As Pakistan seeks to consolidate its fragile democracy, it should seize the moment to improve relations with its Afghan neighbour. Its biggest challenge comes from within. The civilian government has to regain control over national security and foreign policy from the military.
01 November 2014
Hostilities across Line of Control (LoC) continued, often provoked by Pakistani military to provide cover for cross-border militant movement; at least 20 civilians reported killed. Indian govt 21 Oc ...
Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, inherits a government that is running out of money and losing ground to the insurgency. As foreign troops withdraw, the new government must stay united and move quickly on reforms.
To combat religious extremism and sectarian violence, Pakistan must reform its education sector by boosting resources to public schools and updating the school curriculum to improve quality and remove divisive and discriminatory narratives.
To contain a growing, increasingly confident insurgency as NATO troops withdraw, Afghanistan needs continued international support, including military, and the new government in Kabul will need to reinvigorate the state’s commitment to the rule of law.
Jihadi and criminal violence is wreaking havoc in Pakistan’s provincial capitals, eroding stability and public confidence in the government’s ability to restore law and order and enforce the writ of the state, while exposing Pakistan’s religious minorities to ever intensifying confessionally-driven violence.
Women are increasingly exposed to violence and exclusion from the public sphere as Afghanistan nears the 2014 security transition and conservative forces gain momentum.
To consolidate democracy, Pakistan’s new parliament needs institutional reform and strong cross-party determination to fend off an interventionist military and over-reaching judiciary.
Afghanistan’s political parties must exercise restraint as they jostle for power in the final months of President Karzai’s mandate. For its part, the outgoing administration should also resist calls to excessively regulate the parties. A commitment to pluralism, by all players, is key to the legitimacy of Kabul politics – and an important advantage against armed insurgents.
Drone strikes alone will not eliminate the jihadi threat in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Extension of Pakistani law and full constitutional rights to the region is the only long-term solution.
International Crisis Group © 2014 |