Pakistani Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry led The Washington Diplomat’s seventh Ambassador Insider Series (AIS) program with a wide-ranging discussion on his geostrategic nation of nearly 200 million people that straddles one of the most turbulent regions in the world. Nearly 150 people attended the event, held Oct. 10 at the Willard InterContinental Washington hotel.
Chaudhry — a veteran diplomat with a 36-year career who most recently served as foreign secretary of Pakistan — addressed a range of issues, from President Trump’s newly released strategy for Southeast Asia to Pakistan’s relations with neighboring Afghanistan. The Muslim-majority, nuclear-armed nation is key to America’s efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and counter extremism in the region, although Pakistani-U.S. relations have always been complex and difficult. Not only has Pakistan been accused of coddling certain terrorist groups, it has a bitter rivalry with India and a long history of political upheaval. At the same time, Pakistan has undeniably suffered from terrorism itself, it is an emerging economic power with a growing middle class and loud political factions, and — as Chaudhry stressed — it remains committed to working with the U.S. under the new Trump administration.
“This is a very important relationship for us,” he said. “There is no doubt that we have seen ups and downs in this relationship, and we are passing a similar phase at this time. But we always come out of it.”
AIS is an exclusive program hosted by The Diplomat to meet and network with the city’s foreign envoys and learn about the countries they represent in an intimate setting. Previous AIS receptions have featured the ambassadors of Azerbaijan, Barbados, the European Union, Ethiopia, Haiti and Iraq. The next discussion will take place Nov. 14 at the newly opened Darcy hotel with Panamanian Ambassador Emanuel Gonzalez-Revilla.
14 November 2017