'Pakistan, US divorce on the table'
Islamabad: The relationship between Pakistan and the US has again turned rocky and the divorce option is on the table, a Pakistani daily said on Friday.
"Our relationship with the US is still going through an extremely difficult phase," said an editorial in the News International on Friday.
"Were this a marriage in the real sense of the word, a divorce might have been considered - and now it may be."
Husain Haqqani, the Pakistan's former ambassador to the US, on Wednesday delivered a speech at the Centre for National Interest, a Washington think-tank, at which the divorce option finally came into the open.
He said that if after 65 years the two countries have been unable to find "sufficient common ground to live together, have had three separations and four reaffirmations of marriage then perhaps it might be time to acknowledge the failure of the marriage, divorce, and find other ways to pursue our relationship outside of wedlock".
The former envoy spoke of unrealistic expectations on both sides, and that the dysfunctionality of the relationship suggested that a break, followed by what he called a post alliance future was the most appropriate option.
The editorial said that Haqqani's address made some telling points.
"It is unrealistic for the US to believe that we would give up our nuclear weapons, or sever ties with extremists who for us may be a 'subconventional force multiplier for regional influence'. Conversely, we may want the Americans to stop the drone strikes or side with us in the event of a war with India - and neither is going to happen," it said.
The daily went on to say that the US and Pakistan need to build a relationship based on more realistic expectations of one another, and begin to address the powerful sense of betrayal felt by a majority in Pakistan - and presumably no less in the US.
"There is a bitter stagnation about our relations with the USA. How we might shape a post alliance future is unclear, but the divorce option is on the table. It remains to be seen whether our own foreign policy-makers choose to pick it up," it added.