States Of America (USA) or United States(US) is a federal public and is
world’s 3rd or 4th largest country by total area. United
States founded United Nations and is one of the most developed country with
most concentrated wealth in one country which is about 33% of total wealth in
world. US has established foreign relation with lot of countries and Pakistan
was not an exception. US developed relations with Pakistan on 20 October 1947
which was just 2 months and 6 days after independence of Pakistan. Thus US was
one of the first nations to develop relations with Pakistan. Since then
Pakistan has allied with Pakistan on several occasions, most of them were
beneficial to US. For example, Pakistan allied with US against Soviet Union and
Pakistan was a key member which caused the later dismemberment of Soviet Union.
Relations Between Pakistan And US(1947-1958)
After independence of Pakistan from
British Empire, Pakistan aimed to be non-aligned member. East Pakistan had
pro-communist force with considerable support while West Pakistan had
pro-Soviet Pakistan Socialist Party. However , West Pakistan’s political
landscape was dominated by capitalist and pro-American Pakistan Muslim League.
Prime Minister Ali Khan wanted to ally with both Soviet Union and America in
hope that Pakistan could take advantages from both superpowers. However Soviet
Union was supporting India at that time which raised negative comments from
Pakistan. The population believed that Soviet Union was atheist as it was
supporting India while other organizations like army believed that Soviet Union
would never support Pakistan as much it was supporting India.
As Soviet Union was supporting
Pakistan rivals, it became clear that Pakistan could not benefit from both
Soviet Union and US. During
this time in 1950, America invited Prime Minister Khan for an official visit
which he accepted and went on 23 day official visit to US. It was revealed that
Americas President Truman requested Pakistan to let CIA formulate a base in
Pakistan to keep an eye on Soviet Union which was turned down by Khan.
From 1950 to 1953, many key figures
of Pakistan’s military and political paid visits to US of which the most
important was visit of General Ayub Khan. After visit of Khan, relations
between Pakistan and America grew strong and it was evident even during
assassination of Liaqat Ali Khan. Positive attitude was developed under
government of Khawaja Nazimuddin.
During Military Rule In Pakistan
When Ayub Khan came into power, the relations strengthened
between Pakistan and US. Ayub Khan’s view of US remained positive even before
he came into power. Even the population at that time was pro-American and held
positive views regarding US. In 1960, Ayub Khan allowed United States to start
its first spy missions to the Soviet Union from the Peshawar Air Base. In 1961,
Ayub Khan visited US as head of state and was welcomed with state dinner and
ticker tape parade.
As US aid was concentrated in West Pakistan, East Pakistan
became angry and denounced the 1954 military pact with US. US aid to West
Pakistan increased and in 1964, GDP growth was 9.3%. in 1965, Ayub Khan
launched Operation Gibraltar against India which turned into declaration of
war. Pakistan lost 500 million dollars from US in war against India. It proved
very harmful to economy of Pakistan as economic growth was reduced to mere
0.88%. However, Pakistan recovered rapidly with GDP growth of 2.32% in 1966 and
9.79% in 1969. The war against India was useless as it had no clear victor nor
clear loser and it resulted in loss of lot of economic funds. This caused Ayub
Khan to transfer his powers to General Yahya Khan in 1969.
Even though US had no relations with General Yahya Khan, the
relations were still preserved as Pakistan was considered as integral bulwark against communism.
During Rule Of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became president after 1970s election. He
was democratic socialist who later became prime minister in 1974. The period of
his rule is seen as quiet cold war as he administered socialist ideas. His
ideas were like communist ideas but Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto never actually
supported communism. Instead he concentrated on Movement of Non-Aligned
Countries and he build friendly ties with Soviet block and Soviet Union.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also tried to maintain relations with US but US refused to
cooperate. He strongly supported left-wing politics which was strongly opposed
by US from the beginning. The president of US at that time , President Nixon,
was close friend of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and hence had strong relations with him
but when Jimmy Carter became president of US, the relations between Pakistan
and US became weak. This was because Jimmy Carter was an anti-socialist. The
relation was already upset with left wing theories of Bhutto. US started
fearing the loss of Pakistan which was an ally in Cold War. On the other hand,
Bhutto was sympathetic towards Soviet Union and allowed Soviet Union to access
Pakistan’s warm water ports. This was extremely beneficial to Soviet Union as
warm water ports was lacked by both Soviet Union and US. The relations between
Cater and Bhutto grew worse as Carter opposed the policy and ambitions of
Bhutto and pressurized Bhutto. To return this favor, Bhutto became aggressive
and serious over the nuclear issues. This was weak point of US and it put US on
defensive positions at UN as Carter had no counter against Bhutto.
Bhutto focused on nuclear weapon research which was strongly
opposed by US. US blackmailed Bhutto on several occasions but Bhutto did not
falter and continued on weapon developing. Carter had placed an embargo on
Pakistan but Bhutto succeeded to bought sensitive equipment, common metal
materials and electronic components which were marked as common items. Through
this, Bhutto was able to hide his true intentions and continued on nuclear
weapon project. This was failure for Carter as his embargo was useless. US
opposed the nuclear bomb project as it predicted that it will result in
destructive war against India.
Hence was hanged in 1979 after he was declared corrupted one
by pro-United States Muslims nations and United States.
During Rule Of Zia ul Haq
Due to event of Grand Mosque Seizure, a group of Pakistani
Students burned the American embassy in Islamabad to ground resulting in death
of two Americans in 1979.
The relations between Pakistan and US improved a lot after
the death of Bhutto. The Soviet Army crossed borders on December 24, 1979 into
Afghanistan. To counter the invasion of Soviet Union of Afghanistan, a
multi-billion Operation Cyclone was started . During the military rule General
Zia-ul-Haq , the relations and ties grew to maximum point as US gave billion
dollars worth of aid to Pakistan to fight against Soviet Union. It was first
time that Pakistan and US had strong common interest which was to fight Soviet
Union after its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. It also resulted in 3.2
billion dollar military and economic assistance program between Pakistan and US
to help Pakistan deal with increased security threat in region and fulfill its
economic development needs. It resulted in largest covert operation in history
in which Pakistan fought Soviet fighters in Afghanistan.
In 1980s, US congress froze the $658 million deal of Pakistan
requesting F-16 fighters and kept both the money and the planes which led anger
among Pakistanis who claimed it as theft. The response of Carter was 325
million dollars aid in three years but it was rejected by Zia. Carter’s next try was to give less than 50
million dollars a year to go to Mujahideen. But like the previous and all other
tries, it was rebuffed by Zia. The reason behind Zia’s rejections were that he
knew Cater was soon going to be replaced by Reagan and he may get a more beneficial
deal from Reagan. He was right and Ronald Reagan became president after
defeating Carter in 1980. Reagan introduced many new policies and with help
from other key members, he increased the funding of Operation Cyclone. This
resulted in increased funding to Pakistan which finally reached one billion dollars.
This was because US were facing Soviet Union which was the only rival
superpower of US and it was aiming to create Communist block. The US aided Zia
in fighting against Soviets in Pakistan. Reagan supported Pakistan’s military
regime and during this period, Pakistan was regularly visited by American officials.
This was period of strong and close ties between Pakistan and US.