The piece will be music to the ears of many lawmakers in Congress who have increasingly been demanding cuts to foreign aid to Pakistan. The Obama administration had hoped to improve relations with Pakistan with its choice of Sen. John KerryJohn KerryEgypt’s death squads and America's deafening silence With help from US, transformative change in Iran is within reach Ellison comments on Obama criticized as 'a stupid thing to say' MORE (D-Mass.) -- who tripled non-military aid to the country as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – to head the State Department, but Haqqani said those efforts were for naught.
“In the end, these attempts to build a strategic partnership got nowhere,” he writes. “The civilian leaders were unable to smooth over the distrust between the U.S. and the Pakistani militaries and intelligence agencies.”
While Washington now wants to see Pakistan focused on fighting terrorism – as it wanted Pakistan focused on fighting communism in the 1980s -- Pakistan's goal has always been to assert more regional power against arch-rival India, Haqqani writes.
He goes on to call for the creation of a “non-allied relationship” where the United States is free to pursue its interests in the region without excessive consideration of Pakistan's reaction. Unless the two countries learn to tamp down their unrealistic expectations about one another, Haqqani writes, “the new coolness between the two countries will eventually provoke a reckoning.”
Haqqani was ambassador to the U.S. from 2008 to 2011. He stepped down after an American businessman accused him of sending a secretary to Adm. Mike Mullen, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asking for U.S. help in thwarting an alleged pending military coup.
Haqqani has said he is afraid of returning to his home country to testify in court about threats he's received. He is now a professor at Boston University and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.