Over at Townhall yesterday, IWF’s Michelle Bernard proposed a new strategy for dealing with Pakistan:
It is critical to win the allegiance of the Pakistani people. The U.S. government must be more careful to ensure that the Pakistani people understand that it supports them, and not any particular government or politician. America cannot dictate the form of Pakistan’s government or the speed with which it returns to democracy, but Washington should unequivocally support the right of the Pakistani people to choose their own leaders.
We also must ensure that our aid actually goes to help people in need. Military assistance will remain vital so long as the Taliban and al-Qaeda remain threats, but the U.S.-Pakistan relationship must not focus on security alone. Non-governmental organizations, including those which promote the full economic, political, and social advancement of Pakistani women, should take on a greater role, bypassing the Pakistani government and establishing a direct relationship with community and tribal leaders. As some Middle Eastern suffragettes have remarked, half a democracy is not a democracy. Finally, Washington must demonstrate that it has learned humility and is willing to listen to the Pakistani people even as it encourages them to remain on a democratic path.
Read the full article here.