PAK–US Relations: Paradoxes & Enigmas during War on Terror

  • Rooh ul Amin PhD Scholar, Department of Peace & Conflict Studies, National Defense University (NDU), Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Awan Department of Peace & Conflict Studies, National Defense University (NDU), Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Afzal Mahmood PhD Scholar, Baluchistan University, Quetta
Keywords: Pak-America Relations, Vexatious Irritants, War against Terror, National Interests, Afghan Peace Process


Pakistan –USA relations with the punctuated history of over seventy years roller-coaster motion have passed through phases of intense engagement to era of sanctions and betrayal during the Cold war,  followed by spells of distrust, suspicions, and discord during the War against Terror. The intensity of close relations of the 50s and 60s shifted from one extreme to that of complete ignorance in the 70s, followed by urgent marrying up during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and turning in to a most sanctioned Ally after soviet withdrawal.  9/11 served as another anchorage once again for the two old allies; however the warmness of relations remained frequently affected by numerous vexatious irritants thereby eroding mutual trust and War results. The discord in bilateral relations was transformed into cooperation by the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US and Pakistan is listed as a key ally in the war against Afghanistan. Since the commencement of the War against Terror in Afghanistan, the pattern of interstates relations has taken turns with every major event and the changing tones of the last few years indicated that the sky over Pakistan once again seems to be overcast. The rhetoric of "do more" and suspension of all kinds of military and economic aid was a true replica of the past. The backlash of War in Afghanistan appeared with bangs in Pakistan threatening its peace and stability on one hand and polarizing its socio-political fibre of the society on the other. Soon Pakistan's army was left alone by the US and the NATO in its operation against the safe havens of terrorists alongside Durand line with disregard to all of its human and economic cost, suffered as a non-NATO ally. Pakistan's role in the fulfilment of USA interests in Afghanistan is once again signified in the wake of US Withdrawal forces and culmination of promising peace process in Afghanistan. The situation is once against ripe for Pakistan to pursue the USA's objectives and in return seek USA's support in resolving its economic, security, and Kashmir.


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