“I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I speak the truth and they never believe me.” -         Di Cavour

The Americans may have failed in international diplomacy not because they lack the shrewdness that is required but because of the loaded arrogance that carries them away every now and then. There has been a lot of hype in the media of this country regarding the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif who has now completed his tour of the United States raising the hope for the possibilities that exist for Pakistan. Pakistan’s foreign office, which is affectionately called the foreigners’ office is even worse when compared with their American counterparts because the policy articulated by this country’s foreign office normally means no policy at all.

The release of funds by the Americans which they had been illegally holding for more than a year and some other peanuts that were thrown at the Pakistani Prime Minister during his meeting with Mr Barack Obama tells the entire story of the treatment that this country has been enduring due to its own weaknesses and in some cases outright foolish decisions or shabby treatment by its American “friends”.

Everybody knows that the Americans want a safe passage for state of the art equipment worth billions of dollars that they want to take back from Afghanistan and Pakistan is the only country that can provide a safe passage for the equipment that will be carried by ISAF containers. As far as the United States is concerned, they continue to refuse to release equipment and other accessories that had been paid for by this country to wage an effective war against terror that has resulted in hurting this country’s weak economy to quite an extent.

The American refusal to hand over F16 jet fighters for which they had received advance payment is an example of what the US calls ‘valued’ friendship with Pakistan. They made the incident of Salala check post the reason for withholding collateral support fund and also took some other unilateral decisions that hurt this country. Now the Pakistani Prime Minister seems to have convinced his American hosts that these measures were counter-productive. Therefore the Americans have relented to an extent that the visit could be hailed as a “success”. When compared with India the Americans both in word and deed have been more than willing to travel the extra mile not only to placate the Indian government but also were willing to furnish lavish rewards to them although the services of India for the strategic interest of the United States pales down when compared to this country’s services for successive American administrations.

Pakistan took up the issue of drones which have been able to pick up less than two per cent of Al Qaeda targets and the rest of the casualties which are up to 98 per cent have been mostly of Pakistanis that include a large number of women and children. A pause in drone attacks will facilitate Pakistan and Taliban talks. Request for American support on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was also made. The issue of energy was discussed between the Prime Minister and Vice President of United States Mr Biden resulting in statement of customary support on this issue. It was very interesting to find out that the Indian foreign secretary on the eve of Mr Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with the US President came out with a statement that the Indians were willing to talk on all matters of mutual interest that existed for India and Pakistan. He tried to sing in chorus with American state department officials who had also issued conciliatory and supportive statements for this country. While none of these statements is expected to translate in to anything substantial yet one can only admire the smart move made by the Indian foreign secretary.

The Pakistani government also demanded from the US that they should issue the required instructions to Mr Hamid Karzai, their puppet president in Afghanistan to hand over criminals and other fugitives who have fled Pakistan after committing heinous crimes. Some of these elements were known to wage a war against Pakistan’s security forces and then go back to the safe havens provided to them by the Afghan government. This racket flourishes under Indian patronage which provides them with finances, arms and ammunition and may even be encouraging drug trade from Afghanistan which brings in tons of money for these terrorists and other extremist elements. It is a well established fact that Taliban who were flushed out of Swat and FATA have been provided safe refuge by the Afghan government. As far as Pakistan India relationship is concerned, the Americans are likely to press for bilateral negotiations which at the present point in time cannot be fruitful or productive since all political parties in India were gearing up for their general elections scheduled for next year and therefore any improvement in relations between these two neighboring countries will have to wait till the time a new government is installed in India. However if the Americans are really interested in peace and harmony in this strategic part of the world, they must use their influence so that an honorable and just solution to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is negotiated by both the countries. They can nudge India to the negotiating table on this tricky issue. Pakistanis must remember that the Americans were clearly working in their national interest and that it was time for this country to formulate policies that allowed Pakistan to further its national interest forcefully and effectively.

­The writer has been associated with various newspapers as editor and columnist.