Following Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with President Donald Trump, Visiting Fellow Madiha Afzal examines whether this visit succeeded at repairing relations between the U.S. and Pakistan, Pakistan’s role in talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, as well as Trump and Khan’s personal similarities.
- Pakistan Under Siege: Extremism, Society, and the State
- Saudi Arabia’s hold on Pakistan
- An inflection point for Pakistan’s democracy
- Why America can’t escape its role in the conflict between India and Pakistan
Thanks to audio producer Gaston Reboredo, Chris McKenna, Fred Dews, and Camilo Ramirez for their support.
The Current is part of the Brookings Podcast Network.
[The economic and political turmoil in Pakistan has shifted attention away from the heavy rainfall and delayed the government’s response to the floods.] People weren’t focusing on [the rainfall] so things that should happen in a disaster, like getting the word out for people to evacuate from areas where there was going to be flooding, didn’t happen. [The economic problems are also likely to affect the government’s ability to shelter the displaced and rebuild what was destroyed.]
Pakistan has faced a series of crises this year: economic, political, now, a natural disaster. Running underneath all of this has been the political crisis. As Balochistan was being flooded — scenes and videos were rolling in from Balochistan — the government was basically concerned entirely with politics, and Khan was concerned entirely with politics. The blame in many ways falls on the state for not taking charge of, for instance, its National Disaster Management Authority, not jumping into action right away.
[Pakistan has seen showdowns between civilian leaders and the military before, but nothing like this.] I think we're in an unprecedented moment in terms of the kind of confrontation, the kind of potential turmoil it could generate. That is what we're watching for in the next few weeks.