Dr. Hoodbhoy will assess the growth of extremist trends and related political changes in Pakistan, as well as discuss countervailing forces and the inherent resilience of Pakistani society. His analysis will draw out ways by which Pakistanis can help themselves, and the means by which US and Western assistance to Pakistan can help Pakistan stay on an even keel and help move it forward politically and economically.

There has been much pessimism about Pakistan in the wake of sustained suicide bombings and expansion of the Taliban out of FATA into Swat and the NWFP, often called the "settled areas" of the Pashtun belt. Many observers worry about extremist groups in the main cities of Pakistan, and the growing presence of the "Punjabi Taliban". Pakistan watchers in the West are also apprehensive about the capacity of the elected government to make tough decisions, and to deal with a sliding economy. Dr. Hoodbhoy will assess the growth of extremist trends and related political changes in Pakistan, as well as discuss countervailing forces and the inherent resilience of Pakistani society. His analysis will draw out ways by which Pakistanis can help themselves, and the means by which US and Western assistance to Pakistan can help Pakistan stay on an even keel and help move it forward politically and economically.
 
Pervez Amir Ali Hoodbhoy is professor of nuclear and high energy physics, and chairman of the Physics Department at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. He received his BS, MS, and Ph.D degrees from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Hoodbhoy received the Baker Award for Electronics and the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics. In 2003 he was awarded UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science. He is the author of Islam and Science - Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality, now in 7 languages. Dr. Hoodbhoy created and anchored a television series that dissected the problems of Pakistan's educational system, and two other series that were designed to bring scientific concepts to ordinary members of the public. He is frequently invited to comment on nuclear and political matters in the Pakistani and international media.

Speaker:

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy
Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

Moderator:

Rodney Jones
Program Officer for Pakistan and South Asia, U.S. Institute of Peace

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