FEBRUARY 18, 2016
Billions of taxpayer dollars spent on development assistance have propped up the most repressive elements in Pakistani society. So it's time to alter the deal.
On Feb. 10, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, plans to block the Barack Obama administration from financing the sale of up to eight F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan. In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Corker observed that the U.S. relationship with Pakistan is “complicated and imperfect,” and that although cooperation has achieved “some of our interests,” Pakistan remains a “duplicitous partner, moving sideways rather than forward in resolving regional challenges.” Corker was particularly angered by Pakistan’s persistent support to the Haqqani faction of the Afghan Taliban.
Corker’s decision is no mere lonely move by a maverick legislator. It is a bellwether of widespread and growing frustration with Pakistan on Capitol Hill. The time has come to mend, if not end, U.S. assistance to Pakistan.