The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act should be passed and signed into law quickly. It should also fund the creation of an advisory body of Pakistanis from government and civil society to plan its implementation, to evaluate the aid program and to prevent corruption. This body should meet regularly with representatives of the United States, and its findings should be disclosed publicly.
The uncoupling of civilian aid from sanctions, as proposed in the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act, would neutralize a well-founded Pakistani fear that the United States is mostly interested in supporting military governments in Pakistan. This provision of the act should be retained.
The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act should require certification that Pakistan’s security forces are not aiding or otherwise working with armed Pakistani Islamist groups that have been identified by the State Department as terrorist organizations. As it is now written, the act conditions military aid on certification that Pakistan’s security forces are not aiding al-Qaeda or the Taliban, but makes no mention of Pakistani jihadi organizations.
The use of private U.S.-based contractors, acting through local NGOs, to deliver aid has been severely criticized, most recently by Richard Holbrooke before Congress. In Afghanistan, we have little to show for aid that has been handled by such contractors, and we should avoid repeating the mistake in Pakistan, where there are credible public and private organizations and NGOs that the United States can deal with directly.