New Delhi : The tough talk of President Bush following the Sept 11,2001 attacks tantamounting to almost threats, the “either with us or with them” and bombing to “stone age” statements, left Pakistan with very little choice but to declare support for NATO’s anti militant operations.
The ruling establishment has been heavily dependent on aid from the USA and other Western countries, that they significantly siphon off for their luxuries. This aid would have been lost otherwise. While on the other hand, there was a promises of huge increase in financial assistance, an opportunity to grab more money. Besides, the US had also promised a much enhanced military aid that served their intent to arm themselves in efforts to boost their anti – India positioning.
The ruling elite wanted to extract a maximum price for “sacrificing” their own people, motivated, recruited and trained to die for and in the name of religion. And to the common people, who were anti-West in general and extremely anti-US in particular, it would pass this "sell off" as a decision taken in “national interest”.
Since that decision, the miltary-politico elite of Pakistan and the USA have mutually benefitted, but the biggest beneficiary has been chaos which currently rules the country. It stems from the culture of violence supported by the government which further nurtures this with lack of harmony in their declarations and deeds thereby promoting confusion.
The ruling establishment of Pakistan has always been greedy for the golden eggs and so can not afford to let the hen get slaughtered. Hence, while on the one hand it pretends to support the anti militant efforts of NATO, on the other it also provids them with covert support like safe houses, trainings, financial aid, informations and other logistics.The organisations and the systems that fuel and support the militants continue and has even grown.
As for the loss of manpower, that is considered replenishable.
The strategic interests in the region have also changed rapidly since 2001. The growth of China as a rival of the USA has brought the latter closer to India which is not appreciated by Pakistan which feels let down, and has moved closer to China and desires to play this card to leverage it’s position.
However, it’s desires to extract aid from the West and still not act against the militants effectively enough are mutually conflicting, and whether Pakistan would be successful in this by playing the Chinese card remains to be seen. The chances are that such success would be short lived.