"A stable, democratic, prosperous Pakistan is considered vital to U.S. interests. U.S. concerns regarding Pakistan include regional and global terrorism; Afghan stability; democratization and human rights protection; the ongoing Kashmir problem and Pakistan-India tensions; and economic development. A U.S.-Pakistan relationship marked by periods of both cooperation and discord was transformed by the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and the ensuing enlistment of Pakistan as a key ally in U.S.-led counterterrorism efforts. Top U.S. officials regularly praise Pakistan for its ongoing cooperation, although doubts exist about Islamabad's commitment to some core U.S. interests. Pakistan is identified as a base for terrorist groups and their supporters operating in Kashmir, India, and Afghanistan. Since 2003, Pakistan's army has conducted unprecedented and largely ineffectual counterterrorism operations in the country's western tribal areas. Islamabad later shifted to a strategy of negotiation with the region's pro-Taliban militants (combined with longer-term economic and infrastructure development in the region), a tack that elicited scepticism in Western capitals and that has failed in its central purposes."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33498