The relationship between Pakistan and the United States has been complex and often turbulent, with significant changes in the post-9/11 era. Here are some of the changing trends in Pakistan-US relations since 2001:
- Post 9/11 Cooperation: In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan became a key US ally in the War on Terror, and the two countries cooperated closely to target Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations operating in the region.
- Military Aid: The US provided billions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan to support its counterterrorism efforts, including equipment, training, and financial assistance. However, there were concerns about the effectiveness of this aid and whether it was being used for its intended purpose.
- Drone Strikes: The US carried out drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, targeting suspected militants. These strikes were deeply unpopular in Pakistan and led to tensions between the two countries.
- Osama bin Laden Raid: In 2011, US special forces carried out a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing Osama bin Laden. The raid was conducted without Pakistan’s knowledge, and it sparked outrage and resentment in Pakistan.
- Aid Suspension: In 2018, the US suspended military aid to Pakistan, citing its failure to take action against terrorist groups operating on its soil. This move further strained the relationship between the two countries.
- New Administration: With the election of the Biden administration in 2021, there have been efforts to reset the relationship between Pakistan and the US. In April 2021, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Pakistan to discuss regional security issues and explore ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
Overall, the relationship between Pakistan and the US has been marked by both cooperation and tension, with significant changes in the post-9/11 era. While both countries have cooperated on counterterrorism efforts, there have been disagreements and tensions over issues such as military aid, drone strikes, and Pakistan’s relations with militant groups. The current US administration’s approach to Pakistan remains to be seen, but there are opportunities for both countries to work together on regional security issues.