"The major areas of U.S. concern in Pakistan include: nuclear nonproliferation; counterterrorism; regional stability; democratization and human rights; and economic reform and development. An ongoing Pakistan-India nuclear arms race, fueled by rivalry over Kashmir, continues to be the focus of U.S. nonproliferation efforts in South Asia and a major issue in U.S. relations with both countries. This attention intensified following nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan in May 1998. South Asia is viewed by some observers as a likely prospect for use of such weapons. India has developed short- and intermediate-range missiles, and Pakistan has acquired short-range missiles from China and medium-range missiles from North Korea. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since 1947. […] In October 1999, the government of Prime Minister Sharif was ousted in a blood- less coup led by Chief of Army Staff Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf has since assumed the title of President, a move ostensibly legitimized by a controversial April 2002 referendum. The United States has strongly urged the Pakistan military government to restore the country to civilian democratic rule. National elections held in October 2002 resulted in no clear majority party emerging and were marked by significant gains for a coalition of Islamic parties. Pakistan continues to face many serious problems, including a beleaguered economy, corruption, terrorism, and poor governance. Pakistan will receive well over one billion dollars in U.S. assistance and several billion dollars from international organizations to help strengthen the country as a strategically important state."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB94041