US-Pakistan Program

The US-Pakistan Program is a comprehensive approach to US-Pakistan relations, focusing on the key areas of security, economic development, and public policy. The program will explore these issues and their relevance, in order to develop a long-term, continuous dialogue between the United States and Pakistan. This project is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
  • A Conversation with Pakistan's Foreign Secretary H.E. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry

    On June 4, His Excellency Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary, gave public remarks at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center. He spoke about the government's progress in restoring peace and stability in the country and their approach to pursue regional security. H.E. Chaudhry outlined the success of the counter-insurgency campaign 'Zarb-e-Azb' and emphasized the country's improved relationship with Afghanistan's new unity government. He reiterated Pakistan's commitment to normalizing relations with India, as well as Pakistan's commitment to the global nonproliferation regime. He concluded by touching on the Pakistan-US relationship, advocating that Pakistan's partnership with the US must move toward a greater emphasis on trade over aid.

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  • Cracking Down on Militancy in Pakistan

    On April 13, IHS’s Asia Pacific Country Risk Lead Omar Hamid and South Asia Center Distinguished Fellow Shuja Nawaz discussed the evolving militancy climate in Pakistan. Hamid cited the December 2014 attack on a government school in Peshawar as a “Pearl Harbor” moment for Pakistan, and suggested it enabled the nation to act swiftly and strongly against militancy.
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  • Building strong and sustained US-Pakistan Relationship

    On October 14, the Atlantic Council's South Asia hosted US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Daniel Feldman and Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani for a briefing on the state of US-Pakistan relations. The briefing was a part of the US-Pakistan Conference, a track II effort to produce a continuous and sustainable conversation on the bilateral relationship. In their remarks, SRAP Feldman and His Excellency Jilani affirmed that the relationship between the US and Pakistan has significantly improved, despite negative rhetoric and media headlines. "This is a relationship that I am proud has grown significantly over last five years," said SRAP Feldman. H.E. Jilani echoed these comments, stating "I am certainly witnessing a high in this relationship."

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  • Atlantic Council hosts Inaugural US-Pakistan Conference

    On 14-15 October 2014, the Atlantic Council hosted the inaugural United States Pakistan Conference, a high level track 2 convening of leadership from political, military, business and civil society fields from the United States and Pakistan, to discuss common challenges ahead in the US Pakistan relationship and to search for practicable solutions.

    Despite the shared strategic interest in ensuring stability both within Pakistan and South Asia at large, successive disagreements throughout 2011 had seen the US Pakistan relationship plunge to new depths. Diplomatic efforts on both sides had helped to mend rifts from 2012 onwards and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Washington in October 2013 appeared to signal a fresh start in the relationship. But there was a feeling on both sides that the relationship had now stalled.

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  • H.E. Jalil Abbas Jillani and US SRAP Daniel Feldman on the US-Pakistan Relationship

    Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Daniel Feldman will speak at the inaugural US-Pakistan Conference hosted by the Atlantic Council on October 14 at 1:00 p.m. They will brief participants on the state of the US-Pakistan relationship with a view to 2015 and beyond.

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  • Pakistan's Polio Fight

    We have the money, science, and political will but the [polio eradication] program design is flawed." A majority of the world has overcome polio, a once highly prevalent disease, yet Pakistan is one of just three countries where the disease remains endemic—and it poses a threat to polio-free countries around the world. After nearing almost complete eradication in 2004, the number of children affected with polio in Pakistan started rising again in 2006-07, with 77 cases reported in 2014. According to Dr. Samia Altaf, former acting director and senior advisor of the office of health at USAID Pakistan, Pakistan's difficulties in eradicating the disease stem from faults in the structural design of programs run in the country. Dr. Altaf shared her expertise and prescriptions with Amb. John E. Lange, United Nations Foundations Global Health and Diplomacy Senior Fellow, at an Atlantic Council's South Asia Center panel on Pakistan's Polio Fight.

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  • Pakistan’s Bilateral and Regional Trade Priorities

    "Pakistan's bilateral and regional trade priorities are to trade more. Our belief is that Pakistan's economy cannot grow if it won't open up to the neighbors," stated Pakistan's Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan. Speaking at a South Asia Center discussion, the Minister argued that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is "committed to resolving long standing issues with its neighboring countries and to enhancing trade and economic relations with them." Khan's visited Washington, DC to represent Pakistan in the US-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement negotiation meetings.
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  • The Future of FATA

    “FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan) is often portrayed as an incubator of terror and violence that threatens the entire stability of the region,” stated Faiysal AliKhan speaking at a South Asia Center event on May 8, but a danger exists in discussing a single solution for the region as a whole, given the diverse and complex nature of the region.

    Faiysal AliKhan,Carnegie Fellow, National Security Studies Program ,New America Foundation and Ahmed Humayun,FellowInstitute for Social Policy and Understanding, having both spent significant time working in Pakistan, shared firsthand perspectives and dispelled “conflicting ideas of what is actually wrong” in the region, stressing the impetus for order and stability through better governance.

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  • Causes and Consequences of Political Islam in Pakistan

    Political Islamists, as they currently operate in Pakistan, are "likely to divide our society, break it apart, and cause more violence," warned Former Pakistan Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Husain Haqqani. He contended that political Islamists have replaced anthropological and sociological explanations of Islam with "a puritanical formation of Islam, which is essentially totalitarian, inherently violent, and very intolerant." Haqqani, speaking at an Atlantic Council South Asia Center event urged for a more honest evaluation of Pakistan's own history, suggesting that as it is interpreted now, Pakistan's history is "totally mired in myths."
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  • Countering Violent Extremism in Pakistan

    Why Women Must Have a Role

    “The greatest predictor of security and stability in a country is actually not wealth and it’s not the level of democracy. It is how well the women are treated,” said The Hon. Swanee Hunt at a panel hosted the by the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and the Institute of Inclusive Security on April 2. Hunt introduced a panel of four women leaders from Pakistan who are working to counter the growing threat of violent extremism in the country: Huma Chughtai, gender and police reform expert; Shaista Pervaiz, member of the National Assembly, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz; Mossarat Qadeem, executive director, PAIMAN Alumni Trust; and Nuzhat Sadiq, member of the Senate, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz.These women represent a microcosm of the increasing number of women expressing themselves in the nation’s fight against terror, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 Pakistani...

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