South Asia

13 Items

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

5 Burning Nuclear Problems on Trump’s Desk

| Jan. 25, 2017

Nuclear weapons remain the most powerful weapons on the planet and how President Donald Trump’s team manages nuclear issues is critical to our security. These are hard challenges; none were perfectly addressed under President Obama’s leadership. But we made them a priority from day one. Whether or not the new team puts them at the top of the to-do list, here are five issues that will demand their attention before too long.

An Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during gun battle between Indian military and militants inside the hotel in Mumbai, India, Nov. 29, 2008.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Pakistan's Nuclear Posture: Implications for South Asian Stability

| January 2010

"...[E]xtremist elements in Pakistan have a clear incentive to precipitate a crisis between India and Pakistan, so that Pakistan's nuclear assets become more exposed and vulnerable to theft. Terrorist organizations in the region with nuclear ambitions, such as al-Qaida, may find no easier route to obtaining fissile material or a fully functional nuclear weapon than to attack India, thereby triggering a crisis between India and Pakistan and forcing Pakistan to ready and disperse nuclear assets—with few, if any, negative controls—and then attempting to steal the nuclear material when it is being moved or in the field, where it is less secure than in peacetime locations."

Pakistani anti-Taliban protesters with an effigy of Baitullah Mehsud, top Pakistani Taliban commander, on June 15, 2009 in Karachi. Moderate Muslim activists chanted against Mehsud and Sufi Mohammad, a cleric who wanted to impose Sharia law in Swat.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Guardian

US Must Wake Up to Reality in Pakistan

| July 26, 2009

"The most important non-state actor in Pakistan is the army. Normally, a country's army constitutes its ultimate instrument of legitimate force. But the Pakistani army is independent of the civilian government. It considers its interests as separate from those of this government. It has acted more like a mercenary force, reluctant to assume responsibility for defending the country against internal threats. It maintains links with some of the very elements that threaten the country's security."

Pakistan's Sindh Province Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, second from left, administrates oaths from re-appointed judges on  Aug. 27, 2008. The Pakistani government has re-appointed eight judges among dozens sacked by Musharraf last year.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - International Herald Tribune

Après Musharraf, Patience

| August 27, 2008

"...The notion that somehow developing countries, and especially Muslim-majority states, cannot adjust to democratic model is a flawed assessment. The track record of democratic governments in Pakistan is indeed mixed, but it is also true that democracy takes time to develop....Western governments, primarily the United States and Britain, have shown far more patience with dictators than with elected leaders. Periods of military rule in Pakistan — 1958–69; 1977–88; 1999–2008 — lasted an average of 10 years, while democratic phases lasted an average of less than three years and were often declared to be unstable, corrupt and weak. Foreign aid also declined during the democratic periods...."

Pakistan's army troops stand alert behind a bunker as they monitor the Afghan-Pakistan border at Kundighar post, the area of Pakistani tribal belt of North Waziristan.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Solving FATA

| August 13, 2008

"The growing Taliban insurgency in the Afghan-Pakistan border area increasingly threatens the geography of the region. Continuation of this crisis could derail the India-Pakistan peace process, undermine democratic gains in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan, and jeopardize U.S. interests in the region.

Despite the explosive nature of the crisis and apparent consensus between the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees about the need for additional focus on the area—as well as military forces there—the popular analysis of the situation often fails to appreciate the very basic facts of the issue...."

Photos of missing people are displayed outside the Supreme Court building in Islamabad on Oct 4, 2007. Dozens gathered and demanded to be told of the whereabouts of their missing family members allegedly detained by the state's intelligence agency.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The International News

Reform of Pakistan's Intelligence Services

| March 15, 2008

"The primary mission of intelligence services in a modern democratic state is to collect, analyze, evaluate, and pass on foreign intelligence to the government to assist it in making decisions related to national security. Their standard task also includes producing a range of studies that cover virtually any topic of interest to national-security policymakers. Depending on the resources, they use electronic means as well as human sources and, if necessary, undertake covert actions at the direction of the chief executive. A covert action is defined as an act to influence political, economic or military conditions abroad, while keeping in view some ethical considerations. Counter-intelligence operations mainly work to guard against espionage from foreign intelligence agencies in the country. They are also expected to effectively protect the secrets of its sources and methods. The role of intelligence services is to only report information and analysis and not to make policy recommendations."

Police take away lawyers during an anti-President Pervez Musharraf protest in Karachi, Pakistan, on Feb. 21, 2008.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The International News

Police Reforms: Agenda of Change

| March 4, 2008

"...Besides leading to bad governance and a deplorable law and order situation in the country, police failures also have compounded the threat of religious extremism and terrorism. Poor data collection on crime and criminals and inadequate analytical capabilities hamper effective law enforcement. In many instances, banned militant organisations continued with their publications and in some cases wanted criminals, and terrorists changed their party affiliations (hurriedly joining groups that were not under government scrutiny after theirs were banned) and the police remained clueless. Here the police was also handicapped as many militant groups were producing "freedom fighters" for Kashmir and Afghanistan and had working relations with the intelligences services, and hence police officials were reluctant to go after some of these elements thinking that they might be the assets of some "other state institution." Things are reported to be progressively changing in this sphere lately, but the serious challenge remains...."

Pakistan's army troops patrol on the street to ensure security ahead of the parliamentary elections in Multan, Pakistan on Feb. 16, 2008.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The International News

Security and Intelligence

| February 25, 2008

"The Pakistani Army positively contributed towards the holding of free elections on Feb 18, but it cannot be expected to do the job of law enforcement endlessly. Dependence on the military for such tasks ultimately persuades its leadership to increase the army’s involvement in the political domain, and in the process that follows such thinking, Pakistan loses many years. Generals like Waheed Kakar and Jahangir Karamat are rare, and given some recent developments it seems that Pakistan is lucky to have another of their kind in the form of the new chief, Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. This golden opportunity should not be lost (like before) to nurture and groom civilian institutions to stand on their own feet."

Supporters of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party dance to celebrate their party's victory in the parliamentary election, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 in Hyderabad, Pakistan.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Guardian

Pakistan Elections: A Clear Verdict

| February 19, 2008

"As for Musharraf, he is living in a fool's paradise if he thinks he is going to be a father figure to the next prime minister of Pakistan. The new government will be under tremendous public pressure to bring back the deposed judges, and that could sound a death knell for the Musharraf presidency. For the army, which is distancing itself from Musharraf already, institutional interests, saving prestige and influence, will be more important than rescuing a president who continues to shoot himself in the foot. The west in general — and Britain and the US in particular — must show patience while democratic forces settle; at least as much patience as they showed with military dictators. This is the very least that the people of Pakistan earned yesterday."