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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Is Dr. Moeed Yusuf an American national?

Does Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Special Assistants to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Security and Strategic Policy Planning, hold American citizenship? Should he be allowed to be part of the national security and strategic planning of Pakistan?

Dr Moeed Yusuf, Special Assistants to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Security and Strategic Policy Planning, clarified that he only holds Pakistani citizenship. He rubbished media reports claim Dr. Yusuf holds American citizenship.

According to the affidavit which was posted on the website of the Cabinet Division, Yusuf, formerly the associate vice president of Asia Center at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, is a green card holder. He was appointed against the post in December last year.

Taking to Twitter, Yusuf shared a new affidavit which stated that he “never held the citizenship of any other country” including the US.

In the subsequent tweet, Yusuf asserted that neither did he return to the US after assuming the office of the SAPM nor has he got any active “employment or income” in the country in question. “I or my family have no fixed property anywhere but Pakistan. Stop spreading lies.”

Dr. Yusuf is a graduate of Boston University. He has been a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University and a Research Fellow at Strategic and Economic Policy Research, Pakistan. He will hold the status of minister of state, according to the notification.

Read More: Dr. Moeed Yusuf appointed SAPM on National Security: What can Pakistan Expect?

He was previously appointed as the chairperson of the Strategic Policy Planning Cell (SPPC), which functions under the National Security Division. The news went viral in international media because of Mr. Yusuf’s academic as well as professional background.

Mr. Yusuf has authored Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments: U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia. He was previously working as vice president of the United States Institute for Peace, for South Asia.

Soon after his appointment, renowned American academic and South Asia expert, Dr. Christine Fair accused Mr. Yousuf of a pro-Pakistan policy and of promoting Pakistan’s interests at US taxpayers’ expense.

In her essay for The Print, Ms. Fair accused Mr. Yusuf of selling Pakistan’s interests in the US while receiving money from the US government. “In what functioning government is,” she asked, “it appropriate for a US citizen (perhaps with dual citizenship now), after years of selling Pakistan’s interests while drawing a salary from the US government, to take up such a position in Pakistan government without consequence?” She went on saying: “the USIP must be asked important questions: Was it harboring and nurturing a ‘Pakistani asset’? Will, it re-employ Yusuf when his tenure in Pakistan ends?”

Moreover, she also termed Mr. Yusuf as “Pakistan’s deep-state asset” while alleging Pakistan of harboring terrorist organizations to undermine the Ameican interests in the region. She said, “Pakistan is single-handedly responsible for not only undermining US interests in Afghanistan but also having proxies such as the Haqqani Network and the Taliban, who are directly responsible for murders of American personnel as well as their Afghan and NATO allies”.

Read More: Pakistan’s enemy is naked in its aggression, Dr. Moeed Yusuf

She demanded that “he [Mr. Yousuf] should at least be compelled to give up his US citizenship as is standard for others who have joined foreign governments. The USIP should not be permitted to hire him back”.

USIP’s rubbished unfounded allegations of Ms. Fair

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) rebutted the claims of Christine Fair against their Associate vice-president Dr. Moeed Yusuf and said that she has a long history of making misleading claims.

Jill Welch, the vice-president of external relations of USIP wrote an email to The Print in response to their article by Ms. Fair on Dr. Yusuf, alleging him to be a ‘Pakistani agent‘. The vice-president said, “We stand by Yusuf’s dedicated work at the institute which he has carried out with the highest personal and professional integrity as a well-regarded expert on South Asia.”

Welch further said that Fair had previously written another article against Yusuf, for which the publication’s editor-in-chief had issued an apology. “It is no surprise that the author is continuing her nearly decade-long personal and entirely unfounded attacks against Yusuf.”

She has admitted in her piece that nobody within the USA listened to her.

Dr. Yousuf is said to be the few voices in the USA that are taken seriously while formulating America’s South Asian policy. Precisely, he has “acted as an enabler for improved Pak-US dialogue and understanding.” Such hatred against a well-known scholar raised some serious questions about the credibility of Dr. Fair who is otherwise said to be a scholar studying and researching South Asia.

Read More: Christine Fair Questions Dr. Moeed Yousuf’s Integrity: USIP gives her Shut Up Call

Finally, the silence of Dr. Fair’s colleagues in particular and of American scholars generally has confirmed the fact that International Relations as a discipline continues to be West-centric. The Westism dominating the state of the discipline raises some serious questions; does the west want to understand the rest? What type of scholarship is being produced by scholars like Dr. Fair to understand the developing world i.e. South Asia? Should scholars remain silent if someone’s from their league dares to malign or assassinates the character of a respected policy expert?