Protesters rally in Lahore, Pakistan, on Nov. 27 to condemn a NATO airstrike on Pakistani troops.
After its formerly cozy relations with the U.S. went south in recent months, Pakistan is done being America’s “rainy-day girlfriend,” as one Pakistani politician memorably put it, and wants some space to figure out what the future will hold. So far, it’s looking like far fewer regional strategic benefits will be on offer, and then there’s the touchy topic of drone attacks. It could well be the case that no amount of sweet talk will work this time. —KA
The New York Times:
The Obama administration got a taste of the new terms immediately after an American airstrike killed 26 Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border last month. Pakistan closed the supply routes into Afghanistan, boycotted a conference in Germany on the future of Afghanistan and forced the United States to shut its drone operations at a base in southwestern Pakistan.
Mushahid Hussain Sayed, the secretary general of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, an opposition political party, summed up the anger that he said many harbored: “We feel like the U.S. treats Pakistan like a rainy-day girlfriend.”
Whatever emerges will be a shadow of the sweeping strategic relationship that Richard C. Holbrooke, President Obama’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, championed before his death a year ago. Officials from both countries filled more than a dozen committees to work on issues like health, the rule of law and economic development.