Like an incompatible couple who can’t help bickering when together while well aware that divorce is not an option. The awkward joint appearance of 44 and the Pakistani Prime Minister for a press briefing after their White House meeting on 23 October, when they declined to take questions from reporters, aptly summed up the troubled relationship. This dysfunctional kinship, however, is moving towards a climax as Great Satan withdraws forces and equipment from Afghanistan primarily through Land of the Pure
The bottom line is that the glue holding the two countries together consists of more negative than positive elements. Great Satan needs Land of the Pure in its ongoing war on terrorism – a desperate necessity at least until the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan. And cash-strapped Pakistan is humiliatingly dependent on handouts from Great Satan and US-sanctioned International Monetary Fund loans.
A 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center shows that only 11 percent of Pakistanis have a favorable view of America. An earlier survey by the Pew Center and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace revealed that only 10 percent of Americans have a great or fair amount of trust in Pakistan.
It also showed that 97 percent of Pakistanis familiar with US drone strikes held a negative view of them. “Those who are familiar with the drone campaign also overwhelmingly (94%) believe the attacks kill too many innocent people,” stated the report. “Nearly three-quarters (74%) say they are not necessary to defend Pakistan from extremist organizations.”
In stark contrast, a survey by the Washington Post-ABC News in February 2012 found that 83 percent of Americans supported Washington’s drone attacks.
Reflecting popular opinion, Sharif, appearing next to 44, said “The use of drones is not only a violation of our territorial integrity but they are also detrimental to our efforts to eliminate terrorism from our country.” His government was committed to bringing them to an end, he added.
44 left Sharif’s words – delivered at the brief briefing in a tone so soft that reporters strained to hear him – stand alone, and refrained from making any related statement of his own. Strikingly, the word "drone" was missing in their 2,500-word joint statement. By contrast, the term “terrorism” appeared 13 times and “nuclear” 10 times – not in the context of parity with the US-India civil nuclear agreement that Sharif wanted, but in the context of “nuclear terrorism.”
Leaked intell dangingly LOLs that contrary to vociferous denunciations of drone strikes for years, Pakistan’s government had clandestinely endorsed the campaign and received classified briefings on the attacks and casualty counts.
In the Pentagon’s drawdown plans in Afghanistan, to be completed by December 2014, Pakistan looms large. It is required to remove or transport at least 1.4 million pieces of equipment, ranging from small arms to massive wheeled and tracked vehicles. Pakistan provides the cheapest and quickest land routes for this purpose. On its part, Pakistan gains financially by charging transit fees while its private transport companies benefit from an estimated budget of up to $7 billion earmarked by the Pentagon for the pullout.
While the patchwork of compromise keeps Pakistan afloat and US drones hovering over the tribal badlands along the Afghan-Pakistan border, a denouement is expected in 2014, starting with the Afghan presidential poll in April and ending with the US pullout deadline of December. The US-Pakistani marriage may become even more fractious next year, testing its very survival
Pic - "Our relationship with Pakistan could not be more important"