A Dysfunctional Marriage – By Hasan Rizvi

8 Jun

Some relationships require marriage counselors. These counselors come in many forms. They can be close friends or even a professional whose sole aim in life is to resolve issues in relationships; these people are known as therapists. In many cases these so called therapists are seen to be quite useful, however there is one particular case which no therapist or counselor on earth can resolve: the relationship between the United States and Pakistan. This is most certainly a dysfunctional marriage.

Both parties have their fair share of issues. It would be completely irresponsible to blame one side. To get my point across, lets for instance say that the man in the relationship is Pakistan and the woman is the United States. The man in this relationship is seen as the one who goes around cheating, lying and not living up to its expectations, while, on the other hand, the woman is seen as ‘bitchy’, ungrateful and blind to her own errors and mistakes.

The man is being pushed to the brink in this relationship and recently took the drastic step of hiding the car keys (reference to blocking the NATO supply route). Why? Because the woman is being accused of crashing the man’s favorite car, which, by the way is a 1965 Ford Mustang (reference to the 24 Pakistani troops killed by US forces). Where has this left the relationship? In complete chaos. The man refuses to give the car keys back to the woman until she apologizes, but the woman refuses to do so.

This is what the Pakistan-United States (so called) alliance is like at the moment. It is a stubborn tug of war with both party’s refusing to budge. The United States and its ego refuses to apologize for killing Pakistani troops, and, in anger, the Pakistani’s have blocked a crucial supply route for NATO. With the imminent withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan, the last thing the region needs is an unhappy Pakistan. The United States will pack up and leave, yes, but it is the Pakistanis who will share a border with the Afghans for life. One cannot solve Afghanistan without the inclusion of Pakistan.

Agreed, there is major mistrust between the two sides which further escalated with the infamous Abbotabad raid that apparently led to the killing of Osama along with the illegal drone attacks on Pakistani soil and yes, both sides should rightfully share the blame for this mistrust. The United States must recognize the sacrifices Pakistan has made by losing over 40,000 troops and countless civilians as well the $60 billion blow to the economy. At the same time the Pakistanis must understand the US is genuinely concerned about the future of Afghanistan and hence needs a guarantee from Pakistan.

The future for the Afghans looks bleak. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Does Pakistan have concerns? Of course! The Pakistanis have to be included in the conversation for Afghanistan to be stable in the future. It is time the relationship with the United States evolves and the matters are resolved immediately. No counselor or therapist can fix this relationship. The power to fix it must come from the two, and if that does not happen then I’m afraid there will be nothing to gain, but a lot to lose.

Image: INSCT

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