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Rumi Forum Podcast

Rumi Forum was founded in 1999 with the mission to foster intercultural dialogue, stimulate thinking and exchange of opinions on supporting and fostering democracy and peace and to provide a common platform for education and information exchange. The Forum contributes to this ultimate aim by means of conferences, panel discussions, community engagement, luncheons, publications and other activities. In particular the forum has an interest in issues regarding pluralism, peace building and conflict resolution, intercultural and interfaith dialogue, social harmony and justice, civil rights and community cohesion.

Mar 12, 2012

Ambassador Chamberlin begins with giving her perspective on 9/11 and how she interacted with president Mosharaf in that era. She believes “Mosharaf saw domestic terrorism as the number one obstacle to developing Pakistan; that Pakistan was the victim of internal terrorism, and he would never be able to break this terrorism as long as the Al-Qaeda problem and Afghanistan persisted”. Ambassador Chamebrlin then talks more about the relationship between Pakistan and USA right after 9/11.

On September 15, 2001, USA and Pakistan began a dialogue over terrorism. Pakistani president, Parvez Mosharaf, was careful not to make conditions although there were clearly understood to be conditions by USA. “It was a very productive exchange and negotiation that we got to yes very quickly,” Ambassador Chamberlin says.  For Pakistan, internal security was the major obstacle to attracting foreign investment and Pakistan needed foreign investment in order to develop the economy.  “At no time did they ever consider any other threat but India to be the existential threat against Pakistan. They never fully accepted that there was not Pakistan’s interest [having] a friendly government in Afghanistan ties to the Taliban,” she continues.

Ambassador Wendy J. Chamberlin is President of the Middle East Institute since March 2007. A 29-year veteran of the US Foreign Service, she was US Ambassador to Pakistan from 2001 to 2002. During her tenure in Islamabad, she played a key role in Pakistan’s cooperation for the US-led campaign against al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan following the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Chamberlin has extensive experience in counter-terrorism, having served as Director of Global Affairs and Counter-Terrorism at the National Security Council (1991-1993) and as Deputy in the Bureau of International Counter-Narcotics and Law Programs (1999-2001). As Assistant Administrator in the Asia-Near East Bureau for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2002 to 2004, Ambassador Chamberlin directed civilian reconstruction programs in Iraq and Afghanistan and development assistance programs in the Middle East and East Asia. Other assignments included US Ambassador to the Laos People’s Democratic Republic (1996-1999), Director of Press and Public Affairs for the Near East Bureau (1991-1993), Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur (1993-1996), Arab-Israeli Affairs (1982-1984) and other postings in Morocco, Pakistan, Malaysia, Laos and Zaire.