U.S.-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium: A New Narrative on U.S.-Pakistani Relationships

Both Pakistan and the United States have increasingly struggled with global and domestic religious intolerance in the past decade. Islamophobia in the United States and discrimination against Christians and other minorities in Pakistan have grown, sometimes with violent consequences. Since the U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and given the continuing use of U.S. drones on Pakistani soil, fear and distrust of the other have grown exponentially between both the governments and populations of the United States and Pakistan.
With traditional diplomacy unable to moderate hostilities between Pakistan and the United States, Intersections International has formed an unprecedented interreligious alliance of U.S. and Pakistani faith leaders prepared to step into the breach. After a successful foundational meeting of the U.S.-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium (UPIC) in Muscat, Oman in May 2012, the 24 leaders (approximately 12 U.S., 12 Pakistani) met in Islamabad and Lahore in April 2013 to cooperatively set an action agenda toward policy change on both sides, building bridges of understanding and respect between our two countries.

This briefing featured UPIC delegates Melody Fox Ahmed, assistant director for programs at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, and Rev. Michael Livingston, national policy director and director of the DC Office of Interfaith Worker Justice, discussing the consortium's work so far and agenda for the future.

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