Pakistan and Afghanistan: Analyzing Foreign Policy & The Future of the Taliban
The panelists will take the region's geo-political circumstances into account to discuss the state of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. The panel will touch on the situation in Afghanistan in light of the draw-down of foreign forces, attempts to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table, anti-terrorism cooperation, and whether ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan are on the mend given the recent thaw between the two countries.
Pakistan's future relationship with Afghanistan is of utmost importance to stabilize the region. Previous arguments by Pakistanis related to achieving greater stability no longer qualify in this new geo-political landscape. Can Pakistan move beyond a relationship marred by interventionism to one that is more supportive and constructive of a young Afghan government? How can both nations work together to combat regional instability propagated by the militant groups on both sides of the border? Do there still exist "good" militant groups and "bad" militant groups for each nation state? Will other actors like the U.S and India influence these decisions? In other words, what is the short term end game and what will it look like?
Pakistan's Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations
Dr. Maleeha Lodhi is Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. She twice served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US (1993 – 1996, 1999 – 2002) and as High Commissioner to Britain (2003 – 2008). Until recently she was the special adviser for international affairs to Pakistan’s largest media conglomerate, the Jang/Geo Group.
She also served as a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Affairs from 2001 to 2005. She was the first woman in all of Asia to become the editor of a national daily newspaper. In 1994 Time magazine nominated her as one of a hundred people in the world who will help shape the 21st Pakistan.
Dr Lodhi is a member of the Council of the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies. She is a member of the Senate of Pakistan’s National Defence University. She also serves on the advisory board of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and is a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum. century, the only one from
Dr Lodhi was a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington in 2010 and a Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School in 2008. She is the recipient of the President’s award of Hilal-e-Imtiaz for Public Service in Pakistan. Lodhi also received an Honorary Fellowship from the London School of Economics in 2004 and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from London’s Metropolitan University in 2005. Dr Lodhi was the founding editor of Pakistan’s leading English daily, The News. She taught Politics and Political Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science from 1980-85. She has also taught at Quaid e Azam University in Islamabad.
She is the author of two books: Pakistan’s Encounter with Democracy and The External Challenge. Her latest book, an edited volume titled Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State,’ was published in 2011 by C Hurst, Columbia University Press and Oxford University Press. It has gone into its fifth edition.
Thomas W. Simons, Jr.
Former Ambassador to Pakistan
Thomas W. Simons, Jr. is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, where he served as Director of its Project on Eurasia in Transition (2002-2005). He lived in British India and newly independent Pakistan in a U.S. diplomatic family in the 1940s, and ended a 35-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service as Ambassador to Pakistan (1996-1998). Simons studied Islamic history in the Classical Period under Sir Hamilton A.R. Gibb as a Harvard Ph.D. candidate (1958-63); as Consulting Professor of History at Stanford (1998-2002) he taught courses on “20th-Century Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan” and “Varieties of Islamic Revival since 1870;” and as a Lecturer in Harvard’s Government Department (2007-14) he taught courses in “Post-Communist Islam,” the situations of Muslims in today’s Eurasia and the Balkans, “Islam in Central and South Asia,” and “Post-Communist Central Asia and the Caucasus.” In 2003 Stanford University Press published his book Islam in a Globalizing World. Simons was among the former senior officials who discussed Afghanistan under the auspices of the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan (UNSMA) in 2000-2001. Since 2000 he has visited the Subcontinent six times, most recently for a month in 2011.
Professor and Chair of the Department of Regional Analytical Studies at NDU
Hassan Abbas is professor and chair of the Department of Regional and Analytical Studies at National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs in Washington, DC. He is also a senior adviser at the Asia Society. Previously, he served as the distinguished Quaid i Azam chair professor at Columbia University and a senior adviser at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He holds a PhD. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, an LLM in International Law from the Nottingham University, UK and MA in Political Science from Punjab University, Pakistan. He regularly appears as an analyst on international media and writes pieces for various leading international newspapers and academic publications. His latest book, The Taliban Revival (Yale University Press, June 2014) chronicles the Taliban’s survival and resurgence after 2001, through firsthand research and interviews in the area.
Afghan Analyst and Entrepreneur
Hamid Arsalan is a program officer for Middle East & North Africa program at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC where he designs projects, manages diverse grants, and works closely with civil society groups in support of Afghanistan’s civic and political development. He travels frequently to Afghanistan and regularly meets with political leaders, provincial council members, business and religious leaders, and members of parliament.
Hamid conducted research at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and briefed senior officials at the White House, Pentagon, Senate & House Foreign Affairs Committees, and State Department. He assisted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 2002 to 2006 in Afghanistan on the repatriation and reintegration of more than five million refugees, mainly returning from Iran and Pakistan.
Hamid is a frequent contributor to Voice of America and CTV talk-shows. His writings have been featured in Foreign Policy, Democracy Digest, and Afghan Analytica. He regularly briefs senior U.S. civilian and military officials about Afghan domestic politics, culture, religion and the terrorist groups operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Hamid, a native of Afghanistan, is fluent in Dari, and Pashto, and proficient in Urdu and Arabic. He studied at the University of Virginia where he earned an undergraduate degree with honors in Foreign Affairs as well as MA studies in Public Policy and Leadership. He also earned a Master degree in Conflict Transformation with focus on International Development and Restorative Justice from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia.
Dean, The Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University
Prof. Adil Najam served as Vice Chancellor (equivalent of president) of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Lahore Pakistan from August 2011 through June 2013. He served as the Director of the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University from November 2007 through August 2011, and he remains a Professor of International Relations and of Earth & Environment. In 2014, he was appointed Dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.
Prof. Najam was a co-author for the Third and Fourth Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); work for which the scientific panel was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the public understanding of climate change science. In 2008 he was invited by the United Nations Secretary General to serve on the UN Committee on Development (CDP). In 2010 he was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence), one of Pakistan’s highest civil awards by the President of Pakistan. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the 2011 Human Development Report of the UNDP.
Prof. Najam has taught at Boston University, MIT, University of Massachusetts and at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. His research focuses on issues of global public policy, especially those related to South Asia, Muslim countries, environment and development, and human well-being.
Prof. Najam has written nearly 100 scholarly papers and book chapters. He is a past winner of MIT’s Goodwin Medal for Effective Teaching, the Fletcher School Paddock Teaching Award, and the Stein Rokan Award of the International Political Science Association, the ARNOVA Emerging Scholar Award, and the Pakistan Television Medal for Outstanding Achievement. Prof. Najam also serves on the editorial boards of various scholarly publications, including Global Governance, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, The Journal of Ecological Economics, Annual Editions: Environment, and The Encyclopedia of Earth. Prof. Najam is frequently interviewed by and writes for the popular media and is the founding editor of the blog Pakistaniat.com (voted the Best Current Affairs Blog in Pakistan (2010) and also won the 2010 Brass Crescent Award for Best Muslim Blog from South Asia).
Adil Najam is an expert in international diplomacy and development. His research interests include sustainable development, Muslim and South Asian politics, environmental politics in developing countries, and philanthropy among immigrant communities in the United States. Much of his work has focused on longer-term global policy problems, especially those related to human well-being and sustainable development. He contributed to Pakistan’s first environmental policy document, as well as to that country’s report to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, has worked closely with governments and civil society in both industrialized and developing countries, and regularly collaborates with the United Nations. He is a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), a Visiting Fellow at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), and serves on the Boards of the Pakistan Institute for Environment-Development Action Research (PIEDAR) and the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria, Canada.