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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Rethinking Western Strategies Toward Pakistan: An Action Agenda for the United States and Europe By Frederic Grare

Pakistan’s military is complicit in the worsening security situation in Afghanistan—including the resurgence of the Taliban, terrorism in Kashmir, and the growth of jihadi extremism and capabilities, says a new report from the Carnegie Endowment. Furthermore, current Western policies reinforce Pakistan’s political weakness and contribute to regional instability by allowing Pakistan to trade democratization for its cooperation on terrorism.

In Rethinking Western Strategies Toward Pakistan: An Action Agenda for the United States and Europe, visiting scholar Frederic Grare analyzes the cost of continued military rule in Pakistan and presents new guidelines for Western policies. Grare argues that while Pakistan may partially cooperate with the West against international terrorism, without democratization Pakistan will continue its policies, resulting in continued regional instability.

Key Conclusions:

• Pakistan’s army has inflated the threat of religious sectarianism and jihadi extremism outside its borders, particularly in Afghanistan and Kashmir, for its own self-interest. Faced with this seeming instability and a perceived lack of alternatives, the West adopted a more lenient attitude toward Pakistan’s military regime as a moderate stalwart against Islamic extremism.

• Restoring stable civilian rule would lessen Pakistan’s obsession with the threat posed by India and focus Pakistan’s energy on its own economic development.

• Of approximately $10 billion in assistance given to Pakistan since September 11, 2001, only $900 million has gone to development—the bulk being channeled to the military.

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