Pakistan and the U.S. aren’t on great terms. This Vail Symposium event will explain why. | VailDaily.com

Pakistan and the U.S. aren’t on great terms. This Vail Symposium event will explain why.

Daily staff report
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Since the end of the War on Terror, the United States and Pakistan's friendly relationship has seen some discord. The Vail Symposium event will explore the situation.
Special to the Daily

If you go

What: An Evening with the Ambassadors: A Geopolitical Conversation with Ambassadors Hussain Haqqani and Christopher Hill

When: Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Doors open at 5 p.m.; program begins at 6 p.m.

Where: Bard Residence, Beaver Creek

Cost: $125

More information: The event will include heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails following the conversation and Q&A session with the ambassadors. Space is limited; advance ticket purchase is required. Visit www.vailsymposium.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

In the post-war on terror era, relations between the U.S. and Pakistan have shifted from buddy-buddy to downright frosty. The U.S. has pivoted from Pakistan to India as an ally, and some speculate the U.S.’ new friend has driven Pakistan into the welcoming arms of Iran and China.

On Monday, ambassadors Hussain Haqqani and Christopher Hill will dissect implications of this shift for the international effort against terror. It will also discuss the balance of power in the region, fully tackling the thorny issues between these countries. This program has limited space, so advance registration is encouraged.

“We hosted then Governor John Hickenlooper this winter in a similarly-formatted program and our audience’s response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vail Symposium. “With a smaller, more intimate group, we can provide a more in-depth conversation and encourage more discussion.”

The Lay of the Land

Here are some of the big questions Haqqani and Hill will attempt to answer.

Pakistan’s economy teeters on the brink of disaster. Do potential handouts from Saudi Arabia and China pose a threat?

Pakistan is one of more than 100 countries set to participate in China’s Belt and Road initiative. Does this signal Pakistan’s pivot from the U.S. to China? If so, what are the implications for U.S. interests in the region?

Pakistan and India have long been enemies due to the disputed territory of Kashmir. How does that factor into the U.S.’ international policy and geopolitical interests?

Pakistan recently elected a new prime minister, Imran Khan. His military has meddled in politics, and resistance groups including the Pashtun Protection Movement are fighting government corruption in the country. But can these rebel groups truly affect change?

About the speakers

Ambassador Hussain Haqqani served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States from 2008-2011 and is widely credited with managing a difficult partnership during a critical phase in the global war on terrorism. Considered an expert on radical Islamist movements, he is currently director for South and Central Asia at Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. Haqqani also co-edits the journal Current Trends in Islamist ideology.

Haqqani has worked as a journalist, academic and diplomat. He was an adviser to four Pakistani prime ministers, including the late Benazir Bhutto. He received Hilal-e-Imtiaz, one of Pakistan’s highest civilian honors for public service. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Washington Post and The Telegraph, among others. His books include “Pakistan Between Mosque and Military,” “Magnificent Delusions: US, Pakistan and an Epic History of Misunderstanding,” “India v Pakistan: Why can’t we just be friends?” and “Reimagining Pakistan: Transforming a Dysfunctional Nuclear State.”

Ambassador Christopher R. Hill is currently the chief global adviser at the University of Denver Global Engagement. Prior to this position, he was the dean of DU’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, a position he held from September 2010 to December 2017.

Hill is a former career diplomat. He was a four-time ambassador nominated by three presidents. His last post was as ambassador to Iraq from April 2009 until August 2010. Previously, Hill served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 2005 until 2009. Simultaneously, he was also the head of the U.S. delegation to the Six Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. He’s represented the U.S. in South Korea, Poland, Macedonia and Kosovo. He also served as a special assistant to the president and a senior director on the staff of the National Security Council from 1999-2000.

Hill is the author of “Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir,” a monthly columnist for Project Syndicate and a public speaker and voice in the media on international affairs.