Elections vs. Democracy: Post-Bhutto Pakistan and the International Community with discussant Imran Khan, the World Cup cricketer turned political activist and opponent of military rule in Pakistan. Ali Ahsan, associate officer in the executive office of the U.N. Secretary-General, provides commentary.
With the assassination of Benazir Bhutto at the end of 2007, an already turbulent country in the front lines of many of the international community's most pressing concerns - terrorism, nuclear weapons, development, and democracy - was thrown into even greater political turmoil. Parliamentary elections have been rescheduled to February 18, but will elections signify democratic change? And what are the stakes for the international community?- The Century Foundation
Ali Ahsan is an Associate Officer and Speechwriter in the Office of the Secretary‐General of the United Nations. He has served as a speechwriter to Secretaries‐General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki‐moon. Previously, Mr. Ahsan worked as a corporate attorney with the New York law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
His father, Aitzaz Ahsan, is the detained President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan. Mr. Ahsan was graduated from Harvard College with an AB in Economics and earned a JD from Yale Law School.
Imran Khan is Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek‐e‐Insaf Party (Movement for Justice). A former cricket legend, Mr. Khan was international cricketer of the year in 1989‐1990 and led Pakistan to a World Cup victory in 1992. He transitioned into politics in 1996 and is now an outspoken political opponent of the military regime led by Pervez Musharraf.
His party is boycotting the upcoming legislative elections rescheduled after Benazir Bhutto's assassination for February 18th 2008 and Mr. Khan has called for the resignation of President Musharraf.
Born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1952, he earned degrees in economics and politics at Kebel College of Oxford University.
Jeffrey Laurenti is a Senior Fellow and Director of Foreign Policy Programs at The Century Foundation. He was Executive Director of Policy Studies at the United Nations Association of the United States until 2003 and currently serves on the Association's Board of Directors, and was deputy director of the United Nations Foundation's U.N. and global security initiative in support of Kofi Annan's high‐level panel on threats, challenges, and change.
Mr. Laurenti was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and earlier served as executive director of the New Jersey Senate. He earned his AB at Harvard College and an MPA from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Jurgen Stetten has served as the Executive Director of the New York office of the Friedrich‐Ebert‐Stiftung since June 2005. Previously, he worked at the Department for
Development Policy at FES Headquarters in Berlin as well as in the foundation's field offices in
South Africa, Vietnam and South Korea.
Mr. Stetten occasionally writes and publishes articles ‐ the latest ones on "Multilateral Institutions: Building Alliances, Solving Global Problems" and "China and Globalization." He holds an MA in Economics and Political Science from the
University of Cologne.