American Government and people, probably have not evaluated the genesis of the present Indian Government, that sprouted out of an extremist and terrorist organisation. The ongoing atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir, have been conveniently overlooked by the champions of democracy and human rights. Moreover, in our assessment, the large establishment and polity of India, may soon get disenchanted from their American allies, as they are generally used to a non-aligned and independent approach, at least diplomatically. This time, somewhere in future, Americans may face a reverse phenomenon, when they get dumped by an ally at some critical juncture.
But, looking at the very question of the Congressional Panel, ‘Pakistan is a friend or a foe?’, it seems that the die has been cast. The ensuing expected events would be tightening of conditions (under the American influence) by IMF and World Bank etc, that may put already cash starved economy of our country under severe stress, bordering at sanctions like situation. Most of the western countries are likely to follow suit, that may further aggravate the situation. Such a scenario will further comprehensively push Pakistan in China’s lap and Pak -US alienation will be complete. That would severely curtail our political and economic options, which definitely is not a good omen.
This all happened due to our own diplomatic apathy and sluggishness. When these important developments were taking place, we were totally engrossed in some serious internal turmoils related to high profile corruption and its relationship with terrorism and bad governance. It seems our ambassador in the US and Advisor on Foreign Affairs had no initiative or guts to make efforts, at their own, to foresee and stem such serious developments. It is suggested that even now, before the train of follow up events, get unleashed against Pakistan, diplomacy should be given a fillip. This would be a hard ball game for Pakistan, and definitely outside the ability and limited dynamism of present Foreign Affairs team. A brand new dynamic and effective group with foreign affairs professional background, well versed with American Systems and enough initiative may retrieve the situation. The American side is also suggested, in our humble capacity, to review this big shift in their policy before it crosses the rubicon.
If America wants stable Afghanistan and aspire to remain perched peacefully at this vantage position to supervise all military, economic and political activities of half the world, they will need Pakistan. Only we, can help them restore peace in Afghanistan (provided they listen to us), and evolve a balanced political dispensation. The American desire that CPEC remains ONLY an economic corridor and American interests are not threatened can only be ensured by the balancing act of Pakistan. Another important factor worth considering is that there is no other country like Pakistan, with a stronger resolve to fight terrorism. Weakening Pakistan to an extent of creating splinters (Allah Forbid) will greatly add to the difficulties for the world as that ominous eventuality, would reinforce extremism and unleash stronger terrorist forces. The role that a strong Pakistan can play in restoring Middle East order may also be considered. On the other hand the role that US can play to help resolve our long standing issues with respect to India and Afghanistan cannot be over emphasised.
Let us leave the above paras loaded, as they are, without going into further details.
Suggestion for the great powers, if they like to listen to smaller entities, is to help Pakistan and other turmoil ridden countries in maintaining solidarity and enabling the governments to institute good governance and Human Resource Development. Listen to the proposals of smaller countries like Pakistan, in tackling the political issues of the regions first, and then if appropriate also of the Muslim world. The recently instituted concept of unilateralism, self assigned right of preemptive intervention, concocted by one great power is being mimicked by some medium sized powers also, with grave consequences for world peace.
No doubt the US is a great country but Pakistan in its own right is an important country that may not be taken lightly. Cooperative rather than adversarial relationship is likely to produce win win situation for US, Pakistan, region and the world. Let us rebuild the broken trust and not dump the responsibilities of the failures of the two sides on each other.
Pakistan–United States relations refers to the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and the United States. On 20 October 1947, two months and six days after Pakistan's independence, the United States established relations with Pakistan, making it amongst the first nations to establish relations with the new state. Pakistan allied itself with the U.S. during the Cold war era against the Soviet Union, and was an integral player in the CENTO and SEATO organizations.
