Weeks after President Trump’s inauguration, Pakistan has sent its former foreign secretary, Aizaz Chaudhry, as its new ambassador in Washington. Amb. Chaudhry takes up his post as relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have reached a new nadir. Tensions are high on the border and extremists are attacking on both sides. U.S. frustration with Pakistan’s Afghanistan policy has grown. At USIP, Amb. Chaudhry discussed Pakistan’s relationship with Afghanistan and opportunities for U.S.-Pakistani cooperation to promote peace and stability amid the Afghan conflict.
For years, Pakistan’s relations with the United States and Afghanistan have been damaged. Washington and Kabul have concluded that Pakistan has not uniformly opposed the operations on its territory of Afghanistan’s Taliban and its allies, such as the Jalaluddin Haqqani militant network. Pakistan, which conducts military offensives against some militant groups, says its efforts are under-appreciated.
Now the faces in U.S.-Pakistani diplomacy have changed. Can the arrival of a new U.S. administration and a senior, new Pakistani ambassador offer any new possibilities for cooperation, rather than mutual frustration, over Afghanistan?
In his first public forum as ambassador in Washington, Aizaz Chaudhry spoke to Pakistan’s outlook on U.S.-Pakistan relations, the possibilities for cooperation on Afghanistan, and the situation in South Asia.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry
Pakistan Ambassador to the United States
Associate Vice President, Asia Center, U.S. Institute of Peace