WASHINGTON: Democratic US Senator, Bob Casey has called for diversifying American assistance for Pakistan to help it overcome challenges of extremism and bring socio-economic development to its people. Speaking at the Asia Society meeting in Washington, he said the United States should help Pakistan in promoting education, democracy, rule of law and good governance. “We must broaden and diversify U.S. assistance to Pakistan beyond a pure military focus. The United States has invested embarrassingly little in the areas where the fundamental struggle against extremism must take place: education, democracy building (including the rule of law), and accountable governance,” he said.
Casey, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was speaking in the backdrop of his recent visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan. He offered his support for a new Congressional move to enhance economic aid for the South Asian nation. “I want to salute the leadership demonstrated by Senators (Joseph) Biden and (Richard) Lugar, who have offered a promising blueprint to expand and diversify U.S. assistance to Pakistan, including tripling non-military assistance to Pakistan over a ten year period.”
The lawmaker said Washington should assure Pakistanis that it would not abandon them. “We must reassure the Pakistani people that the United States is serious when it pledges a long-term commitment to Pakistan. For too long now, our obsession with short term imperatives in Pakistan has sowed confusion over our real motivations and objectives. Let me be clear: the United States has abandoned Pakistan in the past when Pakistan no longer suited our needs. That cannot happen again. We cannot expect Pakistan to forge a new partnership with the United States if they are unable to trust our intentions.”-SANA