Pakistan also played a crucial role in arranging the 1972 Nixon visit to China which led to normalization of ties between the two countries. Despite a worsening of relations following the election of the left-orientedPakistan Peoples Party under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, relations quickly improved and deepened during Operation Cyclone in the 1980s, which was directed against Soviet expansion in Central Asia and South Asia, by funding and training Muslim mujahideen in Afghanistan to combat the Soviet Union. Relations once again soured after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the United States approved sanctions against Pakistan by passing the Pressler amendment, which was enacted against Pakistan for its nuclear weapons program, which was initiated after the war with India in 1971 and accelerated after Indiadetonated a nuclear bomb in 1974. Pakistan once again assumed an important role in American geopolitical interests in the region following the attacks of September 11th, 2001, and the subsequent War on Terror. Relations were strengthened as the United States named Pakistan a major non-NATO ally in 2002 - which allowed for the release of over $25 billion of aid to Pakistan. American recovery efforts following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake were widely appreciated by the Pakistani public.
Relations began to strain as both sides began to criticize one another's strategy in the War on Terror, with the United States government frequently accusing Pakistan of harboring members of the Afghan Taliban and Quetta Shura, while Pakistan has alleged that the United States has done little to control security in eastern Afghanistan, where Pakistan's most-wanted terrorist, Mullah Fazlullah is believed to be hiding. Furthermore, as a result of the Raymond Allen Davis incident in Lahore, the secret U.S. operation in Abbottabad which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, followed by the Salala incident, relations between the two countries became increasingly strained in recent years with high levels of mistrust. Public opinion in Pakistan frequently ranks the U.S. one of its least favored countries, and vice versa. In 2015, according to Gallup's annual World Affairs survey, only 15% of Americans had a favorable view of Pakistan.
The United States today engages in extensive economic, social, and scientific assistance as well as vital military relations with Pakistan, while Pakistan continues to occupy a strategic position in the United States' interests in Central and South Asia. The United States is the second-largest supplier of military equipment to Pakistan after China, and is one of Pakistan's largest donors of foreign assistance.
Relations during the Cold War
1947–1958: Relations Between the United States and the Newly-Independent State
Following Pakistan's independence from the British Indian Empire, the nascent state struggled to position itself as a non-aligned member of the international community. Pakistan's pro-communist forces commanded considerable support in East Pakistan, while in West Pakistan, the pro-Soviet Pakistan Socialist Party remained largely marginalized. The capitalist and pro-American Pakistan Muslim League dominated much of West Pakistan's political landscape, particularly in the prosperous region of Punjab, while its base of support in East Pakistan was far more modest.
Prime Minister Ali Khan, however, attempted to establish friendly relations with both the Soviet Union and the United States in hopes that Pakistan could benefit from an alliance with both superpowers. Both the Military of Pakistan and Foreign Service of Pakistan raised doubts as to whether the Soviets had the political will and capacity to provide military, technical, and economic aid to a similar degree that Soviets had begun to offer to Pakistan's socialist neighbor, India. Pakistan nevertheless requested military aid from the USSR, which was predictably rebuffed as the Soviet Union had previously oriented itself to India. The government's overtures to the Soviet Union were not favorably regarded by Pakistan's conservative middle classes, who regarded the USSR as an atheist and socialist ally of India.
In 1950, the United States extended an overture to Pakistan by inviting Prime Minister Khan for an official state visit. As the USSR had rebuffed capitalist Pakistan and aligned itself with Pakistan's rivals, the country's policy crafters found that maintaining friendly relations with both superpowers was impossible. Prime Minister Khan accepted the American invitation and paid an official 23-day state visit to the United States beginning on May 3, 1950. The event was highly politicized in Pakistan, and outraged the country's leftists, and was seen as the seminal event that leads to warm diplomatic ties for several decades. However, it is alleged that during PM Khan’s first visit to the US, president Truman requested Pakistan’s premier to let the CIA formulate a base in Pakistan, strictly to keep an eye on the activities of Soviet Union—a request which was not granted by Khan.
