Pakistan-US Relations: Rethinking the Dependency Relationship

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Abstract

The relations between Pakistan and the US have always remained asymmetrical – in nature akin to any such bilateralism where one country, given its status as a global power is able to relegate a smaller country as a peripheral or a total dependency status – one that exists between a dominant and a dependent country. The tensions between both the countries escalated to unprecedented levels with the beginning of 2018 when the US chose bullying as its choice of policy towards Pakistan. As a result of Trump’s policy overtures in the past one year, Pakistan opted for strategic closeness with its long-standing friend China and, hence, Islamabad initiated a policy of rapprochement with other countries including Russia and Turkey. The roots of Pakistan, as a peripheral state, are not a post-independence phenomenon instead their origin lies all the way colonial period inclusive of the unequal distribution of assets at the time of independence in 1947. The main focus of this paper is to evaluate Pakistan-US relations in light of the dependency theory. The paper will also attempt to highlight the evolving nature of Pakistan’s profile from a periphery country to a semi-periphery state, with lesser dependence on the core. In addition, this paper will also examine Pakistan’s relationship with other regional countries and the challenges faced by the former given the transitioning nature of Pakistan-US relations.

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