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Pakistan Security Research Unit


Briefings and reported published whilst the Unit was hosted by Bradford University.


Brief 65 | Pakistan and the United States 
For many years relations between the United States and Pakistan have been subject to disagreements, misunderstandings and tension. Events in 2011 continued to strain an association that has rarely been serene, to the extent that major rupture could occur if the countries cannot compromise on their national priorities.

Brief 64 | The arrest of Brig. Gen. Ali Khan and the influence of Hizb-ut-Tahrir in Pakistan 
The arrest of Brig. Gen. Ali Khan, and four majors, on 6 May on charges of having links to Hizb-ul-Tahrir (HT) has caused an understandable media maelstrom of analysis and questioning. It indicates, amongst other things, that HT has supporters even at the highest levels within the Pak army. However, the Hizb does not have the strength to bring about the fitna, the chaos, the coup d’état it desires. Nonetheless, the HT should be carefully monitored and remains one of many, divided, militant groups vying for the Islamization of Pakistan.

Brief 63 | Why Karachi is a Major Source of Instability in Pakistan? 
Karachi is arguably the most important of Pakistan’s cities but also it’s most violent. Writing from Karachi Professor Moonis Ahmar offers six reasons for the levels and persistence of violence in Karachi and pin-points the obstacles to progress. He argues that there are no quick fixes to address these issues but asks the main political parties in the city – the MQM, ANP and PPP – to look within their own ranks for the obstacles to meaningful change.

Brief 62 | Getting Afghanistan Right 
Writing in a personal capacity the South Asia Project Director of the International Crisis Group, Dr Samina Ahmed, argues powerfully that US and Western policy in Afghanistan is presently on the wrong track and that a return to civil war in Afghanistan is highly likely after US/NATO drawdown. Dr Ahmed argues that better policy choices are available and she sets these out as a challenge to the US and NATO to change policy direction before it is too late.

Brief 61 | The Limited Military Utility of Pakistan’s Battlefield Use of Nuclear Weapons in Response to Large Scale Indian Conventional Attack
This paper provides a technical assessment of the battlefield efficacy of Pakistan’s tactical nuclear options against a possible large-scale Indian conventional attack. It exposes the limited military utility of Pakistan’s tactical nuclear options given the present size of its nuclear arsenal and suggests that the search for tactical nuclear options may push Pakistan to significantly increase its tactical nuclear arsenal. It suggests also that to be militarily effective Pakistan may need to so exhaust its nuclear arsenal that escalation to nuclear war would be unavoidable.

PSRU Brief 60 | Domestic Politics and Systemic Constraints in Pakistan’s India Policy
The interdependence of India and Pakistan produced by nuclear weapons represents a new and powerful incentive to cooperate, but cannot by itself ensure a stable framework of cooperation. The extent of cooperation and stability ultimately rests on domestic politics. The future of Pakistan’s relationship with India thus rests to a large degree on the domestic power equation in Pakistan, more specifically the position of the army in it. Neoclassical realists would do well to appreciate that policy is not simply the domestic response to an unchanging system, but that the system itself has changed in important ways, which makes for a complex interaction between the two levels of analysis.

Brief 59 | An Analysis of Obama’s AfPak Goal and First Objective: Setting the Baseline and Prospects for Success
The Obama administration developed in 2009 a series of goals, objectives, and metrics to measure progress in its campaigns against al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan (AfPak). We examine two of those in this Report: the overall goal of defeating al-Qaeda in AfPak, and the supporting objective of disruption and degradation of “terrorist networks” in AfPak. Early 2009 “baselines” are set for both the goal and the objective. We then conduct a critical review of important events and trends through April 2010. We conclude that Obama’s goal and first objective is approximately two-thirds complete, with greater future effort necessary in Pakistan than in Afghanistan.