Throughout the period between 1950 and 1953, several major Pakistan political and military figures paid visits to the United States. During this time, Army commanderAyub Khan paid visits to the United States - a figure who would later institute a strongly pro-American military dictatorship. Foreign MinisterSir Zafrullah Khan, Foreign Secretary Ikram-Ullah Khan, Finance MinisterGhulam Muhammad, and Defense SecretarySikander Mirza all paid official state visits to the United States.
Defense ties between the two countries strengthened almost immediately following Khan's visit to the United States. Personal goodwill towards Pakistan was evident even when Liaqat Ali Khan was assassinated in 1951. Under the government of Khawaja Nazimuddin, Pakistani and American officials developed positive attitudes towards one another. Such personal goodwill was evident when Secretary of StateJohn Foster Dulles, while arguing for wheat aid to Pakistan in 1953, told the sub-committee on Agriculture and Forestry during hearings that, "the [p]eople of Pakistan had a splendid military tradition," and that in Karachi he had been met by a guard of honour which was the "finest" he had ever seen". Close ties between the countries were further consolidated by a mutual defense treaty signed in May 1954, after which hundreds of Pakistani military officers began to regularly train in the United States. A U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) was also established in Rawalpindi, then capital of Pakistan. Pakistani officers were not only trained in military tactics, but also taught leadership, management, and economic theory.
In 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower requested permission from Pakistan's new Prime Minister, Huseyn Suhravardie, to lease the Peshawar Air Station (PAS), which was to be used in intelligence gathering of Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles. The request was granted, and soon the United States built an airstrip, command and control station at the site before initiating operations. The base was regarded as top-secret, and even the high-ranking Pakistani public officials such as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, were refused entry to the facility.
American interest in Pakistan as an ally against the spread of Communism primarily was focused towards maintaining excellent ties with Pakistan's military establishment. Prime Minister Huseyn Suhravardie paid several official visits to the United States - typically with his Army commander, Ayub Khan, at his side. After the military coup d'état in 1958, Ayub Khan argued that left wing activists could seize power in Pakistan, thereby jeopardizing American interests in the region. He successfully convinced American officials that the Pakistani military was the strongest, and most capable institution to govern the country.
1958–1971: Relations During the Military Dictatorships of Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan
Main articles: Peshawar Air Station, 1960 U-2 incident, and Indo-Pakistani war of 1965
During the dictatorship of Ayub Khan, Pakistan enjoyed a close relationship with the United States. Ayub Khan was strongly pro-American, and on a visit the United States in 1954, before Khan was head of state, he famously told American Brigadier-GeneralHenry A. Byroade "I didn’t come here to look at barracks. Our army can be your army if you want us. But let’s make a decision". His view of the United States had remained positive by the time he seized power. In fact, during the 1960s, Pakistan's population was generally pro-American and held a similarly positive view of the United States.
In 1960, Ayub Khan granted permission for the United States to fly its first spy missions to the Soviet Union from the Peshawar Air Base, which had been recently upgraded with American funds. On May 1960, the U-2 incident took place, in which pilot Gary Powers was captured by the USSR. The CIA notified Ayub Khan of the incident while he was in London for a state visit - he reportedly shrugged his shoulders and stated that he had expected such an incident would eventually happen.
In 1961, Khan paid his first visit to the United States as head of state. American goodwill towards Khan was evident by an elaborate state dinner held at Mount Vernon, and a ticker tape parade for Khan in New York City.
American military aide was concentrated in West-Pakistan, with economic benefits were controlled by, and almost exclusively used by, West Pakistan. East Pakistani anger towards an absence of economic development was directed towards the United States, as well as West Pakistan. The East-Pakistan parliament passed a resolution denouncing the 1954 military pact with the United States.
Economic aid to Pakistan was further increased by the United States through the consortium companies. West Pakistan's high rate of economic growth during this time period brought wide regard to Pakistan as a model of successful implementation of capitalism in a developing country - in 1964, GDP growth was 9.38%.
