U.S Foreign Policy on Pakistan Essay The United Statesâ€™ foreign policy on Pakistan has been the subject of many reviews and the disparate and often unambiguous viewpoints articulated by Journalists and others have painted a picture of a country facing gargantuan challenges and in desperate need of a coherent U. S. policy that will help to pull it from the brink of nuclear abyss. Pakistan is one of the most populous countries in the world and shares border with Iran, Afghanistan, China and India. It is a nation of diverse culture and different ethnic groups. Pakistan was an Ally of the United States in the 1980s; the period during which the Soviets were waging war in neighboring Afghanistan. Relationship soured when the Taliban, an Islamic terrorist group, ruled Pakistan during 1996 â€“ 2001. However, the relationship between the two countries improved after the September, 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United State and Pakistan has now become an ally in the fight against terrorists. The United States policy towards Pakistan cannot be viewed in isolation as Pakistan is seen as a vital country that can lend stability to a region fraught with war and ethnical disagreements. Pakistan has nuclear capabilities and there is a grave concern pertaining to nuclear proliferation: The hope is that terrorists will not get their hands on nuclear material from that country. Terrorists associated with the Taliban have been using parts of Pakistan as a base to launch terrorist attacks. Helene Cooper, writing in The New York Times on March 8, 2009, articulated that experts in the region feel that the United States may need to have conversations to leaders of the Taliban if it is serious about gaining peace and stability in Pakistan and surrounding countries. This is at odds with the stated policy of the Bush administration of not having dialogs with terrorists. Cooper cites a new thrust by the new Obama administration to approach elements within the Taliban. United States Policy focus and changes are closely linked to concerns to not just about the Taliban, but also concerns about Al Qaeda. Mark Mazzetti and David Rohde article in The New York times of June 30, 2008 posit the grave concerns regarding the Al Qaeda threat to Pakistan, the United States and other nations. Osama Bin Laden, the architect of the horrific attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, has been expanding his network in Pakistan and the journalists quoted intelligence sources detailing Osamaâ€™s activities. The Journalists opined that there were serious missteps on the part of Washington and Islamabad concerning Policy agreements. The journalist also said that there was a secret US plan using Special Operation forces to launch missions into Pakistan to capture and kill the leaders of Al Qaeda. Carlotta Gallâ€™s article in the New York Times of March 11, 2009 provided further evidence of a paradigm shift in US policy towards Pakistan. Hardliners in the Taliban, such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is reported to have softened his stance of demanding the exodus of all US troops from Pakistan and is now more willing to attend talks. American Officials are not commenting on negotiations with the Taliban however feedback from diplomats in Kabul shows that the United States has grown more receptive to negotiations. Helene Cooper and Sheryl Stolberg insightful article in the New York Times of March 7, 2009 also posit that the new Obama administrationâ€™s shift in policy concerning Pakistan would also mean a willingness to engage moderate elements of the Taliban. The US successfully engaged militant Sunni Militias in Iraq which led to a diminution in violence in that country. The Journalist feels that the new administration wants to adopt and translate this Policy to Pakistan. The US policy towards Pakistan has evolved over time and the journalistic views have painted a picture of dynamic and ever changing dialog. Steve Myers article in The New York times dated July 29, 2008 speaks of President George Bushâ€™s praise for Pakistanâ€™s determination to fight extremists along its borders and the allies seem to be working together again. Work Cited Cooper, Helene and Sheryl Gay Stolberg.â€œObama Ponders Outreach top Elements of Taliban. â€ New York Times. March 7, 2009: WK1. Cooper, Helene. â€œDreaming of splitting the Taliban. â€ New York Times. March 8, 2009: WK1. Gall, Carlotta. â€œ As Us Weights Taliban Negotiations, Afghans are already talking. â€ New York Times. March 11, 2009: A8. Myers, Steve L. â€œBush Praises Pakistan Just Hours After US Strike. â€ New York Times. July 29, 2008 Mazzetti, Mark and David Rohde. â€œAmid US Policy Disputes, Qaeda grows in Pakistan. â€ New York Times. June 30, 2008.
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