Look for American foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Southcentral Asia to be front and center in first vice presidential debate next Thursday, Oct. 11, at Centre College.

You can get an insider’s preview right here that night when the World Affairs Council brings Pakistani investigative journalist Umar Cheema to Louisville to explain and the incredible nuances, deceit and intrigue in Pakistan’s political scene.

Cheema is an investigative reporter for the Pakistani newspaper The News. He writes about corruption, politics, national security and unaccountable intelligence agencies, work that has resulted in his being abducted and attacked, according the WAC news release.

Cheema’s unwillingness to stay silent about the ill treatment he has suffered has drawn wide attention to the nationwide issue of anti-press violence in Pakistan, which is orchestrated by the ISI, the nation’s clandestine security organization.

Cheema will speak on “Beyond Rhetoric: Culture and Politics in US-Pakistan Relations.”

Pakistan, of course, is a crucial if Janus-faced ally in the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

According to a WAC news release, Cheema will discuss US-Pakistan relations including:

• What lies at the root of the violent protests in Pakistan against the American YouTube film defaming the Prophet Mohammad?

• Is there a clash of cultures and how will they impact the renewed cooperation between our two countries?

• What internal factors in Pakistan will drive the US-Pakistan relationship in the future?

• View of U.S.- Pakistan relations from Pakistan

• Role of U.S. aid or its withholding have on Pakistan

• Pakistan’s use of Blasphemy Law in light of the American YouTube video

• Flash points and potential areas of conflict

• Expectations of U.S.- Pakistan relations in the near future

• Impact of this relationship on Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism

The presentation is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at 620 S. Third St., (which appears to be ProQuest, though it doesn’t really say) so you’ll be home in plenty of time to watch Biden v. Ryan.

Tickets are $15 for WAC members, $25 for non-members. You can order tickets here.

About The World Affairs Council: The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote international affairs to the region through its international visitor program and speaker events.

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