In 1965, Pakistan, under the leadership of Ayub Khan, launched the so-called Operation Gibraltar against India, which escalated to a declaration of war. The war with India had a high economic cost for Pakistan, which lost $500 million in aid from the United States. Economic growth that year was a mere 0.88%. The economy rapidly rebounded with a GDP growth of 2.32% in 1966, and 9.79% in 1969. However, given the huge economic cost of the war without any clear victory (or loss), Khan surrendered his Presidential powers to Army Commander General Yahya Khan (no relation) in 1969.
Despite the loss of a crucial ally, Pakistan, and its new leader, were perceived in the United States as an integral bulwark against Communism, and so Pakistan's close relations with the United States were maintained.
Pakistan's role in U.S.-China relations
President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger took advantage of Pakistan's close relationship with People Republic of China to initiate secret contacts that resulted in Henry Kissinger’s secret visit to China in July 1971 after visiting Pakistan. These contacts resulted in the 1972 Nixon visit to China, and the subsequent normalizing of relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China.
1971: Relations during war
At the onset of hostilities between India and Pakistan, President Nixon urged Yahya Khan to restrain Pakistani forces, in order to prevent escalation of war, and to safeguard Pakistan's interests - Nixon feared that an Indian invasion of West Pakistan would lead to socialist India's domination of the subcontinent, thereby strengthening the position of the Soviet Union. Yahya Khan feared that an independent Bangladesh would lead to the disintegration of West Pakistan. However, Indian military support for Bengali guerrillas and a massive flood of Bengali refugees into India led to the escalation of hostilities and declared war between India and Pakistan.
The United States secretly encouraged the shipment of military equipment from the Shah's Iran, Turkey, and Jordan to Pakistan, and reimbursed those countries for their shipments, despite Congressional objections. The United States, however, also threatened to cut-off aid to pressure Pakistan to end hostilities, but did not wish for India to dominate the new political landscape in South Asia either.
Near the end of the war, the Nixon Administration recognized Pakistan's imminent defeat, but sent the USS Enterprise, as well as the Task Force-74 of the United States Seventh Fleet into the Indian Ocean - which was regarded as a warning to India to resist escalating attacks against West Pakistan. As it was the height of the Vietnam War, the United States show of force was seen as a sign of support for the beleaguered West Pakistan Armed Forces.
Declassified CIA intelligence documents stated that "India intended to dismember Pakistan and destroy its armed forces, a possible loss of U.S. ally in the Cold war that the United States cannot afford to lose." Nixon termed India a "Soviet stooge" before ordering the Enterprise to lead the Task Force-74. In an assessment completed by the United States, India was seen as being able to summarily defeat Pakistan, were India to receive the full backing of Soviet Union. Nixon sent a strong message to Soviet Union urging Russians to stop India from dismembering and disintegrating the State of Pakistan from existence, in Nixons' words: "In the strongest possible...(...)... terms to restrain India with which … (Soviets) have great influence and for whose actions you must share responsibility... (...)...".
Democratic government (1971-1977)
Main articles: 1977 Pakistani coup d'état, Smiling Buddha, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Pakistan and its Nuclear Deterrent Program, Democratic socialism, Pakistan Peoples Party, and Nationalization in Pakistan
See also: Pakistan–Soviet Union relations, Pakistan North Korea relations, and Pakistan-Vietnam relations
As a result of the 1970s election, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a charismatic democratic socialist, became President (1971-1974) and later Prime minister in 1974. This period is seen as a "quiet cold war" with the Pakistan who administered under democratic socialists led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. His socialist ideas favored the communist ideas but never actually allied with communism. Under Bhutto, Pakistan would focus on Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, building closer ties with Soviet bloc and the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Bhutto tried to maintain a balance with the United States, but such attempts were rebuffed by the United States. Bhutto opposed the ultra-leftism concepts but was a strong proponent of left-wing politics, which the U.S. had opposed in Pakistan from the very start.
