The Rumi Forum presented “Pakistan and the US: Partners in Combatting Terrorism” with His Excellency Mr Husain Haqqani, Pakistan Ambassador to USA

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Event Summary:

Rumi Forum Presented “Pakistan and the US: Partners in Combating Terrorism” with H.E Ambassador Husain Haqqani of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Ambassador Haqqani started off with a determination of “Three Critical Transformations Pakistan is going through,” and went into Pakistan’s expectations from the United States. Furthermore, he explained that this would only work if the bond between the US and Pakistan was a partnership and not a transaction.

Mr. Haqqani explained that Pakistan was transforming from an authoritarian culture to a democratic culture. He went on to explain that Pakistan has an overall culture of militancy and militarism which defines the national identity. However, he notes that this actually challenges the state and weakens it; it does not strengthen it as it was so believed before. He believes that Pakistan needs to be economically and politically strong which will come mainly through education. Thus, Pakistan needs to transform from a country of militancy and militarism to a country of entrepreneurship and modernity. Finally, His Excellency notes that Pakistan must go from the “Crossroads of Conflict” to the “Crossroads of Opportunity.” Pakistan is the country where Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East all meet. With India, the leading country in South Asia, Iran and the Gulf Countries which are all part of the Middle East, and Afghanistan and “The Strands” of Central Asia which are all opening up and coming into the modern era as neighbors. Pakistan truly has two potentials; it can be the center of the conflict or the center of opportunity.

Pakistan expects a longer-term partnership, not a transaction, with the US as two democracies. It expects US assistance as it moves forward and as it tries to solve problems with India. The US is also expected to help Pakistan rebuild its institutions especially in education. With investments of time and money in these areas, Ambassador Haqqani believes that Pakistan can become a model, modern, Muslim country.

His Excellency has also revealed that the fight on terrorism will not only be done through military operations, but it will also be accomplished through political, economic, and educational reforms. Haqqani says that there are ongoing military operations that are truly going well, but it is not enough. He invites all of those that were swept up in the movement to stop the injustices to reveal their thoughts politically and not by joining a terrorist organization. He also says that the economic status of Pakistan needs to change for the better so as to give the people hope. Finally, he touches on the fact that there needs to be an education revolution to create understanding and to rid of bigotry and prejudice.

Ultimately, His Excellency Ambassador Husain Haqqani is saying that the US needs to help Pakistan help itself and its neighbors. Pakistan, on the other hand, needs to stop blaming America for its past and to start a new era of partnership and friendship.


His Excellency Ambassador Husain Haqqani was born in Karachi, Pakistan on July 1, 1956. He received his M.A. in International Relations from the University of Karachi in 1980, graduating with distinction. The Ambassador started his career as a journalist, writing numerous articles on national and international politics published by Pakistan’s leading newspapers. He has worked in Hong Kong as East Asian Correspondent for the London-based “Arabia – the Islamic World Review,” held the position of Pakistan and Afghanistan correspondent for “Far Eastern Economic Review,” contributed to Voice of America radio, covering the war in Afghanistan and militant Jihadi groups, and has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Financial Times-London, among many others. As a public servant, His Excellency has served as the Special Assistant to the Pakistani Chief Minister Punjab, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi during the First Gulf War, and Special Assistant and Principal Spokesman to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, representing the Prime Minister in talks with the U.S. government over imposition of sanctions in retaliation for Pakistan’s nuclear program. In 1992, His Excellency became Pakistan ‘s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, among the youngest people to serve as Pakistan’s Ambassador abroad. From 1993-95, he served with the rank of a Minister of State, and Federal Secretary for Information and Broadcasting. His Excellency is currently an Associate Professor for International Relations at Boston University.

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