On August 5, 2010, the Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World hosted a roundtable discussion with Mohammad Waseem, Ford Foundation visiting fellow, on the evolving nature of political conflict within Pakistan and what impact U.S. policy has on these internal dynamics.
Since its founding, Pakistan has been riven by an array of internal conflicts – between the central government and the provinces; between migrants from the rest of South Asia and indigenous populations; between religious literalists, mystics, and modernists; between Sunni and Shi’i; between the country’s wealthiest, land-owning families and the far more numerous dispossessed poor; and between the civilian political establishment and the military and intelligence services. Professor Waseem, a distinguished Pakistani professor of political science affiliated with the Lahore University of Management Sciences, analyzed the major contending political forces in today’s Pakistan, and provided some of the historical context behind these struggles. He also discussed the growing U.S. role in Pakistan and its impact on these internal political dynamics. He concluded by sharing his thoughts as to what this all means for the future of Pakistan.