As tensions have increased between the United States and Pakistan in recent days — symbolized by the Pakistan government’s closing of a key border crossing for NATO supplies into Afghanistan — a White House report has become public and could add to the pressures.
The report specifically criticizes the Pakistan military for not directly combating elements of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in North Waziristan. That region has been a safe haven for insurgents attacking NATO forces in Afghanistan.
The assessment also expresses myriad concerns about the performance of Pakistan’s civilian government, headed by President Asif Ali Zardari. While noting some positive moves in the March 30-June 30 period, it nonetheless states, “President Zardari’s declining popularity and low support among Pakistani political stakeholders stood out as the most obvious factor impacting the strength and stability of the civilian government.”
The report to Congress was prepared by the National Council staff, working with government agencies such as the State Department and Pentagon. The report was ordered by Congress to provide benchmarks in connection with increased U.S. aid to Pakistan.
Parts of the report first appeared Wednesday morning in The Wall Street Journal. The NewsHour obtained this copy late Wednesday.