Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), who recently returned from a trip to Pakistan, made the following statement applauding the passage of the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009:

“It was clear during my recent trip to Pakistan in September that our support is absolutely helping Pakistan push back the threat they face from violent extremists. The Pakistanis are making positive progress and the skills and assets they have gained through our cooperation are invaluable to them. We must build on this relationship and continue to support their efforts. This bill will help us develop this long-term relationship based on mutual interests and the common goal of defeating violent extremists.

“A key component of this legislation requires the President to develop a comprehensive interagency regional security strategy in coordination with groups on the ground.  Such a strategy is essential to our efforts to counter terrorist threats and combat safe havens in Pakistan.   

“This legislation provides funding and support to train the Pakistani military in the crucial counterinsurgency capabilities needed to defeat violent extremist groups within or near its borders. It also provides funding to support economic, social and democratic development by strengthening democratic institutions, reinforcing the judicial system, developing infrastructure, spurring jobs creation, expanding public education and providing aid to refugees. This funding is vital to undermine the efforts of violent extremists, strengthen domestic support for the Pakistani government and move the country toward stability.

“While Pakistan still faces tremendous internal and external destabilizing pressures, some of these pressures have begun to subside over the last few months in large part due to our assistance.  We must build on this relationship and our long-term commitment to the region.  I am pleased to support legislation that will continue to provide the critical resources necessary to bolster the Pakistani government and develop a more constructive, accountable relationship with the United States.”

To see Congressman Adam Smith speak on the House floor about this important piece of legislation click here.