U.S.-Pakistan Relations: Two-Way Street or “We Want our Cake and Will Eat it too?”

By Wasiq Ali

For the last one month so many Pakistani journalists, media commentators and politicians have been screaming at the top of their lungs that “Pakistan should stand up to US”, “Pakistan should say No.” But there is a need to carefully parse what they are saying. Are they saying – we should refuse the entire $7.5 billion in aid from the US? No, what they want is to accept the money but not have to accept any conditions attached to the aid.

 

Maybe I am a bit naïve but if I were giving – not loaning because I know the money will not come back to me ever – a huge amount of money to even my closest friend I would like to know what that person is going to do with that money. So why wouldn’t one country ask the same of another.

 

When we accept money from our friends in the Gulf countries or from China they extract “their pound of flesh” Sherlock-style – the only difference is that we – the lay public – is kept in the dark about these conditions. And our politicians, media commentators and journalists never question those ties or deals as there is an implicit assumption – China is our ‘All Weather Ally’ they would never harm us; the Saudis are our brethren they have our best interests at heart. It is always the ‘deceitful’ Americans who have to be mistrusted and watched. Even though between 1954-2008 these very same ‘untrustworthy’ Americans have given us $ 23 billion in aid whereas the aid we have received from our Gulf friends and China would only amount to a few billion in all.

 

Today’s News has an article by another so-called analyst – a defense analyst who now also claims to be a foreign policy expert – Ikram Sehgal. According to the wise Mr Sehgal Pakistan ‘Should Just Say No’ But if you read the entire article in the end he says, “Pakistan should indeed be really grateful for the economic aid and with the utmost gratitude accept Title I of the KLB without reservations. As far as the Security Assistance being offered under Title II of the KLB, we should Just Say No.” And why is that “The problem lies with what has been later added to the original economic intent of KLB, Security Assistance under Title II. No self-respecting Pakistani can accept such conditionalities, this is a non-starter.” So let me be clear, what Mr Sehgal is saying is – he wants the cake of his choice and he wants to eat it too!  

 

Why is it so difficult for seemingly intelligent people to understand that no one – no one – ever does anything for anyone else except in their own selfish interest? Why should the US provide Pakistan with money without asking what Pakistan is going to do with the money? Why do we even expect such a thing from them?

 

Anchors on Pakistani television, journalists, so-called analysts and politicians of every color have been crying hoarse about how much US or other Western countries “owe” Pakistan. Just the other day I read an article by a leading American analyst and Professor Andrew Bacevich in which he says that “No one owes anyone anything.” Everyone does what they have to do for their own interests, their national interests as they define them. According to Prof Bacevich the Americans do not owe Pakistan – or any other country in the world – anything, especially not after they have given so many billions of dollars for the last fifty years and not gained much out of it. Secretary Clinton during her recent trip to Pakistan talked a lot about how Pakistan was an important ally and friend but she also said “I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they [Al Qaeda] are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to. Maybe that’s the case. Maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know.”

 

This strain of thought might hurt my fellow countrymen but I would like to say something – just as we would like the Americans to put themselves in our shoes and empathize with us, maybe we owe them the same.

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5 Responses to “U.S.-Pakistan Relations: Two-Way Street or “We Want our Cake and Will Eat it too?””

  1. Wasiq Ali: US-Pakistan Relations: Two-Way Street or “We Want our Cake and Will Eat it too?” « Defend Pakistan's Democracy Says:

    […] or “We Want our Cake and Will Eat it too?” By shaistasindhu This article appeared on Wasiq Ali’s Blog on October 30, […]

  2. Wasiq Ali: US-Pakistan Relations: Two-Way Street or “We Want our Cake and Will Eat it too?” « Rational Pakistan Says:

    […] Street or “We Want our Cake and Will Eat it too?” By kmrizvi This article appeared on Wasiq Ali’s blog on October 30, […]

  3. Wasiq Ali: US-Pakistan Relations: Two-Way Street or “We Want our Cake and Will Eat it too?” « Pakistan Without Terrorism Says:

    […] or “We Want our Cake and Will Eat it too?” By yahyahussainy This article appeared on Wasiq Ali’s blog on October 30, […]

  4. smart-ass Says:

    Written by Husain Haqqani?

  5. Arisha Says:

    No, idiot,this was written by Asif Zardari himself! Now can we please get back to discussing the the substance of the article?

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