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Anne-Marie Slaughter, is the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. She is presently on leave, serving as Director of Policy Planning for[…]

Anne-Marie Slaughter on what you don’t know about the economy of Pakistan

Slaughter: We should not be advertising that we are in fact operating on Pakistani soil.  We should not be essentially announcing that we don’t care what the Pakistani government thinks, because our other job is to strengthen the Pakistani government.  We do have a democratically-elected government that has some goodwill.  The biggest job is to ensure the Pakistani economy keeps growing.  We never hear about this, but the Pakistani economy was thriving in some years under the previous regime.  Some of the Karachi Stock Exchange was listed as one of the best stock exchanges in Asia by Fortune Magazine.  I mean there are more internet connections in Pakistan per capita than there are in India, although, we always think of India as this, you know, emerging economy.  So, focusing on how the current government can actually deliver precisely what our government needs to deliver which is economic growth, improved infrastructure, improved education to the Pakistani people is the best way we can strengthen the government and that’s where we should be focusing, we should be focusing on getting commitments from other nations as well in the region, out of the region, ‘cause this affects all of us.  But then, we want to work with the Pakistani government, not to undermine its strength by either making it look like it’s embed with the Americans, which was a big problem before, or effectively saying we don’t care what it thinks.  Now that’s tricky but this is a government, I think, we can trust in terms of what needs to be done, because this government absolutely understands that its future as at stake in those territories as much as ours.  This is no longer our fight being imposed on them.  They know that unless they get better education, they actually can win the support of many of the tribes in those frontier territories, the Islamist wave will engulf them as well as us.