In recent months, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been beseeching the US for civilised relations, as 'civilised' as they are between the US and India.
Notwithstanding the invitation to Biden's Democracy Summit, his agony may not end soon if the US is not satisfied that Pakistan, the global leader in exporting terror, has renounced its duplicitous ways.
Imran Khan expressed the wish for 'civilised' ties with the US in an interview with the New York Times, which has often extended the hospitality of its columns to Pakistani leaders to trumpet their litany of lies and bizarre logic that is supposed to show that Pakistan is the most peace-loving, tolerant and progressive nation on earth!
The interview did not shed much light on what precisely Imran Khan expects of the US that will qualify bilateral ties to be classified as 'civilised'.
Bringing in India to illustrate the point doesn't make sense, because the context of India-US relations is different from that of the US-Pakistan 'civilised' ties rooted in the Cold War era and the US paranoia about the now defunct Soviet Union.
Pakistan had jumped on the US bandwagon by pretending to support its anti-Soviet and anti-Communist diktats. But in reality, closeness to the US provided Pakistan an easy avenue to arm itself to the teeth while pursuing hostile anti-India policies.
The US played along with the Pakistani deception even after the fall of the Soviet empire. But the US received a jolt from its long-time military ally after the 9/11 terrorist attacks exposed Pakistan as the hub of global terror.
If after 9/11 US-Pakistan ties were still left with a 'civilised' element, they began to unravel no sooner Pakistan had agreed to join the 'war on terror'. Whether Pakistan did so at the point of the gun is beside the point; Pakistan was simply not in a position to say 'no' to US President George Bush when he asked the then Pakistani dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, to join the 'war on terror'.
Musharraf, like most Pakistani leaders before and after him, was only paying lip service when he pledged to support the 'war on terror' in order to lessen the threat to his country. His actual intention was clear: Grab everything, particularly arms and dollars, that the US threw at Pakistan while pretending to be fighting the 'war on terror'.
Musharraf and the Pakistanis who led the country after him adopted a policy of blatant dishonesty while participating in the 'war on terror'.
Pakistan was providing covert protection to the terrorists it was supposed to be hunting. These were the terrorists who were killing US troops while Pakistan was marinating the facade of fighting against them.
The Bill Clinton and the Barack Obama administrations shut their eyes even though aware that Pakistan was cheating them. Donald Trump turned out to be a different kettle of fish. He bluntly denounced Pakistan for its double-crossing, halted military aid and curtailed cash flow.
That was the beginning of the 'uncivilised' chapter in US-Pakistan relations, which Imran Khan wants to end without committing Pakistan to an honest relationship with the US - by disowning the manner in which Pakistan had 'fought' terrorists.
Despite all the talk about China being Pakistan's 'iron brother', the 'all weather friend' and the bravado of Pakistanis that they don't need America, the fact is just the opposite.
For the elites who rule the feudal and backward-looking state of Pakistan, the US remains a coveted destination. They want to migrate to the Eldorado. How many rich or poor Pakistanis have ever thought of migrating to China? Probably none, even though the Pakistani propaganda spews poison against the US and the West while turning a blind eye to the atrocities China commits on its Muslim minorities.
The Generals in Pakistan are far happier spending time in US training schools than any drab Chinese institute. Above all, the American technology and weapons lure them more than anything the Dragon could offer gratis, except, of course, the Chinese weapons of mass destruction which can be used against India.
Geo-political realities may find the US repairing its relations with Pakistan. In any case, they cannot get worse than what they are now. India will be watching with interest what or how the Joe Biden administration initiates steps to usher in 'civilised' relations with Pakistan, knowing fully well the roguish predilections of India's troublesome western neighbour.
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