Cracking the Pakistan Code

The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center held a discussion on December 4 with Mohsin Khan, senior fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council; and Paula Newberg, Marshall B. Coyne director, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

After a tumultuous 2011, this past year saw the United States and Pakistan attempt to right their teetering relationship. A revival of government-to-government contacts and potentially the renewal of the abandoned strategic dialogue of 2010 appear to be in the works. But strong anti-Americanism inside Pakistan, even among traditional friends of the United States, and heightened public protests against the drone campaign have created a challenge for the Pakistani authorities. In the United States, vocal criticism of Pakistani actions and lack of movement against Afghan Taliban groups inside their borders have led to calls for disengagement or containment by members of the US Congress and US military in Afghanistan.

As President Obama prepares for a military withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014, will the United States be able to stay connected to the region and Pakistan? Pakistan too is preparing for parliamentary and presidential elections and a change in the military leadership in 2013. Will these changes create greater instability, or will its fledgling democracy mature rapidly and set the course for a stable polity? The potential transformation of the region hinges on the answers to these questions.

A discussion with

Mohsin Khan
Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

Paula Newberg
Marshall B. Coyne Director
Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

Moderated by

Shuja Nawaz
Director, South Asia Center
Atlantic Council

Mohsin Khan
is a senior fellow in the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East focusing on the economic dimensions of transition in the Middle East and North Africa.

Dr. Khan was a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics since March 2009. Previously he was the Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This department is responsible for monitoring macroeconomic developments and providing policy advice to 32 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, and for advising IMF management and Executive Board on country-specific and regional matters. He holds degrees from Columbia University (MA) and the London School of Economics (BSc. and PhD).

Dr. Khan’s publications cover macroeconomic and monetary policies in developing countries, economic growth, international trade and finance, Islamic banking, Middle East oil markets, exchange rates, and IMF programs. He has edited 7 books, published numerous articles in major economics journals, and serves on the editorial boards of 10 academic journals. In 2003 he was awarded the Islamic Development Bank Prize in Islamic Economics for outstanding contributions to the field.

Paula R. Newberg
is the Marshall B. Coyne Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and Visiting Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. A scholar and practitioner with wide-ranging experience in multilateral and nongovernmental organizations, Dr. Newberg specializes in issues of democracy, human rights and development in crisis and transition states, with particular interest in south, southwest and central Asia. She served as a special advisor to the United Nations and the United Nations Foundation in Africa, eastern and central Europe, and central and south Asia, with multiple postings in Afghanistan. Dr. Newberg was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she co-founded its Democracy Project and chaired the South Asia Roundtable, and was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.

A former foundation executive and columnist, Dr. Newberg taught in the graduate faculties at Columbia, Rutgers and Johns Hopkins University for many years, and has published extensively on issues ranging from telecommunications policy to law and constitutionalism, insurgency and rights, rights and foreign policy, and international assistance. A graduate of Oberlin College, Newberg received her doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago.