Pakistan Is Facing Severe Challenges, Says Sherry Rehman

April 26, 2014

During the annual interaction with Pakistani government staffers from the 100th National Management Course at the Jinnah Institute, Islamabad, PN member Ambassador Sherry Rehman shared her views on Pakistan's current challenges. An article by the Pakistani financial daily Business Recorder.

Pakistan is facing the severest internal challenge from terrorism, which must be decisively addressed in a consistent policy where the state dominates both the narrative and the outcome. Without that, no peace or resolution of the ongoing strategic drift will find conclusion. Whatever course corrections Pakistan has made, or is trying to make in reaching out to its neighbours for peace will be wasted political capital without an unambiguous, time-lined mandate for Constitutional benchmarks in talking to terrorists. This was stated by former Ambassador and Jinnah Institute President Sherry Rehman during an annual interaction with government staffers from the 100th National Management Course at the Jinnah Institute.

Addressing senior level officers at the Jinnah Institute, Ambassador Rehman maintained that it was imperative for Pakistan and other regional players to avoid the trap of power-brokering in Afghan affairs. With regional transformations well underway, post-election scenarios in both India and Afghanistan would profoundly determine future security and stability in South Asia.

Islamabad had initiated a ‘no-favourites’ policy in Afghanistan, three years ago which has now begun to yield a narrative dividend, but outcomes are still unresolved with so many leadership transitions going on to both the West and East of Pakistan. However, Afghan unwillingness to recognize the Pak-Afghan border will frustrate attempts to secure the borderlands in both coun-tries against terrorists. She felt that Islamabad could also assist in political and economic stability initiatives in Afghanistan.

Amb. Rehman stated that India was making its voice heard at multilateral fo-rums on the basis of its economic clout. India’s swing to the right may be temporary, but it will likely amplify its conditional diplomacy with Pakistan, especially if there is no resolution of the Mumbai episode trials.

Former ambassador and JI Honorary Vice President Aziz Ahmed Khan discussed Islamabad’s outreach to both New Delhi and Kabul and emphasized that Pakistan could no longer afford to have favourites in Afghanistan and the recent elections in Kabul have visibly demonstrated the Afghans’ commitment to democratic processes. “Treat Afghanistan as a country, not a problem”, he stated, while adding that Pakistan’s future dialogue with India was likely to be terrorism-centric, regardless of whoever came to power in the centre.



To read the entire article on the Business Recorder website, please click here

Photo courtesy of Sherry Rehman


PN Member Sherry Rehman served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to United States from 2011 to 2013. Before her designation, she was Member of Parliament in the National Assembly of Pakistan from the Pakistan People’s Party for her second term. She served as Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pakistan (2008-09) and ranking member of the National Security Committee in the Parliament.

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