WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection, at a hearing on Pakistan today said that U.S. aid to Pakistan must be tied to Pakistan meeting certain conditions and focused on partnering with the people of Pakistan.
“In Pakistan, we have an obligation and responsibility to American taxpayers to make sure that U.S. foreign aid is used to ensure our national security. Focusing on the perception of the United States by the Pakistani people is very important. We need to ensure that our economic and development efforts show that the United States is a partner with the Pakistani people.”
The Senator added that the death of Osama bin Laden also presents the United States with an opportunity to “reset” the relationship with the Pakistani people. “The death of bin Laden provides us with an opportunity to reach out to the Pakistani people so that they understand that the gravest threat they face is not from the U.S. military, but from terrorists who are using their country as a safe heaven. We need to do a better job of helping Pakistanis understand that it is in their economic and security interests to partner with the United States.”