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Friday, October 4, 2013

Pakistan: U.S. Foreign Aid Conditions, Restrictions, and Reporting Requirements

Susan B. Epstein
Specialist in Foreign Policy

K. Alan Kronstadt
Specialist in South Asian Affairs

The 113
th Congress continues to debate levels of U.S. assistance to Pakistan in light of signs that Pakistan may not be a fully willing and effective U.S. partner, and that official Pakistani elements continue to support Islamist militant forces. During a period of economic and budget crises in the United States, Obama Administration officials and some senior Members of Congress have voiced concerns about the efficacy of continuing the flow of billions of U.S. aid dollars into Pakistan, with some in Congress urging more stringent conditions on, or even curtailment of, such aid. At issue is whether Pakistan’s civilian government and security services are using the aid as intended domestically while actively supporting U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and combat regional insurgent and terrorist elements. Existing aid restrictions and the certification process required for greater accountability on the part of Pakistan continue to be under scrutiny.

A number of current laws restrict or place conditions on certain aid to Pakistan. Others require the President, the Secretary of Defense, or the Secretary of State to certify that Pakistan meets specific criteria to receive U.S. aid. Criteria include that the implementing agency is qualified to manage the funds; that the Pakistani government has agreed to clear, achievable goals; that it is meeting human rights goals; and that the country is making progress in achieving U.S. aid objectives and is cooperating with the United States in combating terrorist networks and securing its nuclear weapons. Reporting requirements often are included. Current law includes authority for the President to waive certification requirements in the interest of U.S. national security.

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2013 (H.R. 4310), which became P.L. 112-239 in January 2013, limits FY2013 Coalition Support Fund reimbursements to Pakistan to $1.2 billion and prohibits reimbursements for the period (November 2011-July 2012) when Pakistan barred NATO from transiting along its Ground Lines of Communication linking Afghanistan with the Arabian Sea. The act also includes a measure to extend the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund (PCF) through FY2013. Disbursement of PCF requires the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to certify that Pakistan is demonstrating efforts to counter improvised explosive devices, is cooperating on counterterrorism efforts, and is not detaining Pakistani citizens, including Dr. Shakil Afridi, as a result of their cooperation with the U.S. government on counterterrorism efforts. The Secretary of Defense may waive this certification requirement in the interest of U.S. national security.

Pending bills include measures that would preclude or limit CSF reimbursements and require certification by the Secretary of Defense for disbursement of these funds; another would limit assistance to $50 million in agricultural or medical supplies to five countries that might seek to do harm to Americans or its allies, Pakistan among them.

This report provides a list of existing laws and pending legislation containing conditions, limitations, and reporting requirements for U.S. foreign assistance to Pakistan. It will track the debate on this topic and resulting changes. For broader discussion of U.S.-Pakistan relations, see CRS Report R41832, Pakistan-U.S. Relations, by K. A. Kronstadt. See also CRS Report R41856, Pakistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance, by Susan B. Epstein and K. A. Kronstadt.

Date of Report: September 12, 2013
Number of Pages: 24
Order Number: R42116
Price: $29.95

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