U. S. Military Aid to Pakistan

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U.S. Military Aid to Pakistan
The United States and Pakistan established diplomatic relations in 1947. The U.S. agreement to provide economic and military assistance to Pakistan and the latter's partnership in the Baghdad Pact/CENTO and SEATO strengthened relations between the nations. However, the U.S. suspension of military assistance during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war generated a widespread feeling in Pakistan that the United States was not a reliable ally. Even though the United States suspended military assistance to both countries involved in the conflict, the suspension of aid affected Pakistan much more severely. Gradually, relations improved, and arms sales were renewed in 1975. Then, in April 1979, the United States cut off economic assistance to Pakistan, except food assistance, as required under the Symington Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, due to concerns about Pakistan's nuclear program.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 highlighted the common interest of Pakistan and the United States in peace and stability in South Asia. In 1981, the United States and Pakistan agreed on a $3.2 billion military and economic assistance program aimed at helping Pakistan deal with the heightened threat to security in the region and its economic development needs.
Recognizing national security concerns and accepting Pakistan's assurances that it did not intend to construct a nuclear weapon, Congress waived restrictions (Symington Amendment) on military assistance to Pakistan. In March 1986, the two countries agreed on a second multi-year (FY 1988-93) $4 billion economic development and security assistance program. On October 1, 1990, however, the United States suspended all military assistance and new economic aid to Pakistan under the Pressler Amendment, which required that the President certify annually that Pakistan "does not possess a nuclear explosive device."

The U.S.-Pakistan relationship changed significantly once Pakistan agreed to support the U.S. campaign to eliminate the Taliban in Afghanistan and to join the United States in the Global War on Terror. Since September 2001, Pakistan has provided extensive assistance in the war on terror by capturing more than 600 al-Qaida members and their allies. The United States has stepped up its economic assistance to Pakistan, providing debt relief and support for a major effort for education reform. During President Musharraf's visit to the United States in 2003, President Bush announced that the United States would provide Pakistan with $3 billion in economic and military aid over 5 years. This assistance package commenced during FY 2005.

Kerry/Lugar bill authorizes $1.5 billion a year over the next five years in non-military aid to Pakistan, and advocates an additional $7.5 billion over the following five years. Beyond Kerry-Lugar, Pakistan needs an estimated additional $5 billion a year from U.S. and other sources to cover critical budget shortfalls. This funding program should focus in particular on: public education, water and irrigation, electricity and energy, and agriculture. A measurable impact will not necessarily be immediately evident in all development sectors, but the long-term payoffs will be significant.
Today (Oct. 12), the US Office of Management and Budget has sent the Kerry-Lugar bill to President Barack Obama for signature, official sources told Dawn.

- US Department of State

- The Atlantic Council of the United States’ Report, Needed: A Comprehensive U.S. Policy Towards Pakistan, February 2009

- The Dawn Media Group, Kerry-Lugar bill sent to Obama for signing, Oct. 12, 2009.

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