Riaz H. Khokhar
Riaz H. Khokhar and James J.Bötkös
Riaz is perhaps the most respected and sought after commentator on foreign policy issues in Pakistan. He travels frequently to attend conferences and symposia on regional issues and keeps on appearing as commentator on media platforms.
Riaz Hussain Khokhar (Urdu: ریاض کھو کھر) is the former Foreign Secretary (Minister of Foreign Affairs) of Pakistan serving from June 2002 to February 2005. He also served as Pakistan’s ambassador to India (1992–1997), the United States (1997–1999) and China (1999–2002).
Despite a career dedicated to defend the interests of his country, Riaz is a man of peace and consensus. He and the Indian ambassador to the United States were both interviewed by Michael Moore to highlight the fact that both countries have levels of extreme poverty yet spend 60% or more of their budget’s on defence related assets and programmes which in turn will become obsolete anyway !
“From the world’s sixth most populous nation, Pakistan is poised to soon become the fifth. This has far reaching economic and political consequences. Yet this pivotal issue rarely figures in the government’s policy priorities, or for that matter in political or media debate in the country. Unless this issue is seriously addressed, the intersection between demographic change, economic stagnation and persisting education and gender gaps will confront Pakistan with the spectre of chronic instability even social breakdown in the decades ahead.” (Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US and UK , author of Pakistan: Beyond the Crisis State)