Our so-called alliance with America is a charade, said Tariq Ismail Sagar in the Islamabad Daily Ausaf. The U.S. no longer treats Pakistan as a partner—if it ever did. We are now treated as an employee, paid to do America’s bidding. Last month, The Wall Street Journal revealed that the White House had decided to attach conditions to billions of dollars in security aid to Pakistan. Islamabad must cooperate in counterterrorism and the Afghan war, and allow unfettered access to the Osama bin Laden compound. If we fail to meet these benchmarks, we don’t get the money. This new policy is “dangerous and problematic.” The Americans fail to realize that we are the ones who have suffered the most from their war in Afghanistan; the spillover from that war has claimed the lives of many of our innocent civilians, both from terrorist attacks and U.S. drone attacks. “Our army and our public have already seen the results of blindly obeying America’s commands.” Now it is time to go our own way.
In truth, “we have never needed America,” said Arshad Ahmad Arif in the Karachi Jang. When China went communist, Pakistan ignored U.S. wishes and struck up a partnership with China. And despite “all the obstacles that the Americans threw our way,” we became a nuclear state. The simple fact is, America has always needed us as an ally in a sensitive region. Nixon knew this when he was reaching out to China, Reagan knew it during the Cold War, and now even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has admitted it in a recent speech. “Why, then, are our politicians, bureaucrats, army generals, and intellectuals so afraid of America? Why do they enjoy America’s insults and abuses so much?”
Even now, our leaders continue to cave to U.S. demands, said the Lahore Nation in an editorial. As if attaching strings to aid weren’t bad enough, this week the Americans also bullied Pakistan into granting India most-favored-nation trade status. For Pakistan, this will mean “the destruction of its industry, the impoverishment of its people, and a frittering away of a useful bargaining point” with India over the disputed province of Kashmir. At this point, Pakistan not only reaps nothing from the alliance with the U.S., but even “finds that its vital interests are threatened.”
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
That’s because America’s true interest in South Asia is India, said the Peshawar Frontier Post. Washington is always telling us to move troops from our Indian border to our Afghan border, but it never asks India to back off from our border. And while the U.S. showers India with perks and presents, even lobbying the U.N. on its behalf, we must perform pony tricks to get the aid that was already promised. We’re not saying Pakistan should end the alliance with America. But it should stop being “its valet, slave, foot soldier, and errand boy.”
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.