New York, July 28 : Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's ongoing visit, his first after becoming PM, to the US will give President George Bush an opportunity to recast relations with Islamabad, making it clear that Washington is committed to strengthening both Pakistan's democracy and its ability to fight extremism.
That will require a lot more economic assistance and more carefully monitored military aid, said an article in the New York Times.
It said that people in Pakistan "deeply resent" the US for propping up and enabling their former dictator Pervez Musharraf. "President Bush, who directed that enabling, must have his own serious doubts about Gilani's willingness to fight Taliban and Qaeda forces that are using Pakistan as a safe haven," said the article.
It added: That is why Bush needs to use this visit to recast relations - making clear that he is committed to strengthening both Pakistan's democracy and its ability to fight extremism. That will require a lot more economic assistance and more carefully monitored military aid.
For their part, Pakistan's civilian leaders must provide more honest and effective governance, and that they must tell their voters that extremism also threatens Pakistan - and that this is not just America's fight.
The government also needs to find new ways of asserting its authority in the tribal areas, by providing better social services, promoting economic development and working more closely with tribal leaders. And, it must send more elite troops trained in counterinsurgency to take on Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Both sides would be better able to achieve these goals if Congress approved legislation introduced this month by Senator Joseph Biden and Senator Richard Lugar that provides for substantial long-term increases in economic assistance to Pakistan and tighter monitoring of American military assistance. The White House needs to give this bipartisan initiative its strong support, added the article.