Husain Haqqani, Director of the Center of International Relations; Professor of the Practice of International Relations, Boston University; Former Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States
Shuja Nawaz, Director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council
Chair: Asim Khwaja,Sumitomo-Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development Professor of International Finance and Development, Harvard Kennedy School
Husain Haqqani is the former Ambassador of Pakistan to Sri Lanka (1992–1993) and the United States (2008–2011). He is currently Senior Fellow and Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute and co-edits the journal ‘Current Trends in Islamist Ideology’ published by Hudson Institute’s Center for Islam, Democracy and Future of the Muslim World. Ambassador Haqqani is also Director of the Center of International Relations, and Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University.
Shuja Nawaz, a native of Pakistan, was made the first director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council in January 2009. He is a political and strategic analyst. Mr. Nawaz writes for leading newspapers and websites and speaks on current topics before civic groups, at think tanks, and on radio and television worldwide. He is the author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within/ He is also the principal author of FATA: A Most Dangerous Place, Pakistan in the Danger Zone: A Tenuous US-Pakistan Relationship, and Learning by Doing: The Pakistan Army’s Experience with Counterinsurgency
T.V Paul,James McGill Professor of International Relations, Department of Political Science, McGill University
Chair: Asad Ahmed, Assistant Professor, Social Anthropology Program, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University
Seemingly from its birth, Pakistan has teetered on the brink of becoming a failed state. Today, it ranks 133rd out of 148 countries in global competitiveness. Its economy is as dysfunctional as its political system is corrupt; both rely heavily on international aid for their existence. Taliban forces occupy 30 percent of the country. It possesses over a hundred nuclear weapons that could easily fall into terrorists’ hands. Why, in an era when countries across the developing world are experiencing impressive economic growth and building democratic institutions, has Pakistan been such a conspicuous failure?
In The Warrior State, noted international relations and South Asia scholar T.V. Paul untangles this fascinating riddle. Paul argues that the “geostrategic curse”–akin to the “resource curse” that plagues oil-rich autocracies–is at the root of Pakistan’s unique inability to progress. Since its founding in 1947, Pakistan has been at the center of major geopolitical struggles: the US-Soviet rivalry, the conflict with India, and most recently the post 9/11 wars. No matter how ineffective the regime is, massive foreign aid keeps pouring in from major powers and their allies with a stake in the region. The reliability of such aid defuses any pressure on political elites to launch the far-reaching domestic reforms necessary to promote sustained growth, higher standards of living, and more stable democratic institutions. Paul shows that excessive war-making efforts have drained Pakistan’s limited economic resources without making the country safer or more stable. Indeed, despite the regime’s emphasis on security, the country continues to be beset by widespread violence and terrorism.
Film Screening: 4:30PM – 6:30PM; Q&A with Director: 6:30PM – 7:00PM
Sanjay Kak, Indian Documentary Filmmaker
Chair: Ajantha Subramanian, Professor, Social Anthropology Program, Harvard University
‘Let us declare that the state of war does exist and shall exist’, the revolutionary patriot Bhagat Singh had said almost a hundred years ago, and that warning travels into India’s present, as the armed insurrection led by Maoist guerillas simmers in Bastar, in the troubled heart of central India. To the east too, beleaguered adivasis from the mineral-rich hills of Odisha come forth bearing their axes, and their songs. And in the north the swelling protests by Punjabi peasants sees hope coagulate—once more—around the iconic figure of Bhagat Singh, revolutionary martyr of the anti-colonial struggle. But are revolutions even possible anymore? Or have those dreams been ground down into our nightmares? This is a chronicle of those who live the revolutionary ideal in India, a rare encounter with the invisible domain of those whose everyday is a fight for another ideal of the world.
Cosponsored with the Political Anthropology Working Group
Doria Bramante, Film Producer, Advisory Board member, International Campaign for Human Rights in Bhutan Narad M. Adhikari, Human rights activist, Board member, International Campaign for Human Rights in Bhutan Suraj Budathoki, Founder and Coordinator, International Campaign for Human Rights in Bhutan
Chair: Kevin Caffrey, Lecturer, Committee on Degrees in Social Studies