Recent debate in US Congress about Pakistan being friend or foe has raised questions for Pakistan to revisit its relations with USA. Pak-US diplomatic relations date back from October 20, 1947. Apart from other cordial and subtle relations, Pakistan and USA relationship is based on economic and military support and Pakistan has always proved to be strategic partner of USA.

US congress in recent past is excessively observed as one of critique on US relations with Pakistan. In their opinion US has invested more on military equipment and given aid to Pakistan than its requirement. The reports of this US Congress meeting, recently titled “Pakistan: Friend or foe” shows clear biases of the Congress against Pakistan. Pakistan being a US ally was badly criticised by the Congress and baseless accusations were made which only the worst enemy can allege. The US Congress indictments about Pakistan are groundless and unfair, that the military aid given to Pakistan is not justified enough by Pakistan and is misused. For the US Congress, Afghanistan has played much greater role in the war against terrorism than Pakistan, which is an entirely wrong perception of US Congress. In the Post-Cold War era, Pakistan proved to be a time tested friend of USA where it had the option of being ally to either USA or Soviet Union, but Pakistan rendered all support to USA in its war with former USSR to become super power. Unfortunately, at the end of war between two powers of that time, Pakistan had to face the mess of a Russian invasion in Afghanistan. Pakistan extended its full support to Afghan Muslim brethren but tactlessly it was left alone to wipe the muddle of other countries. Pakistan was not only left unaccompanied by its allies in a vulnerable condition but with traumas of troubled economy, disturbed infrastructure and population burden of millions of Afghan refugees. Since 9/11 the Pak USA ties extra fabricated when Pakistan decided to be a part of alliance of USA in its war against terrorism. Unluckily here again Pakistan suffered more than the war zone and it is still paying huge price in the form of the menace of terrorism and it’s after affects within the country.

Senior US lawmakers and their witnesses gathered on Capitol Hill last week to have hearings on Pakistan’s case. Those who joined session hearing were, the House Subcommittees on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade, and Asia and the Pacific. The chairman of one of the subcommittees is a Republican lawmaker, Congressman Ted Poe, who never makes an effort to conceal his abhorrence for Pakistan as he stated, “This hearing will give members the opportunity to learn more about Pakistan’s longstanding ties to terrorist groups and allow for a more informed reassessment of US foreign policy priorities vis-à-vis Islamabad.” Former US ambassador to Afghanistan and United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, is one of the three witnesses who have been asked to explain Pakistan and its policies to the lawmakers. The other two witnesses were Bill Roggio, senior editor, Long War Journal, and Tricia Bacon, Assistant Professor in American University.

Ironically Pakistan is never given a chance in such hearings to explain its stance and asking an Afghan national to explain Pakistan’s case is just an offensive attempt by the Congress. Sadly, in a recent statement, Mr Khalilzad urged the US to adopt a policy of total isolation against Pakistan and turn it into a “second North Korea” to force it to cooperate in Afghanistan. Chairman of Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Matt Salmon said, “The US has spent tens of billions of taxpayers’ dollars in an aid to Pakistan since 9/11. Now, 15 years later, Pakistan’s military and intelligence services are still linked to terrorist organisations and little success has been made to stabilise the region.” Highly unfortunate, Pakistan time and again has to go through such bad remarks by its ally which now poses a serious concern for Pakistan to reevaluate its ties with USA. Paradoxically, US thinks only Afghanistan has to bear the tremors of war against terrorism as Afghan soil was used for this war but how can it can forget a crucial role played by Pakistan who provided routes to NATO supplies and all possible support? Afghanistan is not at all doing more than Pakistan rather Pakistan went through worst security issues on Afghan border and itself suffered perils of terrorism. Its pity how easily US forgets Pakistan being part of Quadrilateral Coordination Group which was formed to bring peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan played a commendable role in dialogue processes. Recent US Congress issue on F-16s deal is another clear example of their developing icy relations with Pakistan and let’s not forget the US jargons about Pakistan’s nuclear programme too.

Apparently, it seems lobbying of India and Afghanistan in US against Pakistan is working. It appears that this blackmailing against Pakistan is used by US to play its political manoeuvres for Presidential elections. US must acknowledge outstanding role played by Pakistan and realise its military requirements for eradicating terrorism. Ironically, nuclearisation of Indian Ocean by India goes unnoticed by US but any military purchase by Pakistan disturbs South Asian military balance. USA needs to comprehend dynamic role of Pakistan in war against terrorism and US Congress which blames Pakistan must come up with proofs in hearings to substantiate its denunciations. It is the need of the hour that our government and diplomats reassess foreign policy and ensure Pakistan’s role and detriments an incomparable aspect in eliminating terrorism. Globally, spectators must understand Pakistan’s role as front liner and know that failure to achieve desired objective to root out terrorism from the area, would be equally shared by entire international community as well as USA. USA needs to rethink its carrot and stick policy towards Pakistan where a few rotten carrots are offered to Pakistan in return for more sticks. Pakistan must not rely on US for assistance but should focus on better and impeccable ties with all states to prove to world it is a nation standing strong despite all challenges.