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The Congressional Research Service report

The Congressional Research Service report

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The Congressional Research Service report
The Congressional Research Service report

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07/26/2014

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Major upheavals in U.S.-Pakistan relations in 2011 caused the already troubled bilateral
relationship to further sour. Following NATO’s late 2011 border incursion, bilateral ties were
largely put “on hold” by Islamabad as the Pakistani Parliament completed a comprehensive
review of ties, a review that called for stringent new restrictions and conditions on future
engagement. Several measures within the defense authorization and appropriations bills to restrict
U.S. aid to Pakistan in FY2014 are pending in the 113th

Congress, reflecting Members’ ongoing

concerns.

Nevertheless, many U.S. government and independent analysts continue to assert that U.S.
strategic interests are inextricably linked with a stable Pakistan that can effectively rule all of its
territory, assist the United States with efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, as well as with the fight
against terrorism, and contribute to the stability in the region. While there are numerous concerns
about whether Pakistan can be accountable in how it uses U.S. aid and whether its newly seated
government will pursue needed reforms, these observers emphasize the importance of
maintaining a close bilateral engagement, with an eye toward encouraging and facilitating
Pakistani democratization. Given the current budgetary constraints facing the United States and
the recent strained relationship, some in the 113th

Congress question the return on such large
investments in Pakistan, among the largest recipients of U.S. aid. Lawmakers will continue to
seek the right balance between U.S. aid expenditures to promote U.S. national security interests in
Pakistan and the region versus belt-tightening budget cuts to foreign aid programs and
accountability measures to address the lack of trust between the two governments.

(...continued)
success; 5) measure what matters; 6) let Pakistani products compete in US markets; 7) encourage investment; 8)
beware the unintended consequences of aid; 9) finance what is already working; and 10) support Pakistan’s reformers”
(Nancy Birdsall, Molly Kinder, and Wren Elhai, “Beyond Bullets and Bombs: Fixing the U.S. Approach to
Development in Pakistan,” Center for Global Development, June 1, 2011).

123

Nancy Birdsall, Milan Vaishnav, and Daniel Cutherell, “More Money More Problems: A 2012 Assessment of the
US Approach to Development in Pakistan,” Center for Global Development, July 2012.

124

See the January 6, 2012, Center for Global Development letter at http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/

1425847.

Pakistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance

Congressional Research Service

43

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