New Rules of Engagement Could Limit Scope of U.S.-Pakistan Ties

New Rules of Engagement Could Limit Scope of U.S.-Pakistan Ties

On Nov. 26, NATO helicopters killed 26 Pakistani soldiers at Pakistan’s Salala checkpoint, mistakenly believing them to be Taliban militants. The incident provoked a furious reaction from Pakistan’s military and civilian leadership as well as from the population at large. In what was already shaping up to be one of the worst years ever for U.S.-Pakistan relations, the Salala incident represented the final straw. Pakistan immediately shut down NATO’s supply lines, ordered an end to U.S. drone strikes in Pakistani territory and boycotted the Bonn Conference on Afghan reconciliation.

Shortly thereafter, Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) began a comprehensive review of Pakistan’s relations with the U.S., a step described by Ashraf J. Qazi, a former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., as “born out of emotion, though in the right direction.” Now, after nearly two months of deliberations, the PCNS is set to release its recommendations on how to move forward. In addition to impacting future relations with the U.S., the Salala episode and its aftermath has important implications for Pakistan’s domestic politics.

The Pakistani Parliament has proposed 35 recommendations that fall under three broad categories: a review of foreign policy, the need for NATO forces in Afghanistan to respect Pakistan’s “red lines,” and re-engagement with the U.S. in the war on terror based on formalized agreements. Some of the major recommendations are: the formulation of a new and independent foreign policy based on equality and mutual interest; an end to U.S. drone strikes and operations such as the raid that killed Osama bin Laden; and parliamentary review and approval of all verbal and written agreements with the U.S., including “the nine agreements” signed under the Musharraf regime.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.