Afghan Withdrawal: Rejuvenating the Carrots and Sticks of Economy


In terms of the original relationship based solely on economy, the application of dependency theory, where one state is a core while the other the periphery is quite simple: The United State of America is the core, with all goals and requisites being set by the US itself, either through USAID initiatives or, more specifically, the defense agreements and military assistance packages. Pakistan, being at the receiving end of the assistance so provided, acts as the periphery, where it provides adequate platform to the United States for the projection of the latter’s power in pursuance of the goals that are set.

The only retaliatory application of acts against the American interests and in favor of pursuance of Pakistan’s self-interest was after the Salalah check post incident, after which the Pakistani government restricted the NATO supply routes from its soil to Afghanistan, and this restriction continued even against severe pressure by the United States, invoking the Deterrence Model of Political Science where the state acts in retaliation to the coercive acts conducted by another state party to the model under observation.

Now that the withdrawal from Afghanistan is due to commence and the US maintains Pakistan as the first choice of an exit route, new incentives have started to approach. The current government in Pakistan is hopeful of the statements passed by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who has expressed fairly positive views of ending the acrimony between the two states, in hoping to ‘have a fresh start’ and to reengage in ‘revival of full partnership’, aiming to ‘bridge the gaps’ following a $7 Billion five year economic assistance package to Pakistan. With this stunning offer and the current economic crisis which has Pakistan deeply concerned, a short lived, short term and nostalgic acceptance may well be the government’s answer.

Pakistan may yet again fail to realize how this might turn out to be; definitely like the past, leading to a hasty and prospectively regrettable decision further damaging the economic structure of Pakistan. Where the initial negotiations with the IMF failed and the new, restructured loan of $7.3 billion that Pakistan is due to receive, there is a grim paradigm shift between the immediate and distant future. With the current debt at an outstanding $130-150 billion, another $14.3 billion seems too attractive but a burden nonetheless.

One must ask this simple question; following the Bankruptcy of Detroit, 61 more cities are preparing to file for the same; in this backdrop what would be the main incentive behind the $7 billion promised to Pakistan?

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is a Masters in Strategic and Nuclear Studies from the National Defense University. He can be reached on

Discussion4 Comments

  1. I can answer the author’s question at the end. Compliance. As always that is the incentive for the US. The US never has and never will give aid out of the goodness of it’s heart. Their “aid” is actually a bribe to the corrupt leaders. Not to mention that the aid has to be spent on American goods. quite clever i must say. The “aid” not being used to bribe politicians is going back to American companies anyways. This keeps the Pakistani reliance on american goods instead of pakistani products, therefore pakistan’s economy from getting better. Same thing with the loans that in reality can never be paid back (and they aren’t ever meant to be).

  2. Somewhere the author of the article has also mis-spelt the word aid; It is actually AID, not aid; US-Agency for International Development (US-AID). This agency called AID, and we think it is aid and free money, actually is the funds for projects and the money is dispensed by US against very long term, very low interest rates for development projects; Pakistan gets this US-AID package which is supposed to be returned back in time; there is no FREE LUNCH as it is said, so thinking it is aid and not to be repaid back is living in fools paradise; which Pakistanis love to stay in and dream about. Absolutely it is the fault of our media, government and the leaders of country who project this aid concept; LIES it is; … We Pakistanis are not used to face the truth as it is in short supply and take refuge behind the curtains of deceit and lies;

  3. The author is truly delusional and has no understanding of the international issues and the ground realities out there. Crying hoarse about things will not help solve problems anywhere.

    And the word US aid is not aid but AID i.e., Agency for International Development. Better research would have helped the authenticity of the article.

  4. 1. You do not need to write two pages long, to describe what are actually just two words …. “transactional relationship”.
    2. With the change in US-India equation, and with the quiet transfer of a huge military aid, that includes over 5000 top of the line air-to-air missiles, the US have cleverly changed its pro-Pakistan position to a neutral one. Therefore, Pakistan would now see reduction of flow of American dollars in the coming years.

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