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From Pakistan, No News is Good News?

Pakistan hasn’t been in the news much lately, and the Washington Post‘s David Ignatius thinks there is a very good reason for that: its relationship with the United States has been “reset”, with both countries relieved to take a step back from their often stressful partnership. According to Ignatius, “the two nations [will] still cooperate but with less intensity and visibility.”

2011 was not a good year for U.S.-Pakistan relations. In January, a CIA contractor killed two Pakistanis. Five months later, Navy Seals stormed Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad without first warning Pakistani counterparts out of fear bin Laden might be tipped off.  And in November, U.S. aircraft mistakenly attacked and killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistani nationalists, always suspicious of US designs and especially so as the US and archenemy India have drawn closer, seethed with rage. After the November airstrike, Islamabad responded by cutting off supply-road access to U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Perhaps, as Ignatius contends, this tumult has naturally subsided into a “cooling-off period.” But another explanation for the relative calm is that Pakistan may simply be biding its time as the deadline for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan nears. Why fight with a roommate who is moving out?

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  • Eric

    “No news” didn’t last long since Pakistan has now banned US drones from their airspace.

    And Pakistan is reported same day to be in talks with Iran.

    “At a recent news conference, the Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, said talk of sanctions would not deter Islamabad from increasing its co-operation with Iran.”

    This is not a reset, but it may be a realignment.

  • Kris

    “From Pakistan, No News is Good News?”

    I wish to make it clear that if anybody thinks they heard me mutter “The only good Pakistan is no Pakistan”, they must be mistaken. Such a thought would never form in my brain, let alone leave my lips. Why, I come to praise Pakistan!

  • Allen Mitchum

    Pakistan was embarrassed by the bin Laden episode. Nobody likes having their dirty laundry out in the open like that. Seems likely they’d try to keep out of the spotlight for the foreseeable future.

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