On April 10, 2013, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center hosted a discussion on Pakistan’s upcoming elections with Simbal Khan, Pakistan scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center; Ikram Sehgal, chairman, Pathfinder Group; and Jumaina Siddiqui, senior program officer, Pakistan, National Democratic Institute.

A discussion with

Simbal Khan
Pakistan Scholar
Woodrow Wilson Center

Ikram Sehgal
Pathfinder Group

Jumaina Siddiqui
Senior Program Officer, Pakistan
National Democratic Institute

Moderated by

Shuja Nawaz
Director, South Asia Center
Atlantic Council

Simbal Khan is Pakistan scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC, and director for Afghanistan and Central Asia at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan (ISSI). She has a PhD from the Department of International Relations at Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. For the past decade she has focused on US/NATO military strategy and its impact on Pakistan’s security and with the politics of the complex India-Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship. Dr. Kahn is currently engaged in producing a monograph entitled US Military Assistance to Pakistan: 2010-2011. Some of her most recent publications have appeared in the China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly Journal (a SAIS publication) and Eurasia Critic and Strategic Studies and Reflections, the two main publications of the ISSI. She is also a regular commentator on television and radio talk shows dedicated to Afghanistan and other foreign policy issues.

Ikram Sehgal is the chairman of Pathfinder Group, comprising two of the largest private security Pakistani companies, with 15,000 employees in more than fifty cities and towns in Pakistan, supported independently by electronics security and facility services companies. After graduating from Pakistan Military Academy, Mr. Sehgal served in the Pakistan Army in the Infantry and Army Aviation, becoming the first Pakistani prisoner of war in history to escape from India in July 1971. While commanding a rifle company during the Indo-Pak war he was given “battlefield promotion” to the rank of major on December 13, 1971. He presently serves as director of Bank Alfalah Ltd and General Tyre Ltd, is a foundation member of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Switzerland and on the Business Advisory Board for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Geneva. He is a director EastWest Institute (EWI) New York, USA. Mr. Sehgal is the publisher and chief editor of Defense Journal and writes weekly columns for various magazines and newspapers. Presently he is the chairman Defense & Security Committee, Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE).

Jumaina Siddiqui is the senior program officer for Pakistan at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), where she works on their programs focusing on political party development, elections, and increasing the participation of women and youth in the political process. Prior to joining NDI, she worked at Global Communities on a US Agency for International Development-funded project to increase stability in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas by providing improved livelihood and economic growth opportunities. Other key positions held by Ms. Siddiqui included serving as a program officer in the Asia Division of the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative; a research associate at the Stimson Center; and a program coordinator at The Protection Project at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Ms. Siddiqui holds a BA in political science from American University and an MA from New York University, where her work focused on nation-building, democracy promotion, and the rule of law in the Muslim world.