A New Policy Toward Pakistan

Testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs

CAPAF’s Brian Katulis testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs. Read the full testimony (CAPAF)

The devastating bombing of the Islamabad Marriott this past weekend highlighted the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan—and other members of the panel have stressed in their remarks the complicated security dynamics inside of Pakistan. I will focus my remarks on another component of security often overlooked in Pakistan—economic security. For far too long, U.S. policy has focused almost exclusively on the military and intelligence aspects of our relationship with Pakistan without enough attention on the impact that economic dynamics have on stability in Pakistan.

In the past year, rising food and commodity prices have hit the Pakistani economy hard, leaving many Pakistanis vulnerable as their country attempts to make a crucial transition from military rule to democracy. The newly elected government faces interlinked challenges: tackling emboldened militant groups and terrorist organizations, advancing political reform, and stabilizing the economy. U.S. policymakers cannot afford to ignore any one of these challenges. In particular, the economic troubles that Pakistan faces have potential for further undermining Pakistan’s fragile internal stability. If Pakistan’s economy experiences further collapse, the government could lose further support of the people.

Read the full testimony (CAPAF)