President Trump’s August 21 announcement of a new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia has unsettled U.S.-Pakistan relations, with serious implications for U.S. interests in Afghanistan, nuclear non-proliferation, and stability in the region. On October 5, USIP held a discussion with Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif—Pakistan’s first public, high-level engagement with the U.S. policy community in Washington on the new strategy.

U.S.-Pakistani relations have reached a new nadir following the announcement of the new U.S. South Asia strategy. President Trump’s speech appears to have confirmed Pakistani fears that the United States is shifting to regard India as its main partner for engagement in Afghanistan and the region. Meanwhile, U.S. officials signal a loss of patience with Pakistan over the continued operation within the country of violent extremist groups that conduct attacks within Afghanistan and India. Among top U.S. policymakers, a more coercive approach with Pakistan appears to be gaining support. Ideas under discussion include reducing military aid, increasing unilateral drone activity, and revoking Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally.

Foreign Minister Asif delivered remarks on Pakistan’s reaction since the announcement of the new U.S. strategy. He also discussed the dynamics between Pakistan and its neighbors, the role of regional players such as China, Iran and Russia, and the future of U.S.-Pakistan relations.

Continue the conversation on Twitter with #AsifAtUSIP.

Speakers

Khawaja Muhammad Asif
Foreign Minister of Pakistan

Nancy Lindborg, Opening Remarks
President, U.S. Institute of Peace 

Moeed Yusuf, Moderator
Associate Vice President, Asia Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Kashmir’s crisis simmers dangerously: Attention is needed.

Kashmir’s crisis simmers dangerously: Attention is needed.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

By: Mujibur Rehman

Conflicts centered on Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia have seized recent global attention, overshadowing the dangerous escalation of the crisis in Kashmir. India’s government in August abrogated the political autonomy of the portion of Kashmir that it governs. To suppress protests, India has had to maintain a severe lockdown—effectively, a form of military rule—over more than 7 million people in the Kashmir valley. While India and Pakistan have avoided military clashes over this spike in their 62-year dispute over Kashmir, Dr. Mujibur Rehman, a scholar on Indian politics at New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Central University, says the international community should organize a high-level factfinding mission to reduce the risk of greater violence.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

The Latest Kashmir Conflict Explained

The Latest Kashmir Conflict Explained

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

By: Tara Kartha; Jalil Jilani

USIP Jennings Randolph Fellows Dr. Tara Kartha and Ambassador Jalil Jilani look at the latest crisis in Kashmir from their respective views. Dr. Kartha was a member of India’s National Security Council for 15 years and has over 30 years’ experience in national security policy. Amb. Jilani, a career Pakistani diplomat, is a former ambassador to the U.S. and former foreign secretary. This post represents the views of the authors and not those of USIP.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Kashmir Crisis Raises Fear of Intensified India-Pakistan Conflict

Kashmir Crisis Raises Fear of Intensified India-Pakistan Conflict

Thursday, August 15, 2019

By: Vikram J. Singh; Colin Cookman; Richard Olson

Last week, India made a controversial decision to revoke the special status of the disputed region of Kashmir and sent thousands of troops to quell any potential unrest. The Muslim-majority territory has been a major source of tension between India and Pakistan since it was partitioned between...

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Moeed Yusuf on Imran Khan’s Visit to Washington

Moeed Yusuf on Imran Khan’s Visit to Washington

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Following Khan’s visit with President Trump, Moeed Yusuf says that the two leaders appear to have a chemistry that could improve U.S.-Pakistan relations. Although the two countries have been at odds over the Afghan conflict, Yusuf says Trump and Khan indicated they would “work together to find ways to break the impasse on Afghanistan.”

Type: Podcast

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

View All Publications