Pakistan’s six-month-old counter-terrorism strategy has failed to end the operations of violent jihadi groups, while military-led measures continue to undermine the civilian government. A winning strategy will have to include structural and governance reform, both to stop jihadis exploiting the absence of rule of law and to address the root causes of extremist violence.
01 October 2015
Dozens killed in attack on Peshawar’s Badaber air force base 18 Sept; Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. Authorities blamed Afghanistan for failing to prevent militant groups from using ...
In Pakistan, women’s security and political, social and economic status are under attack by religious extremists, undermined by discriminatory legislation and unprotected by the state. The government must stand by its pledge to end gender inequity and violence against women, especially in the conflict zones of north-western Pakistan and the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To overcome the security challenges and curb extremism in Pakistan’s Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA), its national and provincial leaderships should reclaim the political space ceded to the military.
Three successive years of devastating floods threatening the lives of millions, coupled with the displacement of hundreds of thousands due to military operations and militancy, gives Pakistan’s radical Islamist groups opportunities to recruit and increases the potential for conflict.
With fresh elections just months away, Pakistan’s government and opposition must urgently implement key reforms to the electoral commission to cement the transition to democracy and stave off another indefinite period of unaccountable rule.
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Pakistan’s Worsening IDP Crisis
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