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CrisisWatch Pakistan

Unchanged Situation

Wave of terrorist attacks against civilians subsided, while Pakistani Taliban (TTP) struck military targets in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). TTP faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar 6 March attacked three border posts in Mohmand agency, leaving five soldiers dead; launched assault from Afghan soil against border post in Khyber agency 17 March, killing two soldiers. Security forces 22 March killed two militants, including senior TTP commander, in raid on militant hideout in Orakzai agency. U.S. drone strike 2 March killed two suspected Taliban in Sara Khwa area, Kurram agency. Car bombing outside mosque 31 March killed at least 24 people and injured scores in predominantly Shia Parachinar, Kurram agency. National Assembly 21 March passed 28th constitutional amendment renewing mandate for military courts to try civilians charged with terrorism, amid concerns over implications for rule of law and civilian authority despite govt accepting four of nine proposals by opposition Pakistan Peoples Party. Three men convicted by military courts system executed 15 March. Tensions with Afghanistan continued following Islamabad’s accusations that Kabul harboured terrorists responsible for wave of attacks in Feb. Govt reopened border crossings closed after 16 Feb Sehwan Sharif shrine bombing. UK 15 March hosted bilateral talks that reportedly led to agreement on mechanism for cooperation against terrorism. Balochistan assembly 4 March passed resolution protesting alleged racial profiling and harassment of ethnic Pashtuns in Punjab and Sindh; followed 27 Feb protest by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly members against “racial policies” of Punjab govt and “victimisation” of Pashtuns in counter-terrorism crackdown. Govt 2 March approved in principle reforms for FATA including proposed merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in order to foster development in troubled region. Five FATA tribal elders 10 March filed petition against proposal, calling it illegal and unconstitutional, since it delays FATA’s incorporation into constitutional, legal and political mainstream and denies residents access to justice. Authorities 15 March commenced first national census in nineteen years.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

23 Feb 2017
The recent wave of attacks within Pakistan is the result of Pakistan’s historical reliance on militant groups to promote its foreign policy agenda, which seems to be biting the country now. The World Weekly

Timor Sharan

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
25 Jul 2016
With the reestablishment of Afghanistan’s national air force, we’re seeing the Taliban being driven into the mountains more than previously. RFI

Timor Sharan

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan

Latest Updates

Report / Asia

Winning the War on Polio in Pakistan

Pakistan remains the greatest impediment to a polio-free world. The link between the disease and Islamist anti-immunisation campaigns is clear but without an appropriate political response. The authorities must tackle extremist networks, step up health services, and make sure that health workers are safe.

Op-Ed / Asia

Update on Pakistan's Polio War: Some Ground Gained but Victory Not Yet in Sight

As the world marks Polio Day today, Pakistan remains the greatest impediment to a polio-free world.

Originally published in Lowy Interpreter

Report / Asia

Revisiting Counter-terrorism Strategies in Pakistan: Opportunities and Pitfalls

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.

Our People

Zaib Barlas

Operations Manager, Pakistan