US-Pakistan Relations

Join us Wednesday at 7:30pm in PHO 211 in our first joint meeting with BU Allies! The […]

Join us Wednesday at 7:30pm in PHO 211 in our first joint meeting with BU Allies!

The US-Pakistan relationship is a mixture of complications and close ties. While the Indian sub-continent largely sought neutrality at the outset of the Cold War, the post-partition conflicts between Pakistan and India eventually aligned with the spread of East-West tensions to the region. India went east, Pakistan west. The collapse of the Soviet Union irrevocably changed these geopolitically induced alliances, however, and a rapprochement between India and the USA accelerated tensions in the American-Pakistani relationship, trends that began over nuclear proliferation and so called “Islamic foreign policy.”

The advent of the Global War on Terror after 9/11 brought change again, as the Bush administration pressured Pakistan to align with its international campaign, in exchange for the resumption of massive military and economic aid as well. The decade since has been a difficult one still, however, and nothing has been able to prevent conflict and tensions from appearing in this mutually recalcitrant partnership. The U.S. raid against Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad signified the resurgence of tensions to the surface, and American-Pakistani relations have been headline news ever since. No one is sure where the future of this relationship may yet lie.

Come join the BUIAA and ALLIES on Wednesday, 4/25, at 7 pm in PHO 211 to discuss the situation with Pakistan, and to learn a few things about the status of our military alliance with them today.

BU ALLIES is a group that aims to serve as a forum for open conversation regarding civilian and military relations, as well as a place where students studying diplomacy can learn about the reality of today’s military—and vice versa.

Brief Timeline:
1947-52–Pakistan leans towards the U.S. to counter India during the Cold War; War over Kashmir; Mutual Defense Agreement signed
1962–Indo-China War
1965–Second Kashmir War
1971–Civil War breaks out between East and West Pakistan. With the help of India, Bangladesh is made an independent state; The U.S. suspends military aid causing resentment within Pakistan
1981–Under the Reagan administration, a five-year $3.2 billion economic and military aid package is offered to Islamabad. The CIA as well as Saudi intelligence help Pakistan bolster its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in training and arming mujahideen
1985–Pressler Amendment added to the Foreign Assistance Act requiring that the U.S. ensure that Pakistan is nuclear-weapons free
1990–U.S. suspends aid once again following the provisions under the Pressler Amendment
1999–Musharraf’s coup (India-Pakistan at war again)
2001–U.S. lifts previous sanctions and Musharraf assures the U.S. that cooperation against terrorism; aid floods into Pakistan
2006–Diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Pakistan strengthen
2007–State of Emergency in Pakistan; Benazir Bhutto is killed in December
2008–The opposition wins the election and call for a reevaluation of the U.S.-Pakistani relationship
2009–Obama’s AfPak Strategy; U.S. Aid Package for $7.5 billion
2011–May, Osama bin Laden is killed in Pakistan
… and the tensions grow by the day.

*This is only a brief outline of U.S.-Pakistan relations. For a more extensive timeline, please visit the links we below (especially the CFR’s timeline)!

Further Information:
-U.S.-Pakistan Relations from the CFR:
-Highs and Lows in the U.S.-Pakistan Relations:

Political Cartoons:
-Relationship with Pakistan: