Shahan Mufti, author of The Faithful Scribe, discusses U.S.-Pakistan relations for the New York Times opinion page:
Less than a week after Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, returned home from a trip to Washington, an American drone killed Hakimullah Mehsud, a man who had terrorized all Pakistan as the leader of the country’s most dangerous militant group, the Pakistani Taliban.
With any other two countries, such a sequence of events might have been followed by an official nod to the cooperation involved — or at the very least, meaningful silence. But with the United States and Pakistan it’s always more complicated. Hours after the drone strike, Pakistan’s interior minister accused the United States of the “murder of peace efforts.” He later berated “enemies dressed as friends.”
It’s an old script. Regardless of whatever cooperation is involved, both countries always find it more useful to paint the other as the villain. The Pakistani government, which in reality is playing a central role in the war on terror, gets to paint itself as the victim of a bullying superpower.
Read the full article here.