U.S. Relations With Pakistan
More information about Pakistan is available on the Pakistan Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Pakistan following the country’s creation in 1947. We have a broad multi-faceted partnership with Pakistan in areas ranging from education to energy to trade and investment. Furthermore, the United States and Pakistan maintain a strong security partnership that is working to dismantle terrorist networks. Attacks in 2014 on the Karachi airport and on an Army school in Peshawar had a catalytic effect across Pakistan and led to the adoption of a 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism, and invigorated efforts to eliminate safe-havens within Pakistan. The United States welcomed Pakistan’s pledge to deny any militant group safe haven or the use of Pakistani soil to launch terrorist attacks. Pakistan continues to conduct significant military operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and other areas of the country to counter domestic terrorism. Two Pakistani research groups noted significant drops in violent deaths (45% decrease) and violent incidents (28% decrease) in Pakistan in 2016 compared to 2015.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States is Pakistan’s largest export destination country, while China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner and the European Union is Pakistan’s largest export market. In FY 2016 (July 2015 - June 2016), Pakistan exported $3.7 billion to the United States in 2015 and imported $1.837 billion. Pakistan's exports to all countries were estimated at $20.79 billion, a 12.17% decline from FY 2015 and its imports declined 2.32% to $44.765 billion. Although overall overseas remittances back to Pakistan decreased during this same period, more ($19.9 billion) went through the formal banking sector, making it appear that remittances increased by 6.3%. It is estimated that at least 500,000 members of the Pakistani diaspora reside in the United States. The United States has consistently been one of the top sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Pakistan, with cumulative U.S. FDI in Pakistan in calendar year 2015 at almost $400 million, including $38 million in new investment. Pakistan has taken steps over the years to liberalize its trade and investment regimes, either unilaterally or in the context of commitments made with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank. Pakistan completed its first-ever IMF Extended Fund Facility program in 2016 and is relatively open to foreign investment, but its ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index remains low, largely due to energy, security, and governance challenges. In May 2014, following Prime Minister Sharif’s 2013 visit to Washington, the U.S. and Pakistan established a Joint Action Plan to expand bilateral trade and investment over five years. In June 2016 the United States and Pakistan organized the fourth U.S.-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference, the first in New York City, to explore commercial opportunities and expand business-to-business linkages. Major U.S. investments are concentrated in fast-moving consumer goods, construction, chemicals, energy, transportation, and communications.
U.S. Civilian Assistance to Pakistan
In 2009, as Pakistan transitioned back to civilian-led governance, the United States affirmed that sustained U.S. engagement with Pakistan’s civilian institutions and people – including through civilian assistance – is important to realizing our shared interest of Pakistan becoming a more secure, prosperous and stable democracy that successfully counters all forms of violent extremism and contributes to stability in the region. Since that time, the U.S. government has committed over $6 billion in civilian assistance to Pakistan, which includes over $1 billion in emergency humanitarian assistance in response to conflict and disasters like the 2010 floods.
U.S. civilian assistance to Pakistan is focused on five priority areas: energy; economic growth, including agriculture; community stabilization of underdeveloped areas vulnerable to violent extremism; education; and health. These priorities were determined in consultation with the government of Pakistan. The U.S. implements programs with Pakistani partners when appropriate, including the government of Pakistan, civil society, and private sector actors, to increase local capacity and promote sustainability of efforts. To date, U.S. contributions have benefitted over 28 million Pakistanis through adding over 2,400 megawatts to Pakistan’s electricity grid with infrastructure upgrades, rehabilitation, and policy consultation; led to the launch of the Pakistan Private Investment Initiative (PPII), which will provide seed funding to small- and medium-sized enterprises in Pakistan; built or reconstructed nearly 1,000 schools; and funded nearly 1,100 kilometers of roads in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
U.S. Security Assistance to Pakistan
U.S. security assistance to Pakistan is focused on strengthening the counterterrorism (CT) and counterinsurgency (COIN) capabilities of the Pakistan security forces, and promoting closer security ties and interoperability with the United States. U.S. security assistance has directly supported Pakistan’s CT operations in the FATA. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) ($255 million in FY 2016) promotes the development of Pakistan’s long-term COIN/CT capabilities and improves Pakistan’s ability to participate in maritime security operations and counter-maritime piracy. International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance to Pakistan ($5 million in FY 2016) enhances the professionalism of Pakistan’s military and strengthens long-term military relationships between Pakistan and the United States.
Pakistan's Membership in International Organizations
Pakistan and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank.
The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan is David Hale. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
Pakistan maintains an embassy in the United States at 3517 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-243-6500). It has consulates in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Houston.
More information about Pakistan is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Pakistan Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Pakistan Page
USAID Pakistan Page
History of U.S. Relations With Pakistan
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies