Take EU Pakistan Policy Off Autopilot

Take EU Pakistan Policy Off Autopilot
Op-Ed European Voice
Summary
The EU-Pakistan summit should mark the beginning of a new strategic partnership that helps Islamabad deal with its immediate crisis and helps transform a weakened state into a modern Muslim democracy.
Related Media and Tools
 

When EU leaders hold their first ever summit with Pakistan on June 17th, they will meet a country at a critical juncture. After two months of warfare, the Islamabad government has regained territory in Swat and Malakand from the Pakistani Taliban. Feeling pressured, the militants are now striking back the best way they can – through terror and bombings, such as the attacks seen in Peshawar.

How Islamabad deals with the three fronts of the current crisis -- security, governance and humanitarian -- will determine whether Pakistan slides back to its old habits of denial and fragmentation, or whether it can uphold the fragile but genuine momentum for change.

Through a three-pillar stabilization package using aid and governance tools, while boosting trade and development, the EU can play a critical role in making Pakistan's change a lasting one. For the EU –Pakistan summit to be the start of a true strategic cooperation between Europe and Pakistan, Brussels and its institutions will need a stronger mandate from European capitals.

First the EU should help address the unprecedented humanitarian crisis triggered by the military offensive. The number of internally displaced people is a staggering two million in addition to the 500,000 made homeless by an earlier operation in Bajaur. This may in the long-term hamper Pakistan’s economic recovery; in the short-term, it undermines the military’s hard-fought gains. The reason: the Pakistani government’s inability to deliver post-combat assistance to the 2.5 million displaced people who are easy prey for charity-cum-extremists such as Lashkar-e-Taiba. As Pakistani forces fight today’s enemy, they may inadvertently be swelling the ranks of future foes.

The EU should begin by matching the recent U.S. pledge of more than 200 million US dollars (142 million euros) in humanitarian aid. Its 5.5 million euro humanitarian aid package pledged so far --  in the light of the half-billion dollar appeal from the UN -- and the fact that not a single EU commissioner has visited the refugees speak volumes of the EU’s neglect.

For those EU countries that do not have bilateral ties with Pakistan, the establishment of a “Frontier Emergency Fund” would help channel aid into quick-impact projects. Small donations of a million or even half a million euros could make a difference. Such a fund would also help reinforce the credibility of Pakistan’s civilian government by providing assistance to support state services, including the provision of security, electricity and potable water.

Beyond the emergency situation, the EU should focus on what it does best: trade and development. The EU must listen carefully to Pakistan’s requirements and, despite misgivings and technical blockages, explore the pros and cons of opening negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Doing so will send a powerful political signal that few other overtures can.

Increased access to trade financing is also necessary to ensure a continuation of exports despite the financial crisis. Boosting Pakistan’s private sector should be another key priority. According to the Asian Development Bank, Pakistan’s private sector is the biggest contributor to GDP as well as Pakistan’s biggest employer. The EU should help remove bureaucratic bottlenecks, which prevent the emergence of more freer, more dynamic private sector.

The EU should then launch a Rule of Law Review Task Force with the Pakistani authorities to identify gaps and needs in resources and training within the civilian security forces and the judicial sector. Such a joint body could make recommendations on how develop an effective civilian counter-terrorism strategy, which emphasizes police and legal action rather than exclusively military efforts and targets EU assistance not only to the frontline, but also to policing Sindh and Punjab provinces.

This need not be a traditional ESPD mission, but “smart ESDP”, i.e. not boots-on-the-ground, but a boutique intervention with few, long-serving experts working in partnership with the Pakistani authorities and with co-location tied to out-of-country training for the top echelons of Pakistan’s police and judiciary.

Finally, the summit must signal an EU shift away from backing Pakistan’s political flavour of the month to helping build strong institutions and investing in civil society, which is vibrant, dynamic and committed to democracy. Groups that deserve support include lawyers' organisations, women's groups, human rights activists and the media, where the focus should be on ensuring media independence and journalism training.

In the last two years, Pakistan's civil society proved its essential role in deepening democracy. Based on the recommendations of its own election mission from last year, the EU should approach the Pakistani authorities to explore ways to jointly support strengthening of democratic institutions, including the modernisation of political parties and the electoral framework.

Pakistan is at a cross-road and will need EU help and encouragement to take the right turn. The EU-Pakistan summit should mark the beginning of a new strategic partnership, which helps the Islamabad government deal with the immediate crisis and helps transform a weakened state into a modern Muslim democracy in the heart of South Asia.

End of document
Source http://carnegieeurope.eu/2009/06/15/take-eu-pakistan-policy-off-autopilot/bz2e

More from The Global Think Tank

Publication Resources

In Fact

 

45%

of the Chinese general public

believe their country should share a global leadership role.

30%

of Indian parliamentarians

have criminal cases pending against them.

140

charter schools in the United States

are linked to Turkey’s Gülen movement.

2.5–5

thousand tons of chemical weapons

are in North Korea’s possession.

92%

of import tariffs

among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been eliminated.

$2.34

trillion a year

is unaccounted for in official Chinese income statistics.

37%

of GDP in oil-exporting Arab countries

comes from the mining sector.

72%

of Europeans and Turks

are opposed to intervention in Syria.

90%

of Russian exports to China

are hydrocarbons; machinery accounts for less than 1%.

13%

of undiscovered oil

is in the Arctic.

17

U.S. government shutdowns

occurred between 1976 and 1996.

40%

of Ukrainians

want an “international economic union” with the EU.

120

million electric bicycles

are used in Chinese cities.

60–70%

of the world’s energy supply

is consumed by cities.

58%

of today’s oils

require unconventional extraction techniques.

67%

of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.

50%

of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.

18%

of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.

81%

of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.

32

million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3

Syrians

now needs urgent assistance.

370

political parties

contested India’s last national elections.

70%

of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.

70%

of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.

20%

of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.

58%

of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.

$536

billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.

$100

billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.

4700%

increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.

$11

billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.

2%

of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.

78

journalists

were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.

Stay in the Know

Enter your email address in the field below to receive the latest Carnegie analysis in your inbox!

Personal Information
 
 
Carnegie Europe
 
Carnegie Europe Rue du Congrès, 15 1000 Brussels, Belgium Phone: +32 2 735 56 50 Fax: +32 2736 6222
Please note...

You are leaving the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy's website and entering another Carnegie global site.

请注意...

您离开卡内基 - 清华全球政策中心网站,进入另一个卡内基全球网站。