Pakistan Live Updates: Imran Khan and Supreme Court News

Credit…Saiyna Bashir for The New York Times

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan, a nuclear-armed country home to the world’s second-largest Muslim population, has for decades been a reluctant — though important — U.S. partner in the campaign against terrorism.

But the country has drifted away from the United States under Prime Minister Imran Khan, particularly after the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, where Pakistan has long been accused of feeding the Taliban and is a supporter of the Taliban regime which has taken over. power last year. Pakistan has also embraced a strategic partnership with China and closer ties with Russia.

For two decades after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Pakistan was apparently an American partner in the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban after the United States demanded that Pakistan choose sides. In return, the Pakistani military gained tens of billions of dollars in US aid.

But from the start, the relationship between the two countries was plagued by divided interests, with Pakistan playing a double game: accepting US aid, while often backing the very militants the US was fighting.

Pakistan’s spy agency provided planning assistance and training expertise to the Taliban throughout the Afghan war, US officials said, and offered safe haven to the Haqqani Network, a responsible militant organization of some of the deadliest attacks on American troops in Afghanistan. After the Taliban seized power, Pakistani proteges from the Haqqani network held key positions in the Afghan government.

Pakistan’s aim in Afghanistan was to create a sphere of influence to block its arch-enemy India, which Pakistan says supports separatist groups operating from safe havens in Afghanistan to sow unrest in Pakistan.

During the war in Afghanistan, the United States tolerated Pakistan’s trickery because, given the choice, American officials would rather wage a chaotic war in Afghanistan than fall out with a weaponized Pakistan. nuclear. Pakistan’s ports and airfields provided critical entry points and supply lines for US military equipment needed in Afghanistan.

But relations between the United States and Pakistan cooled after Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 in a safe house near a Pakistani military academy.

China, a longtime patron of Pakistan, has invested heavily in Pakistani infrastructure. China is also counting on Pakistan to serve as its facilitator in Afghanistan, which is home to millions of dollars worth of rare earth minerals that have piqued China’s interests, analysts say. Mr. Khan, trying to establish closer ties with Moscow, also visited President Vladimir V. Putin in Russia hours before the invasion of Ukraine. Mr Khan intended to push for a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline to be built by Pakistani and Russian companies, according to reports in Pakistan.

If Mr Khan is ousted, many regional experts say Pakistan could grow closer to the United States and the West. Over the past three years, Pakistan’s military, which has historically determined the country’s foreign policy and security priorities, has often disagreed with Mr. Khan’s views on the move away from the United States, according to the analysts. These differences contributed to Mr. Khan’s souring of relations with the military in the latter part of his term.

On the eve of the scheduled vote of no confidence, Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed a desire to deepen ties with China and the United States and tolerated the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Comments are closed.