02 Jun


          Nations having common inerests and objectives are impelled to enter into regional pacts to secure themselves from internal and external threats. A state seeks ways and means of self-defense but, in case of common threats, a state tries to make a common cause to align other states against it. Common ideology is also important factor, sometimes  persuades nations to enter into pacts to secure their interests. Common racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds are normally  helpful in inducing states to build regional arrangements. In 1950s, SEATO and CENTO were formulated by the US to secure the Asian region from the threat of communism. Pakistan aligned itself with the US and favoured American policies designed to frustrate the objectives of the Soviet Union. Pakistan was primarily interested in settling the Kashmir issue and preserving it's sercurity in the face of Indian aggression. Both economic and military aid tempted Pakistan to join these military alliances since India was better off militarily and financially.

         It is nearly ten years since Pakistan became an ally of the west. In May 1954, Pakistan signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with the United States. Later in that year it became a member of SEATO along with the United States, Britain, France, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. A year later, it joined the Baghdad Pact, another mutual defense organization with Britain, Turkey, Iran and Iraq.

         In 1951 Pakistan established diplomatic relations with France, and also establishment of Pakistan's relations with European countries were came into being. In 1951 World Bankstarted financing projects in Pakistan. In 1951,Primed Minister of Pakistan was killed.

That was period of alignment with west rather htan Union of Soviet socialist Repulic. In general there are following diplomatic dimensions of that's time period.

1. SEATO :

           SEATO was Southeast Asian Collective defense treaty, that came into being Manila in september, 1954. Great Britain, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Pakistan and France. The purpose of the organization was to prevent communism from gaining ground in the region.

2. Colombo Conference :

Colombo conference was held on April 28, 1954 in Ceylon, and it was finished on 2nd May 1954. This conference was joined by Ceylon, Indonesia, Burma, India and Pakistan. Contributors of this conference were also known as Colombo powers. They all were met to deliberate the hitches and issues which were related to all of them.

3. CENTO (Baghdad pact) :

               The Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) was accepted in 1955 by Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran, as well as the United Kingdom. Although American weight, along with promises of military and financial largesse, were key in the talks leading to the agreement, the United States chose not to initially contribute as to avoid alienating Arab states with which it was still trying to promote friendly relations.

4. Bandung Conference :

               Representatives of 19 nations met in Bandung to discuss role of third world developments in cold war era. Self-determination, non-aggression, respect of political sovereignty of state. The main goal of this conference was to protect human rights, economic cooperation and decolonization and end to racial discrimination.

5. Pak-US Agreement of Cooperation 1959 :

               It is nearly ten years since Pakistan became an ally of the West. In May, 1954, Pakistan signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with the United States. Later in that year it became a member of SEATO along with the United States, Britain, France, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. A year later, it joined the Baghdad Pact, another mutual defense organization, with Britain, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. The United States has not joined this organization, but has remained closely associated with it since its inception. In 1958,when Iraq left this pact, it was renamed CENTO ( Central Treaty Organization): it continued to comprise Turkey, Iran and Pakistan as its regional members. Early in 1959, Pakistan signed ( as did Turkey and Iran) a bilateral Agreement of cooperation with the United States, which was designed further to reinforce the defensive purposes of CENTO. (US department of State: Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), 2007)

6. Soviet Invasion and Bilateral Agreement of 1959 :

               The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a problem for the Carter administration. On the day of invasion, Carter spoke to Pakistan's Military dictator Zia-ul-Haq. Carter assured him of his support and declared that the US would honour the commitment of 1959 and work within its framework rather than to initiate a new treaty. But the record of the US was not good.  The US failed to live up to its obligations when Pakistan tried to invoke the agreement during the Indo-Pak War of 1971 (Wriggins, 1987). Many Americans nonetheless linked India's attack to the Kremlin's invasion of Hungary in 1956. Indira Gandhi of course  denounced Carter's cultivation of friendship with Pakistan responding in much the same manner as her father who used a double standard when measuring hte sins of the Soviet Union.

