Terrorism, stagnant economic growth and a population in which two-thirds of citizens are under 30 contribute to an array of complex issues facing Pakistan. Despite some political and economic progress, these factors hinder the ability of leaders to focus on long-term regional questions such as broader security and shrinking natural resources. On May 1, former Pakistani Finance Minister Shahid Javed Burki and other experts discussed economic, demographic, climate and security challenges in Pakistan and their implications for U.S. policy.
Even with early successes in the national counter-terrorism operation Radd-ul-Fassad, militant groups such as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar retain the capacity to strike regularly. On the political and economic front, democratic consolidation continues and the economy has picked up in the last year. But the country still struggles to invigorate its labor market and attract outside investments to spur growth. Meanwhile, Pakistan has yet to harness the potential of its youth to increase social unity and prosperity.
The panel discussed recent developments on these issues as well as longer-term security and climate trends and the potential role for the U.S. in supporting greater stability for Pakistan and in South Asia.
Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs, American University
Shahid Javed Burki
Chairman, Advisory Council, Institute of Public Policy and former Finance Minister of Pakistan
Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University
Dean, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University
Moeed Yusuf, Moderator
Associate Vice President, Asia Center, U.S. Institute of Peace