You don't have to like someone to work with them, a fact confirmed daily at ... checking the notes here ... every place of employment on the planet. The same goes for countries, it seems. Jules Suzdaltsev explains in today's Seeker Daily report concerning the curious alliance of Pakistan and the United States.
In many key respects, Pakistan is an inner-circle kind of ally for the U.S. -- a longtime military comrade and critical partner in the war on terror. But actually, the two countries simply don't like each other very much. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that Pakistanis and Americans rank each other as among their least favorite countries. The two nations' diplomats regularly exchange harsh words, as well. History provides some context....
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan was created as a home for Muslims in the region when it was split off from India in 1947. The U.S. supported the new country from the start, hoping for a ally in the region since India at the time was aligned with the Soviet Union.
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In the 1970s and 1980s, the U.S. and Pakistan worked together closely during the Soviet-Afghan War. In what was to be the CIA's longest and most extensive covert operation, the agency worked with Pakistani intelligence services to distribute funds and weapons to the Muslim Afghan mujahideen. Infamously, many of those fighters would later join the ranks of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Diplomatic relations took a serious hit when Pakistan developed a nuclear program over strenuous U.S. objections. America cut military and economic support, and the two countries were not considered allies for much of the 1990s. After the the September 11 attacks, the U.S. put enormous pressure on Pakistan to assist in the invasion of Afghanistan. Pakistan eventually opened their military bases to U.S. troops and the country has been a somewhat reluctant ally in the region ever since.
Relations between the two nations remain complicated. Check out Jules' report for more details on the rather severe trust issues that plague U.S. and Pakistani relations.
-- Glenn McDonald
U.S. Department of State: U.S. Relations with Pakistan
The Atlantic: The Ally from Hell
The Independent: Terror 'blowback' burns CIA
Brookings: Pakistan's Role in the Afghanistan War's Outcome