US-Pak relations are fluid at present: CRS

The relationship between Pak and US is currently running a negative course which is marked by mutual distrust, a Congressional report has said.

Washington: The relationship between Pakistan and US is currently running a negative course which is marked by mutual distrust, a Congressional report has said even as the two countries have been holding a series of negotiations to improve their ties and address their differences.

"US-Pakistan relations are fluid at present, but running a clearly negative course: still based on several national interests shared by both countries, yet marked by levels of mutual distrust and resentment that are likely to catalyse a new set of assumptions for future ties," the Congress Research Service (CRS) said in its latest report on Pakistan.

"The tenor of interactions has been increasingly negative in a slide predating a series of crises in 2011. These included a CIA operative shooting dead two Pakistanis in Lahore, bin Laden`s killing, suspension of most bilateral security cooperation, a spike in Haqqani Network attacks in Afghanistan, and an incident in which two dozen Pakistani soldiers were inadvertently killed by NATO aircraft," it said.

"The latter calamity led Pakistan to shut down NATO`s road access to Afghanistan and demand an apology that has not been forthcoming in intervening months. Access remains closed to date," the CRS said.
The independent research wing of the US Congress, CRS in its report said vital US interests are seen to be at stake in its engagement with Pakistan related to regional and global terrorism; efforts to stabilise neighbouring Afghanistan; nuclear weapons proliferation; links between Pakistan and indigenous American terrorism; Pakistan-India tensions and conflict; democratisation and human rights protection; and economic development.

As a haven for numerous Islamist extremist and terrorist groups, and as the world`s most rapid proliferator of nuclear weapons, Pakistan presents a combination that places it at the top of many governments` international security agendas, CRS said.

"In many practical respects, the cooperative aspects of bilateral relations have remained frozen in 2012, even before this most mutual exasperation in May. The two governments and, at a lower level, the diplomatic and security agencies within them seem at loggerheads after a grueling series of crises.

Anti-American sentiments and xenophobic conspiracy theories remain rife among ordinary Pakistanis, the CRS report said.

"Opinion surveys find that the United States has of late replaced India as the nation least favored by Pakistanis (a significant development, given the visceral, decades-old Pakistan-India rivalry)," the report said.

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