Whenever the United States had her national interests to fulfill, the funds were allowed and when Pakistan’s interests collided with the American aspirations, the same were denied.
The debt clocks are ticking, the denominations increasing in 100,000s per second and the main figure preparing to cross the $55 trillion barrier in a matter of days. One state already owes around $14 trillion and is preparing to ask for more without any checks and balances, while the other is standing only at the $130 billion marker with lagaan type proposals. In this fiasco, we have a global economic crisis on a steady rise on one side and increased spending on the other, and to top this cake with the most beautiful cherry, we have global conflicts. Political scientists have stated that the world is anarchic but they never meant it literally; their rationale for this statement was about lack of hierarchy amongst sovereign states, but the world seems to have taken their word verbatim.
From restricting financial support to demands of more monetary relaxation, the War on Terror has revealed more than what is apparent from the annals of history. From CENTO dollars to the PresslerAmendment, and from Obama’s promise to provide relaxation in loans to the promised $5 billion that never reached the doors of Pakistan, economic turbulence has spiked to its maximum. However, in the last decade, the War on Terror has revealed so much that was formerly often unsaid but at present is crystal clear. The recent threat of economic sanctions from the US against the Iran-Pakistan gas-pipeline, prior to their withdrawal from Afghanistan, is again a pearl of the same string. With no alternatives and plain sanctions, demanding to ‘do more’ seems either a joke or a threat.
The relationship between Pakistan and the United States has mostly been under high criticism over a few decades. Many Congressmen of the United States and many parliamentarians from Pakistan have continuously stressed on deciding this matter once and for all, with a majority of them calling it a burden and an impossible liability. However, this criticism, offered from both sides, is neither based on political malfeasance nor on strategic implications, but rather on something that drives almost all the matters of interstate dealing amongst the two sovereign states. Where the United States of America has a complete lack of trust and transparency over the assistance provided by Pakistan for which the aid is released, Pakistan is of the opinion that this release of funds is solely to pressurize Pakistan in order to undermine their national interests and to restrict them from gaining influence in the region.
Events like the Raymond Davis shootout; the NATO strikes at the Salalah Check-post of the Pakistan Army; restrictions over NATO supply lines from Pakistan; the ever controversial issue of drone strikes; and the Osama bin Laden episode have further exacerbated the relations, which have adequately dented the economic relations amongst the two countries, consequently showing its strain on other matters like diplomacy and strategic partnership.
The best view of where the problem lies in a complete assessment of the Pak-US economic relation. Ascertainment of responsibility against reckless behavior is rather impossible, as both states’ actors have acted or omitted certain actions in the name of the pursuit of state interests. The Rational Actor Model clearly applies in this approach, as states interacting with each other always undertake a certain method or procedure, but the mainstream imperative remains the pursuance of their own national interests.
The choice of allying with the United States of America was quite clear for Pakistan: India, the archrival, declared a Non-aligned stance after independence, but its international inclination was clearly towards the Soviet Union; so in a bipolar world of the late 1940s and early 1950s, Pakistan chose the other pole lead by the United States and started to reap immediate benefits. In collaboration with the United States of America, Pakistan joined the SEATO and CENTO arrangements, receiving a hefty $2 billion between 1953 and 1961 as financial assistance, initiating economic relations between the two states.