Pakistan sits atop a nuclear arsenal which must remain secured, is the recipient of approximately 18 billion dollars of U.S. economic and military aid since 9/11, and sustains a population which is virulently anti-West.
Welcome to the world of diplomatic sadomasochism. We pay, you inflict the pain. We pay, you derive the pleasure. Sure, it is not that simple. But on small scale the relationship does have a dynamic of sadomasochism.
Pakistan has monumental hurdles and deep sectarian trenches. The illiteracy rates which plague the nation are most evident within the NWFP and Balochistan where female literacy ranges from three to eight percent. While male literacy rates are always higher within populous and poverty-stricken nations, illiteracy remains both the curse of the masses and the savior of administrative mismanagement. Legends of Western dominance as the source of all of the Muslim world's societal ill effectively redirects the gaze of the poor to the Boogey man in the closet. They can't see "us" but they know "we" are there.
Terror camps within Pakistan which equip citizens from the West to commit acts of carnage against the West have given birth to calculated and measured warnings across Europe of a "Mumbai-style" attack. The warnings are crafted to remind citizens to be vigilant and not evoke a sense of panic. The panic will come soon enough. It will erupt when such an attack is not effectively averted and the players make take it to the street.
There are elements within Pakistan's military and intelligence commands which work effectively with their U.S. counterpart. But recent studies have also noted a significant and worrisome corrupted strain of ideologue within both military and intelligence (officer) ranks.
As NATO fuel tankers burn along the Pak-Afghan border the Quetta Shura is negotiating with the Karzai administration. This is the khitbah. It will be followed by the nikah when the U.S. leaves Afghanistan. After 9/11 the U.S. offered a vigorous aid package as the advance mahr to Pakistan for our diplomatic marriage. Nine years later, the belated mahr has been paid to the tune of 18 billion dollars. What can I say? The unhealthy aspects of our relationship with Pakistan should concern us.
But when corruption marries cruelty, as will be the end result in Afghanistan, what will be the eventual fate of Pakistan?