Roshan Writes: Obama government has once again proved that it simply cannot abandon Pakistan. The recent decision to sell eight F-16s to Pakistan is a proof that Americans have blinkers when it comes to Pakistan. The fact that Obama government had decided to extend the time-period for its troops withdrawal from Afghanistan depicts that terrorism in Afghanistan has continued with the blessings of Pakistan and instead of taking a harsh stand against Pakistan the Americans have rewarded them by giving the deal on a platter. It needs to be seen what red carpet welcome US gives to Pakistan’s army chief, General Raheel Sharif, when he visits the country later on. After all it is the Americans who are mollycoddling the military and making them stronger and denting the democratic institutions in that country. Pakistani generals on their part have successfully exploited the Americans, and in their bilateral relationship the Pakistanis have emerged as astute bargainers, as they have been able to make the Americans dance to their tune. Before the Pakistani PM‘s visit to US one of America’s prestigious think-tank had taken out the policy Paper “ A Normal Nuclear Pakistan” with a view that Pakistan will fall for the bait and come to a nuclear deal but Pakistanis have not only thrown the suggestion to the dustbin but also achieved an arms deal. This shows their confidence when it comes to dealing with the Americans. They know that Americans cannot take any harsh measures against them so they keep blackmailing them and keep getting the carrots because they know the stick is only for countries like Iran and North Korea. As far as India is concerned India would love to have a close relations with the Americans and both the countries have many commonalities and have many shared objectives like both the countries are followers of democracy, liberalism, believe in fighting terrorism etc, but this flawed American behaviour gives credence to that lobby in India which believes that Americans cannot become neutral when it comes to Pakistan and they cannot be relied on. Whenever Indian tries to take a step forward the American behaviour forces them to take two steps backward. The suspicion in many quarters is that the Americans will try to remove the gaps in Pakistani defence equipments, (as they had done it during George Bush’s time) and this makes it difficult for India to believe that the Americans have good intentions when it comes to cooperation and building partnerships. Thus the Americans are in a way pushing the Indians to continue to build a closer relationship with the Russians and this would ultimately dilute their Asia-Pivot policy. They need to have clarity in their perception and policies. The decision lies with them as to whether they want to continue soft paddling Pakistan or they want to build partnerships with countries which will in future become an asset and not a liability. If they remove the blinkers then probably the view may be very different then what it is now.
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