New Rules of Engagement Could Limit Scope of U.S.-Pakistan Ties
On Nov. 26, NATO helicopters killed 26 Pakistani soldiers at Pakistan’s Salala checkpoint, mistakenly believing them to be Taliban militants. The incident provoked a furious reaction from Pakistan’s military and civilian leadership as well as from the population at large. In what was already shaping up to be one of the worst years ever for U.S.-Pakistan relations, the Salala incident represented the final straw. Pakistan immediately shut down NATO’s supply lines, ordered an end to U.S. drone strikes in Pakistani territory and boycotted the Bonn Conference on Afghan reconciliation.
Shortly thereafter, Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) began a comprehensive review of Pakistan’s relations with the U.S., a step described by Ashraf J. Qazi, a former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., as “born out of emotion, though in the right direction.” Now, after nearly two months of deliberations, the PCNS is set to release its recommendations on how to move forward. In addition to impacting future relations with the U.S., the Salala episode and its aftermath has important implications for Pakistan’s domestic politics.
Read the full article at World Politics Review.