The proceedings of a hearing in the US Congress titled ‘Pakistan: friend or foe’ has drawn a clear line as to where the US Congress stands in reference to Pakistan. Never has an ally lambasted another so vociferously, as the US Congress did to Pakistan in this hearing. The allegations were startling and at certain points, beyond absurd. If what was said in Congress is taken at face value, Pakistan almost sounds like one of the US’ worst enemies. The US Congress should be reminded to tone down its rhetoric, and remember that the money given in military aid is not being handed out as charity; if it were not for Pakistan, US forces in Afghanistan would have suffered a similar fate to the Soviet Union's failed conquest.

The trepidations of the US Congress regarding Pakistan’s role in the war on terror, are not nearly as well-founded as they believe them to be, but nor is Pakistan completely free of blame. What is not clear is the way the US Congress singles out Pakistan in doing too little in this war. Is Afghanistan doing more than we are? Does it even come close to launching the sort of counter-attack Pakistan has on this side of the border? Don’t both these countries use terrorist proxies to destabilise each other? So why is Pakistan the only country that draws the Congress’ ire so frequently?

The answer for this is simple. Pakistan may point east, or it may point west, and talk about the role of India and Afghanistan in attempting to encircle us, but the fact remains that India has a huge lobby of support in the US, while Afghanistan is playing host to US forces. We do neither of these (the latter is obviously not even an option), and then expect to be treated like the most loyal friend. The way Pakistan’s foreign policy functions, no one is left happy. This was clear in the case of the Iran-Pak gas pipeline, where we did not commence construction on this side of the border fearing the wrath of the US, but at the same time, we kept saying we would, which annoyed them anyway. The duplicitous stance also angered Iran, naturally. This is just one instance (of many) foreign policy misadventures that left us with fewer friends than when we began.

The problem though is that while the Pakistani leadership rests easy at night, thinking that the US Administration has its back, there is no guarantee that this will be the case come November, with a new President in Washington. With only four months remaining, it is time Pakistan steps up its efforts to mend all fences. If the Congress accuses us of not doing enough, Pakistani diplomats need to remind them that they need proof to back their arguments. All of these allegations are antiquated, and mostly unjust, and there is a need to remind the US that Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices, that have gone into this war are second to no one else.