"A stable, democratic, economically thriving Pakistan is considered vital to U.S. interests in Asia. Key U.S. concerns regarding Pakistan include regional terrorism; weapons proliferation; the ongoing Kashmir problem and Pakistan-India tensions; human rights protection; 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 pivotal ally in U.S.-led counterterrorism efforts. Top U.S. officials regularly praise Islamabad for its ongoing cooperation, although doubts exist about Islamabad' s commitment to some core U.S. interests in the region. Pakistan is identified as a base for terrorist groups and their supporters operating in Kashmir, India, and Afghanistan. Pakistan continues to face serious problems, including domestic terrorism and human rights violations. Since late 2003, Pakistan's army has been conducting unprecedented counterterrorism operations in traditionally autonomous western tribal areas."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB94041