President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed during an operation carried out by U.S. Navy Seals, on May 2, 2011, in Pakistan. Apparently he was living in a million dollar home built by him in Abbott Abad, Pakistan. He was living there for several years. This has brought a huge outcry in United States, against Pakistan, Pakistan’s reliability in war against terror and Pakistan’s eligibility for U.S. aid in this regard. Many journalists and politicians are demanding to stop providing aid to Pakistan, since, in their view, this proves that Pakistan is not a reliable ally in this war. These journalists and politicians include senator Feinstein, chairman senate intelligence committee. As much as the respect I have for Senator Feinstein, for her past distinguished services, I am forced to state that the doubts expressed by her about Pakistan are result of shear stupidity and ignorance to gain few political points at this opportunity and success.
U.S. – Pakistan relations have a long history of serious ups and downs. These relations started to build one year after the birth of Pakistan, in 1947, when a personal visit to United States was paid by Pakistan’s first prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan. In his visit he made it very clear that Pakistan had all it’s intentions to build strong relationships with western block, while the socialist leadership of Nehru in India was building strong ties with Soviet Union and Soviet block. Since then Pakistan signed several defense and economic pacts with United States and several other western countries, including SEATO and CENTO Pacts, a membership of British commonwealth and defense pact with United States, while India signed several defense and economic pacts with Soviet Union and other Soviet block countries.
When the third war broke out between India and Pakistan, in 1971, India got full and outstanding support from Russia. Pakistan as a western ally was naturally looking for support from United States and western countries, in a war against it’s much bigger neighbor and economy. The U.S. and western support never got beyond empty promises and assurances. Pakistan lost the war. The Eastern half was separated and a new country Bangladesh was formed. This did not stop here. India’s victorious prime minister Indira Gandhi was openly vowing to wipe out Pakistan from the world’s map.
Right before the war, first general elections were held in Pakistan and after losing the war, incompetent military dictator Yahya Khan, handed over the defeated country, a demoralized nation, and a shattered, ruined and bankrupt economy to the Pakistan’s first elected prime minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The biggest threat to Pakistan’s security, at that point, India, started it’s nuclear program in 1948 and finally the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was vowing to wipe out Pakistan from world’s map, tested the first Indian nuclear weapon in 1974. Bhutto said that he was aware of the risks involved, and being a small country, compared to India, the opposition and pressure that Pakistan would have to face, but, they were left with no choice and it was absolutely essential for Pakistan’s survival to have nuclear weapons. So, he started Pakistan’s nuclear program in 1972. He said that Pakistan’s nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes and deterrence only and Pakistan being a much smaller country and economy, compared to India, will and can never use these weapons against India or any other country. After India tested it’s first nuclear device in 1974, Bhutto also said that although India had already tested one nuclear device, but, Pakistan would never test it’s nuclear weapons unless India runs more tests. Pakistan kept this promise until 1998, when India tested five more nuclear weapons. Within two weeks Pakistan responded by running six tests of it’s own.
In December 1979, Soviet Union invaded and occupied Afghanistan. This was a part of an old Russian plan built by Peter the great and continued thereafter by subsequent Russian and Soviet governments for centuries. This plan was based on the fact that Russia does not have any warm waters port. It means that Russia does not have a port that is open round the year.
This has always been a huge strategic disadvantage for Soviet Union and Russia. As per this plan, Russia kept spreading it’s borders towards hot waters, by invading and occupying one country after the other. Most of those were liberated after the fall of Soviet Union.
After Afghanistan, Soviet Union was just one country away from hot waters. Most probably that country would have been Pakistan. Soviet Union having a port that would be open round the year would have been a huge potential strategic disadvantage for United States and other western countries. They wanted to stop Soviet Union, there, at any cost. This was the point when a forgotten ally became an extremely important factor. Pakistan was the only friendly country in the region that could provide a doorway to Afghanistan, for the purpose of building and running a resistance against Soviet Union, in Afghanistan. Pakistan opened it’s doors. 30 million Afghan refugees flooded into Pakistan. With the help of United States and other western allies, Pakistan built training camps to organize and train resistance groups in Afghanistan. Pakistan was the portal trough which arms and money was provided to these resistance groups. It was during this period that Al-Qaeda and Taliban were organized, trained, armed and empowered by Pakistan, United States and other western countries. The war went on for 9 years. Soviet Union was finally defeated and Soviet forces left Afghanistan. The economic blow of this war on Soviet Union was so big that it fell apart and many Russian states were liberated.
As soon as Soviet Union withdrew it’s forces from Afghanistan, the U.S. and western support to Pakistan was suddenly stopped. Pakistan was almost left alone to deal with 30 million Afghan refugees, most of whom never went back, and the arms, drugs, religious extremism and law and order issues that they brought along with themselves. Then in 1998, Pakistan tested the nuclear weapons, in retaliation to the tests ran by India. The U.S. and western response was severe, as expected, and serious sanctions were posed on Pakistan. Now, this crisis became a double dip.