Washington: In less than a decade since the 9/11 terror attacks, Pakistan has received more than USD 18 billion in assistance and reimbursements from the US, about two-thirds of which is security related, a governmental report has said.
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in its latest report that foreign assistance is vital to help the government of Pakistan overcome the political, economic, and security challenges that threaten its long-term stability.
"Since 2002, the United States has provided over USD 18 billion in foreign assistance and reimbursements to Pakistan, about two-thirds of which has been security-related," the report said.
Pakistan has been a key US ally in America`s `war on terror` launched after the September 2011 terror attacks in the US.
The report noted that Taliban, al Qaeda, and other terror groups have used parts of Pakistan to plan and launch attacks on Afghan, US and NATO security forces in Afghanistan, as well as on Pakistani citizens and security forces in Pakistan.
Enhancing the effectiveness of civilian assistance to Pakistan is one of the US government`s top foreign policy and national security priorities, it said.
The GAO said in reports and testimonies since 2008, it has identified the need to improve planning, monitoring, documentation and oversight of US assistance to Pakistan.
"For example, in previous reports we have noted the need to increase oversight and accountability for Pakistan`s reimbursement claims for Coalition Support Funds and to improve planning, performance, and monitoring documentation of US development assistance to Pakistan`s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)," it said.
GAO said as of December 31, 2010, the full impact of the fiscal year 2010 civilian assistance could not be determined because most of the funding had not yet been disbursed.
According to a State document, it will take some time before significant outcomes of the civilian assistance can be measured.
Furthermore, performance indicators, targets, and baselines had not yet been established for all of the civilian assistance.
USAID, for example, is in the process of establishing new indicators across all sectors, it said.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said yesterday that a key component of US partnership with Pakistan was to help enable the military`s counter-terror and counter-insurgency operations. The series of offensive operations undertaken by the Pakistani military in the tribal areas expanded dramatically in 2009.
The US aid to Pakistan is aimed at strengthening the military`s capability to combat terrorism, besides providing development assistance to the country.
"... because we so heavily depend on Pakistan as a supply route supporting our efforts in Afghanistan, Coalition Support Funds remain critical to reimbursing the Pakistanis for their assistance," Mullen said.