Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today welcomed passage by the Senate of compromise legislation to increase assistance to Pakistan and establish a more positive framework for U.S.-Pakistan relations, and he introduced the same legislation in the House.
“After many weeks of discussion and negotiation, this step now clears the way for U.S. efforts to help create a better future for Pakistan,” Berman said. “Our bicameral, bipartisan legislation demonstrates our intention to cement effective partnerships with the people, leaders, and institutions of Pakistan. I look forward to seeing it pass the House soon.”
The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act (S. 1707/H.R. 3642), which has the strong support of the Departments of State and Defense, is a compromise between legislation first introduced in the House (HR 1886), and then the Senate (S. 962). It triples U.S. democratic, economic, and social development assistance to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year from fiscal years 2010 to 2014, with a particular focus on strengthening democratic institutions, promoting economic development, and improving Pakistan's public education system.
The legislation also authorizes military assistance to help Pakistan disrupt and defeat al Qaeda and relevant insurgent elements, and requires that such assistance be focused principally on helping Pakistan with its critical counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts. The legislation further establishes accountability measures for military assistance, including a requirement that the Government of Pakistan has demonstrated a sustained effort to combating terrorist groups and has made progress towards that end, as committed to by the Government of Pakistan.
“U.S. taxpayers -- and the Pakistani people -- deserve assurance that these funds provided to Pakistan to shore up its counterinsurgency and to fight terrorism are being used to serve U.S. and Pakistani national interests,” Berman said. “Congress has agreed that such measures should be part and parcel of the law authorizing these funds, and I am pleased that our two governments and our two peoples are working jointly in such efforts.”