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Unformatted text preview: United States Institute of Peace • www.usip.org • Tel. 202.457.1700 • Fax. 202.429.6063 UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE © USIP 2011 • All rights reserved. “ While a difficult pill for both Americans and Pakistanis to swallow, the strategic part- nership must develop beyond a transactional relationship. ” March 22, 2011 The Future of Pakistan Summary Growing economic and political instability, rising support for extremism and increasing ten- •¡ sions in Pakistan’s relationship with the United States currently threaten the country’s pros- pects for a stable future. Domestic actors with the capacity to build consensus across Pakistan’s fractured society must •¡ address the widening divergence of opinion among Pakistanis regarding responsibilities of the state and citizenry. Until Pakistan feels more secure within its perception of regional threats, Islamabad will likely •¡ resist enacting and implementing strict counter-terrorism policies. To improve and sustain the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, the U.S. needs to continuously signal its •¡ resolve to remain committed to the partnership, apply innovative diplomatic gestures to engage Islamabad, resist the temptation to oversee Pakistan’s day to day domestic affairs and widen the policymaking lens to ensure a more holistic understanding of Pakistan and its neighbors. Despite incongruities between Pakistan and U.S. interests, the bilateral alliance is imperative •¡ to the U.S.’s regional and security interests, and remains a central aspect of both countries’ calculus for the future. Introduction In recent months, growing manifestation of extremist support in Pakistan, the devastation of the summer 2010 floods and the weakness of the political leadership have increased pessimism regarding Pakistan’s future. On January 31, 2011, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Brookings Institution co-hosted an event titled “The Future of Pakistan,” which brought together experts to analyze the country’s future. The event built upon the “Bellagio Papers,” a collection of 15 scholarly essays examining factors and variables impacting Pakistan’s future, produced as part of a Brookings Institution project, and supported by USIP and the Norwegian Peace Foundation. This Peace Brief summarizes the views of the event’s 11 panelists, drawn in part from the analysis of the “Bellagio Papers.” The panelists discussed potential trajectories for Pakistan, and policy implications Pakistan and the United States should consider as Pakistan navigates this uncertain period. Domestic Challenges and Prospects for Posterity Heightened tensions in Pakistan’s current sociopolitical environment have the potential to push the country further from achieving the economic or security-based indicators emphasized as S TEPHANIE F LAMENBAUM E-mail: [email protected] Phone: 202.429.3849 M EGAN N EVILLE E-mail: [email protected] Phone: 202.429.3828 C ONSTANTINO X AVIER E-mail: [email protected] Phone: 202.797.6048 PEACE BRIEF 85 © USIP 2011 • All rights reserved.© USIP 2011 • All rights reserved....
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- Fall '11