ISLAMABAD: Drone strikes in Pakistan will complicate and fatally compromise its relations with the United States, for the cooperation the latter requires to win in Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday.
An article, titled ‘The Pakistan Paradox’ by Bret Stephens, said, “Drone strikes and deploying ground forces in places like North Waziristan would negatively impact the two countries’ relations”.
“That’s a relationship to build on, quietly and incrementally, not to tear down,” the article said. “Instead of publicly lecturing Pakistanis on how they need to get tough with the Taliban, the US administration would do better to make good on its existing commitments.” It said it would be helpful for the United States “to stop mindlessly demanding that military assistance to Pakistan go toward fighting the Taliban instead of arming against India.
“The missing ingredient in Pakistan’s counter-insurgency effort isn’t the right military tool kit, such as night-vision goggles or Apache helicopters. It’s the will of the Pakistani general staff to cooperate more fully in the fight.” It added: “If that cooperation can be secured by selling conventional weapons such as F-15s and M-1 tanks to Pakistan, so much the better,” it said.
The article also pointed that the US administration ought to understand that Pakistan’s reluctance to defeat the Taliban at any price is a mirror image of it’s own reluctance as “the July 2011 ‘deadline’ to begin withdrawing troops was bound to affect Islamabad’s calculations.” “The sooner we junk it, the better the cooperation we’ll get,” it said. “But unless we are prepared to deal with Pakistan as an adversary, we must make do with it as a friend.”