US, Pakistan must ‘divorce’ as allies, says Haqqani

Hussain Haqqani 1

The United States and Pakistan should stop pretending they are allies and amicably “divorce,” Pakistan’s former ambassador to Washington said on Wednesday, citing unrealistic expectations in both countries that include US hopes Islamabad will sever its links to extremists.
“If in 65 years, you haven’t been able to find sufficient common ground to live together, and you had three separations and four reaffirmations of marriage, then maybe the better way is to find friendship outside of the marital bond,” Husain Haqqani said, addressing the Center for the National Interest, a Washington think tank.
Haqqani’s recommendation that the United States and Pakistan essentially downgrade their status was based on the premise that it may be the only way to break from what has been a dysfunctional relationship. A post-alliance future would allow both countries to hold more realistic expectations of each other, cooperating where possible but perhaps without the sense of betrayal, which has become acute in Pakistan. He cited a survey by the Pew Research Center released in June showing roughly three-in-four Pakistanis consider the United States an enemy, even though the United States pours billions of dollars of aid into the country.
“If this was an election campaign … you would advise the senator with these kinds of favorability ratings to pull out of the race, instead of spending more money,” said Haqqani, who plans to publish a book entitled Magnificent Delusions next year about the US-Pakistan relationship. His candid remarks represented Haqqani’s first address in Washington since he resigned as Pakistan’s envoy last year after, he says, being framed for drafting a memo that accused the Pakistani army of plotting a coup — allegations he defended himself against before Pakistan’s Supreme Court.
Many of Haqqani’s comments underscored the friction between Pakistan’s civilian government and military, which have bedeviled the nuclear-armed South Asian country for almost its entire existence. Haqqani, who served as an adviser to four Pakistani prime ministers, identified himself among a small minority who support good relations with the United States but “who do not have the ability to influence the course of policy at home.”
He said Pakistan’s military needed to be under greater civilian control, adding Pakistan’s national interests are defined “by generals, not by civilian leaders.” But he also doled out criticism of US policymaking, saying it was too often short-sighted, lacking the necessary historic perspective needed to appreciate realistically what Pakistan might do in return for aid and cooperation. The depths of the strained US-Pakistan relationship have come into full public view since the United States, without telling Pakistan, secretly staged a raid to kill Osama bin Laden last year. Haqqani was ambassador at the time. He repeatedly said someone in Pakistan knew of bin Laden’s presence, even though he stopped far short of blaming Pakistan’s principal intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence directorate (ISI).
“I still think a full proper investigation on the Pakistani side is needed to find out how Osama bin Laden lived in Pakistan and who supported him — within or outside the government,” he said.
“I really do not know (who helped bin Laden). All I am saying is that somebody knew.”
He said it was just as unrealistic for Pakistanis to think that the United States would side with Pakistan by launching war on India as it was for the United States to think Pakistan would give up its nuclear weapons or sever ties with extremists.
“Equally unrealistic is that Pakistan … will give up support for jihadi groups that it deems to be a subconventional force multiplier for regional influence,” Haqqani said.
Describing his vision for a post-alliance future for the United States and Pakistan, Haqqani appeared to downplay US security concerns. He said Pakistan’s eight-month shut-off of ground supply lines for NATO forces in Afghanistan showed the United States it could rely on more costly routes to the North.
And when it comes to unpopular US drone strikes against militants, Haqqani believed the United States would press ahead with the campaign even in a post-alliance future. “I have no realistic expectation of the United States ending the drone campaign and (no realistic expectation of) Pakistan accepting it,” he said.



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18 Comments

  1. Khalid A. Peracha said:

    Pakistan’s relationship with US are important and should not be influenced by anybody personal opinion / comments.

    It is true that upon certain points they have divergent views but than this also a fact that there are many points where these view converge too. I think that as good friends, both US & Pakistan should realize each others limitation and refrain from building unrealistic expectation from each other.

