The Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI), arranged a Roundtable discussion with Ms. Nancy Lindborg, President and CEO of the US Institute of Peace (USIP) on February 20, 2020.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Director General, ISSI welcomed the guest and introduced the Institute, the researchers and the work they do. He said that Indo-US strategic partnership has put a burden on Pakistan. While Pakistan has good relations with China which have stood the test of time. He expressed the wish to have good relations with the US as well. He said that Pakistan’s relations with China and US should not be zero sum. Delving into the history of Pakistan-US relations, he said that the latter had stood by us at the outset when Pakistan was a newly independent country, and had many alliances and military cooperation. At the time of independence, Pakistan had many security issues with India like Kashmir, water division, division of assets. At that time, US appeared as a benevolent partner and ally. It provided Pakistan with military aid and support. In the 1960s, the two countries became part of military alliances like Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO). But the history of relations between US and Pakistan has been a roller-coaster one, it has seen many ups and downs and has not been steady. He said that it is understandable that national interests drive relations. However, he stressed that Pakistan values its friendship with US, and it is still the most sought-after education destination for Pakistanis and large Pakistan Diaspora.