We are delighted to welcome the arrival of the South Asia Journal. It could not come at a better time. South Asia is in the news, and at the center of U.S. foreign policy. This makes it more important than ever that the U.S. audience have many sources of serious information and reasoned debate about the significance of events there, and what they mean for the United States and the world.
As former diplomats who have devoted most of our professional lives to this region, we believe that the peace and prosperity of South Asia will shape our future and that of our children. During much of our time as diplomats, the United States had a “roller coaster” relationship with Pakistan We enjoyed three “marriages” during the 1950s and 1980s and again since 2011; the “divorces from the first two left us estranged for many years. On the other hand, U.S. relations with India lacked substance during much of the Cold War. The creation of a new partnership offers rich strategic possibilities, but both sides will have to work hard to realize them.
For readers of the South Asia Journal, perhaps the biggest question is whether India and Pakistan will be able to chart a course toward better relations at this time of deeper U.S. engagement in the region. Count us among those who hope that this will happen. We believe that most of the work to close the gap between India and Pakistan has to be done by the governments of those two countries, but they have the good will and support of people all over the world in this vital endeavor.
Howard & Teresita Schaffer