October 11, 2017

Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Interior, Pakistan

The Johns Hopkins SAIS community welcomed Pakistan's Federal Minister for Interior, Ahsan Iqbal, for a discussion on his country's challenges concerning security policies and the steps taken by the Pakistani government in combating extremism and terrorism.

Iqbal gave an overview of the impact that coherent anti-extremism policies have had on terrorism in Pakistan. Pointing to a qualitative shift, Iqbal emphasized a targeted approach to facing off external threats and contrasted this to past US administrations that used anti-terror operations far too broadly.

The minister also discussed the importance of respecting the rights of Muslim populations in Kashmir and fending off any threats against them. He also took issue with India for actions he said undermine Pakistan’s efforts to develop closer economic ties with China.

Overall, Iqbal stressed the need for closer cooperation with the United States as an important stakeholder in the region's security.