Brief 58 | Islamic Militancy getting worse, not better: The recent attacks on the Ahmadi mosques in Lahore 
On Friday 28 May, the ugly head of terrorism, apparently that of Islamic militants, was raised against the Ahmadiyya Jama’at when two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore were attacked by fidayeen style terrorists during the obligatory, Friday jumma prayers. Who are the Ahmadi, why are they persecuted and what are the implications for policy-makers and practitioners alike? These questions are addressed in this briefing paper.

Brief 57 | Socio Economic Cost of Terrorism: A case study of Pakistan 
The ongoing operations against terrorism have done much damage to Pakistan and conditions have worsened in all aspects. The costs include loss of livelihood, destruction of infrastructure, capital flight, declining growth rates, low revenues and consequently the deterioration of overall economy. Pakistan’s economy is suffering $6 billion export losses annually and the overall real GDP growth fell to 2.00 per cent in the financial year 2008-09, as against the average of 6.3 per cent in the previous six years. Pakistan’s participation in the anti-terrorism campaign has led to massive unemployment in the affected regions, causing rural poverty to reach 37.5 per cent up from 23.9 per cent in 2007-08. This paper recommends action that should be taken to overcome the massive costs particularly in the region affected by counter insurgency operations.

Brief 56 | Fighting Kufr and the American Raj: Hizb-ut-Tahrir in Pakistan 
The aim of this paper is to briefly examine the ideology and beliefs held by Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT), particularly its teaching on Khilafah, its attitude towards the west, especially America, and its criticism of the Pakistan government and army. Having considered HT’s activities, and the activities of British HT members in Pakistan, the article concludes that HT poses a threat to Pakistan national security.

Brief 55 | "Punjabi Taliban" and the Sectarian Groups in Pakistan 
This brief joins the ongoing discussion on ‘Punjabi Taliban’ that has highlighted the links between Punjab-based militant groups and the FATA-based Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The brief discusses the term, how it has been used in recent commentaries and analyses, and the nature of the relationship between these militant groups and TTP. The brief concludes by assessing the potential policy pitfalls and implications of using the term ‘Punjabi Taliban’.

Brief 54 | Public perceptions of Pakistan's war against the TTP 
Support for Pakistan’s military operations against local Taliban insurgents has seen a dramatic rise this year. The critical reasons for the shift towards support for military operations in the tribal areas has been the public’s perception that Pakistan is fighting a war for its existence allied with the refusal to accept that militant, political Islam generally, and the Taliban movement in particular, is responsible for the insurgent violence that has rocked Pakistan. Perceived foreign enemies of Pakistan are directly or indirectly blamed both by state authorities and much of the population. This argument may rally the population behind the state’s war against the TTP, but it prevents Pakistani society from confronting the very real, and serious infiltration of militant, political Islam into mainstream society.

Brief 53 | Insurrection, Terrorism, and the Pakistan Army 
This paper examines the Pakistan Army’s military operations in the FATA and NWFP since 2001 and discusses the internal and external constraints within which they operate. It argues that the Pakistan Army is serious about tackling militancy within the FATA/NWFP (and in Balochistan) but that there are limits to what military force alone can achieve. The key to long-term stability and security must come from the economic, political and social follow-up to military action, the responsibility for which lies with the civilian government of Pakistan.

Brief 52 | At the Precipice: Is Pakistan About to Fail? 
This paper re-examines and updates the debate about whether Pakistan will fail as a state and argues provocatively that the only means to address Pakistan’s problems long-term lie in the contraction of the Pakistan’s armed forces and in using the resources which would be freed by this to boost law enforcement, education and health and welfare programmes in the country.

Brief 51 | A Review of AfPak and the Ongoing Challenge of Pakistan 
The purpose of the study is to examine the Obama Administration’s approach to Pakistan, as the country when seen in connection to Afghanistan, is America’s most difficult foreign policy challenge in the immediate future. The study opens by analyzing US-Pakistani relations, by looking at Pakistan's counter-terrorism strategy and that of the United States. A key premise of the study is that AfPak is not the solution to Pakistan's problem, as what is needed is fundamental changes in Pakistani society to make the country more stable.

