On Wednesday night, the World Affairs Forum hosted a discussion at UCONN Stamford about the future of US-Pakistan relations. Featured speaker Shamila Chaudhary is an expert on the subject. Her 12 years of experience working for the U.S Government included time spent on the National Security Council as director for Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“The U.S. has poured a lot of taxpayer dollars into Afghanistan, into Pakistan, and so people here are voters and they have a say in how their taxpayer dollars are spent and we should have a discussion about that,” says Chaudhary.
Chaudhary says the relationship between the US and Pakistan has been a shaky one.
“Right now the relationship is pretty tense,” she says. “The two countries have been cooperating on terrorism issues for the past 11 years.”
But Chaudhary says that relationship is headed in a better direction.
“The U.S. is leaving Afghanistan in 2014 and both Pakistan and the US have an interest in making sure that Afghanistan stays stable.”
Chaudhary says the region’s past is important to consider in understanding the present and the future.
“If you listen to what President Obama is saying now, he’s taking a very cautious approach towards engaging Syria because of the lessons that he and the rest of the government have learned from being in Afghanistan and Iraq and Pakistan is also part of that equation.”
For more information on the World Affairs Forum visit www.worldaffairsforum.org/