Two eminent speakers including a former diplomat and retired army general shed light on the current state of Pak-US relations at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) where Najmuddin Sheikh, former foreign secretary of Pakistan said that the ties were of a transactional nature from the beginning and the commonalities were contrived.
The first speaker was Najmuddin Sheikh, former foreign secretary of Pakistan. He started his talk by mentioning a few myths that prevailed. He said there was the myth that Pakistan and the United States had mutual interests. It had never been the case. The ties were of a transactional nature from the beginning and the commonalities were contrived.
We did not have a common aversion to the Soviet Union. During the Afghan jihad we were genuinely concerned about the Soviet Union consolidating its position in Afghanistan, the old idea that it was looking for warm waters, but the Americans had a different idea; they said they would do to the Soviet
Mr Sheikh then pointed out the errors that the US committed. He said: “Why did the US allow Osama bin Laden get shifted from Sudan to Afghanistan?” He [Osama] travelled by a C130 from Sudan to Afghanistan. In Sudan he was a relatively unknown figure whereas in Afghanistan he was a hero of the Afghan jihad.
Two years later an American general sitting in the office of our chief of army staff said they were firing missiles across our air space but they were not meant for us; they were trying to hit a camp in Afghanistan where they believed Osama bin Laden was. Mr Sheikh said the current situation was that President Trump’s New Year tweet generated a lot of speculation and he [Sheikh] thought there was a more rational explanation for it.
On Dec 29, there appeared an article in the New York Times saying that during the rescue operation of a Canadian family carried out by Pakistan (for which Trump was all praise for Pakistan) they caught a member of the Haqqani network.