Brief 50 | Civil Society in Pakistan: Stake Holders in a Contested State 
Pakistan may have its huge share of wreckers and debilitators but the vast majority of the people in the country seek peace, stability and good governance. The next few years may prove quite decisive for Pakistan to find a balancing point but this is certainly contingent upon the nature and direction of soon-to-happen domestic, regional and global developments.

Brief 49 | The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan: Ideology and Beliefs 
With the death of Baitullah Mehsud on 5 August 2009, and the capture of Mullah Umar twelve days later, it has been suggested that the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan is a broken and ineffective force. This paper examines the ideology and beliefs of the TTP, particularly its teaching on global jihad; a united ummah; the Pakistani government; American foreign policy; the Takfiri doctrine and the implementation of Shariah. Although the TTP's institutional capacity has received a serious set-back, the author concludes that, under the leadersahip of Hakimullah Mehsud, its ideological capacity to influence is far from over.

Brief 48 | One or many? The issue of the Taliban's unity and disunity 
One of the most debated issues concerning the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan is the degree of unity or disunity of the Taliban as a movement. Apart from its operational relevance as far as the military counter-insurgency effort is concerned, the issue acquires major importance when the attention turns to the possibility of negotiations. This paper concludes that the Taliban are not a fragmented organisation, but rather a decentralised one and moreover, they are making efforts to consolidate their organisation and improve their internal management of groups, networks and factions.

PSRU Brief 47 | Pakistan's Army and National Stability 
This paper examines the developing role of the Pakistan army in internal security, its position in regard to terrorist groups, and its operations in North West Pakistan. It concludes that Pakistan is experiencing severe strains, but can rely on the army to continue to perform its duties as required by the Constitution.

Brief 46 | Failed Take-Off: an Assessment of Pakistan's October 2008 Economic Crisis
Until the October 2008 economic crisis, the Musharraf government's economic policies were generally perceived to be a great success there was widespread optimism that the country might finally break out of its post-independence cycle of boom and bust. However, Pakistan's structural problems and policy miscalculations have combined to create a vicious circle that will be extremely difficult to reverse with the process of macroeconomic adjustment likely to be lengthy and difficult, exacerbating increasing economic distress among ordinary citizens.

Brief 45 | India Pakistan. Friends, Rivals or Enemies? 
India and Pakistan, two sovereign states cut from the same political and cultural cloth at Independence and partition in 1947 present an extremely complex relationship that scholars of international relations theory have been unable to account for. Their status as two relatively new sovereign states sitting on top of an ancient civilisation have produced a unique relationship in international politics. This report argues that the examination and theorisation of this relationship suffers from historical reiteration - namely the endless repetition of old and tired historical debates pertaining to whom did what to whom during the partition period. In place of this old debate this report offers a new theoretical framework within which a new debate can take place about the levels and culture of violence that India and Pakistan are prepared to use against one another.

Brief 44 | British Islamism and the South Asian Connection 
This paper provides an historic overview of the development of Islamist ideologies in the UK and shows how these track patterns of immigration from South Asia, in particular from Pakistan and Bangladesh. It uses Roy's ideas of neo-fundamentalism and the deculturation and decontextualisation of Islam in the West to show the complex issues of identity which obtain amongst many young British Muslims. It argues that Islamist organisations with their roots in South Asia - such as Tablighi Jamat and Jamat-I-Islami - have skilfully sought to exploit these issues in promoting their agendas. It concludes that politicians and the security community need a deeper and more nuanced understanding of these issues if appropriate policy is to be formulated.

