Washington: The United States-Pakistan relationship faces new challenges, but recent media characterization of a breakdown in relations is clearly exaggerated, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, has said.
“Hyperbole and sound bites are influencing discussion of a crucial international partnership. During recent interaction with members of Congress and the media I have been asked why Pakistan has not gone after those who helped Osama bin Laden live in a compound in Abbottabad. Moreover, we have been accused of arresting those who assisted in the raid that killed bin Laden,” Haqqani wrote in special article, put on the CNN website.
“The truth is, many persons have been detained or questioned by Pakistani intelligence to identify members of bin Laden’s support network. Even if some people were arrested for collaborating with a foreign intelligence service, that would not be different from the United States arresting Jonathan Pollard for spying on behalf of America’s friend Israel. Allies share intelligence. They should not be found conducting espionage on one another,” he added.
Haqqani further insisted that it is time to evaluate the realities of the relationship between the two countries in a way that it furthers the shared goals and objectives.
“We appreciate America’s help, but the notion that America has ‘given’ Pakistan 20 billion dollars since 9/11 needs to be seen in context. About 12 billion dollars of this figure is Coalition Support Funds, reimbursements for expenses incurred by Pakistan in counterterrorism operations. They covered the cost of the fuel, ordnance, training and execution of counterterrorist operations,” Haqqani wrote.
“The blood, sweat, effort, grit and guts are those of a Pakistan that bears the brunt of the battle against terrorism, a battle clearly in the national security interests of the United States,” he added.