Pakistan America Relation from 1947-2011 an overview
The United States established diplomatic relations with Pakistan started on October 20, 1947.
During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the US choose not to provide Pakistan with military support as pledged in the 1959 Agreement of Cooperation. This generated a widespread feeling in Pakistan that the United States was no longer a reliable ally
In April of 1979 the United States suspended all economic assistance to Pakistan (with the exception of food assistance, as required by the 1977 Symington Amendment to the US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961) over concerns about Pakistan’s nuclear program.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 highlighted the common interest of Pakistan and the United States in peace and stability in South Asia. In 1981, Pakistan and the United States agreed on a $3.2 billion military and economic assistance program aimed at helping Pakistan deal with the heightened threat to security in the region and its economic development needs. With U.S. assistance – in the largest covert operation in history – Pakistan armed and supplied anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan, eventually defeating the Soviets, who withdrew in 1988.
After 9/11, Pakistan, led by General Pervez Musharraf, reversed course under pressure from the United States and joined the “War on Terror” as a U.S. ally.
Pakistan has lost thousands of lives since joining the U.S. war on terror in the form of both soldiers and civilians, and is currently going through a critical period.
After Pakistan’s independence by the partitioning of the British India, Pakistan followed a pro-western policy.
Pakistan joined the U.S. led military alliances SEATO and CENTO.
In 1954 the United States signed a Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with Pakistan.
Pakistan had aligned itself with United States in a cold war with Soviet Union.
America supported Pakistan throughout the war of 1971 and supplied weapons to West Pakistan although Congress had passed a bill suspending exporting weapons to the nation.
In 1976 America asked Pakistan to cancel her Reprocessing Plant Agreement otherwise america would make a horrible example of Pakistan.
1979, a group of Pakistani students burned the American embassy in Islamabad to the ground killing two Americans.
In the 1980s, Pakistan agreed to pay $658 million for 28 F-16 fighter jets from the United States; however the American congress froze the deal citing objections to Pakistani nuclear ambitions.
After the September 11 attacks in 2001 in the United States, Pakistan became a key ally in the war on terror with the United States. In 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush strongly encouraged Pakistan government to join the U.S. war on terror, as a result Pakistan joined the U.S. war.
In 2003, the U.S. officially forgave US$1 billion in Pakistani debt in a ceremony in Pakistan as one of the rewards for Pakistan joining the U.S. war on terror.
In October 2005, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a statement where she “promised … that the United States will support the country’s earthquake relief efforts and help it rebuild” after the Kashmir Earthquake.
On 11 June 2008, a U.S. airstrike on the Afghan-Pakistani border killed 10 members of the paramilitary Frontier Corps. The Pakistani military condemned the airstrike as an act of aggression, souring the relations between the two countries.
In the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, the United States informed Pakistan that it expected full cooperation in the hunt for the plotters of the attacks.
As on 8 February 2011, U.S. administration is reported to suspend high level contacts with Pakistan and may also suspend economical aid. All this happened when Raymond Davis, an alleged private security contractor, was on an American diplomatic mission in Pakistan shot dead two Pakistani locals last month in what he said was in self-defense after they attempted to rob him which was wrong.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations World Food Program, in Pakistan, officially announced the signing of an agreement valued at $8.4 million to help ease Pakistan’s crisis.
The CIA had long suspected Osama Bin Laden of hiding in Pakistan. India and U.S. have time to time accused Pakistan of giving safe-haven to the Taliban. However, Pakistan has denied these accusations repeatedly.
On 14 September 2009, former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, admitted that U.S. Foreign Aid to Pakistan was diverted by the country from its original purpose to fighting the Taliban, to prepare for war against neighboring India.However Pervez Musharraf also said ‘”Wherever there is a threat to Pakistan, we will use it [equipment provided by the U.S.] there. If the threat comes from al-Qaeda or Taliban, it will be used there. If the threat comes from India, we will most surely use it there”
n late 2009, Hillary Clinton made a speech in Pakistan about the war against the militants where she said “we commend the Pakistani military for their courageous fight, and we commit to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistani people in your fight for peace and security.”