  2. Khalid A. Peracha said:

    Pakistan's relationship with US are important and should not be influenced by anybody personal opinion / comments.

    It is true that upon certain points they have divergent views but than this also a fact that there are many points where these view converge too. I think that as good friends, both US & Pakistan should realize each others limitation and refrain from building unrealistic expectation from each other.

  3. Pakistani said:

    This snake does not deserve any space in a Pakistani Newspaper,therfore not worth a comment.Such chamaars should be burried anonymously.

  4. truth bites said:

    Everything he says make him always looked US ambassador rather than a Pakistani or a Pakistani ambassador! Its about time Mr Haqqani you also come out clean and declare your loyality too!

  5. Juanita Thomas said:

    I live in the United States and I think it is wrong for our country to drop drone missiles on Pakistan and kill innocent people, that is just as much terrorism as 9/11. The government here does not represent what everyone who lives here believes.

  6. aloneinlonelyplanet said:

    This brings a BIG BIG question to Haqqani's professional competence| Only few months back, he was the ambassador of Pakistan in Washington and he remained so for the last 3 years! Believing whatever he says, consequently, his tenure has turned out so bad that the Bush-days "friends of all seasons" have turned into bitter enemies!! Pooh! Pooh! Never ever hire Haqqani for anything! In fact, never ever trust or hire an American-Pakistani Jiala! This scumb of the 70s, Farah Isphani-type American-Pakistani oldie is the biggest threat to our nation! The pseudo-confused liberal breed has so many complexes and remains so confused better shut their entry to Pakistan once and for all! As for the so-called precious forex money, so please read the statistics! Pakistanis living in Gulf are sending the biggest chunk of buck to their homeland every month whereas the share from United States of America is the minimum!! We neither need US aid money nor the American-Pakistanis money!!

  7. Khalid A. Peracha vi said:

    Pakistan's relationship with US are important and should not be influenced by anybody personal opinion / comments.

    It is true that upon certain points they have divergent views but than this also a fact that there are many points where these view converge too. I think that as good friends, both US & Pakistan should realize each others limitation and refrain from building unrealistic expectation from each other.

  8. Silajit said:

    "Equally unrealistic is that Pakistan … will give up support for jihadi groups that it deems to be a subconventional force multiplier for regional influence," Haqqani said.

    Can't believe Pakistan's neighbors are trying to make peace with Pakistan and open their borders with this kind of thinking FROM THE CIVILIAN ADMINISTRATION.

    What a phenomenal waste of time, money and resources.

  9. Juanita Thomas via F said:

    I live in the United States and I think it is wrong for our country to drop drone missiles on Pakistan and kill innocent people, that is just as much terrorism as 9/11. The government here does not represent what everyone who lives here believes.

  10. Tashfeen said:

    He is right. All of you read his comments again. USA must have realistic expectations from us not try to dominate and own us, if not break away. Drones are due to our support of the Taleban and Al Qaida wherein we continuously leaked prior information to raids.

  11. aloneinlonelyplanet said:

    An addition! He is actually a puppet of Farah Naz Isphani, his American-citizen wife! Whatever he is wherever this pseudo intellectual is, he is because of the blue-coloured passport that he has wed ! Farah Naz actually belongs to the "scumb of the 70s" generation, the Pakistanis who left for US back in early 70s and now can usually be seen at Islamabad/Karachi International with arrogant necks stiff with metal rods (Saria in Punjabi i.e.)!! This looser generation has contributed zero to the Pakistani society except for injecting social complexes in people around them by flashing their American passports 100 times in a day!! Farah's dad remained the 1st ambassador of Pakistan in US in 1947 just like effluent moms-dads of most of these grey-haired confused Pakistani-Americans of today remained who-is-who back in the 50s and 60s, hence even with the kind of dumb IQ that she has, she was able to achieve the American Dream!! But, unfortunately, her American Dream has fallen upon the poor Pakistan as a Nightmare at Jinnah's tomb!!

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