Engaging Pakistan

3 December 2008   |   Commentary   |   By Claude Rakisits

The Mumbai terror attacks have once again focused attention on Pakistan's position as both a critical ally in the war on terror and a country in which a number of key terrorist groups have found safe haven. The international community faces a difficult dilemma in balancing demands that Pakistan do more to root out terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba, while protecting that country's fragile return to civilian rule. In this new Lowy Institute Policy Brief, Claude Rakisits proposes a modest contribution that Australia might make toward building a more durable and productive relationship with Pakistan by broadening its engagement with key elements of Pakistani society beyond the military and intelligence elites that have traditionally been the focus of the West's ties with this strategically vital country.

Claude Rakisits is a Geneva-based Australian who heads an independent consultancy, Geopolitical Assessments.