Former Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter’s article, ‘Here’s how the US can work with Pakistan’ appearing in The Atlantic offers a considered prescription to establish a lasting and a strong bond between the two countries. He was frank enough to admit the mistake of viewing Pakistan exclusively through the ‘optics of our efforts in Afghanistan’ and called for taking on board the Pakistani officials. Surely the factor of such camaraderie has been missing from the equation that partly resulted from certain attempts to double-cross one another.

Also he was conscious of the fact that the dividend of the US’s commitment to strike a balance between building democracy and ushering in an era of prosperity could not be achieved. But to make that possible, he called for thorough reforms for Pakistan’s institutions before disbursal of aid. What is a little hard to implement is his suggestion that both the nations should now look beyond their bilateral relations and instead move towards building a milieu largely through economic cooperation – that helps other countries of this region. Welcome and promising as it may sound, this is certainly a bit too ambitious to be practical, since Pakistan, already embroiled in a boiling cauldron along its borders would not have much leeway to work towards that end. The Pak-US relationship after all has been on a rocky terrain. It is far from easy to make it an alliance between two equal allies but not at all impossible as Ambassador Munter has hoped.