‘Pakistanis would feel more secure without US aid’
The latest blow to Pakistan’s relations with the West came with Islamabad’s decision to boycott a key international meeting in Germany aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan.
Late on Tuesday, the Pakistani prime minister rejected a personal request from Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai asking him to attend the December 5 meeting in Bonn.
The decision was taken in response to a recent NATO air strike that killed some 24-28 Pakistani troops.
Neta Crawford, a professor at Boston University believes Pakistan has a lot to lose in this situation as it receives a significant amount of money from the US.
“The US subsidy of Pakistan has in fact enabled the Pakistanis to increase their own military spending quite substantially and also subsidizes their security services that essentially run much of the country,” she told RT.
However Crawford underlined that should US aid be cut off, the Pakistani people would feel more secure. “The Pakistani military has been engaged in fighting insurgents in Baluchistan and in Waziristan, causing an enormous number of civilian casualties,” she explained.
Following the deadly NATO strike, Islamabad decided to cut NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.
Crawford noted that it is not clear for how long the supply route will be closed as Pakistan enjoys the revenue from the route.
“It may cause the US to try to shift more of its efforts in transportation through Uzbekistan and through Russia,” she added.
US drone strikes have killed some 2,000 people in Pakistan, estimated Crawford. Many civilians believe that these killings are a sign of its disregard for the Pakistani people as the US strives to win the war.
To improve public opinion the US needs to quit using drones in Pakistan or significantly diminish their use, she concluded.