On May 9, 2012, the Atlantic Council hosted a members’ roundtable with H.E. Shaukat Aziz, former prime minister of Pakistan, on South Asian financial, security, and regional relations, and the increasingly strategic role the region plays in global affairs.
Currently, US-Pakistani diplomatic relations are tenuous, with drone strikes, Afghan border tensions, and economic and military aid, exacerbating the already strained relationship between the two allies. Aziz argued for a “reset” in relations between the United States and Pakistan, establishing clear objectives and a foundation of trust, in order for the region, and the partners themselves, to benefit. He also elaborated on the centrality of economic growth for Pakistan and South Asia as a whole, emphasizing that stability in Afghanistan could only be achieved through economic development. Aziz also highlighted trade as a potential catalyst towards improving relations between Pakistan and India.

Aziz resides in London, where he is the member of several boards and advisory boards, including the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council. During his term as prime minister, Aziz made serious reforms to Pakistan’s national economy, focusing on education, debt reduction, and the banking and financial sectors. He has had a distinguished career in global finance since first joining Citibank in 1969, managing corporate and private banking in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. In 1999, after thirty years with Citigroup, Aziz was appointed Pakistan’s minister of finance, where he was also chairman of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet. In 2004, Aziz was elected as a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and was sworn in as the twenty-third prime minister of Pakistan, where he served a full term until 2007.

This roundtable is part of a larger series of Corporate and Individual members’ programming, which seeks to provide members the opportunity to dialogue directly with experts and policymakers on the most relevant topics of the day.