Brief 43 | Towards a Containment Strategy in the FATA 
Military operations in the FATA by both the US and the Pakistan military are having a detrimental impact on the stability and security of the rest of Pakistan. This briefing explains some of the complexities around the present conflicts in the FATA and argues that the security situation there cannot be fixed by US military action. It proposes instead that a strategy should be developed to contain the conflicts in the FATA. Such a strategy would allow the new Pakistan government time and space for a broader engagement with FATA, refocus the activities of the Pakistan military, reduce the corrosive impact of military operations in FATA on the rest of Pakistan, and decouple the region from the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

Brief 42 | Pakistan's Tribal Areas: An Agency by Agency Assessment. 
Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas have emerged as one of the key battlegrounds in the US led 'War on Terror', and the outlook for the conflict in this area looks set to worsen. There are seven tribal agencies and they share a similar history and structure of 'governance'. However, they are not homogenous, and there are multiple actors in, and differing dynamics to, the conflicts in the tribal borderlands. The purpose of this briefing is to outline the differences between the agencies in terms of the nature of violence, the humanitarian situation and the prospects for improving the situation within the region, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. This brief concludes by suggesting that a more tailored approach could be useful for dealing with each of the agencies

Brief 41 | Future Prospects for FATA. 
This briefing looks at the limitations of contemporary military operations and development efforts in the FATA and argues that there are lessons both in the past and in the present situation in Iraq for how progress might be made. The obstacles, however, are daunting. The Pakistan government must act from a position of strength, deal in a firm but nuanced way with tribal groups, and needs better relations with both Afghanistan and India to make meaningful progress in FATA.

Brief 40 | Sectarian Violence in Pakistan's Kurram Agency. 
Over the past eighteen months there has been, in the context of violent instability across the FATA, a sharp rise in sectarian violence in the Kurram Agency. This briefing explores the nature of that sectarian violence and examines why it has flared again. It also explores the links between the wider Sunni violence in the FATA and sectarian violence in Kurram and argues that only political enfranchisement in the FATA can address the problem.

Brief 39 | The Politics of Revenge: The End of Musharraf and the Future of Pakistan 
The paper examines the tenure of Pervez Musharraf as president of Pakistan by looking at security, economics and politics. The paper opens by examining the Musharraf presidency from the security, economic and political perspective, dealing with the positive and negative elements of his tenure. In the second part, an examination of Nawaz Sharif's role in the removal of Musharraf is offered.

Brief 38 | Minimum Deterrence and Pakistan's Nuclear Strategy 
Pakistan's nuclear strategy of minimum deterrence has strong elements of restraint and stability, notably non-deployment and a consistent interest in arms control. But contradictions based on the notion that nuclear and conventional balances matter tend to push its strategy toward arms racing and instability. It can work with India to eliminate their common inconsistencies and optimise security and stability.

Brief 37 | The Christian Minority in Pakistan: Issues and Options. 
The upsurge in violence against Christian communities in Pakistan in the years since 9/11 has been portrayed as the actions of a small minority of extremists, which the government of Pakistan has tried to control. In fact Christian communities have been subject to humiliation, persecution and violence in Pakistan for decades, largely unprotected by the state. This briefing explains how the pressure has increased on the Christian community as the Pakistani state has mutated from the secular vision of its founding father Mohammed Ali Jinnah to an increasingly Islamised polity and how, despite attempts at reform in the Musharraf era, the situation for most Christians in Pakistan remainsl desperate. With the new civil government taking some initiatives to improve the situation of minorities the treatment of Pakistan's Christians is a litmus test of Pakistan's claims to modernity and pluralism.

Brief 36 | The Iran-Pakistan-India Pipeline: Economics, Geopolitics and Security 
This briefing looks at the economics, geopolitics and security of the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. Despite significant obstacles and the prospect that negotiations may be derailed by unexpected events (such as a US assault on Iran) the pipeline planning is advancing. This paper shows how each of the three players stands to benefit economically from the pipeline and it argues that the pipeline - through co-operation, mutual interests, and interdependence - could be a powerful force for regional conflict resolution.

Brief 35 | The Ahmadiyya Jama'at: A Persecuted Sect in Pakistan 
The author of Islam and the Ahmadiyya Jama'at (Hurst & Co, London 2008) provides an introduction to the Ahmadi minority in Pakistan. The briefing explores the nature of Ahmadi belief and explains how its differences from mainstream Muslim orthodoxy have led to the persecution of the community. It argues that in Pakistan repressive legislation has made the Ahmadis highly vulnerable to official and non-official discrimination and persecution and concludes by calling for the reassessment of this legislation to allow Ahmadis to live in peace and freedom.

