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Strategic Insights 55 - Beyond Af-Pak: Australia's long-term interests in Pakistan

By Kate Boswood, Jacob Townsend and Silal Shafqa

Australia’s engagement with Afghanistan and Pakistan has been energised by the idea that their fates are ‘inextricably linked’. But a clear articulation of the hierarchy of Australian strategic interests in those two countries has been missing. In public debate, the Australian Government has tended to conflate the different challenges, relationships and opportunities we have in the two countries in the shorthand term ‘Af–Pak’.

This Strategic Insight, authored by Kate Boswood, Jacob Townsend and Silal Shafqat, makes three contributions: it analyses Australia’s macro-level interests in the region; it proposes the broad contours of a strategy in Pakistan; and it identifies niche options for engagement.