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Title: The troubled Ppakistan-US relationship : a diplomatic history, 1947-2012
Author: Zaman, Adil
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 7675
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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The bilateral relationship between the US and Pakistan has been highly significant for the foreign policies of both countries. Since 1947 Pakistan has sought US support in its quest for regional security and the US repeatedly turned to Pakistan as an irreplaceable strategic ally in its quest for global power and security. Despite this the relationship became fractious and increasingly distrustful. Many accounts describe the relationship and analyse events which have shaped it but fail to satisfactorily understand why it became so difficult, particularly from the Pakistani perspective. This thesis seeks to bring a fresh perspective by analysing the whole of the relationship as a cumulative process shaped not just by events but by reciprocal behaviour and expectation. It is a diplomatic history examining episodes of the relationship since 1947 through existing primary and secondary sources but also contributing new material from 20 field-work interviews conducted in Pakistan with military, government, media and academic actors. The study finds an underlying contradiction in the relationship in which fundamental national interests have never converged sufficiently for sustained cooperation. As such relations have relied on transactional opportunism. Cooperation has depended on temporary wilful blindness by the US which cannot be maintained beyond episodes of crisis. Pakistan uses its geostrategic assets as a reverse influence on the US but consistently hedges its strategies against anticipated abandonment when the crisis episode has passed. Through this has evolved a cumulative legacy of mutual negative expectation and mistrust which has become deeply ingrained in the relationship. The study also finds that the strategic utility of the relationship has favoured the US but that Pakistan’s reverse influence has grown, making it more difficult for Washington to abandon the relationship it finds so frustrating.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available