News / USA

US, Pakistan Face Challenges to Keep Relations Steady

US, Pakistan Face Challenges to Keep Relations Steadyi
X
June 13, 2013 11:37 AM
U.S.-Pakistan relations have seen many ups-and-downs in recent years. With a new government in place in Pakistan, both countries will face challenges to keep relations steady. Kokab Farshori looks at some of these challenges, especially the use of drone strikes in Pakistan, which could become a major bone of contention.
US, Pakistan Face Challenges to Keep Relations Steady
Kokab Farshori
U.S.-Pakistan relations have seen many ups-and-downs in recent years.  With a new government in place in Pakistan, both countries will face challenges to keep relations steady.  There are challenges, especially the use of drone strikes in Pakistan, which could become a major bone of contention.

Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, said in his first speech to Parliament that he would end U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.  Later, the new government summoned a top U.S. diplomat to protest a recent U.S. drone strike.  

This signals that stopping the drone strikes is going to be one of the top priorities of Nawaz Sharif’s government.  How will this be viewed in Washington?

Woodrow Wilson Center scholar Bill Milam was the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan in 1999 when Sharif’s government was toppled in a military coup.

"I think that Prime Minister Sharif would be ill advised to make it a big issue when there are so many others on his plate, including the economy," he stated. "Including his relations with the military, and I could name a number of others."

While the United States considers using drones an effective tactic to take out dangerous al-Qaida and Taliban operatives allegedly enjoying safe havens in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas, Pakistan said these strikes are a violation of its sovereignty.

Some analysts said Pakistan’s concerns are not misplaced but that it will have to work with the United States to solve this issue.

"I think, if anything, to give Nawaz Sharif the benefit of the doubt, would be that he might come out very loudly opposing the strikes but at the same time having a conversation with the U.S. government about how to handle this," said Daniel Markey, of the Council on Foreign Relations. "It’s not a simple problem."
 
He also thinks that the two countries should now focus more on ways to help Pakistan’s fragile economy.

"The United States could in fact do better on the trade front with Pakistan.  It could provide favorable access to Pakistani goods, particularly textiles, into U.S. markets.  This is something that would really benefit Pakistan," noted Markey.

In recent years, relations between Pakistan and the United States suffered from a serious trust defict.  The operation to kill Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan without letting Pakistani authorities know highlighted this lack of trust.  Ambassador Milam said both sides should work to rebuild that trust.

"All we can do on both sides is to be open and honest and transparent as possible.  We can work together, and that’s important because Pakistan is important to us in national security terms," Milam said.

With 2014 looming, Washington will need Islamabad's help to safely exit Afghanistan, while Pakistan will need U.S. help to overcome economic and energy challenges.  This kind of mutual cooperation will require some creative thinking in the two capitals so that future relations are better than their recent past relationship.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid