MANAGING US RELATIONS WITH
PAKISTAN IN UNCERTAIN TIMES:
OPPORTUNITIES AND OBSTACLES

The United States and Pakistan have a longstanding relationship spanning more than three-quarters of a century, but this relationship has experienced significant stress since the post-9/11 American intervention in Afghanistan. The U.S. had expected Pakistan to lend more support to its efforts to defeat the Taliban, and Pakistan felt underappreciated despite the economic and human costs it incurred for becoming a major non-NATO ally1 in the “fight against terror.” Reinvigorating bilateral ties is challenging at present due to several factors. American engagement with Pakistan has waned on the heels of its physical withdrawal from Afghanistan in August Moreover, former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s accusations2 that the U.S. government conspired in the premature overthrow of his government, in April 2022, fueled anti-American sentiment in the country and, initially at least, created a new strain in bilateral ties. American support to Israel during the ongoing war on Gaza is also very unpopular in Pakistan.

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