ISLAMABAD - A second MI-17 military helicopter crash in the last three months has raised many eyebrows and exposed the fragile strategic partnership Pakistan had with the West in the war against terror since 9/11.

The feelings are growing in Islamabad that Pakistan would remain at the receiving end with colossal losses it had been suffering due to its strategic partnership with the US and NATO against terrorism.

The US might had to bear bill of billions of dollars for the services Pakistan had rendered in the war against terror but it miserably failed in meeting Pakistan’s military hardware needs especially the helicopters and drones, two key components for any counter insurgency operations in these modern times.

“The US never considered Pakistan’s demand for sophisticated technology for its counter insurgency operations in its fight against terrorism and extremism,” a senior retired military official told The Nation.

Requesting anonymity, he said Pakistan had requested to the US for provision of new or leased helicopters and transfer of drone technology by former Chief of Army Staff General (retd) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and former president Pervez Musharraf.

“Pakistan has been asking Americans for long to either upgrade the existing fleet or sell new ones. But to no avail,” he added.

The official said the US agreed only to arrange score of old Russian made Cobra and MI-17 helicopters both for the combat missions as well as logistic support, which have been made airworthy with the best maintenance by Pakistani technicians.

According to a WikiLeaks report, former army chief Kayani also had tried to convince Americans that he was "desperate" for helicopter support as he had only five operational MI-17s but the US failed to respond.

General Kayani, as last resort, had to request the Americans for the provision of spare parts for the Cobra helicopters to meet crucial combat needs of Pakistan Army to tackle insurgency in Swat, Malakand and FATA region.

“This is just a reflection of how Pakistan’s relations with the United States had been, even though Pakistan had played crucial role in the US-led war on terror”, a senior retired diplomat commented.

After long and tedious discourse the Americans agreed to lease nine MI-17s to Pakistan and that too for the duration of overhauls of nine Pakistan Army MI-17s.

Of late Pakistan has struck a direct deal with Russian Federation for the combat helicopters MI-35 to meet its needs and despite severe opposition by India, Moscow agreed to cut a deal with Pakistan.

Even though performance of Russian aviation technology is not up to the desire, it is regarded the best available in the market.

This deal has raised a degree of optimism in Pakistan that with the induction of Russian helicopters in Pakistan’s army fleet, things would be much different and defence cooperation between Pakistan and Russia would grow.