The Spectacle Blog

Time For a DTR With Pakistan

By on 6.9.14 | 3:43PM

A relationship may be sown by the seeds of spontaneity, but sooner or later it comes to a DTR—the new small-talk meaning "define the relationship."

It might be time to have a DTR with Pakistan. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday:

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for attacking Karachi's Jinnah International Airport, which left at least 28 people dead, saying it was seeking revenge for recent Pakistani military airstrikes against them. ...Seemi Jamali, a spokeswoman for Karachi's Jinnah hospital, where the dead and injured were brought, said 18 airport employees and security personnel were killed by the attackers. In addition, 24 were injured, she said. Security officials said that 10 militants were also killed—seven were shot dead, and three blew themselves up with suicide vests.

This is the latest in a series of strange slip-ups that beg the question: Why are we still friends with Pakistan? At the risk of playing the jilted lover card, signs that it's time for an "it's not me; it's you" talk include a few other questionable encounters:

  • The hunt for Osama bin Laden finally ended in a Pakistani palace that—somehow—no one in Pakistan knew anything about.

  • The Haqqani network of terrorists, which the Washington Times reported is the "most formidable enemy" of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has set up headquarters unmolested in northern Pakistan.

  • Pakistani Christian churches were bombed just last year, and Pakistan has been labeled a "Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern" by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

This relationship has limped along—inconsistently but surely—since the 1950s. Pakistan's poverty tears at the heartstrings and breeds security threats, but the majority of this aid in recent years has gone to "security" rather than economic development.

If the U.S. is really just staying in this for the kids, then couldn't aid money be invested into the economy directly? Giving through a government that switches "trade partners" like a soap queen is getting tiresome. At this rate, the U.S. is starting to look like the proverbial lover who keeps coming back for more when she says, "Nothing happened, I promise! Never again!"

It might be time to stop pretending and move on to a younger woman. Malala, the Pakistani girl who argued that she and her classmates should get an education until she was shot by the Taliban, showed promise. Maybe we should throw our money to her and others like her. Educating women might improve Pakistan's economy faster than paying government officials to hide terrorists.

Yes, it's time for a DTR, and there's a good case for cutting all ties but child support.

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