|“||When differences develop, a small country should not take on a great power head-on, it is wiser for it to duck, detour, side-step and try to enter from the back-door...||”|
|— Zulfi Bhutto, on U.S.-Pakistan relations, |
Although, Richard Nixon enjoyed firmly strong relations with Bhutto and was a close friend of Bhutto, the graph of relation significantly went down under the Presidency of Jimmy Carter. Carter, an anti-socialist, tightened the embargo placed on Pakistan and placed a pressure through the United States Ambassador to Pakistan, Brigadier-GeneralHenry Byroade. The socialist orientation, and Bhutto's proposed left-wing theories, had badly upset the United States, further clinging the bell tolls in the United States as fearing Pakistan's loss as an ally in the Cold war. The leftists and Bhutto's policy towards Soviet Union was seen sympathetic and had built a bridge for the Soviet Union to have gain access in Pakistan's warm water ports, that something both the United States and the Soviet Union had lacked.
During the course of 1976 presidential election, Carter was elected as U.S. President, and his very inaugural speech Carter announced the determination to seek the ban of nuclear weapons. With Carter's election, Bhutto lost all links to United States administration he had through President Nixon. Bhutto had to face the embargo and pressure from the American President who was totally against the political objectives which Bhutto had set forth for his upcoming future plans. Carter indirectly announced his opposition to Bhutto, his ambition and the elections. Responding to President Carter, Bhutto launched a more actively aggressive and serious diplomatic offensive on the United States and the Western world over the nuclear issues. Bhutto's demagogic act on nuclear issues put the United States, particularly Carter who found it extremely difficult to counter Bhutto, on Defensive position at the United Nations. While India and the Soviet Union were pushed aside when Bhutto attacked Indian nuclear programme as labeling latter's program based on the nuclear proliferation. Writing to the world and Western leaders, Bhutto made it clear and maintained to the United States:
Pakistan was exposed to a kind of "nuclear threat and blackmail" unparalleled elsewhere..... (...)... If the world's community failed to provide political insurance to Pakistan and other countries against the nuclear blackmail, these countries would be a constraint to launch atomic bomb programs of their own!... [A]ssurances provided by the United Nations were not "Enough!"...
— Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, statement written in "Eating Grass", source
Although Carter placed an embargo on Pakistan, Bhutto under the technical guidance and diplomatic though Foreign ministerAziz Ahmed, succeeded to bought sensitive equipment, common metal materials, and electronic components, marked as "common items", hide the true nature of the intentions, greatly enhance the atomic bomb project, though a complete failure for Carter's embargo. Bhutto tried to resolve the issue, but Carter intentionally sabotages the talks. In a thesis written by historian Abdul Ghafoor Buhgari, Carter keenly sabotaged Bhutto credibility, but did not wanted to favor his execution as Carter made a call to General Zia-ul-Haq to stop the act. Therefore, senior leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party reached out to different country's ambassadors and high commissioners but did not meet with the U.S. ambassador, as the leadership knew the "noble" part played by Carter and his administration. When Carter administration discovered Bhutto's act, the programme was reached to a well-advanced level, and furthermore, had disastrous effect on SALT I Treaty which was soon collapse, a failure of President Carter to stop the atomic proliferation and arm race between the Soviet Union and the United States heightened.
In 1974, with India carried out the test of nuclear weapons near the Pakistan's eastern border, codename Smiling Buddha, Bhutto sought the United States to impose economic sanctions in India. Though it was unsuccessful approach, in a meeting of Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Kissinger told Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington that the test is “a fait accompli and that Pakistan would have to learn to live with it,” although he was aware this is a “little rough” on the Pakistanis. In the 1970s, the ties were further severed with Bhutto as Bhutto had continued to administer the research on weapons, and in 1976, in a meeting with Bhutto and Kissinger, Kissinger had told Bhutto, "that if you [Bhutto] do not cancel, modify or postpone the Reprocessing Plant Agreement, we will make a horrible example from you". The meeting was ended by Bhutto as he had replied: "For my country’s sake, for the sake of people of Pakistan, I did not succumb to that black-mailing and threats". After the meeting, Bhutto intensified his nationalization and industrialization policies, as well as aggressively taking steps to spur scientific research on atomic weapons and the atomic bomb project. Bhutto authorized the construction of Chagai weapon-testing laboratories, whilst the United States opposed the action and predicted that it will lead to a massive and destructive war between India and Pakistan in the future. The atomic bomb project became fully mature in 1978, and a first cold test was conducted in 1983 (see Kirana-I).
