First Wednesday: Natural disaster and political turmoil in Pakistan

Talk September 1, 2010 7:00 PM

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The floods Pakistan took place against a backdrop of an internal security crisis and mounting political tension internationally: With some 14 million people displaced, the country is suffering a disaster of an unprecedented scale – but what impact is the political turmoil having on the unfolding crisis?

UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently accused Pakistan of "looking both ways" when it comes to supporting or rooting out Islamic terrorists. Within the country more than 3,000 people were killed in 2009 in terrorist attacks.

So which is the real Pakistan? And what impact has the west’s unease over terrorism on the Af-Pak border had on the aid relief effort? Joining us to discuss these questions, the prospects for recovery and what he future holds for Pakistan will be:

Brice de le Vingne, Médecins Sans Frontières operation manager for Pakistan

Asif Durrani, Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner in the UK

Karen Pierce, Foreign Office director for Afghanistan and South Asia

Mustafa Qadri, independent journalist based in Pakistan writing regularly for The Guardian, The Australian (newspaper) and

Paddy O’Connell of BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House will be in the chair as the Fronline Club’s monthly First Wednesday topical discussions return after a summer break. These lively public meetings bring together experts and commentators and mix their views with contributions from our audience.

Picture credit: Chris King