United States of America remains one of the first countries to have established diplomatic ties with Pakistan. Although the relationship dates back to October 20, 1947, it can be extrapolated that the relations have been based strictly on military and economic support.
During the initial years of Pakistan, the country had the options of building allegiance with Soviet Union
or United States, however, Pakistan opted for the latter.
Pakistan’s first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan visited United States
to meet president Harry S Truman
. It is alleged that during PM
Khan’s first visit to US, president Truman requested Pakistan’s premier to let the CIA formulate a base in Pakistan, strictly to keep an eye on the activities of Soviet Union—a request which was not granted by Khan.
Throughout the course of these years many officials from Pakistan
such as commander-in-chief Ayub Khan
, foreign minister Zafrullah Khan, foreign secretary Ikramullah, finance minister Ghulam Muhammad, defence secretary Sikander Mirza and special envoy Mir Laiq Ali
visited US, aiming to receive financial aids from the country.
1956:President Dwight Eisenhower
requested prime minister Suhrawardy to lease Peshawar Air Station
to the American Army for keeping an eye on soviet Union and its ballistic missile programme. The request was granted by the prime minister.
During the decade, the pro-American sentiments in Western side of Pakistan
were at an all time high. However, the military and financial assistance was directed more towards West Pakistan, which caused an uproar and feeling of distrust in East Pakistan.
Ayub Khan allowed United States to fly spy mission to Soviet Union from Pakistan’s territory and accompanied by his daughter visited United States of America.
United States increased the amount of aid Pakistan
was designated to receive from the consortium of Pakistan, half a billion dollars of which were lost in 1965’s Indo-Pakistan war—war staged to cause a rebel in Indian occupied Kashmir. The war also led US to place economical and military embargoes on Pakistan, which resulted in an economic collapse.
Being an important ally for US during the cold war, United States supported Pakistan, despite the arms embargo
. Pakistan also assisted president Richard Nixon in making his first visit to Peoples’ Republic of China.
During 1971’s war, US is speculated to have provided Pakistan with arms and military aid, in order to discourage India from penetrating further into the cities of Pakistan
because losing Pakistan meant losing an important ally in the soviet war.
Moreover, as per the elections result, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was elected as the president of Pakistan and later on became the prime minister in 1974.
Although Bhutto was considered a socialist, he was a close and respected friend of president Nixon, which went in Pakistan’s favour.
President Jimmy Carter, an anti-socialist, won the presidential election of US and announced to seek a ban on nuclear weapons.
Bhutto lost the favours
he enjoyed whilst Nixon was US president as Carter did not appreciate his policies and tightened already placed embargoes on Pakistan. However, Bhutto managed to procure items to enhance his atomic bomb project. President Carter and his administration allegedly threatened Bhutto to disrupt the process of atomic proliferation and research to which the latter did not agree, leading to his differences with the Americans.
During Zia ul Haq’s regime, Pakistan and United States enjoyed a warm and congenial relationship, which was primarily based on military ties and advancements. During the decade, US, along with CIA and ISI, launched billions of dollars worth of operations to prevent Soviet forces from further advancing into the region.
It is during this period that United States granted billions of dollars to Pakistan in the name of military and economical aid. By the year 1981, Pakistan was discussing a $3.2-billion aid package
with United States and in 1987 Pakistan became the second largest recipient of aid after Israel.
However, by the end of General Zia’s regime, Congress adopted Pressler amendment
. The amendment banned major military and economical aid to Pakistan unless the state was able to justify and provide sufficient evidence that the funds are not being used for nuclear proliferation.
However it is alleged that although Pakistan disclosed that it could enrich uranium and assemble a nuclear device in 1984 and 1987 respectively, the sanctions were not imposed till 1990.
The relations between US and Pakistan plummeted further when US ambassador Nicholas Platt
, warned Pakistan of being included into state sponsors of terrorism list, in case it continued to support militants causing trouble in India.
Benazir Bhutto visited United States and requested president Bill Clinton to lift the embargoes on Pakistan and launch a joint operation to eradicate militancy from the region. As a reaction to Bhutto’s proposal, Brown amendment, which provided for the delivery of $368 million of military equipment
purchased but not received by Pakistan before the imposition of Pressler amendment sanctions in 1990, was passed; however, the sanctions on arms were not lifted.
Prime minister Nawaz Sharif conducted nuclear test in Balochistan, in retaliation to similar tests conducted by India, which invited the wrath of Clinton’s administration on both the countries. President Clinton imposed sanctions under Glenn amendment on India as well as Pakistan.
Glenn amendment included suspension of aid
, including economic development assistance, credits and credit guarantees by the US government, US bank loans to the governments of India and Pakistan, loans from international financial institutions, such as the IMF and World Bank, and exports of dual-use nuclear or missile items.
However, in July of 1998, US lifted the sanctions on both the countries for purchasing agricultural products from US farmers
. Later in the year President Clinton exercised his waiver on lifting restrictions on the activities of US banks in Pakistan.
After the 9/11 attacks and US’s invasion in various countries to eradicate militancy, Pakistan became one of the most important strategic allies for United States.
Initially Pakistan tried to strike a negotiation deal with Taliban and al Qaeda members to handover Osama bin Laden to American authorities. However, when negotiations failed, Pakistan allowed American army to use its military bases for launching attacks on Afghan soil.
However, President Pervez Musharraf confessed that the country had no option but to support United States as it had threatened Pakistan of “bombing it into stone age”
if it did not join the fight against al Qaeda.
Simultaneously in 2001, US officials introduced a bill to lift all the sanctions, previously imposed on Pakistan under Pressler and Glenn amendments.
United States officially forgave $1 billion worth of loan it had granted to Pakistan in a goodwill gesture and appreciation for Pakistan’s cooperation.
President George Bush officially declared Pakistan as a non-Nato ally granting it the authority to purchase strategic and advanced military equipments.
Since 2004, US army has launched various drone strikes on the north-western side of the country. The drone strikes aim to target Pakistani Taliban and supporters of al Qaeda, however, the strikes have also resulted in latge civilian deaths and caused much opposition from Pakistanis.
The trust, on both sides, has been missing since the war on terror started as US on several occasions has accused Pakistan Army to tip the Taliban and pro-Taliban factions off on US operations.
2009:President Musharraf confessed
that the billions of dollars of aid that Pakistan received from United States, for being a partner in war against terror, were diverted and channelled in order to build better defence mechanism against India.
The famous Kerry-Lugar Bill
, which invited much controversy and criticism, was passed in the October of 2009. The bill entailed the approval of granting $7.5 billion of non-military aid
, if the command of the country accepted certain condition. The bill clearly showed US’s distrust in Pakistan’s military command and considered Pakistani Taliban more threatening than Afghan Taliban, amongst many other essential points.2010:
In the beginning of the year, Pakistan Army in a joint operation with US intelligence agencies captured Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar
, a famous Taliban commander, from the tribal belt of Pakistan. The success of the operation was hailed by the United States and Pakistan was praised for its utmost cooperation.
In the beginning of 2011, Raymond Davis
, a CIA agent in Pakistan killed two Pakistani men in Lahore, claiming that they came to rob him. Davis was taken into custody for killing civilians, however, American officials claimed that he was entitled to diplomatic immunity and must be released immediately.
In the May of 2011, Osama bin Laden
was killed in an operation conducted by US Navy Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
President Barrack Obama claimed that the information pertaining to the operation conducted in Abbottabad was not shared with Pakistan Army
. However, ISI claimed that the operation was conducted jointly
, a claim which was blatantly denied by President Asif Ali Zardari.