Bhutto called upon Organization of Islamic Conference in order to bring Muslim world together but after months, the pro-United States Muslim nations and the United States itself took the promised step and Bhutto was declared as the corrupted one, and, as a result, Bhutto was hanged in 1979.
Military dictatorship (1977–1988)
Main articles: Soviet war in Afghanistan, Operation Cyclone, Foreign aid to Pakistan, Reagan Doctrine, Ronald Reagan, Tim Osman, Grand Mosque Seizure, Islamic terrorism, and United States and state terrorism
In 1979, a group of Pakistani students burned the American embassy in Islamabad to the ground killing two Americans as a reaction to Grand Mosque Seizure, citing the U.S. involvement.
After the removal and death of Bhutto, the Pakistan's ties with the United States were better and improved. On December 24, 1979, the Soviet 40th Army crossed borders, rolling into Afghanistan, President Carter issued his doctrine (see Carter Doctrine). The silent features offers the creation of the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF), increasing the deployment of United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), a collective security framework in the region and a commitment to the defence of Pakistan by transfer of significant amount of weapons and Monetarism.
Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, ISI and CIA ran multibillion-dollar worth Operation Cyclone to thwart the communist regime as well as defeating Soviets in Afghanistan. Throughout the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq, the ties and relations were promoted at its maximum point, and the United States had given billion dollars of economic and military aid to Pakistan. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 highlighted the common interest of Pakistan and the United States in opposing the Soviet Union. In 1981, Pakistan and the United States agreed on a $3.2 billion military and economic assistance program aimed at helping Pakistan deal with the heightened threat to security in the region and its economic development needs. With US assistance, in the largest covert operation in history, Pakistan armed and supplied anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan.
In the 1980s, Pakistan agreed to pay $658 million for 28 F-16 fighter jets from the United States; however, the US congress froze the deal, citing objections to Pakistan's nuclear ambitions. Under the terms of the American cancellation, the US kept both the money and the planes, leading to angry claims of theft by Pakistanis.
|“||When Americans lost in Vietnam, Americans went home and cried. When the Soviets got kicked out of Egypt, Soviets decided to go after Libya... Is America still the leader of the free world? In what respect?.... I hope it will soon restore its countervailing role, abandoned after Vietnam||”|
|— Zia on U.S.'s policy on Pakistan., |
Initially, Carter offered Pakistan $325 million in aid over three years; Zia rejected this as "peanuts." Carter also signed the finding in 1980 that allowed less than $50 million a year to go to the Mujahideen. All attempts were rebuffed, Zia shrewdly played his cards knowing that Carter was on his way out and he may get a better deal from the incoming Reagan. After Ronald Reagan came to office, defeating Carter for the US Presidency in 1980, all this changed, due to President Reagan's new priorities and the unlikely and remarkably effective effort by Congressman Charles Wilson (D-TX), aided by Joanne Herring, and CIA Afghan Desk Chief Gust Avrakotos to increase the funding for Operation Cyclone. Aid to the Afghan resistance, and to Pakistan, increased substantially, finally reaching $1 billion. The United States, faced with a rival superpower looking as if it were to create another Communist bloc, now engaged Zia in fighting a US-aided war by proxy in Afghanistan against the Soviets.
