Ambassador Jilani Addresses Tensions in South Asia
HOUSTON, August 27, 2014 — Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, His Excellency Jalil Abbas Jilani, addressed Asia Society Texas Center on the topic of political transitions and their impact on peace and stability in South Asia. From Pakistan’s democratic election last year, to the 2014 rise of the BJP of India and its new leader, Narendra Modi, to the first democratic transition of Afghanistan, the region of South Asia is ripe for a new way forward.
Ambassador Jilani discussed the questions on the minds of many: how do political transitions affect the relationship between Pakistan and its neighbors; will dialogue between India and Pakistan and the reconciliation process proceed; will economic independence rise in the midst of such political changes?
Jilani spoke of the on-off approach between India and Pakistan through the years, noting that Pakistan’s majority supports closer ties to India but believes India’s domestic politics complicate matters regarding rapprochement between the two countries.
Ambassador Jilani also discussed Afghanistan and noted positive developments from the conflict such as a lack of notable separatist movements and a combined Special Forces presence in the region which have reinforced political infrastructure, developed national security forces, and provided relatively peaceful and competitive elections recently. He also noted, however, that Pakistan was most greatly impacted by the United Stated withdrawal from the region.
Reported by Jahan Jafarpour, Asia Society Texas Center