I have been hearing conspiracy theories in Pakistan about the United States (US) being the conspirator in the recent events. I must say that the Pakistanis tend to believe in the conspiracy theories more than any other nation in the world. It is beyond me to comprehend why this is the case why we have lost an ability to take things at face value? In the process, we have made our friends our enemies. In particular, there is a great degree of mistrust against the US. Even if the US says we would like to see a stable Pakistan, we take it as if the US wants to destroy Pakistan. I don’t really understand why?
These days the most talked about conspiracy theory is that the US is unhappy over Pakistan’s close relationship with China and their investment in Pakistan, therefore, this attempt to topple the government and create upheaval. Let’s step back and take a dispassionate view on this theory my take on this is as follows:
1) The US wants to see a stable, strong and prosperous Pakistan. The reasons are:
- Pakistan is an only country which can pose resistance to Indian onslaught towards the West. India has now started to flex its muscles and the US knows that India is quickly developing a capacity and has a desire to extend its expansion towards its West. At some stage, India could move to extend its reach from the Far East to the Mediterranean. This is not in the interest of the world and the balance in the Region.
- Pakistan, in spite of its somewhat chequered relationship with the US, has been the most trusted ally. It is only Pakistan that can credibly fight against TTP and nobody else in the world can do that. The US and NATO failed to do so in the last 10 years during which time Indians was their main advisors.
- Pakistan has a more capacity than India to fight terrorism in the Region. Indian advisory role to the US and NATO failed.
- India has been playing a double game in Afghanistan with the US and that Pakistan has unfairly suffered the most in the war against Terror.
- Weak Pakistan will lead to its breakup and could trigger an uncontrollable civil war in the Nuclear State – genuine concern for the World and Pakistan.
2) The US wants the Chinese influence on Pakistan to increase. Against a general perception among the experts and the pundits that The US wants to see the Chinese investment and influence to reduce, I believe in the contrary. The US would like the Chines influence over Pakistan to remain and increase. The reasons are:
- In the years to come, Pakistan’s ability to contain India must be maintained. This is only possible if Pakistan becomes economically and militarily strong, which it cannot become until it develops infrastructure quickly.
- The US ability to provide billions of dollars through its own assistance program or through the donor agencies is limited; hence it has encouraged the Chinese to do that. The Chinese has less red tape.
- In order for the Chinese to have a credible presence in the Gulf and the Road and Rail link from China to Gwadar is essential. The US wants that.
- The development of this road and rail links corridor will also allow Pakistan to develop the North and South Waziristan, which would provide a major impetus to the people of the Region to get involved productively and reduce radicalism and drug menace etc.
- Presently, the US is the only country that is doing the policing job in the World. It wants China to share some of the role, particularly in South Asia, Middle East and Africa. Leasing and development of Gawadar Port, the road and rail link from China to Gawadar are to assist Chines get the logistic support to achieve that.
As Pakistanis, we blame the US for all our shortcomings. There is no doubt it is the stated policy of the US that its interest comes first, but it is true for every other country. The only difference is that the US says that openly. There is no such thing as acting out of love for others in the World. We are naïve to think that China helps out of love of our country. The relationships are built on costs and benefits. It is my earnest request and a hope that we stop mistrusting and badmouthing the US and take it on the face value when the US says that it wants a strong and prosperous Pakistan. My take is that the US is not our enemy. The US is one of our friends.