Stanley Weiss, Founding Chairman of Business Executives for National Security, offers four recommendations for bringing peace and prosperity to Pakistan in a column for Huffington Post.
Bin Laden’s death within 30 miles of Islamabad has put a spotlight on the Pakistani military. The U.S. should take advantage of this moment to continue re-crafting the relationship from a short-term military alliance to a sustained economic and social partnership, in four ways:
First, root the relationship in trade, not aid. Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., recently called for Washington to “move beyond the begging bowl.” A new report from the Center for Global Development provides a good starting point: offer duty-free, quota-free access for all Pakistan exports to the U.S. market for at least five years. As Haqqani says, it would create economic opportunity and foil extremists’ designs to exploit unemployed Pakistani youth;
Second, increase U.S. incentives for investment, including credit programs for Pakistan’s small and medium-sized businesses;
Third, publicize the many economic benefits that would accrue to both nations if India and Pakistan were to normalize relations, an idea a top Indian official told me is “supported at the highest levels of the Indian government.”
Fourth, use leverage from the recent U.S.-India nuclear deal to nudge India, as former Indian Foreign Secretary M. Rasgotra suggested to me, “to create a final settlement on the existing line of control in Kashmir, but then soften it by turning both sides of Kashmir into a Free-Trade Area.”