Pakistan’s Economic Turmoil: Strategic Challenges, Consequences, and Contingencies

October 2, 2018 | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM

Pakistan’s incoming administration faces a slew of economic challenges including a looming balance of payments crisis, the possibility of a new IMF bailout, and concerns over the financial viability of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). How are these issues likely to develop over the coming months, and what are their strategic implications within the wider region? Please join the Stimson Center for a panel discussion addressing Pakistan’s economic outlook and its potential to both shape and strain regional political and security dynamics. Our panelists, Arif Rafiq, President, Vizier Consulting, Yun Sun, Co-Director of the Stimson Center’s East Asia Program, and Uzair Younus, Director, South Asia Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group, will offer comments. Sameer Lalwani, Director of the Stimson Center’s South Asia Program, will convene our meeting, and Elizabeth Threlkeld, South Asia Program Deputy Director, will moderate the discussion.

WHAT: An on-the-record panel discussion with Arif Rafiq, Yun Sun, and Uzair Younus on Pakistan’s economic outlook, CPEC, and regional strategic implications.

WHERE: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC, 20036

WHEN: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 | 2:00 pm-3:30pm

RSVP: Click here to RSVP for the event.

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Arif Rafiq, President, Vizier Consulting

Arif Rafiq is president of Vizier Consulting, LLC, a political risk advisory company focused on the Middle East and South Asia. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC. His scholarly work focuses on political reform, religious extremism, and terrorism in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, and great power politics in South Asia. He recently completed a grant-funded study on the economic, political, and strategic implications of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. A frequent contributor to print and web publications, he has written for numerous publications, including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The National Interest. Previously, Rafiq worked for the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and leading public relations firms Burson-Marsteller and Ruder Finn. From 2011-13, Rafiq was listed by Foreign Policy as one of the top 100 foreign affairs commentators on Twitter. He received an MA in Arab Studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Yun Sun, Co-Director, East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Yun Sun is co-Director of the East Asia Program and Director of the China Program at the Stimson Center. Her expertise is in Chinese foreign policy, US-China relations and China’s relations with neighboring countries and authoritarian regimes. From 2011 to 2014, she was a Visiting Fellow at Brookings Institution, jointly appointed by the Foreign Policy Program and the Global Development Program, where she focused on Chinese national security decision-making processes and China-Africa relations. Prior to this, Yun was the China analyst for the International Crisis Group based in Beijing, specializing in China’s foreign policy toward conflict countries in the developing world. Before ICG, she worked on US-Asia relations in Washington, DC for five years. Yun earned her master’s degree in international Policy and practice from George Washington University, as well as an MA in Asia Pacific studies and a BA in International Relations from Foreign Affairs College in Beijing.

Uzair Younus, Director, South Asia Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group

Uzair Younus is a Director with ASG’s South Asia practice. In this role, he helps clients develop strategies for long-term growth in the region. Prior to joining the firm, he was a consultant for IBB Consulting in New York City, where he developed dynamic models to analyze national cable infrastructure and participated in efforts to identify emerging cable and telecommunications markets. In addition, he worked as a consultant at Deloitte focusing on global technology strategy, digital assessment management, and web strategy and implementation. Previously, he interned with 32 Advisors, a boutique consulting firm in New York City, where he conducted research on infrastructure projects proposed by Prime Minister Modi’s government in India, including the Smart Cities initiative. He regularly publishes articles on South and Central Asian politics and trade for The Diplomat and Dawn, and has been featured in Bloomberg, CNN, and CNBC. He earned an MA in Law and Diplomacy with Concentration in Economic Policy and South Asia from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He has a BS in Economics and Finance from Bentley University.

Sameer Lalwani, Director, South Asia Program, Stimson Center

Sameer Lalwani is a Senior Fellow and Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center where he researches nuclear deterrence, interstate rivalry, crisis behavior and counterinsurgency. He is also an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and was previously a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the RAND Corporation. His work has been published by Security Studies, Small Wars & Insurgencies, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, CTC Sentinel, and the New York Times. He completed his PhD from MIT’s Department of Political Science, where he was an affiliate of its Security Program. His dissertation research focused on South Asian national security decision making, and he has conducted extensive fieldwork in India (including the Kashmir Valley), Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as archival work at the British National Archives and the British Library.

Elizabeth Threlkeld, Deputy Director, South Asia Program, Stimson Center

Elizabeth Threlkeld is a Fellow and Deputy Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center. Before joining Stimson, she served as a Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State in Islamabad and Peshawar, Pakistan as well as Monterrey, Mexico. She previously worked in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, where she managed development interventions on gender-based violence and ethno-sectarian reconciliation. She has additional work and educational experience in China, Taiwan, and Turkey, and began her career with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. She holds an MPhil in Politics and International Relations from the University of Cambridge, where she received the Hilda Richardson Studentship from Newnham College. She received a BA with High Honors in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College.


Photo by: Peretz Partensk