More than 30 Howard International Relations students spoke withthe Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. at the new Pakistan embassy inWashington, D.C. about his country’s longstanding conflictwith India and present-day relationship with the UnitedStates.
Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, flanked byhis political counselor, Farukh Amil, told students that terroristinsurgency in Pakistan is an isolated phenomenon and that hisgovernment has helped capture more than 600 members of Al Qaeda.
Qazi, during a 30-minute introduction speechinside an auditorium of the embassy, also spoke in length about theon-going and “positive” relationship his country hashad with the U.S.
“The aid that we get from the US isextremely helpful to our country and we hope to continue in thissame light with the US,” Qazi said.
He then provided a historical overview of theconflict between India and Pakistan in relation to Kashmir.
The students asked several questions whichtouched on terrorism in Pakistan, the poverty and economic levelsin Pakistan, the inconsistencies in US policy towards Arabs, andthe assassination attempts on the life of President PervezMusharraf.
One student asked if the democratic process inPakistan will lead to further terrorism
Senior Political Science major, Alethia Ince,who attended the trip and provided the Ambassador with a gift fromthe class after the visit, provided her overview of Qazi.
“It seems that the ambassador wasgreatly appreciative of the US and the aid his country has receivedfrom them,” she said. “He painted Pakistan to be on theup and up but the country isn’t doing that great.”
The Pakistani trip was one of two tripsscheduled by Professor John Davis’s International Relationsclass, but became the only trip after the Israeli embassy decidednot to host the class.
“It was very difficult to set up thetrips because you have to deal with the embassy itself and theymight shift the date or the scheduled events,” Davis said.”I had to deal with the University also and they had theirown set of rules and expectations.”
Qazi mingled informally with the class afterthe meeting before leaving to another engagement. The students thenate Pakistani dishes, took pictures and spoke with a few of theembassy officials before leaving back to the University.