Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the U.S. will provide $100 million in emergency humanitarian assistance to the growing number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Pakistan. Clinton, in the White House press briefing Tuesday, told reporters, “We face a common threat, a common challenge, and now a common task. We have seen an enormous amount of support and determination out of the Pakistani government, military, and people in the last weeks to tackle the extremist challenge.”
There has been a growing recognition in Washington that the United States needs to redefine its approach to Pakistan, “and a growing number of Pakistan and counterterrorism experts have concluded that a crucial missing ingredient in U.S. policy was closer contact with the Pakistani people,” reported the Christian Science Monitor.
Frederick Barton, co-director of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told the Monitor,
For the last year, the consensus in Washington has been that we needed to create a stronger link to the Pakistani people, that that was in fact the missing link in our relations with a critical part of the world. This is a terrific first step to show we do care about the Pakistani people and not just about Afghanistan or terror.
In her briefing today, Clinton announced the American people can also participate in this new humanitarian initiative. By texting “SWAT” to 20222, anyone in the United States can make a $5 donation to the UN High Commissioner’s Office for Refugees (UNHCR) for use in the Swat Valley crisis.
So please, if you are based in the U.S., text in your donations! I am also pasting Clinton’s briefing in its entirety below, which was refreshing and well worth watching: