Tag Archives: Akbar Ahmed
Akbar Ahmed delivers an Interfaith Lecture about the tribal regions of Pakistan Monday afternoon in the Hall of Philosophy. Photo by Adam Birkan.

Ahmed: To understand Pakistan is to understand its tribal societies

Pakistan is an integral player and ally in the United States’ war on terror. It is also, according to President Barack Obama, one of the most dangerous places in the world.

“Pakistan is a much maligned, little understood, very important country,” Akbar Ahmed said.

To understand Pakistan, and ultimately complete U.S. operations in the region with a semblance of a victory, it is necessary that those in decision-making positions understand the nature of the tribes and tribal regions of Pakistan, Ahmed said.

On Monday, Ahmed opened this week’s Interfaith Lecture Series focused on the theme “The People of Pakistan,” with a lecture titled “The Most Dangerous Place in the World — The Tribal Areas of Pakistan.” In his lecture, Ahmed analyzed the present and past conditions of the tribal areas, the ways of life and structures of the tribes and provided a prescription for how best to progress out of the current crisis.

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Ahmed to explain tribal dangers in Pakistan

For the tribal peoples of Waziristan, the mountainous region in northwest Pakistan that borders Afghanistan, every day is like Sept. 11. Every day, people are killed by American drone strikes, Afghan terrorists, Pakistanis looking for terrorists or their own tribal rivalries. American experts have called the region the epicenter of the war on terror.

In 2004, the United States took a major stride forward by helping to establish a democracy in Afghanistan. Although successful in some of the big, Westernized cities, much of the country — which has been made up of tribal regions for centuries — rejects and refuses to recognize the new government.

Ahmed, former Pakistan ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland, will discuss those tribal societies at 2 p.m. Monday in the Hall of Philosophy. He will focus on Pakistani tribes and the problems those tribes cause for both Pakistan and the U.S., drawing from his scholarly studies and personal experiences in Pakistan.

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