The Reagan administration and Reagan himself supported Pakistan's military regime, American officials visited the country on a routine basis. The U.S. political influence in Pakistan effectively curbed down the liberals, socialists, communists, and democracy advocates in the country in 1983, instead advising Zia to hold the non-partisans elections in 1985.General Akhtar Abdur Rahman of ISI and William Casey of CIA worked together in harmony, and in an atmosphere of mutual trust. The ISI officer Mohammad Yusuf stated "“It was a great blow to the Jehad when Casey died", calling Casey "shaheed", a former CIA director is actually a martyr of Islam[clarification needed]. The U.S. intelligence community also helped Zia to expand the idea of The Establishment in the national politics of Pakistan, approving the sale of F-16 Fighting Falcon, nuclear technology, naval warships, intelligence training and efforts.
Relations after the Cold war: 1988-1999
Democratic governments (1988–1998)
Main articles: Pressler amendment, Taliban, Economy of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto, Indo-Pakistani War of 1999, 1999 Pakistani coup d'état, Pokhran-II, Chagai-II, and Soviet troop withdrawal from Afghanistan
After the restoration of democracy after the disastrous and mysterious death of Zia and U.S. Ambassador in an aviation crash, relations deteriorated quickly with upcoming prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. The United States took a tough stand on Pakistan's nuclear development, passing the Pressler amendment, while significantly improving the relations with India. Both Benazir and Nawaz Sharif also asked the United States to take steps to stop the Indian nuclear program, feeling that United States was not doing enough to address what Pakistan saw as an existential threat. Pakistan found itself in a state of extremely high insecurity as tensions mounted with India and Afghanistan’s infighting continued. Pakistan’s alliance with the U.S. was strained due to factors such as its support for the Taliban and public distancing of the Pakistani government from the U.S.
Rift in relations
In 1992 US Ambassador Nicholas Platt advised Pakistan's leaders that if Pakistan continued to support terrorists in India or Indian-administered territory, "the Secretary of State may find himself required by law to place Pakistan on the state sponsors of terrorism list." When the US decided to respond to the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Africa by firing missiles at an al-Qaeda camp in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, five Pakistani ISI agents present at the camp were killed.
In 1989, Benazir Bhutto made a quick visit in the U.S. asking U.S. to stop financing the Afghan mujahideen to President George H. W. Bush, which she marked "America's Frankenstein". This was followed by Nawaz Sharif who visited the U.S. in 1990, but U.S. gave cold shoulder to Pakistan, asking Pakistan to stop developing the nuclear deterrence. In 1990, Prime minister Nawaz Sharif travelled to the U.S. to solve the nuclear crises after the U.S. had tightened its economic embargo on Pakistan, prompting Sharif and then-Treasure MinisterSartaj Aziz to held talks on Washington. It was widely reported in Pakistan that the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Teresita Schaffer had told the Foreign Minister Shahabzada Yaqub Khan to halt the uranium enrichment programme. In December 1990, France's Commissariat à l'énergie atomique agreed to provide a commercial 900MW power plant, but plans did not materialize as France wanted Pakistan to provide entire financial funds for the plant. Furthermore, the U.S. Ambassador Robert Oakley further influenced on the project, showing growing concerns of the U.S. on the agreement. While talking to U.S. media, Nawaz Sharif declared that: "Pakistan possessed no [atomic] bomb... Pakistan would be happy to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) but it must be provided "first" to India to do the same". After France's project was cancelled, Nawaz Sharif successfully held talks with the China to build the largest commercial nuclear plant, CHASNUPP-I in Chasma city in Pakistan.
In 1995, Prime minister Benazir Bhutto made a final visit to U.S. urging President Bill Clinton to amend the Pressler Amendment and emphasized the United States to launch a campaign against extremism, with Pakistan allying with the United States. Prime minister Benazir Bhutto was successful in passing the Brown Amendment, but the embargo on arms remained active. During the United States trip, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto faced heated criticism and opposition on the nuclear weapons program, who however responded fiercely and in turn sharply criticized U.S.'s nonproliferation policy and demanded that the United States honor its contractual obligation. Although Benazir was able to convince the U.S. business community to invest in Pakistan, she was unable to revert the economic embargo which kept investment away from the country.
