News / Asia

US Moves to Restore Relations with Pakistan

Pakistani protesters burn representation of U.S. flag at a rally to condemn drone attacks on militants allegedly hiding in Pakistan tribal areas, in Multan, Pakistan, (File January 11, 2012).
Pakistani protesters burn representation of U.S. flag at a rally to condemn drone attacks on militants allegedly hiding in Pakistan tribal areas, in Multan, Pakistan, (File January 11, 2012).
TEXT SIZE - +

The United States is moving to restore its relationship with Pakistan, which was severely damaged during the past year by a series of incidents. 

Protests like this one show the anger many Pakistanis feel toward the United States.  

The latest incident to spark public anger was the accidental bombing of a Pakistani army border post by U.S. forces based in Afghanistan in November.  

Twenty-four Pakistani troops were killed, and the powerful head of the army, General Ashfaq Kiyani, went to the northwestern town of Peshawar to give them full military honors.  The airstrike, the U.S. attack on Osama Bin Laden’s hiding place near Islamabad, and murder charges against a CIA contractor in Lahore have set back U.S.-Pakistan relations.  

For a while, Pakistan closed the important supply route through its territory for U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan.


Matthew Nelson of the University of London says the relationship will not likely ever be as close as it once was. “The terms used to describe U.S.-Pakistan relations will no longer be words like ‘alliance’ or ‘stable partnership.’  They will be sort of ‘tactical relations of mutual interest on a shorter-term basis.’  The new normal will sort of recognize that Pakistan’s interests do not easily correspond with U.S. interests,” he said.

That was evident this month when Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad for a summit with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The United States is expected to counter with a visit to Islamabad by General James Mattis, the U.S. military commander responsible for South and Central Asia.  

The commander of international forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, says he believes Pakistani officials, including General Kiyani, want to improve the relationship.

“I do not believe there is any absence of enthusiasm on his part for us to cooperate in ways that can control the cross-border flow of insurgents, but also to minimize the conditions that might replicate the tragedy of the 26th of November.   At a tactical level there is an inclination to cooperate.  What we need to do is restore that inclination to cooperate at the strategic level,” Allen stated.

Matthew Nelson says that should be the top U.S. priority in the region. "The stability of Pakistan is perhaps the United States’ most important strategic interest in the whole region.  Afghanistan is important," he noted. "Pakistan is more important.”

Nelson and other experts say to improve relations with Pakistan, the United States will have to find a way to ease the public anger.  But that may become increasingly difficult with some politicians and religious leaders stoking the anger as they prepare for expected early parliamentary elections this year. 

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid