Dr. Rabia Akhtar (Director, Center for Security, Strategy and Policy Research) recently attended the launching ceremony of a new report on Pak-U.S. relations prepared with the help of 16 Pakistani experts, Dr. Akhtar inclusive. The report published by TABADLAB aimed at finding out new avenues that Pakistan and the United States could explore to recalibrate their relations.
As one of the two panelists at the event, Dr. Akhtar delved into the problems that Pak-U.S. relations have faced stressing the need for bolstering people-to-people contacts while arguing that Pakistan must try to connect with American citizens, a step that she believes is critical to building bridges between the two countries.
She said Pakistan must robustly sell its threat perceptions to the US. “Pakistan cannot ignore the impact of United States’ bid to strengthen India as a counterweight to China”, she further added.
TABADLAB, is a platform of researchers seeking to understand, interpret and analyze how change happens. It does so by working with businesses, governments, development partners, non-profits, and leaders that want to engage in improved outcomes for people, communities, countries and regions.
In a separate webinar entitled as “Cornered into Change? Pakistan’s Response to National Crises in 2021” jointly organized by Stanford University’s Asia Pacific Center and the Center for South Asia, CSSPR Director dissected the country’s domestic political scenario, arguing that the government will and should complete its term. She added that the opposition does not pose a significant threat to the government because it has a narrowly-focused and selfish agenda that is not in-line with the problems that the country faces.
She said, “Government’s bid to bring in transparency in balloting should be appreciated rather than criticized”. On terrorism and India’s grievances regarding the handling of the Mumbai attacks’ case, Dr. Akhtar said, “Pakistan cannot be expected to bypass its processes just because of another country, including India, especially when it has a lot to answer for with reference to the Samjhota Express carnage.”
The other presenters at the session were; Dr. Madiha Afzal (David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC) and Elizabeth Threlkeld (Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of South Asia Program, Stimson Centre, Washington, DC).