In the wake of the tragic assassination of Governor Salmaan Taseer this week, the White House has signaled that it will increase support for Pakistan’s civilian government including military aid to strengthen its national security.
According to a Washington Post report on Saturday, “The Obama administration has decided to offer Pakistan more military, intelligence and economic support, and to intensify U.S. efforts to forge a regional peace”.
Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Pakistan next week to meet with government and military officials to discuss Pakistan’s needs and how the US can help.
In addition to providing additional economic and military support to Pakistan, the White House emphasized again the respect US has for Pakistan as a sovereign nation and a close ally.
The review resolved to “look hard” at what more could be done to improve economic stability, particularly on tax policy and Pakistan’s relations with international financial institutions. It directed administration and Pentagon officials to “make sure that our sizeable military assistance programs are properly tailored to what the Pakistanis need, and are targeted on units that will generate the most benefit” for U.S. objectives, said one senior administration official who participated in the review and was authorized to discuss it on condition of anonymity.
Any American policy will be developed with the intention of furthering American objectives. The fact that support for Pakistan is being “properly tailored to what the Pakistanis need” emphasizes not only American respect for Pakistan, but that American and Pakistani objectives have a clear point of convergence.
As the democratic government continues to build consensus around and implement important reforms such as the 18th Amendment and the Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill, the US must continue to provide the economic, military and diplomatic assistance to help Pakistan succeed.