Inside Story
The US and Pakistan: Too much at stake?
We ask if recent tensions signal the end of cooperation or a shift in positions within this thorny relationship.
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2011 03:54

Islamabad has demanded that the US leave the strategic Shamsi airbase in protest against the November 26 NATO airstrike on a Pakistani checkpoint, in which 24 soldiers were killed.
Yousef Raza Gilani, Pakistan's prime minister, called the strike "an attack on the nation’s sovereignty" and set a December 11 deadline for the US to get out of the base, which it has been using for military operations in Afghanistan and drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal area since late 2001.
Around 20 US cargo planes landed at the base over the past week to shift military equipment and American staff.

But Pakistan's decision to evict US troops from the base was not the only retaliatory measure Islamabad took after the deadly strike. The Pakistani government said it would review its intelligence and military cooperation with the US and NATO. It also closed two border checkpoints for NATO supplies into Afghanistan and boycotted the December 5 Bonn Conference on Afghanistan.

So does this signal the end of US-Pakistan cooperation or offer a chance for each country to re-establish its position within this thorny relationship?

Inside Story discusses with guests: Richard Weitz, the director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Political-Military Analysis, and Ali Sarwar Naqvi, a former Pakistan diplomat to the US.

"I think things will get worse before they get better so it all depends on how you define confrontation - will the Americans invade Pakistan to seize the nuclear weapons? No. Will Pakistan's officials give their nuclear weapons to terrorists so they can bomb New York and London? No, that's not going to happen."

Richard Weitz, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute

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