Author Archive

Strategy for the Second Wave: Learning from India’s Experience with HIV/AIDS

A report by Teresita C. Schaffer and Pramit Mitra on the conference conducted by the Center for Strategic & International Studies on September 9, 2004, in conjunction with the CSIS Task Force on HIV/AIDS.

India has entered a critical period in its fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In June 2004, India’s National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) announced its estimate that India had 5.1 million people infected with HIV as of the end of 2003, up from 4.58 million a year earlier. This represents a 10.3 percent increase in estimated infections (a welcome drop in the rate at which infection is spreading from the 13.3 percent increase a year earlier). India is home to the second-largest number of HIV-infected people in the world, and some would argue that it actually has the largest population of infected people. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has moved into the general population in several parts of the country.

Originally published by CSIS on November 1, 2004. View the entire report.

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India at the Crossroads: Confronting the HIV/AIDS Challenge

A report by Teresita C. Schaffer and Pramit Mitra on the trip taken to India by a nine-member delegation of medical, public health, and diplomatic experts from January 3-10, 2004, in coordination with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Task Force on HIV/AIDS.

The purpose of the visit was to understand how HIV/AIDS is affecting India, how governmental and nongovernmental institutions in the country are mobilizing to slow the spread of the disease, and how the United States should work with India in this effort. This report reviews the overall state of the epidemic and India’s response to it; it then lists the delegation’s key findings and, finally, enumerates the delegation’s recommendations.

Originally published by CSIS. View the entire report.

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Stepping Carefully in Kashmir

An article by Teresita C. Schaffer expressing cautious optimism for the continuation of a tenuous ceasefire in Kashmir.

The year 2000 ended on a hopeful note in Kashmir, with India’s ceasefire for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan being extended until January 26. The principal Kashmiri political umbrella group seems interested in a dialogue with New Delhi, and the Pakistan military has withdrawn some forces from the Line of Control separating them from Indian units. All three constituencies now must consider who will talk, about what, and how they can continue the momentum. Discreet diplomatic encouragement from the United States has helped the process thus far, but the heavy lifting needs to be done in Delhi, Islamabad and Srinagar.

Originally published in the Center for Strategic & International StudiesSouth Asia Monitor on January 1, 2001. Read the entire article.

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Bridge Building After Disasters

An op-ed by Teresita C. Schaffer on the opportunities for to further relationships between the U.S. and Pakistan, and the Pakistani government and the citizens of Pakistan, following catastrophic floods.

The U.S. response to the Kashmir earthquake five years ago produced a substantial “bounce” in popular views of the United States in Pakistan. We are operating in a more harshly anti-American environment today, but we can expect that both the government and the people afflicted by the floods will be appreciative of the U.S. contribution once the relief workers have succeeded in setting up a system that can work reasonably well.

Originally published on the New York Times web site on August 23, 2010.

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U.S.-Pakistan Partnership: Make it Work for Both Sides

An op-ed by Teresita C. Schaffer on the challenge–and necessity–of sustaining the partnership between the U.S. and Pakistan.

If Pakistan can stop providing space for terrorist organizations to operate, and the US has the grit to stay with this effort as long as it is genuinely moving ahead, we can work together in spite of goals that diverge in other respects. In the process, we will make an important down payment toward regional peace and stability.

Originally published in the Christian Science Monitor on December 22, 2009.

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Pakistan: Struggling Through the Perfect Storm

An article by Teresita C. Schaffer on political upheaval in Pakistan.

The attack on the authority of the Pakistani state that is being played out on the front pages of today’s newspapers has been building up for the better part of a decade. Reestablishing a stronger political and state structure is possible, but becomes more difficult each time the state appears to cede control to the insurgents. The U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan acknowledges the central importance of strengthening the Pakistani state. In practice, the United States has only indirect influence over the key ingredient in such an effort—the determination of Pakistan’s leaders and the effectiveness of its basic government institutions.

Originally published in the Center for Strategic & International StudiesSouth Asia Monitor on May 1, 2009. Read the entire article.

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After Pakistan’s Elections: Dealing with a Fractured Government

An article by Jeffrey Ellis and Teresita C. Schaffer on the implications of the February 2008 parliamentary elections in Pakistan.

The excitement of Pakistan’s February 18 election, a sharp rebuff to President Pervez Musharraf and his ruling party, has given way to intense maneuvering to form the next government and to anxiety about how a divided political leadership will tackle the country’s formidable problems. The United States has pledged to work with all of Pakistan’s political players and has apparently moved away from its emphasis on Musharraf. Its main concern will be with the effectiveness of Pakistan’s counterinsurgency operations in and near the border areas with Afghanistan.

Originally published in the Center for Strategic & International StudiesSouth Asia Monitor on March 10, 2008. Read the entire article.

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Pakistan: Transition to What?

An article by Teresita C. Schaffer on the run-up to the 2008 parliamentary elections in Pakistan in light of the events of 2007, including President Pervez Musharraf’s retirement from the army and the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan needs a government that will undertake the long and difficult task of building up Pakistan’s institutions, countering its domestic extremists, and managing the tangled relationships with Pakistan’s neighbours. The first requirement for such a government is legitimacy. Both for Pakistan’s future and for Western policy interests, this is the time to put legitimacy first.

Originally published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the February-March 2008 issue of Survival. Read the entire article.

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Back and Forth in Bangladesh

An article written by Howard B. Schaffer on the October 2001 parliamentary elections in Bangladesh.

On 1 October 2001 Bangladeshis went to the polls to elect the country’s eighth postindependence National Parliament (Jatiya Sangsad). In the third contested race under the democratic political system established in 1990 with the overthrow of General H.M. Ershad’s authoritarian, army-led regime, voters once again turned out in large numbers after a bitter campaign marred by violence. Women, who in Muslim Bangladesh vote at separate polling stations, were prominent among them. Many waited for hours in the hot sun dressed in their best saris to mark and cast their paper ballots. Overall, some 75 percent of registered voters turned out, about the same proportion as in the last general election, which was held in 1996. Despite dire forecasts of further violent clashes and predictions of large-scale electoral malpractice, a peaceful atmosphere generally prevailed on election day in the cities as well as in the countryside, where most Bangladeshis live. The 50,000 troops deployed on election duty helped ensure this, as did the zealous work of the country’s nonpartisan Election Commission, which is directly responsible for running an operation involving almost 60 million voters.

Originally published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in the January 2002 issue of the Journal of Democracy.

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Teresita C. Schaffer

Teresita C. Schaffer is an expert on economic, political, security and risk management trends in India and Pakistan, as well as on the region that extends from Afghanistan through Bangladesh. She is a Senior Adviser to McLarty Associates, a Washington-based international strategic advisory firm. Ambassador Schaffer is a Trustee of the Asia Foundation.

In a 30-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Schaffer was recognized as one of the State Department’s leading experts on South Asia, where she spent a total of 11 years. Her other career focus was on international economic issues. She served in U.S. embassies in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, and from 1992-95 as U.S. Ambassador in Sri Lanka. During her assignments in the State Department in Washington, she was Director of the Office of International Trade and later Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East and South Asia, at that time the senior South Asia policy position in the State Department. Read more

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