Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources for the Government of Pakistan; and Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
Maleeka Bokhari, Barrister for the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf
Shahid Javed Burki, Former Vice President of The World Bank
Shamila Chaudhary, Senior Advisor to the Dean, Johns Hopkins SAIS, and Senior South Asia Fellow, International Security Program, New America
General Mahmud A. Durrani, Former Pakistan National Security Advisor
Carla Freeman, Director of the Foreign Policy Institute and Associate Director of China Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Daniel Markey, Senior Research Professor in International Relations and Academic Director, Global Policy Program
Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, and former Foreign Minister
Salman Sufi, Senior Member of the Punjab Chief Minister’s Special Monitoring Unit, Law and Order
Joshua White, Associate Professor of the Practice of South Asia Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Fellow, Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asia Studies
Moderated by Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins SAIS

April 13, 2017

The Foreign Policy Institute hosted a conference to launch its latest white paper and to discuss U.S.-Pakistan relations with leading scholars and policy experts.

Co-author of the white paper and former World Bank vice president Shahid Javed Burki, gave an optimistic outlook on the future of Pakistan’s economy. He analyzed its impressive historical growth, which shows that on average Pakistan’s GDP grew at 4.6% per year, resulting in today’s GDP that is 17 times greater than it was in 1947. Looking at Pakistan’s future prospects, Burki emphasized the need for strategic thinking in the government. Instead of dealing with crises as they occur, national political leaders should plan for the future, he said. Most importantly, they should cleverly utilize Pakistan’s unique endowments, especially its location, agricultural capacity, human resources, diaspora, and the IT sector.

Shamila Chaudhary and Josh White analyzed the relationship between Pakistan and the United States. They discussed diverse factors, risks, and opportunities that could enhance or preclude the two states’ cooperation and emphasized the strategic value of Pakistan in the region. The panelists welcomed Pakistan’s attempts to diversify its economic base, noting its structural reforms and Pakistan’s growing ability to raise funds on international capital markets. Positive development on the economic front and the states’ willingness to pursue mutual interests and manage their differences could lessen the feelings of dependence and resentment present in their relationship.

These and other panel discussions resulted in a fascinating and comprehensive narrative, which covered an array of issues including the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in a new world order, China’s role in the region, Pakistan’s economy, its army and strategic issues in the region, energy and natural resources, and future developments.