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CrisisWatch Pakistan

Unchanged Situation

Protests in Lahore, led by faction of radical Barelvi party Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (or Labaik) seeking resignation of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah for comments perceived to be sympathetic to minority Ahmadi sect, ended 1 Dec after Punjab govt reportedly agreed to reconsider restrictions on use of loudspeakers by mosques, and allow for review of Punjab education curriculum’s religious content; govt refused to dismiss Sanaullah. Followed late Nov protests led by Labaik demanding removal of Law Minister Zahid Hamid. Govt’s capitulation to protesters’ demands fuelled concerns that hardline Islamist parties will play more assertive and aggressive role, undermining ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and other mainstream parties ahead of July 2018 general elections. Jihadist and militant attacks included: in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)’s Peshawar (north west), Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) suicide bombers 1 Dec stormed Agricultural Training Institute campus, killing at least nine. In FATA’s North Waziristan agency, explosive device targeting army vehicle killed at least six 5 Dec; suspected militants 12 Dec attacked army patrol, killing two soldiers. In Mohmand agency, suspected militants 22 Dec killed three Frontier Corps personnel from Afghan side of border. In Balochistan (west), unclaimed attack on military-run railway construction in Harnai district 5 Dec killed three; Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-KP) claimed 17 Dec suicide bombing in Christian church in provincial capital Quetta that killed nine and injured over 50. Over 300 Baloch separatist militants, including seventeen commanders, surrendered to govt forces in Quetta 9 Dec. Amid growing U.S./Afghan frustration over Pakistan’s failure to take action against Afghan Taliban inside its territory, U.S. military continued to bomb militants from Haqqani Network inside Pakistan. Muhammad Saeed, alleged mastermind behind 2008 Mumbai attacks and leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (formerly Lashkar-e-Tayyba), 3 Dec announced plan to run in 2018 elections under Milli Muslim League (MML) banner. Supreme Court 15 Dec found Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan not guilty of failing to declare overseas business assets, but disqualified PTI Secretary General Jehangir Khan Tareen from elected office for life over failure to declare assets in his electoral nomination form.

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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

Video / Asia

Addressing Security Concerns to Advance Gender Equality in Pakistan

Addressing security concerns in Pakistan is vital for creating a more gender equal society. In this video, Crisis Group's South Asia Project Director Samina Ahmed highlights the need for measures geared toward enabling women to become more economically independent, such as safer public transport and a more gender-sensitive police force.

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.

Also available in 简体中文

Our People

Zaib Barlas

Former Operations Manager, Pakistan