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Civilian Assistance to Pakistan - Cure or Curse?

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Speaker(s): Dr Ehtisham Ahmad, Rachid Benmassoud, Dr Robert Hathaway, Shahid Kardar, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Kashif Zafar
Chair: Professor Lord Nicholas Stern

Recorded on 2 February 2012 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

Has civilian assistance to Pakistan over the past three decades assisted with development and improvements in living standards, or become a hindrance? Has the availability of bilateral and multilateral largesse, often driven by strategic considerations, subverted the difficult structural reforms that the assistance was designed to promote? The publication of the recent Woodrow Wilson Center report: "Aiding without abetting: making US civilian assistance to Pakistan work for both sides", that calls for a reorientation of the Kerry-Lugar assistance and addresses the operations of USAid, provides an opportunity to discuss some of the issues arising from the poor design and implementation of civilian assistance. There are also growing political concerns in Pakistan about the political "capture" of some of the assistance as well as growing dependency.

Dr Ehtisham Ahmad is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE Asia Research Centre.

Rachid Benmassoud is the World Bank Director for Pakistan.

Dr Robert Hathaway is the Director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Shahid Kardar is a former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.

Dr Maleeha Lodhi is a former High Commissioner of Pakistan to the United Kingdom, and a former Ambassador to the United States.

Kashif Zafar from the British Pakistan Foundation will provide an introduction.

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