South Asia

November 10, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is spending a few days in Pakistan, ostensibly to build up trust.

Throughout the week Washington and the media have been buzzing about the relationship between President Obama and General McChrystal. McChrystal, who is leading the United States and United Nation efforts in Afghanistan, recently proposed a shift in strategy that involves more engagement within the region along with more U.S. troops to fulfill this mission.

If public diplomacy (PD) is understudied as a discipline, then even less is known about PD as practiced - or not - by less developed countries (LDCs) and their representatives abroad.

Alex Rodriguez recently wrote an excellent page-one piece in the Los Angeles Times, examining broad distrust among Pakistanis regarding the United States’ plans to expand its well-fortified embassy in Islamabad.

Religion and immigration inspire passionate debate, but are immigrants and their beliefs causing the social fabric to unravel? In this lecture, Peggy Levitt will argue that immigrants are, in fact, the translators, bridge-builders, and religious diplomats that the United States so desperately needs.

September 17, 2009

Salman Ahmad, Pakistani rock musician and founder of the popular band Junoon (as well as doctor, author, and film maker) explained last Saturday night to the standing room only crowd in the General Assembly of the United Nations that it was the video which pushed him into action. The video, of two men holding down a teenage girl while another beat her, sent by a friend from Pakistan, prompted Ahmad to fly to Pakistan from New York, his adopted home, to find the answer to the question that was tormenting him: "Which was the real Pakistan?"