Engaging South Asia  

News | January 18, 2019

As part of its programmatic efforts in South Asia, EWI CEO and President, Ambassador Cameron Munter, was recently in Pakistan and India to participate in several high-level meetings with the business and diplomatic communities.

In India, Munter shared the stage with heads of state, ministers and local government officials, as well as major private sector executives at the Raisina Dialogue—a multilateral conference organized by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Government of India. Reflecting on his interaction and discussions, Munter believes that there is an interest around the development of the Indo-Pacific quad; however, the foreign policy outlook in India still remains highly pertinent to the outcome of the upcoming general elections this Spring.

In Pakistan, Munter met with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad to discuss current U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relations and explore avenues for future cooperation within the region. Munter expressed that Pakistan is an important regional player and critical to the United States’ national security objectives. Prime Minister Khan, the man responsible for ushering a new era for a nation teetering on the edge of economic disintegration and in desperate need of innovative institutional changes, is rather optimistic about the future. He also reiterated the importance of stability in a U.S.-Pakistan relationship based on mutual interest and negotiation.

Addressing an event organized by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR), Munter called for the revival of communication channels and encouraged comprehensive dialogues between the United States and Pakistan as a means of rebuilding trust and greater cooperation.

He expressed confidence in Pakistan’s economic developments, identifying stronger people-to-people ties and economic partnerships as the way forward. He also recognized China’s increasing foothold in the region and as a significant player in any future regional dialogues and prospects. Chairman KCFR and EWI Board Member, Ikram Sehgal, welcomed Munter’s remarks and promised to facilitate institute’s engagement within the South Asia region.

Munter also met with members of the American Business Council of Pakistan, a chamber of U.S. Businesses and one of the largest groups of overseas investors in Pakistan.