A coordinated international effort should occur with major donors, countries, and organizations, and the United States in an actively supportive role for Pakistan. The multiple policy challenges that Pakistan faces—security threats from militant groups, governance failures, and major economic difficulties—require a concerted and organized international supporting effort. Pakistanis’ suspicions of the United States mean that multilateral approaches will work more effectively than bilateral ones. This process began with the meeting of a Friends of Pakistan group in September 2008 at the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly, whose partners include China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the World Bank—all of which have strong economic and security links with Pakistan, and growing leverage. Their expertise, manpower, and financial resources can complement the efforts of Pakistan’s leaders and the United States. The United States in particular should consult more closely with China on its Pakistan policy, since both countries share a common interest in a stable, secure, and economically viable Pakistan. China has its own concerns regarding regional Islamist militant groups and could play a more constructive role in addressing these issues in Pakistan, as it has in negotiations on the Korean peninsula.
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