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July 13th, 2011, by Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan

To read more about Reza Aslan, see his Global Experts profile.

Reports this week that the Obama administration is suspending some $800 million in military aid to Pakistan confirms what everyone already knows: the relationship between the two erstwhile allies in the war on terror is teetering on the verge of collapse. Indeed, there are powerful voices in both countries calling for a complete severing of ties. This is understandable as each country has reason to be distrustful of the other. But it would be a colossal mistake for Pakistan and the United States to give into these voices and give up on each other.

Tensions between the US and Pakistan have been growing for months, long before the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his hideout in the Pakistani suburb of Abbottabad, where he had been living just a few miles from a prestigious Pakistani military base. But since that time a series of actions by the Pakistani government has only fueled the fires of suspicion in the US.

Not long after the raid on the Abbottabad compound, Pakistan arrested a number of people suspected of helping alert the CIA to bin Laden’s whereabouts. It then expelled American and British military advisers sent to train its soldiers in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. And just a few days ago, Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, openly accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency of sanctioning the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad, who had been critical of the ISI’s relationship with terror groups.

To be sure, Pakistanis have plenty of reason to be angry at the US. For nearly a decade successive American administrations have treated the country as the front line in the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. As a result, Pakistan has been flooded with terror groups who have murdered thousands of innocent civilians in retribution for its cooperation with the US. And the Pakistani government is rightly incensed that US drones, which have also been responsible for a number of civilian deaths, continue to violate its sovereignty almost on a daily basis.

To read rest of the article, go to The Huffington Post, in which the article was first published on July 11, 2011.

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