Hard to imagine trust based US-Pakistan partnership: Expert

Washington: An eminent American expert on Pakistan has said that it is hard to imagine the emergence of a trust-based partnership between the two countries anytime soon.

“Pakistan’s society is increasingly rent by violent sectarian cleavages and so deeply infected by anti-US and anti-Indian prejudices that it is hard to imagine the emergence of trust-based partnership anytime soon,” Daniel Markey, Senior Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University and Adjunct Senior Fellow for South Asia and the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in an op-ed in ‘The Diplomat’ magazine yesterday.

Markey, who authored “No Exit from Pakistan: America’s Tortured Relationship with Islamabad”, said Pakistan’s current condition raises fundamental questions about its long-term relationship with the United States.

Pakistan’s fragile economy remains dependent on outside support, underperforms relative to the needs of a fast growing population of nearly 200 million, and has pinned its future on a massive bailout from Beijing, he said.

“Pakistan’s political leadership is a civilian democracy in appearance but dominated by the military in all matters of substance,” Markey said. Markey was of the view that a nuclear deal with Pakistan is simply not worth the effort for the United States.

“Bottom line: a ‘deal’ of the sort being discussed with Pakistan is less than meets the eye, poorly timed, and likely to prove counterproductive in the near term,” he wrote in the article.

“The US State Department cannot certify that Pakistan’s military has targeted the Haqqani network of militants that has so viciously attacked US, Afghan, Indian, and coalition partners in Afghanistan,” he said.

“Nor do senior US officials believe that Pakistan has seriously tried to go after Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist group best known for its November 2008 commando raid on Mumbai, India that killed 166 innocents,” Markey wrote.