In 1998, Prime minister Nawaz Sharif ordered to conduct first nuclear tests after Benazir Bhutto called for the tests (see Chagai-I and Chagai-II), in response to Indian nuclear tests (see Pokhran-II). Nawaz Sharif's ordering the nuclear tests was met with great hostility and ire in the United States after President Clinton placing the economic embargo on Pakistan. The relations were also refrained and strained after Nawaz Sharif became involved with Kargil war with India, while India's relations with Israel and U.S. greatly enhanced. Soon after the tests, Benazir Bhutto publicly announced her believe that her father was "sent to the gallows at the instance of the superpower for pursuing the nuclear capability, though she did not disclose the name of the power. In 1999, Benazir leaked the information that Nawaz Sharif would be deposed that there is (nothing) that Americans want to support Nawaz Sharif or the democracy in Pakistan. After the military coup was commenced against Nawaz Sharif, the President Clinton criticized the coup demanding the restoration of democracy but did not favor the mass demonstration against the military regime as the coup, at that time, was popular. In conclusion, both Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto refused to make compromises with respect to the country's nuclear deterrence, instead building infrastructure despite U.S. objections.
Cold war legacies and trade sanctions
CENTO and SEATO
Pakistan was a leading member of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) from its adoption in 1954-55 and allied itself with the United States during the most of the Cold war. In 1971-72, Pakistan ended its alliance with the United States after the East-Pakistan war in which East Pakistan successfully seceded with the aid of India. The promise of economic aid from the United States was instrumental in creating these agreements. At the time the pact was adopted, Pakistan's relationship with the United States was the friendliest in Asia.
During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the United States refused to provide any military support to as against its pledged. This generated widespread anti-American feelings and emotions in Pakistan that the United States was no longer a reliable ally. According to C. Christine Fair, the U.S. cut off arms supplies because Pakistan "started the war with India by using regular military personnel disguised as mujahideen." According to Fair, in 1971 "the Pakistanis were angry at the U.S. again, for not bailing them out from another war they started against India."
In April 1979, the United States suspended most economic assistance to Pakistan over concerns about Pakistan's atomic bomb project under the Foreign Assistance Act.
Military science programmes
Main article: Pakistan–United States military relations
Pakistan and atomic weapons
In 1955, after Prime minister Huseyn Suhrawardy established nuclear power to ease of the electricity crises, with U.S. offering grant of US$350,000 to acquire a commercial nuclear power plant. Following this year, the PAEC signed an agreement with counterpart, the United States Atomic Energy Commission, where the research on nuclear power and training was started initially by the United States. During the 1960s, the U.S. opens doors to Pakistan's scientists and engineers to conduct research on leading institutions of the U.S., notably ANL, ORNL, and LLNL. In 1965, Abdus Salam went to U.S. and convinced the U.S. government to help establish a national institute of nuclear research in Pakistan (PINSTECH) and a research reactor Parr-I. The PINSTECH building was designed by leading American architect Edward Durrell Stone; American nuclear engineer Peter Karter designed the reactor, which was then supplied by the contractor American Machine and Foundry. Years later, the U.S. helped Pakistan to acquire its first commercial nuclear power plant, Kanupp-I, from GE Canada in 1965. All this nuclear infrastructure was established by the U.S. throughout the 1960s, as part of the CongressionalAtoms for Peace program.
This was changed after Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and democratic socialists under him decided to build nuclear weapons for the sake of their national security and survival. In 1974, U.S. imposed embargo and restriction on Pakistan to limit its nuclear weapons program. In the 1980s, the American concerns of Pakistan’s role in nuclear proliferation eventually turned out to be true after the exposure of nuclear programs of Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Libya. Although the atomic program was effectively peaceful and devoted for economical usage, the nuclear policy change in the 1970s and till the present, with Pakistan maintaining its program as part of the strategic deterrence.