To Diplomats and USAID

  • The substantial increase in non-military U.S. assistance for Pakistan contained in the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act should not be spread too thinly over the 13 separate areas identified in the new legislation, which range from irrigation to development of legal and judicial systems. Instead, the aid should be concentrated on three or four areas. Which areas take priority should be determined in partnership with Pakistani institutions and with the members of the Friends of Pakistan donor group.
  • In addition to emergency food aid, the United States should provide emergency aid to the hundreds of thousands of persons displaced by Pakistani and U.S. military actions against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the North-West Frontier Province, and Baluchistan. This should be approached with the same urgency as the successful U.S. relief effort after the earthquake in Pakistan’s northern areas in 2005.
  • The United States should take care that airlifts of American wheat do not economically undercut Pakistan’s own food production. Longer-term cooperation on water supply and irrigation as well as development of agricultural extension services and extension of micro-credit facilities to the poorest Pakistanis in rural areas are also vitally needed.
  • The United States should also focus on increasing Pakistan’s law enforcement capacity. Unfortunately, all the counter-terrorism aid during the Musharraf years went to the Pakistan army, and the Pakistan police failed to control the expansion of Islamist extremist violence due to their lack of resources and equipment. Better local police forces will provide more security to the people of Pakistan, and if it is publicly known that U.S. help made it possible, the U.S. image in Pakistan will improve.

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