Pakistan-U.S. Relations: A Summary [May 16, 2011]   [open pdf - 439KB]

"This report summarizes important recent developments in Pakistan and in Pakistan-U.S. relations. These include high-profile political assassinations earlier in 2011, the Raymond Davis affair involving a CIA operative accused of murder in the city of Lahore, and the May killing of Osama bin Laden in the military cantonment city of Abbottabad, among others. Obama Administration engagement with Pakistan has been seriously disrupted by recent events. A brief analysis of the current state of Pakistan-U.S. relations illuminates the main areas of contention and uncertainty. Vital U.S. interests related to links between Pakistan and indigenous American terrorism, Islamist militancy in Pakistan and Islamabad's policies toward the Afghan insurgency, Pakistan's relations with historic rival India, nuclear weapons proliferation and security, and the troubled status of Pakistan's domestic setting are reviewed. Ongoing human rights concerns are briefly summarized, and the report closes with discussion of U.S. foreign assistance to Pakistan. [...] The May 2011 revelation that Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden had enjoyed apparently years-long and relatively comfortable refuge inside Pakistan has led to intensive U.S. government scrutiny of the now deeply troubled bilateral relationship, and has sparked much congressional questioning of the wisdom of existing U.S. foreign assistance programs to a government and nation that may not have the intention and/or capacity to be an effective U.S. partner. Pakistan is among the leading recipients of U.S. aid both in FY2010 and in the post-9/11 period, having been appropriated more than $20 billion in assistance and military reimbursements since 2001. With anti-American sentiments and xenophobic conspiracy theories remaining rife among ordinary Pakistanis, persistent economic travails and a precarious political setting combine to present serious challenges to U.S. decision makers."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41832
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