Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pakistan is an Added Risk in the Political Equation

By Grant de Graf

So now Pakistan has flip-flopped from its previous stance, in which it initially commended the capture and final bullet that targeted bin Laden's capture. Even President Obama extended his appreciation towards Pakistan, for its contribution towards bin Laden's demise.

Seemingly, a few hours in politics can be a long time and very quickly, the Pakistan government began questioning, the legitimacy of U.S. entry into foreign air space without the hosting country's permission. What could well have been the makings for a celebration in diplomatic solidarity between these two countries, appears to be heading towards a  political rift, a situation that has already been cooking for some time.

Pakistan must have something to gain by the hard-ball attitude. Firstly, stronger electorate support. Let's be honest. It's not like every Pakistani is hoarding a collection of American flags under a bed, to wave at the next rally. Secondly, perhaps Pakistan believes it can negotiate better terms with its current relationship with the U.S. It's a message that is being directed to the oval office. "You need us more than we need you, and if you want a relationship, then cough up a few more greens." I suppose two can play the same game, which will mean very little progress towards any final solution in Afghanistan.

Somehow I would like to appoint as diplomatic coordinator to the U.S.- Pakistan relationship committee, the lady who waves her hand like a Gestapo police officer at me everyday, instructing me to keep my Armstrong bike out of the pedestrian section of the track. She would tell both parties how to deal with any unresolved differences and exactly where they stand, in no uncertain terms.

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