Pakistan’s identity was framed in an era of insecurity and fear. That insecurity and fear do not exist today. Pakistan is the sixth largest nation in the world by population but only 26th largest by size of GDP on purchasing power parity basis and 42nd in nominal GDP. It has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal and the eighth largest army but performs poorly in most non-military indices. Over 40 percent of Pakistan’s population cannot read or write and nearly 55% of Pakistan’s women remain illiterate. Pakistan’s economy is the smallest of any country that has so far tested nuclear weapons.
The blowback of terrorist and Jihadi violence has taken its toll in Pakistan with a total of 59,907 persons killed between 2003-2015, including 32574 militants, 20925 civilians and 6408 Security Forces personnel. Sectarian violence too has increased over the years with there being 3016 incidents since 1989 in which 5227 people were killed and 9903 injured.
Hudson’s Pakistan Initiative (PI):
In 2014 Hudson Institute launched its Pakistan Initiative (PI) that aims to help Pakistan move from being at the crossroads of conflict to the crossroads of opportunity. We hope to reshape discourse in and about Pakistan to focus on prosperity of its people.
The Pakistan Initiative (PI) will examine the challenges facing Pakistan and come up with a model for redefining Pakistan with the help of experts, both American and Pakistani based in the US, to help make Pakistan stable, normal and contain the scourge of terrorism.
The Initiative will host conferences in various cities across the US, in Canada, in the UK and in the Gulf to target and reach a wide cross section of the Pakistani diaspora. Scholars and researchers will produce papers, OpEd pieces in leading newspapers and also policy briefs.
The Pakistan Initiative will be led by Husain Haqqani, Director of South and Central Asia for Hudson Institute. Husain Haqqani is a Pakistani scholar and public figure who most recently served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States from 2008-2011. He is widely credited with managing a difficult partnership during a critical phase in the global war on terrorism. Haqqani started his public life as an Islamist student leader and has, over the years, emerged as a strong voice for democracy and civilian control of the military in Pakistan and an exponent of liberal values in the Muslim world. His distinguished career in government includes serving as an advisor to four Pakistani Prime ministers, including Benazir Bhutto, who described him as a loyal friend in her last book ‘Reconciliation.’ He also served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka in 1992-93.
Amb Haqqani will be assisted by both permanent scholars and visiting fellows.