As Pakistan emerges from tumultuous national elections and continues to address tensions on its western frontier, the nation faces several domestic and foreign policy challenges—and opportunities—in the months ahead. Pakistan’s new prime minister is expected to diverge from the policies of President Pervez Musharraf, attempting to tackle complicated issues within Pakistan and beyond. With these changes and with the upcoming U.S. election in November, the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and the future of the war in Afghanistan will be reshaped in light of new realities in all three countries.
On July 11, the Brookings Institution hosted Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the foreign minister of Pakistan, for a discussion of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Qureshi, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party, assumed the post of foreign minister in March 2008. He previously served as parliamentary secretary of food and agriculture from 1993 to 1994, and minister of state for parliamentary affairs from 1994 to 1996. Prior to that, he served as member of the provincial assembly of Punjab.
Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel, convener of Brookings’s Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After Foreign Minister Qureshi’s remarks, Brookings Senior Fellow Stephen P. Cohen offered his observations on the situation in Pakistan. After the program, the foreign minister took audience questions.