According to a news item, the US is currently in talks with five of the Central Asian Republics to get permission for ferrying Nato supplies to Afghanistan. The reports also say that the US is using its diplomatic clout with the Central Asian nations to get a nod of approval.

If Pakistan was seeking an opportunity to bow out gracefully from the US alliance, this is it. It would be wonderful for the US to go its way and ferry the supplies through the land route. The land route from the Central Asian Republics is treacherous and largely runs through a mountainous terrain. Although according to reports Nato is still using our air space to deliver the supplies, it is worried about the heavy war equipment that US forces need badly in Afghanistan. In the aftermath of the Salalah incident, there has been terrible disappointment from the Pakistani public over treatment of the diaster by the US. Already not popular among Pakistanis, its image has hit another all-time low. And there has been no effort from the Americans to repair their public image after the Raymond Davis incident, but just an emphasis on getting the job done, whatever the cost. Such an attitude is unfeasible for continuing an alliance, especially where Pakistan has sacrificed more than the US in lives lost and instability borne on its soil. The US's interest in Central Asia are clearly great, especially given its emphasis on the TAPI pipeline. Forthcoming and genuine allies like Pakistan are hard to find, the US may be starting a rosy new alliance with the CAR's, but it will soon come to realise that the grass is always greener on the side of the ally you don't have. The US has also not yet paid the toll tax on the containers, whose movement has caused road damage worth billions of rupees; this is an excellent opportunity to present them with the bill. Meanwhile, another piece of news mentioning a top secret cable from US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker reveals that terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan could seriously hamper US efforts to end war in Afghanistan. This shows the lack of trust in and disapproval of all that Pakistan has done so far to clamp down on militancy. How can an alliance with such vitriol continue?

After almost a decade of our sacrifices in the US-led war on terrorism has left us on the brink of economic collapse. Washington’s perception of Pakistan is that of an enemy rather than a friend. It is therefore in the fitness of things that we welcome the Americans turning to the Central Asian Republics.