The Pakistani PivotIssue: Thanksgiving 2001 Special 9-11 Issue
On September 10, 2001, Pakistan was a country of secondaryinterest
to the United States. Although it had been America's "mostallied
ally in Asia" in the 1950s and an indispensable partner inthe
struggle against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the
relationship unraveled after the Soviets pulled out ofAfghanistan.
In October 1990, the United States suspended economic andmilitary
aid under the Pressler amendment because Pakistan haddeveloped
nuclear weapons. Its May 1998 nuclear tests and the army'soverthrow
of the civilian government of Nawaz Sharif in October 1999 ledto
further sanctions against the one-time U.S. ally.