Causes of strains

Notwithstanding the Americans’ keen desire for the Pakistan army to launch an immediate operation in North Waziristan on pain of a tough reaction from Washington, our decision makers must, under no circumstance, give in to these pressure tactics and stick to their policy of consolidating gains in the areas which have been cleared of militants before thinking of embarking upon any other venture. The country has to bear the backlash of its actions and it cannot afford to please an outside power, or even an ally, at the cost of its own peace. The press report that points to the revised US strategy of a greater stress on the need for military action in North Waziristan also contains reference to Washington adopting a carrot-and-stick policy for its treatment with Islamabad in the future to make sure that we comply with its wishes. But, this should hardly sound alarming to an America watcher; that has been its standard policy for dealing with such instances, and Pakistan is not new to it.

The US felt the need to review its policy following a strong protest from Pakistan to its drone attacks at Datta Khel on March 17 that killed 42 peaceful tribesmen and demanded an apology for the ruthless action. Thus, Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman has come forward with a carrot: offered regrets at civilian deaths, adding: “the purpose of the relationship is to make Pakistan more secure, Americans and Europeans more secure, and to make Pakistanis more prosperous, that’s something we are after.” Secretary Clinton has also chipped in with acknowledging Islamabad’s role in fighting militancy and cooperation in the release of Raymond Davis, though by terming the US-Pak relations challenging she was pointing to the strains that are not hidden even to a casual observer of the current international political scene. – Nation