               Instead of rebuking the Kremlin, she criticized US aid to Pakistan  and refused to join international community in denouncing the Russians as aggressors in Afghanistan (Brands, 1990: 167; Kux, 1992). President Carter offered an aid package of $ 400 million to Pakistan but F-16s were not included in accordance with his policy of non-proliferation. Military dictator Zia rejected the limited offer calling it a peanut (Tahir Kheli,1997). Carter then sweetened the deal and once again offered to revive the treaty of 1959. But Zia refused to be bought off  so lightly saying he woud wait for next US election (Kux, 2001). Reagam wpm the Presidency in 1980 and announced aid package for Pakistan of $ 3.2 billion over a five-year period. Its centerpiece consisted of forty f-16 aircrafts with an early delivery in spite of protests from the Pentagon. Zia characterized the deal as a new partnership. But he also said that Pakistan would no longer provide military bases on a quid pro quo basis. Zia valued his newly adopted non-aligned  status and no longer wished to enter into Cold War allinaces.

World Opinion about Membership of Pakistan in Defense Treaties :

               Pakistan's adherence to pact was disliked by non-committed  Afro-Asian countries  and the Arabs who were against the alignment with the West. These alliances were an attempt to extent the Cold War to other areas. Since the formation of theses pacts, the Soviet Union had been using its veto power against any effective action on Kashmir in the UN security Council. Soviet  ambassador in Pakistan stated that his country could not remain indifferent  towards the reports of Pakistan asserted that it had more concernfor its security against India than over fear of international communism.

End of Alliances :

               The decade of 1960s witnessed the abatement of brinkmanship policies that characterized the Cold War. What followed was a period of transition during which relations changed among the nations along with their strategic calculations. The system of allinaces began to collapse. America's support for Pakistan was intended to counter the threat from communist countries not India. CENTO began to collapseafter numerous blows including the withdrawal of Iraq. The neighboring Arab states pf Egypt and Syria strengthened  their ties to the Soviet Union and were unwilling to particiapte in CENTO. Arab-Israeli War, the Indo-Pakistani War, and Turkey's invasionof Cyprus finally led the UK to withdraw from the allinace .

               And, after Indian military intervention in 1971, Pakistan left SEATO in November 1972. The hald hearted commitment of Great  Britian  and the US weakened the system of alliances and left few options to war  besides diplomacy.

               The Cold War was a fight for hegemony in the world and the alliance system was an instrument in it. Pakistan allied itself with the US in order to insure its independence and territorial integrity. Its enhanced military and economic position enaled it to negotiate with India on a better footing. The political and bureaucratic leadership of Pakistan tilted toward America but the US did not fully reciprocated. Although Pakistan took grave risks on America's behalf,  it received comparatively little in return. Its cooperation with the US took Pakistan from qualified neutrality to unqualified allinace. Due to U-2 event. Pakistan faced the danger of retaliationin viewed Pak-US military relations as a move against India not as a move against communism. the repercussions of Pakistan's alliance with America adversely affected Pakistan's  relations with other countries in the world making it harder  to build bridges of friendship in Asia and Africa.

               Pakistan nonetheless continued to exert its influcence in the Middle East and in the Muslim countries of Northern Africa advocating less nationalistic  and more moderate policies. American foreign policy was designed with anticommunist objectives in mind. India, because of its non-aligned status, refused to be a part of any American sponsored alliances. And yet it received more loans and grants from the US than Pakistan . US aid and advice adversely impacted the constitutional process in Pakistan and resulted in sectarian and regional imbalances throughout the country. The American connection distorted Pakistan's internal political balance as the army became the dominant political force. Economic aid strengthened the military but undermined democratic institutions. These alliances did not serve collective security arrangement in wars of 1965 and 1971. Pakistan was allied with the United States but the US refused to offer any asistance to ward off Indian aggression. America pursued its own interests particularly after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.The US increased its aid to Pakistan as a frontline state in the war against communism. But aid was cut off after the collapse of the soviet Union in the early 1990s on nuclear issue.It demonstrated that the US never shared Pakistan's concerns or interest but preferred its goals.

               History repeated itself after the terrorist attacks  of September 2001. The US relaxed four sets of sanctions against Pakistan when it joined US-led coalition forces in the war against terrorism. The Us never once considered Pakistan's interests after its own interest were achieved. It is , therefore, important that Pakistan now review its foreign policy to promote its own national interest and prestige

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