On Monday, MFAN Partner the Center for Global Development (CGD) posted a piece on what it will take to change the attitudes of the Pakistani people with respect to the U.S. commitment to long-term development in the country. The post was co-written by CGD President Nancy Birdsall, Molly Kinder, and Wren Elhai and originally appeared on Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel blog. In order to “build common ground” they argue Secretary Clinton should be explicit in stating the U.S. commitment over the long-term and provide a clear vision — supported with specific examples — of what exactly that long-term commitment will look like. The U.S. should also be transparent and willing to partner with the Pakistani government to create a common set of indicators to measure progress. The piece goes on to list four points that will help clarify the mission for the U.S. and for the Pakistani people, many of which are based on reform principles such as transparency and partnership. See excerpts below:
“And the U.S. has a history of abandoning aid commitments to Pakistan when incoming governments violated nuclear norms, or when a bulwark against communism didn’t seem to matter as much. As understandable as some of these decisions were at the time, they seem to make it clear that U.S. development aid was driven as much or more by diplomatic imperatives as by a long-run development vision for the Pakistani people.”
“At a joint news conference with Clinton today, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi declared, “The opinion about the United States in Pakistan will change when the people of Pakistan see how, through this partnership, their lives have changed.” But without articulating a vision that resonates with the Pakistani people of what that hoped-for change is – coupled with a concrete plan for evaluating progress — even the announcement of large aid projects is likely to be seen through the lens of the unsteady deal-making that has characterized the U.S.’s relationship with Pakistan in the past. When launching into space, what matters is not just how big and expensive your rocket is. You also need to know what planet you are aiming for.”
CGD recognizes that the U.S. must take a new approach in delivering aid to Pakistan that is based on transparency and partnership. What will it take to put these reforms into action? Read about what MFAN believes is needed for reform here.