NEW DELHI: Although Pakistan enjoys good relations with the US, the ties between them are expected to be unstable till ‘10, according to strategic experts in India and Pakistan.
In a report, the experts also warn that if the US campaign in Afghanistan and Iraq gets prolonged, the rifts within the Pakistani army will become pronounced and could lead to a military coup against president Pervez Musharraf for his support to the Americans.
"Because of Pakistan's geographical location, the US will need it on and off. Pakistan will always need the US for its economic and military strength. However, they will find each other a liability at times," the report of the international centre for peace initiative says.
"Pakistan-US relations can be expected to be unstable till ‘10," it says. The ICPI report ‘Shifting Sands - Instability in Undefined Asia' also notes that the greatest instability that Pakistan will face will be with regard to its immediate neighbour because of its new conflict with Afghanistan and traditional rivalry with India. Visualising the prospects of Pakistan over the next ten years, it says the length and aftermath of the Afghan and Iraq wars will have considerable impact on its foreign relations.
"Today there is tactical cooperation between Pakistan and US because of the Afghan war. Once the war is over, from the US point of view, there will be some fickle concern about a couple of terrorist groups operating with Pakistan that pose a threat to India. However, groups that are a threat to western interests will be the serious bone of contention."
The ICPI warned that the control of jehadi forces on the Pakistani state will tighten.
"With Pakistan's GDP growth rate being below 4%, poverty and unemployment will grow. This will result in a continued supply of unemployed youths to the ranks of jehadi groups," it says. Pakistan will continue to have duel policy of cosmetic support to war on terror and substantive support to forces of terror, it predicts.