CSSPR-UOL breaks the intellectual logjam in Pak-U.S. relations 

Lahore, November 30, 2022 (PPI-OT):Discussions and discourses on the impact of evolving regional dynamics on the future of Pak-U.S. relations, the role of technology in Pakistan’s economy, climate change, multi-polarity, and food security were held at the Washington, D.C with the assistance of the University of Lahore (UOL).

The Centre for Security, Strategy, and Policy Research (CSSPR) at the, in collaboration with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Centre, Engro Corporation, and the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, hosted a two-day conference on “the future of Pak-U.S. relations” in Washington, D.C on October 31-November 1.

The conference was a part of UOL’s efforts to not only establish linkages with national and international organizations but also to provide research-laden policy inputs to policymakers. CSSPR, as the ace research hub of the UOL on issues pertaining to security, strategy, and foreign policy, partnered with the aforementioned outfits with a view to identifying ways through which Pak-U.S. relations can be recalibrated.

On the first day of the conference, Mr. Masood Khan (Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States) delivered his keynote address on the need for taking advantage of the recent momentum in Pak-U.S. relations. He said both sides are poised to expand cooperation on climate change, technology, and trade.

He, however, stressed the need for both countries to not lose sight of the importance of strengthening strategic stability as well as bolstering conflict resolution and crisis management mechanisms. In her remarks, Dr. Rabia Akhtar (Director of CSSPR), said that Pakistan must priorities combating climate change, improving economic security, and ensuring regional peace and stability. All these goals, she said, can be achieved in concert with the U.S.

She added that, absent peace in the region, Pakistan cannot achieve its goals of reforming itself and becoming a fulcrum of regional connectivity, adding that it must therefore clearly articulate its interests and concerns.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr. Fred Kempe (CEO and President of the Atlantic Council), said that Pakistan, by virtue of being a resourceful country, is very important for the United States, and therefore, Pak-U.S. relations must be strengthened.

In the two sessions that followed the opening one, panelists focused on dissecting different perspectives, identifying areas of common concern, and shedding light on the opportunities provided by technology for the Pakistani economy.

In the second session, experts looked at the advantages that the technological boom brings to the Pakistani economy. They argued that investments in Fintech, efforts aimed at changing perceptions, and the digitalization of government departments are critical to leveraging the benefits of technology.

On the second day of the conference, Dr. Moeed Yusuf (Former National Security Advisor of Pakistan and Strategic Advisor to UOL) said Pakistan wants to advance economic security, shift towards a two-pronged geo-economic paradigm, and steer clear of camp politics.

He said Pakistan wishes to become a melting pot for the economic interests of regional and global powers. He therefore suggested that Pak-U.S. should priorities areas that both they can collaborate on without having to make hard choices.

Subsequently, experts surveyed Pakistan’s economic security profile, deconstructed the country’s ties with China, and suggested a series of reforms that could be implemented to elicit the attention of U.S. technology firms to invest in that country’s agriculture sector.

Apropos of climate change, scholars, not least Dr. Adil Najam from Boston University, said it is a global phenomenon – one that can only be tackled if the rules of the road in international politics were to change for the better. Through this conference, UOL and CSSPR chipped in with a substantial contribution, providing policymakers with a new blueprint to resuscitate Pak-U.S. relations. This conference is the first of many more to come on Pakistan’s security and foreign policy.

For more information, contact:
The University of Lahore
1 – KM Defence Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-865-865, +92-42-35322501 +92-42-35321761