Pakistani Women Leaders Propose Solutions for US Foreign Policy to Help End Extremist Violence
The United States provides more foreign aid to Pakistan than to any other country, with the exception of Afghanistan. A significant portion of those funds is intended to reduce violent extremism through the provision of aid to civilians.
Still, thousands of Pakistanis die each year due to ethnic, sectarian, and political clashes motivated by extremist ideology. Efforts to create a more secure Pakistan often fail precisely because they don’t address the root causes of extremism—including political grievances, socio-economic injustices, and sources of intolerance.
While recent events have led many outside of the country to call into question Pakistan’s dedication to combating terrorism, a thriving civil society with an active media, prominent think tanks, and a vast array of actors, is working to stabilize the country.
The delegates are in the US to share examples and innovative ideas needed to curb the tide of violent extremism. By meeting with key representatives from the US Departments of State and Defense, USAID, Congress, think tanks, and civil society organizations, the delegation will profile their work as a positive force and propose solutions for US engagement with a critical ally in Pakistan—women peacebuilders.
A dozen Pakistani civil society leaders will meet with US officials in Washington, DC, this week to profile the work they are doing to combat violent extremism in their nation, including:
- Deradicalization of youth trained as suicide bombers
- Engagement with religious leaders
- Reform of curriculum
- The use of media to highlight the deadly effects of extremism
The delegation will identify ways in which the US Government can support these efforts through shifts in US policy towards Pakistan. View their recommendations here.
The delegates are representatives of Amn- O-Nisa, the Pakistan Women’s Coalition Against Extremism, launched in October 2011, to address instability and violence in Pakistan. The Institute for Inclusive Security and the Meridian International Center are hosting the delegation with support from the US Embassy in Islamabad.
The delegation includes established civil society leaders from across Pakistan, including:
- Heads of non-governmental organizations
The delegation is scheduled to meet with representatives of the National Counterterrorism Center, the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, and the Department of Defense, as well as:
Department of State
- Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State
- Daniel Benjamin, Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism
- Robin Raphel, Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan
- Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues
- Thomas O. Melia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
- Brian Nichols, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
- J. Alexander Their, Assistant to the Administrator and Director of the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs
- Michele Schimpp, Deputy Director, Afghanistan-Pakistan Task Force
- Elizabeth Shevock, Deputy Team Leader, Pakistan, Office of Transition Initiatives
United States Congress
- Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Democratic Leader
- Representative James McGovern (D-MA), Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
- Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee
- Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- Maria Correia, Social Development Sector Manager, South Asia Region
About Inclusive Security
The Institute for Inclusive Security uses research, training, and advocacy to promote the inclusion of all stakeholders, particularly women, in peace processes. We work with a global network of well over 1,000 women leaders from more than 40 conflict regions.
Our research gives policymakers new strategies to drive inclusion by examining tangible contributions of women peace builders. Our training provides leaders the specialized skills and knowledge to direct local, national, and international peacebuilding. Our advocacy to high-level policymakers promotes change that makes peace processes more broad-based, and thus sustainable.
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