Submit your questions to William Milam, former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan
April 1st, 2013
02:06 PM ET

Submit your questions to William Milam, former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan

Next month, Pakistan holds a general election that looks set to mark the first successful transition between two democratically elected governments in the country's history.

But will the election really run smoothly? Who are the key players and what do they stand for? And what does it all mean for Pakistan's relations with its neighbors, especially India?

William Milam, a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan and currently a senior scholar on the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, will be taking questions from GPS readers. Please leave your questions in the comment section below.

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. 100 % ETHIO

    Mr.William Milam;
    As a former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, you witnessed the ups and downs of U.S vs Pakistan relationships. Most of the time, more than 80% it did not work well. So, what are the consequences in the next 5, 10,..years????

    The Islamic Pakistan can not defeat the Haqqani, Taliban and Al-qoeada. Will its NUCLEAR ARM be controlled by these groups?

    If Taliban or its supporters can take control of Pakistan's NUCLEAR, what will be the reactions of India and U.S.?

    What was your weakness/Strength during your service as U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan?

    What brought you at CNN to give explanations?

    April 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  2. Agnostic Muslim

    The UN investigation into Drone Strikes has resulted in the investigator issuing a press release stating outright that US Drone Strikes in Pakistan are violations of international law, given that his discussions with Pakistani government officials revealed no Pakistani authorization for US strikes and given that the US does not have UN sanction to carry out military strikes in Pakistan (self defense does not apply to preemptive/signature strikes as is the case with most US Drone strikes). Why is the US government so adamantly opposed to joint drone strikes in cooperation with Pakistan given the extremely hostility (towards the US) these strikes generate amongst Pakistanis and the immensely destabilizing effect they have on the Pakistani government?

    The CON's of the US position on unilateral drone strikes appear to significantly outweigh the perceived advantages.

    April 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  3. j. von hettlingen

    Mr. Milam, do you think the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) might return to power later this year? It's highly unlikely that it would see a landslide victory. In March 2008 the PPP had to form a coalition with Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League party, which left a few months later.
    Imran Khan's party, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf might get into the parliament, yet it would not have the majority to form a government. A coalition with the PPP would be out of question for him.
    Pervez Musharraf's real intention isn't to return to power. He's realistic enough to judge the political climate there. He just takes the general election as an excuse to return to vindicate himself. He had reversed his decision in the past and he doesn't want to wait another fiver years to do so.

    April 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Mr. Milam, you were the US ambassador to Pakistan under Nawaz Sharif's rule. How were your impressions of the politics there? Does Sharif have a chance to win in May? You left before Musharraf came to power. The relationship with Washington was good under his rule. No doubt the US wouldn't mind his returning. The question is, whether the voters want him back. What do you think? Thank you in advance for your views.

      April 2, 2013 at 7:17 am | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        Of course, Sharif's party will win a number of seats. The question is, how much better would they do in the coming election.

        April 2, 2013 at 8:12 am |
  4. Joseph McCarthy

    My question here to Mr. William Milam is, just how much of a hand will the C.I.A. have in predetermining the outcome of these elections? Will it permit any Communist candidates to be elected to any of these posts? Will it permit any Taliban candidates to win? I think not! The new government will doubtlessly continue it's subservience to the U.S. and it's allies!

    April 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  5. Ferhat Balkan

    Musharraf left Pakistan in 2009, a year after being forced to step down. Since then he has been doing lectures in London and Dubai. To the amazement of many, he came back risking legal cases in connection with the killings of Benazir Bhutto and Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti and life threats by the Taliban. He stated the following "I have taken a big risk returning home now. But tears come to my eyes seeing the state of the country now. I ask where is the Pakistan I had left five years ago." Indeed, Pakistan has been going through some rough patches, since Musharraf left. It remains uncertain whether Musharraf will manage to regain influence in Pakistan, where strong contenders for the election include Nawaz Sharif, the man he ousted in a military coup, and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan. What are your thoughts on Musharraf and his future influence in Pakistan?

    April 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  6. Jim

    Ambassador Milam,
    World has witnessed some of the worst human rights abuses against minorities like Shiites, Ahmadi, Christians, and Hindus in Pakistan. Hundreds of Shiites Hazara people werer mercilessly killed in Pakistan in this year alone in multiple bombings by Pakistanis. Thousands of Christian homes and businesses were looted and burned by Pakistanis. Are these elections expected to address human rights abuses in Pakistan? Persecution of minorities under the Pakistani Islamic blasphemy law also continues. What leverage can the Congress or Administration use to make it an issue in the upcoming elections to stop these basic human rights abuses by our "ally" Pakistan, which receives billions in the USAID from the US taxpayes?

    April 2, 2013 at 12:32 am | Reply
  7. Chirag Dave

    Do u think any elected government in Pakistan will ever be capable of improving relationship with India? because it seems that Pakistan's policy towards India is largely decided by Army and ISI & government doesn't have any role to play. And do u think Imraan Khan or Parvez musharraf can emerge as big players in coming election?

    April 2, 2013 at 1:19 am | Reply
    • Agnostic Muslim

      Improvements in the Pakistan-India relationship are not the sole responsibility of Pakistan – the Indian military and media has played a strong role in scuttling compromises and de-escalation along the LoC and Siachen by drumming up hysteria and 'dooms-day scenarios' in case of India accepting Pakistani proposals to demilitarize Siachen and the International Border.

      April 2, 2013 at 8:07 am | Reply
      • Chirag Dave

        why should India accept proposal of Pakistan? bcoz there is strong possibility that India will get back stabbed by Pakistani military. it has happened in past, "the kargil war". & parvez mushrraf just took pride for orchestrating it in a recent interview. i agree that there is lack of trust between 2 countries but India has tried to do a lot of things for improving trust, granting MFN status to Pakistan years ago being one of that but u need similar type of gesture from other side also. u cann't clap with just one hand. u r accusing Indian army and media for hindering peace process but isn't Pakistani army & media doing the same?

        April 3, 2013 at 1:10 am |
  8. wjmccartan

    Mr. Milam

    Do you think that the next elections in Pakistan will see any change with the way the government there will handle the extremist groups that operate in their country? Today it seems that the Taliban and Al Qeuda seem to carry out their actions with impunity. Also the relationship with India continues to be less than friendly, do you think that the elections will begin a new era for Pakistan, India relations? It seems like so many of the people who run for office in Pakistan have troubled pasts, do you expect any difference from those who hold political office in Pakistan? Who within the coming elections should we see as a potential game changers in the political forum?

    Thank you for your time Mr. Milam.

    April 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  9. Matthew Winderl

    What are the chances of a future characterized by friendly India-Pakistan relations? If there is any chance at all, what steps must be taken to accomplish this goal?

    April 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  10. Matthew Winderl

    How do you see Pakistani-Indian relations progressing in the decades to come? What geopolitical implications will this progression have?

    April 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Reply
  11. Alexander

    Mr. Milam,

    Do you believe that the US relationship with Pakistan would benefit from a decrease in the use of drone strikes coupled with an increase in human intelligence assets via CIA agents, or has the strategy in Washington become entirely set on the use of technological intellignece gathering and strikes? It seems to me that the reliance on a mechanized system which allows for something like 20% civilian casualty rates would be easy to beat with a concerted movement toward actual agents and operatives in the region and the support there of. If that is not the case, then what are the benefits of drone strikes in terms of the long term startegy of stabilizing and liberalizing the region?

    Thank you very much for your time.

    April 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply

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