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Foreign Relations- Pakistan & U.S.A. - Bush

In March 2002 a suicide attacker detonated explosives in a church in Islamabad, killing two Americans associated with the Embassy and three others. There were also unsuccessful attacks by terrorists on the Consulate General in Karachi in May 2002. Another bomb was detonated near American and other businesses in Karachi in November 2005, killing three people and wounding 15 others. On March 2, 2006, a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives as a vehicle carrying an American Foreign Service officer passed by on its way to Consulate Karachi. The diplomat, the Consulate's locally-employed driver and three other people were killed in the blast; 52 others were wounded.

The decision by India to conduct nuclear tests in May 1998 and Pakistan's matching response set back U.S. relations in the region, which had seen renewed U.S. Government interest during the second Clinton Administration. A presidential visit scheduled for the first quarter of 1998 was postponed and, under the Glenn Amendment, sanctions restricted the provision of credits, military sales, economic assistance, and loans to the government. The October 1999 overthrow of the democratically elected Sharif government triggered an additional layer of sanctions under Section 508 of the Foreign Appropriations Act, which include restrictions on foreign military financing and economic assistance. U.S. Government assistance to Pakistan was subsequently limited mainly to refugee and counter-narcotics assistance.

The U.S.-Pakistan relationship changed significantly once Pakistan agreed to support the U.S. campaign to eliminate the Taliban in Afghanistan and to join the United States in the Global War on Terror. Since September 2001, Pakistan has provided extensive assistance in the war on terror by capturing more than 600 al-Qaida members and their allies. The United States has stepped up its economic assistance to Pakistan, providing debt relief and support for a major effort for education reform. During President Musharraf's visit to the United States in 2003, President Bush announced that the United States would provide Pakistan with $3 billion in economic and military aid over 5 years. This assistance package commenced during FY 2005.

Following the region's tragic October 8, 2005 earthquake, the United States responded immediately and generously to Pakistan's call for assistance. The response was consistent with U.S. humanitarian values and our deep commitment to Pakistan. At the subsequent reconstruction conference in Islamabad on November 19, 2005, the U.S. announced a $510 million commitment to Pakistan for earthquake relief and reconstruction, including humanitarian assistance, military support for relief operations, and anticipated U.S. private contributions.

In 2004, the United States recognized closer bilateral ties with Pakistan by designating Pakistan as a Major Non-NATO Ally. President Bush visited Pakistan in March 2006, where he and President Musharraf reaffirmed their shared commitment to a broad and lasting strategic partnership, agreeing to continue their cooperation on a number of issues including: the war on terror, security in the region, strengthening democratic institutions, trade and investment, education, and earthquake relief and reconstruction.

The United States and Pakistan concluded the sale to Pakistan of F-16 aircraft in late 2006, further reflecting their deepening strategic partnership. President Musharraf visited Washington in September 2006, where he held a bilateral meeting with President Bush and also participated in a trilateral meeting with President Bush and President Karzai of Afghanistan. The U.S.-Pakistan strategic partnership is based on the shared interests of the United States and Pakistan in building stable and sustainable democracy and in promoting peace and security, stability, prosperity, and democracy in South Asia and across the globe.

In September 2008 it was reported that President George W. Bush had approved secret orders allowing U.S. forces to conduct ground assaults in Pakistan without Islamabad's consent, although that country's military insists it will not allow foreign troops to carry out operations on Pakistani soil. The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Admiral Michael Mullen, announced the new strategy will allow American forces to fight militants in Pakistan's tribal regions as well as in Afghanistan.




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