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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Can US-Pakistan ties survive current crisis?

By Zhao Shixing (China Military Online)

08:16, December 08, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

U.S. President Barack Obama made a telephone call to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Dec. 4, saying the casualties of Pakistani soldiers in a NATO strike on a Pakistani military checkpoint were "regrettable" and expressing his condolences to the victims. On the same day, the U.S. military started to retreat from the Shamsi Airbase within the territory of Pakistan according to Pakistan's demands. The whole world is asking what is next for U.S.-Pakistan relations in the wake of this current crisis.

To date, the United States and Pakistan have taken different views of the air strike. The United States seems to be trying to paper over the incident. After the air strike, the United States issued a statement to "stress the importance of U.S.-Pakistan partnership" and called NATO to conduct joint investigations. On one hand, it expressed "deepest condolences" for the casualties on the one hand, while it was still unwilling to make a formal apology to Pakistan on the other hand.

This shows that the United States upholds its traditional callused attitude toward crises, ignores the fundamental reason behind the inharmonious U.S.-Pakistan relationship and hopes to maintain the relationship based on only "minor repairs."

In contrast, Pakistan has shown a "soft confrontation"-style “counterattack.” After closing the NATO’s supply lines in Pakistan, requiring the U.S. troops to retreat from the Shamsi Airbase before deadline, and rejecting an invitation to the International Conference on Afghanistan, Pakistan has refused the invitation from the United States to jointly investigate the air strike on the Pakistani military checkpoint and released new military rules against another possible air strike by the NATO.

These series of initiatives show strong confrontational emotions and that Pakistan aims to take this opportunity to warn the United States to completely prevent similar incidents from happening again.

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Hammad Sethi at 2011-12-0894.197.127.*
No more NATO, or AfPak, or triletteral mechanism. Afghanistan is a country under foreign occupation and Pakistan is not. When we sit with Afghanistan as equals under any mechanism, we directly undermine Pakistani sovereignty and independence. We need to understand what Christians and Afghans are trying to achieve for Hindus slowly. We dont want NATO in Pakistan at all.

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