"If in 65 years, you haven't been able to find sufficient common ground to live together, and you had three separations and four reaffirmations of marriage, then maybe the better way is to find friendship outside of the marital bond," said Haqqani calling for downgrading the status of the relationship.
He cited the recent poll figures showing that almost three-in-four Pakistanis (74 percent) consider the US an enemy. This figure is almost equal to the number of Americans who do not consider Pakistan an "ally".
"If this was an election campaign ... you would advise the senator with these kinds of favorability ratings to pull out of the race, instead of spending more money," said Haqqani.
In fact, Ambassador Haqqani only highlighted what has been said by analysts on too many occasions. Despite the recent "thaw" in US – Pakistani relations after months of standoff on the brink of an open conflict, the deep cuts in the relations are still there and aren’t going anywhere.
It would be too boring to enumerate all instances that brought the relationship to its present state – cases like the elimination of Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil in direct violation of the country's sovereignty, or the November 2011 airstrike that killed more than 20 Pakistani soldiers are too well-known.
But let's look at the relationship in a broader historic context.
Throughout the times of the "Cold War", Pakistan was crucial to the US policy in South Asia and in Asia in general. While the US' main opponent, the USSR, was successfully building up a friendly, almost fraternal relationship with India, Pakistan served as a natural counterbalance aimed at limiting the Soviet influence in the region. But that, in turn, attracted similar attention from China, which also saw Pakistan as a tool in limiting the influence of its two then main opponents – the USSR and India.
The times of the Cold War are gone, and the dominant global opposition has changed. It is now the standoff between the US and China that determines the balance of powers. And this dictated a shift in the US perspective on South Asia. It easily cast away its one-time ally and began courting the only power that could limit the growing Chinese influence in the region, India.
How far and how successfully the courting has gone, is another question and cannot be discussed here in full. In any case, it is up to India's leadership to decide whether it is in India's national interests to follow after the US or whether it is preferable to take a more independent stand. Especially seeing that the US can easily abandon its former allies when the situation changes.
But one result of the policy was obvious – Pakistan reasonably felt betrayed.
The "all-out" war the US and its allies waged on the Islamic world has only added to this feeling of betrayal.
So, it is not the matter of one culprit eliminated by the US SEALs on Pakistani territory, not even the matter of dozens, hundreds and thousands military and civilians killed by US manned and unmanned airstrikes. And the financial aid the US is still rendering does not seem to change things much. The problem is deeper, and of a strategic nature.
The recent "thaw" when Pakistan agreed to reopen the southern supplies route for NATO forces in Afghanistan and has made several steps towards the US can have only a temporary effect. In fact, the present Pakistani leaders are only timeservers, and it is highly unlikely that the new leadership that will come to power after the next general elections (scheduled for 2013, but possible this year) will follow the current pro-US line.
What is significant, though, is the fact that these ideas have been voiced by a high-ranking Pakistani diplomat who in no way can be called a US-hater, but who is definitely in the know, probably better than anyone else.
The only thing remaining doubtful is that taken the above deep contradiction in the US' and Pakistan's basic interests the US – Pakistani divorce will be as "amicable" as Ambassador Haqqani is calling for.
Boris Volkhonsky, senior research fellow, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies