There are indications that the relations between the United States and Pakistan are beginning to sour. This may all have started with the Americans demanding access to an abductor of a Cadian-American family held captive by militants, and Pakistan rejecting the request. When Pakistani forces freed the abducted family in October 2017, they also captured one of the militants who was a member of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network. US officials felt he could provide valuable information about at least one other American hostage. The Pakistani refusal to give the US access to the captured militant has angered US President Dold Trump. And one obvious way of putting Pakistan in its proper place is withholding US aid to it. On Monday, Trump tweeted: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” The “no more” would probably mean a proposal to withhold $225 million in aid that is in the pipeline. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif pretends that this would not matter, but the Pakistan government’s plans to seize the fincial assets of Hafiz Saeed (the suspected 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind) could well be seen as a significant conciliatory gesture.
Whither US-Pak Ties?