Money may not to buy love but it does achieve a fairly effective approximation. Trust, however, is another matter altogether as the US is discovering with Pakistan.
All the billions that Washington has poured into since 9/11 and pronouncements of friendship notwithstanding, the country’s favorable rating in Pakistan remains a pathetic 17 percent, according to the Pew 2010 Global Attitudes survey. Some 59 percent of the Pakistanis surveyed describe the US as an enemy and only 11 percent a partner. I suspect all the 11 percent is constituted by pliable politicians and generals through whom billions are routed.
On India, the findings are in line with the historic love-hate relations. “While Pakistanis express serious concerns about the U.S., they also have deep worries about their neighbor and longtime rival India. Indeed, they are more worried about the external threat from India than extremist groups within Pakistan. When asked which is the greatest threat to their country -- India, the Taliban or al Qaeda -- slightly more than half of Pakistanis (53%) choose India, compared with 23% for the Taliban and just 3% for al Qaeda,” the survey found.
Before you rush to ridicule the fact that Pakistanis find the Taliban and al Qaeda much less of a threat than India, do reflect. It is not as absurd as it sounds. The Taliban was midwifed by Pakistan and as WikiLeaks leaks show they can still be reined at will by the country’s military-intelligence complex with some effort. As for al Qaeda, I think once they have cornered the Taliban, it may not be all that difficult to very significantly cut down al Qaeda.
What illustrates the love side of the love-hate relations with India is this finding: “However, despite the deep-seated tensions between these two countries, most Pakistanis want better relations with India. Roughly seven-in-ten (72%) say it is important for relations with India to improve and about three-quarters support increased trade with India and further talks between the two rivals.”