Time to end Pakistan-US `marriage`: Haqqani

Pakistan`s former ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, has said both countries should abandon their stormy partnership.

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2012, 14:36 PM IST

Washington: Pakistan`s former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, has said both countries should abandon their stormy partnership to forge a "post-alliance future" based on ground realities, expectations and each country’s self-interest.

"If in 65 years, we haven’t been able to find sufficient common ground to live together ... maybe the best is to find friendship outside the marital bond," said Haqqani, who was Islamabad’s envoy to Washington until last November when he fell prey to a Pakistani political scandal.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, Haqqani`s conclusion is a variation on the theme of those policy experts in both countries who say the two unhappy partners should "divorce" rather than prolong a dysfunctional marriage where neither side likes or trusts the other.

"I`m not for (the US) declaring Pakistan an enemy," Haqqani said, adding that his reason for proposing a "parting of ways" is so that "the important things can actually be addressed”.

He also hinted that Pakistan`s bond to the US, and in particular the military and security focus of the relationship, have held Pakistan back from maturing politically in ways it might have been forced to otherwise.

Haqqani said a Pew global opinion poll earlier this year revealed that 74 percent of Pakistanis view the US as an "enemy" - almost identical to the percentage of Americans that Fox News found do not consider Pakistan an "ally”.

Haqqani noted that the latter poll found that the only country Americans like less is Iran, with North Korea actually earning a slightly higher "likability" rating than Pakistan.

Under a "post-alliance" relationship, Haqqani said he assumes the US will continue its campaign of drone strikes against Taliban targets in Pakistani territory. Pakistan, on the other hand, will pursue a policy that it believes will promote its primary goal, which is to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a base for attacks on Pakistan.