On December 1, 2009, President Barack Obama in a speech on a policy about Pakistan said “In the past, we too often defined our relationship with Pakistan narrowly. Those days are over…. The Pakistani people must know America will remain a strong supporter of Pakistan’s security and prosperity long after the guns have fallen silent, so that the great potential of its people can be unleashed.”
In the aftermath of the thwarted bombing attempt on a Northwest Airlines flight, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued a new set of screening guidelines that includes pat-downs for passengers from countries of interest, which includes Pakistan.
In October 2009, the U.S. Congress approved $7.5 billion of non-military aid to Pakistan over the next five years.
In February 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama sought to increase funds to Pakistan to “promote economic and political stability in strategically important regions where the United States has special security interests.”
Death of Osama bin Laden
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the U.S. State Department stated that “cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound in which he was hiding”. President Obama also said during his announcement of the raid that “US counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding.”
According to a Pakistani intelligence official, raw phone-tap data had been transferred to the United States without being analyzed by Pakistan. While the U.S. “was concentrating on this” information since September 2010, information regarding bin Laden and the compound’s inhabitants had “slipped from” Pakistan’s “radar” over the months. Bin Laden left “an invisible footprint” and he had not been contacting other militant networks. It was noted that much focus had been placed on a courier entering and leaving the compound. The transfer of intelligence to the U.S. was a regular occurrence according to the official, who also stated regarding the raid that “I think they came in undetected and went out the same day”, and Pakistan did not believe that U.S. personnel were present in the area before the special operation occurred.
According to the Pakistani high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan had prior knowledge that an operation would happen. Pakistan was “in the know of certain things” and “what happened happened with our consent. Americans got to know him—where he was first—and that’s why they struck it and struck it precisely.” Husain Haqqani, Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., had said that Pakistan would have pursued bin Laden had the intelligence of his location existed with them and Pakistan was “very glad that our American partners did. They had superior intelligence, superior technology, and we are grateful to them.”
Another Pakistani official stated that Pakistan “assisted only in terms of authorization of the helicopter flights in our airspace” and the operation was conducted by the United States. He also said that “in any event, we did not want anything to do with such an operation in case something went wrong.”
Numerous allegations were made that the government of Pakistan was involved in shielding bin Laden. Aspects of the incident that have fueled the allegations include the proximity of bin Laden’s heavily fortified compound to the Pakistan Military Academy, that the United States did not notify the Pakistani authorities before the operation, and the alleged double standards of Pakistan regarding the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Pakistani-born British MP Khalid Mahmood stated that he was “flabbergasted and shocked” after he learned that bin Laden was living in a city with thousands of Pakistani troops, reviving questions about alleged links between al-Qaeda and elements in Pakistan’s security forces] U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham questioned, “How could [bin Laden] be in such a compound without being noticed?”, raising suspicions that Pakistan was either uncommitted in the fight against Islamist militants or was actively sheltering them while pledging to fight them. A Pakistani intelligence official said that they had passed on raw phone tap data to U.S. that led to the operation but had failed to analyze this data themselves.
U.S. government files leaked by Wikileaks disclosed that American diplomats were told that Pakistani security services were tipping off bin Laden every time U.S. forces approached. Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also helped smuggle al-Qaeda militants into Afghanistan to fight NATO troops. According to the leaked files, in December 2009, the Government of Tajikistan had told U.S. officials that many in Pakistan were aware of bin Laden’s whereabouts.
U.S. senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said “This is going to be a time of real pressure on Pakistan to basically prove to us that they didn’t know that bin Laden was there”. John O. Brennan, the chief counter terrorism advisor to Obama, stated that it was inconceivable that bin Laden did not have support from within Pakistan. He further stated “People have been referring to this as hiding in plain sight. We are looking right how he was able to hide out there for so long.” US Senator Dianne Feinstein stated that “it’s hard for me to understand how the Pakistanis … would not know what was going on inside the compound.” and said that top Pakistan officials may be “walking both sides of the street.”
Gulf News reported that the compound where bin Laden was killed had previously been used as a safe house by ISI but was no longer being used for this purpose.