‘US-Pak ties merely a transactional relationship`

Islamabad has blocked the NATO supply route to Afghanistan and has asked the US to close its secretive Shamsi air base.

Washington: The relationship between the US
and Pakistan has reduced to a mere transactional one, a
Republican presidential candidate has said, adding that the US
should look for other partners in the region as little could
be expected from this partnership.

".... I would recognise exactly what the US-Pakistani
relationship has become, which is merely a transactional
relationship," Republican candidate Jon Huntsman told the Fox
News in an interview.

Huntsman, the former US Ambassador to China, was
responding to questions about US-Pak ties in the wake of the
killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a NATO cross border fire
on Saturday.

Following this Islamabad has blocked the NATO supply
route to Afghanistan and has asked the United States to close
its secretive Shamsi air base which is used by the CIA for
drone attacks.

"I would figure out what the contours of the relationship
really are and what we can expect from the Pakistani
government, realising full well that the politics playing out
domestically in Pakistan are very complicated between the
Islamist side, between government, between military, between
the ISI," Huntsman said.

"I think our expectations have to be very, very low, in
terms of what we can get out of the relationship. I think we
thought we could get more and we`ve proven wrong time and time
again. Then I would tie whatever aid money we are giving to
Pakistan, if they deserve any at all -- to access drone base,
keeping the supply lines open, working rigorously with us on
counter terrorism," said Huntsman.

The former ambassador said that the relationship between
the two nations needs to be reevaluated and explained what he
would do as president.

"If that isn`t going to work, I`m going to look for a new
partner in the region, because we do have an interest in
Southwest Asia and that is a counter-terror effort, a robust
counter-terror effort, we need to be collecting intelligence,
we need to fortify our Special Forces capability, and knock
them down where they stand up. This is clearly in America`s
interest to do it right," Huntsman said.


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