On 1st September 2009 Maajid briefed staff at the US Senate in Washington DC on the findings of Quilliam’s latest report, Pakistan: Identity, Ideology and Beyond. Based on Quilliam’s extensive work on the ground in Pakistan, the report advocates a ‘paradigm shift’ and hopes to inform US policy towards Pakistan, emphasizing the need to tackle the Islamist threat within Pakistan on an ideological level. Attendees at the presentation expressed an avid interest in Quilliam’s knowledge base, garnered through its outreach work in the country.
On 2nd September 2009, Maajid met with senior officials from Richard Holbrooke’s (Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan) Af-Pak team. The Af-Pak strategy, which is the centerpiece of US policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been addressed in the report. Currently the Af-Pak strategy contains a broad focus on economic, developmental and institutional assistance and is built on the assumption that Pakistan and Afghanistan are socio-economically comparable and are on similar political trajectories. However, the report highlights the negative implications of this strategy, as both countries are in fact at vastly different economic, developmental and institutional stages. The report thus recommends that the Af-Pak strategy should only be utilized for mutual security concerns rather than the broader social development agenda.