Washington: The United States has started conditioning the award of billions of dollars in security assistance to Pakistan on whether Islamabad shows progress to combat the al Qaeda and its militant allies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the classified system, put in place after the secret US military raid that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden at his Abbottabad hideout, signals a shift by the White House toward a pay-for-performance relationship with Pakistan.
Under the new approach, the office of the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is compiling classified scorecards that track Pakistan’s cooperation in four areas, referred to in the White House as “baskets”.
Each basket contains a to-do list that the administration wants from Pakistan.
Clapper’s office looks at each item in each basket and assigns “green light”, “yellow light” and “red light” assessments to show whether progress is being made, the report said.
According to officials, the classified score cards are presented to the so-called deputies committee of the White House National Security Council.
The deputies, who represent senior members of the President’s cabinet, oversee the review process and the release of security funding.
Officials wouldn’t say how they decide how much money to release for incremental progress by Pakistan.
A senior military official called the unusual new approach “a hard-knuckled reflection of where we are right now” in relations.
“The message is: You make progress in these areas, and we can release some of this assistance,” another senior US official said of the review process.
“Give us something that we can show [Congress] that we’re working together,” the official added.
The US aid to Pakistan, including economic and security-related assistance, totalled nearly USD 4.5 billion in fiscal 2010.
Security aid accounted for over USD 2.7 billion of that, according to the Congressional Research Service.