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    United States-Pakistan Relations: New Opportunities and Old Challenges (21 Aug 2019)

    Professor Touqir Hussain

    21 August, 2019

    About the Seminar:


    United States (US)-Pakistan relations have over the past six decades served some important interests of the two countries. Yet, it has been a very difficult relationship. The biggest challenge has been that the relationship was never truly strategic. However, the irony is it was never truly transactional either. It was transactional but it dealt with strategic issues without a strategic framework. This made it difficult to manage the relationship that ran up against the two countries’ ties with China and India, and their differences over the nuclear issue. This, thus, presented the nearly impossible challenge of cooperating on some issues but having to navigate differences of perception, policy and interests on others throwing the relationship into limbo or crisis from time to time. This old challenge remains as the two countries grapple with new opportunities of working together to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and continue their useful intelligence cooperation to combat the threat of transnational terrorist organisations like ISIS and Al Qaeda and to deal with Jihadist organisations – all this while having to operate the US-Pakistan relations in the context of emerging geo-politics, US-China and US-Iran tensions, and the rise of India.


    About the Speaker:

    Professor Touqir Hussain is a former senior diplomat of Pakistan, having served as Ambassador to Brazil, Spain and Japan (1998 – 2003). He has held senior positions in the Pakistani Foreign Office, including that of Additional Foreign Secretary heading the bureaus of the Middle East and of the Americas and Europe. He was the Diplomatic Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1996 to 1998. Professor Hussain has been pursuing an academic career in the United States since 2003. He was a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (2004 – 2005) and Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Globalization George Washington University (2006 – 2010). Currently, he is an Adjunct Faculty at Georgetown University and Syracuse University. Earlier, he had also taught at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) and University of Virginia Charlottesville. Professor Hussain has written for American and Pakistani newspapers and publications like Foreign Policy, The Diplomat and The National Interest. He has also written policy briefs for the Middle East Institute Washington D.C. and has been interviewed by the Public Broadcasting Service News Hour, Al Jazeera and Voice of America.