Moeed Yusuf, associate vice-president, Asia Centre, US Institute for Peace, Washington DC, said, the US-Pakistan relationship is broken and there’s a disconnect between the two countries. He was addressing a gathering at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) on September 15th.
He put the burden of this situation on the Afghanistan issue.
“The relationship is broken not because there’s no conversation but because there’s mistrust,” he said, adding that there was deep-rooted angst on both sides.
“The mistrust arises because there is no convergence of interests on Afghanistan,” he said.
The US had the same old complaint against Pakistan, namely that Pakistan was not doing enough in Afghanistan to stem the insurgency, he said.
From the US perspective, Yusuf said, even after the 17-year investment in Afghanistan, the Taliban were nowhere near defeat. “The US feels that the Taliban are operating out of Pakistan.”
In Pakistan, he said, the thinking was that Pakistan had done more than enough in this regard and was under no obligation to do more.
Pakistan’s position, he said, was driven by the prospect of a backlash. “Both factions are brutally rational,” Yusuf said.
“In my view, the only aspect where the US and Pakistan could work together and where their interests converge is a speedy solution whereby both come together and work out a solution that is acceptable to all factions to the conflict. Facilitation of the role in this regard has to be prodded by Pakistan and honestly speaking, I don’t see that happening,” Yusuf said.
He said that there was a window of opportunity that would exist up until the end of October when elections were to be held in Afghanistan. After that, the prospects would just diminish. “After winter, things might get worse. So we just have a few months,” he said.
He said that US-China interests in Afghanistan fully converged. Ultimately, the US-Pakistan connect would have to include China.
The short talk was followed by a question-answer session.
Mr. Farhan Khan, holding a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) in 1st Division from the University of Karachi. Farhan Khan has got rich experience in Communications, Public relations and Media, with some excellent communication, writing, managerial and reporting skills.