US-Pakistan alliance on fighting terror weakening

Pakistan has barred the passage of NATO supplies through the country and decided to boycott the Bonn conference in Germany.

Updated: Dec 05, 2011, 10:04 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The US-Pakistan ties have gone into "deep freeze" following the November 26 Nato airstrikes on two Pakistani Army checkposts in Mohmand Agency killing two dozen soldiers.

Pakistan has barred the passage of NATO supplies through the country and decided to boycott the Bonn conference that would discuss the future course of action in Afghanistan. Besides this Islamabad has also set a December 11 deadline for the US to vacate the Shamsi airbase. The latter on Sunday began pulling out of the Shamsi airbase that was being used to launch drone attacks for nearly a decade for military operations in Afghanistan and strikes in Pakistan`s tribal regions.

The powerful Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has gone out of the way and warned that any future aggression will see the country responding "with full force, regardless of the cost and consequences".

According to an editorial published in People`s Daily Online, Washington’s flouting of rules in its anti-terrorism actions has led to the souring of the anti-terrorism coalition.

"The US always says `rules must be followed` on the one hand, but on the other hand it ignores basic principles of international law while conducting anti-terrorism activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan," the editorial said.

The editorial also states that gaining strategic objectives are basic causes behind the unsustainable US-Pakistan anti-terrorism coalition. US’ war in Afghanistan is aimed at destroying al Qaeda and dismantling the Taliban network. At the same time Islamabad is focussed in eliminating local terror networks and secure strategic depth in the western region.

Earlier, Abbottabad raid which killed Osama bin Laden and detention of American diplomat Raymond Davis in Lahore had affected the bilateral military cooperation between the US and Pakistan.

“Bilaterally, the fallout of the raid resulting in the death of bin Laden continued to complicate the United States-Pakistan relationship, further strained by a series of media reports based on alleged leaks from both the United States and Pakistan," Obama had said in a new report to Congress on US operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s decision of boycotting the international conference that is to be held in Bonn today to discuss Afghanistan`s future has led to another setback to the ties and left the future of the war-torn country in lurch as everybody knows Islamabad’s co-operation is necessary in winning the against Qaeda and Taliban.

Even US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s telephone call to Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has not been able to defuse the tensions.

Another reason for the fallout is US drone strikes that have hit Pakistan`s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and caused casualties of Pakistani civilians, soldiers and policemen.

With Pakistan elections due next year the political administration is required to pay heed to the cry of its own people to come back to power. But in the United States, criticism over Pakistan and calls for reshuffling relations have appeared, with the media expressing distrust.

Since the beginning of 2011, the Pakistani government has been facing "heavy domestic pressure" over the anti-terrorism alliance.

Pakistani people regard the US crossing of the Pakistani border to kill bin Laden as a "public insult to their country" and have started to question the Pakistani Army`s capacity to defend the country.

The relationship between Pakistan and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has also "dropped to the freezing point", a news report said.

"If the US does not change its policies and take measures to guarantee Pakistan`s sovereign and security, the alliance will inevitably come to an end," the report further added.