Engaging Pakistan—Getting the Balance Right

Here’s the summary from the latest policy brief from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Pakistan will remain a daunting challenge for the next American administration. The near-term challenge of defeating terrorism requires Washington to strengthen ties with the Pakistani military—the source of its national problems—whereas the long-term goal of nursing Pakistan to health requires a robust partnership with civilian leaders, which could undermine the military’s counterterrorism cooperation. Unfortunately, the United States cannot choose between these approaches. U.S. strategy in
these circumstances ought to consist of:

􀁎 Strengthening the civilian government in Pakistan.
􀁎 Investing in Pakistan’s human capital and supporting its civil society.
􀁎 Assisting Pakistan with counterterrorism while emphasizing the long-term U.S. commitment to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
􀁎 Encouraging Indo–Pakistani reconciliation without American mediation.
􀁎 Encouraging Indo–Pakistani economic integration.

Because Pakistan’s problems are deep-rooted, the United States should be satisfied in the interim with positive trends in governance, macroeconomic management, foreign policy, and temperate ideological orientation.

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Filed under Democracy, public policy, Terrorism, USA

2 responses to “Engaging Pakistan—Getting the Balance Right

  1. azhar aslam

    Pakistan should try to get the balance right as well. For starters, the civilian government in Pakistan now is of US liking. The government should take advantage of this ‘advantage’. It has been a while since there was a government in Islamabad that was civilian and that Americans were happy to engage with more than military. Now the balance is slightly tilted. Lets make an opportunity our of the adversity of our situation. In return for being the most key player in fight against terrorism, we should pressure Americans for:
    1. Not only money but also some technology;
    2. Help on our strategic foreign objectives, Kashmir being the one ( we should have done this while US was doing its nuclear deal with India)
    3. Money for reconstruction or construction of infrastructure for power, transportation and education
    4. Ask them to cut their supply lines to the insurgents in Balochistan , FATA and such.
    5. lets get some money specifically for human capital development and then spend on it

    And please don’t tell me we can’t pressure Americans. Just look at how Iran has played its cards.

  2. Neel288

    ” GOD only helps those who help themselves”.
    Begging bowl diplomacy, as suggested by Azhar Aslam, does not work for Pakistan any more. There is no free lunch, specially with the Americans. Billions of dollars in loan waivers and financial assistance is asking for pay-back now, as Pakistan has no choice but to fight America’s war on its own land, or be the target itself.