High-level talks between Pakistan and the United States this week in Washington have put the spotlight on Islamabad's frayed diplomatic ties with the West. Pakistani leaders have had to absorb accusations that they are giving safe harbor to the Taliban and terrorists including Osama bin Laden and hampering the NATO mission in Afghanistan. They also face pressure from a Pakistani public hostile to the United States and angered by increased drone strikes.
But Pakistan is wracked by much more fundamental problems than the intricacies of managing international alliances: After this summer's floods, Pakistan teetered on the brink of failed state status. The waters have largely receded, but they've left in their wake a landscape of despair. The need for immediate disaster relief has given way to the questions of how to return millions of displaced Pakistanis to their homes, when to begin rebuilding the country's destroyed infrastructure, and how to provide basic provisions like clean drinking water to the indigent.
The United States has signaled its willingness to help, but Pakistan will largely have to travel the road to recovery on its own. Here are 5 ideas on how it might best make the journey.
- Don't Underestimate the General By Imtiaz Gul
- Pakistan's Rich Tax Evaders Are the Least of Our Problems By Shuja Nawaz
- We Need to Rebuild from the Ground Up By Rafay Alam
- How to Spend Pakistan's Aid Money By Nancy Birdsall, Wren Elhai, and Molly Kinder
- Plus: USAID disaster relief chief Mark Ward on the difficult delivery of flood relief
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