President Clinton will soon visit India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. He will thus become the first American President to visit this part of the world since Jimmy Carter in 1978. U.S. policymakers have long neglected this important region, one that is home to one-fifth of humanity, contains the world’s largest democracy and its two newest nuclear powers, and regularly grapples with ethnic conflict, terrorism, and a host of threats to democracy.
The time is now ripe for launching a new era in U.S. relations with India, which has the potential to be a major economic partner of the United States and an important force in the post-Cold War world, and with Bangladesh, a country with a Muslim society that is also democratic, benefits from market reform, and enjoys good relations with its non-Muslim neighbors and the West. At the same time, the United States must contend with a range of challenges in the region, including those related to the presence of nuclear weapons, the poor state of relations between India and Pakistan, and mounting political and economic problems within Pakistan.
Brookings invites you to hear two distinguished experts discuss these critical issues in South Asia and the significance of the Presidential visit to the region.