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CrisisWatch Pakistan

Unchanged Situation

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif 5 Sept said Pakistan must deal with internal militancy in order to improve international reputation; followed Aug U.S. announcement of new Afghanistan strategy warning Pakistan of adverse consequences of providing sanctuary to Afghan militants, and decision to hold back $255mn in financing for foreign ministry until Pakistan stops cross-border attacks and helps U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan. PM Abbasi 18 Sept endorsed foreign minister’s call for “in-house cleaning”, next day met U.S. VP Pence at UN General Assembly, where they reportedly agreed to “stay engaged with a constructive approach”. Also followed BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa) joint declaration 4 Sept expressing concerns over activities of Pakistan-based terrorist groups. Militant violence continued in Balochistan (west), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and elsewhere. In Karachi, gunmen dressed as police 1 Sept opened fire on banned opposition Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) member Khawaja Izharul Hassan, killing two people including a boy; police 4 Sept killed four alleged Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants while searching for suspected perpetrator of 1 Sept attack. In Balochistan, unknown assailants 4 Sept ambushed Frontier Corps (FC) convoy in Panjgur district, killing three soldiers including a lieutenant colonel; gunmen 10 Sept killed four members of Shia Hazara family in Quetta; TTP splinter faction Majlis-e-Abrar suicide bomber 18 Sept killed one child and injured over a dozen near Chaman border crossing with Afghanistan. In FATA, U.S. drone strike 15 Sept killed three suspected militants in Kurram agency; TTP claimed 17 Sept roadside bomb that killed local official and at least four FC soldiers in Bajaur agency. Electoral commission 7 Sept refused to recognise Milli Muslim League (MML) political party, which is directly linked to Jamaat-ud-Dawa, barring its candidate from displaying images of Jamaat-ud-Dawa or using its name in campaign for 17 Sept Lahore by-election to fill seat vacated by former PM Sharif. Candidate ran as independent, still invoking Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its leaders, came third with 4,000 votes; seat won by Sharif’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz.

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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

Former 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

Former 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