This report summarizes important recent developments in Pakistan and in Pakistan-U.S. relations. These include high-profile political assassinations earlier in 2011, the Raymond Davis affair involving a CIA operative accused of murder in the city of Lahore, and the May killing of Osama bin Laden in the military cantonment city of Abbottabad, among others. Obama Administration engagement with Pakistan has been seriously disrupted by recent events. A brief analysis of the current state of Pakistan-U.S. relations illuminates the main areas of contention and uncertainty. Vital U.S. interests related to links between Pakistan and indigenous American terrorism, Islamist militancy in Pakistan and Islamabad's policies toward the Afghan insurgency, Pakistan's relations with historic rival India, nuclear weapons proliferation and security, and the troubled status of Pakistan's domestic setting are reviewed. Ongoing human rights concerns are briefly summarized, and the report closes with discussion of U.S. foreign assistance to Pakistan.
The 112th Congress has been focused measures to reduce the federal budget deficit. This backdrop may influence congressional debate over the third-ranking U.S. aid recipient, Pakistan-a country vital to U.S. national security interests but that some say lacks accountability and even credibility.