“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
–President Donal J. Trump
In the 1990s, economic assistance to Pakistan was cut to zero because of Pakistan’s clandestine development of the nuclear programme. Although the Pressler amendment was passed in August 1985, the amendment was not imposed only after the withdrawal of Soviet Union from Afghanistan when the U.S had no immediate strategic concern in the region.
The recent developments in the U.S-Pakistan relations are not only a manifestation of India’s influence over U.S’ foreign policy but also that the Americans are now fed up with providing economic assistance to Pakistan when they are not getting the desired results. One could argue that cutting aid to Pakistan is a rational decision, but such an act would prove beneficial only in the short term. Both, the United States and Pakistan, know that they cannot win the war without cooperation. Therefore, the best way out for Pakistan is not to take a hardline approach towards the U.S or accept the dictations but to negotiate with Trump’s administration by informing the administration the constraints that Pakistan is facing.