Are The U.S. And Pakistan Really Allies?

The United States and Pakistan are, ostensibly, allied countries The US is Pakistan’s largest trading partner, accounting for a quarter of Pakistan’s exports

And the two have worked closely together on counterterrorism efforts for the past decade and a half Yet, events like the secretive capture of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011 have cast doubt onto the closeness or trustworthiness of their relationship When polled, Pakistanis and Americans rank each other among their least favored countries So are the United States and Pakistan really allies? Well, from the birth of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as an independent country in 1947, the United States has held diplomatic relations with, and supported the new Muslim nation In fact, Pakistan was specifically created as a home for Muslims in the region when it was split off from India

Since this was around the time of the Cold War, and India was aligned with the Soviet Union, the United States saw an opportunity for an ally in the region to guard against communism The two countries soon developed favorable relations The US also formed similar relations with Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia over the next few decades The early alliances scared the USSR In 1979, one of the Soviet Union’s last allies, Afghanistan, was on the verge of collapse from internal instability

Fearing that the country would align with the US, as the rest of the region had done, Russia chose to invade Afghanistan to maintain their foothold The resulting Soviet-Afghan War was one of the US and Pakistan’s biggest collaborations In what was the longest and most extensive covert operation in CIA history, the US government used Pakistani intelligence services to distribute funds and weapons to the Muslim Afghan mujahedeen fighters against the Soviets After the Soviets retreated in 1989, a number of these US-Pakistan-backed fighters went on to form insurgency groups in the region, including Osama bin Laden of al-Qaeda and Mohammed Omar of the Taliban But soon after the end of the war, Pakistan developed their first nuclear weapons program against the US warning not to do so

In 1990, the US imposed heavy sanctions on Pakistan in the “Pressler amendment”, ending most military and economic assistance to the country unless they ended their nuclear program For the next decade, the two would not be considered close allies But with the attacks of September 11th, and the US’s almost immediate invasion of Afghanistan, neighboring Pakistan again proved to be a necessary ally Pakistan had long supported the mujahideen-founded Taliban government, which they themselves had inadvertently created during the Soviet war But pressure from the United States forced Pakistan to quickly reverse course, and allow the US to use their military bases for the invasion against the Taliban

However, despite this collaboration in the War on Terror, Pakistan has not been viewed by the US as a trustworthy ally In 2008, the director of the NSA accused Pakistani intelligence of deliberately feeding information about incoming American attacks to the very jihadists they were trying to fight In 2011, the secret capture and death of Osama bin Laden, just miles from a Pakistani military base, heavily strained relations between the two countries Pakistan has been repeatedly accused of harboring terrorists by US officials, and even by the country’s own former ambassador to the US Additionally, numerous controversial drone strikes since 2004 by the US on the Afghan-Pakistan border have killed a large number of civilians, souring relations further

Although the two have been friendly throughout their allied history, and have never seen direct aggression against each other, it is more than clear that the US and Pakistan are allied out of necessity On the other hand, India and Pakistan have a history of territorial, cultural and religious aggression Yet, the two countries were once one country, so why do they hate each other so much? Thanks for watching Seeker Daily, don’t forget to like and subscribe for new videos every day

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