The two subcontinent nuclear powers, Pakistan and India, have been recently involved in a war of words and words of war which has reopened the debate on South Asia’s nuclear and strategic stability. Predominantly, three official statements from India in a scorching ‘June’ have further inflamed the traditional tensions between the two nuclear neighbors. Pragmatically, beyond the strained relations, statements also advocate few confines of military threats, limited war and conventional deterrence posture in the South Asia region. Continue reading India’s accusations and confrontational statements
(BY DR NASIR JAVED) If the water management issue is not addressed on an urgent basis, the day is not far when water would be as scarce as electricity and gas are today in Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan had been warned of this crisis for decades, but in vain. Experts repeatedly state that Pakistan is a water scarce country and the situation is going from bad to worse. To be honest, my fear is not ‘scarcity’, but the overall mismanagement of this asset. As someone once said, “There is enough for every man’s need, but not for greed.” Continue reading The self created water problems
(By Dr Subhash Kapila) Afghanistan in 2015 presents a complex strategic muddle for which India is neither politically, strategically, nor militarily equipped, to compete with the growing strategic convergence of Russia-China-Pakistan interests despite inherent self-contradictions among the three, and the unfolding Afghan-ISIS confrontation.
Admittedly, India has significant legitimate national security interests in the security and stability of Afghanistan, besides historical ties of shared strategic convergences on checkmating Pakistan’s unceasing ambitions for political and military control of Afghanistan. In 2015, the Afghanistan picture for India stands drastically changed with the ascendancy into power in Kabul of President Ashraf Ghani. Continue reading India should stay out of Afghanistan’s
By Dr Maqsudul Hasan Nuri
Some writers have questioned the need for soft power in Pakistan and advocated reliance on hard power only. What is less understood is the fact that non-traditional security has become more salient after the cold war.
Multiple existential issues such as stagnating economies, climate change, energy crises, repressive governments, cronyism and corruption, poor governance, cross-border interventions, refugees and internally displaced persons, drug and criminal mafias – all necessitate drastically revisiting the traditional security paradigm. In other words, the concept of the ‘security’ state has morphed into that of a ‘welfare state.’
Continue reading Soft Power: Pakistan needs it!
Pakistan instituted the twenty-point National Action Plan (NAP) on Dec. 24, 2014, as a comprehensive, consolidated list of steps needed to be taken by the state and law enforcement institutions to curb terrorism and extremism in the country. For Pakistan to finally take this step, it took a horrendous attack on schoolchildren at the Army Public School in Peshawar that left 141 dead, including 132 children.
The first of the 20 points in the NAP was the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty in Pakistan, which had been in effect since 2009. As of June 23, a total of 176 people — including two who may have been convicted as minors — have been executed in Pakistan since this decision, putting Pakistan on course to match the country with the most number of executions, Iran, which had 289 executions in 2014. (Experts believe thousands are executed in China every year, but since executions are considered a state-secret, no reliable data is available.) For comparison, the United States, which voted against the United Nations’ resolution for a global moratorium on death penalty, executed 17 people within the first six months of 2015. Continue reading Pakistan’s NAP score?
Pakistan is a country of contradictions, but nowhere are these contradictions as sharp as in the attitude and policies of the civilian and military leaderships. The military has been fighting an existential battle against an internal threat, with a focus and determination not witnessed before. Hardly a day passes when the army and paramilitary forces do not shed their blood to regain lost territory to militant groups, or to weaken them as a whole. Already, the number of those martyred since 2003 is over 6,000, with thousands more having been injured and disabled. Yet, the military’s determination remains steadfast and unwavering. In addition, General Raheel Sharif is committed with a passion to cleansing Karachi and Sindh of drug mafias, land grabbers and militant groups of political parties. Rangers are targeting their hideouts and have made strides in neutralising these criminal elements and putting immense pressure on political parties. The military top brass is of the firm view that unless the nexus of corruption and terrorism is not broken, it would not be possible to establish the rule of law and bring back normalcy in the country.
Continue reading Pakistan’s politics needs fixing
These five questions address the current role of Daesh and the threat it is posing to the rest of the world, asking why it is not being defeated and how it could potentially be defeated. Particularly following the recent attacks in France and Tunisia, it is clear that Daesh is strong and unless it is eliminated, one cannot hope for peace and stability.
Continue reading ISIS (Daesh) a deadly force hard to beat
Major Developments affecting the Quality of Democracy in Pakistan
Second Year of the Federal and Provincial Governments: June 01, 2014-May 31, 2015
The PILDAT Democracy Monitor attempts to delineate the various developments, both negative and positive, that have affected the quality of democracy in Pakistan during the second year of the Federal and Provincial Governments in office from June 01, 2014 to May 31, 2015.
Positive Developments affecting the Quality of Democracy in Pakistan: June 01, 2014-May 31, 2015
Recently, the IMF classified water scarcity as an economic threat to Pakistan, a statement that greatly undermines the colossal socioeconomic impacts that can result from this crisis. Despite floods and water shortages in recent years, which have come at great human and financial cost, Pakistan has failed to attach sufficient importance to water scarcity and has continued to use it as a political tool, as the recent bickering between the federal and provincial governments over the Karachi tragedy has portrayed.
Continue reading Addressing water scarcity