Brief 34 | Ethnicity and Nationalism in Balochistan 
This paper examines the problem of ethnicity and nationalism in Balochistan. It explores the origin of Balochi insurgency, the causes of Balochi disaffections, and the response of the Pakistani state in dealing with the problem of nationalism in Balochistan. It argues that military oppression by the Pakistan state, the lack of economic justice, and the lack of political options, has alienated Balochis and fuelled anti-state fervour. The new government coalition led by PPP and PML-N has raised the expectations of the Balochi populace for a just dispensation. However to be successful the new government must surmount the many obstacles to progress and overcome the entrenched hatreds and fears of Balochis which have arisen from decades of injustice at the hands of the Pakistani state.

Brief 33 | Conflict Transformation and Development in Pakistan's North Western Territories 
For more than six years, the tribal belt in the Pakistan's North Western region has witnessed a protracted conflict. Many conflict resolution initiatives proposed to resolve this conflict have failed to materialize. Recently a number of transformations have taken place in the region, which offer a ray of hope for a peaceful transition. What is needed is a holistic strategy which seeks to ameliorate the sufferings of the people of the area. It should consider the reasons which lead to the conflict and involve all stakeholders, so that the region can emerge from the ravages of war. This paper outlines that such a transformation is possible considering the current trends in this setting.

Brief 32 | The Political Economy of Sectarianism: Jhang 
This briefing argues that it is crucial to understand Sectarianism in terms of its politicisation. Through the case study of Jhang it demonstrates how the biraderies used sectarianism as an instrument for political gain and how subsequently sectarianism secured a political space in urban Jhang where it afforded opportunities for previously marginalised local and refugee communities. From this case study it is possible to infer that elsewhere in Pakistan the key to understanding the spread of sectarianism lies in seeing it as a vehicle for the politics of identity for marginalised social groups. The paper concludes that this insight offers an approach not only for explaining sectarianism, but perhaps for devising strategies which offer possible ways out of this problem.

Brief 31 | Fraught with Uncertainty: Pakistan's Third Democratic Transition 
Pakistan's third democratic transition has begun. It is fraught with uncertainty and success is by no means assured, as witnessed by the failure of the first two transitions. This briefing reviews the post-election challenges facing Pakistan, makes recommendations for rebalancing civil-military relations in Pakistan, and urges the West - the US and UK in particular - to broaden its engagement with Pakistan and to work for economic and social justice in Pakistan.

Brief 30 | The Cohesion and Stability of Pakistan 
This briefing introduces a PSRU special issue of the journal Contemporary South Asia (CSA) , Vol 16 (1), published in March 2008 which is focussed on the Stability and Cohesion of Pakistan. The special issue features six papers: Robert Hathaway on US-Pakistan relations; Marvin Weinbaum and Jonathan Harder on Pakistan's Afghan policy; Shaun Gregory and James Revill on the role of the Pakistan Military in the cohesion and stability of Pakistan; Robert Looney and Robert McNab on Pakistan's expanded defence expenditure and relative governance syndrome; Victoria Schofield on Kashmiri separatism and Pakistan; and Christine Fair on the implications for Pakistani security of educated Pakistani militants. Full details of the special issue are available at:

Brief 29 | Insurrection in Pakistan's Tribal Areas 
This briefing depicts the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan and the cultural and religious characteristics of their inhabitants, who have resisted incursion into their lands since the days of Alexander's invasion. Military and social developments in Afghanistan are discussed in regard to cross-border movement and consequential disruption in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the effects within North West Frontier Province of US policy and posture are considered. The martial capabilities of the tribes are assessed, and the impact of religion on Pakistan's regular and para-military forces examined. The discussion ends with a proposal that, if implemented, might assist in achieving the long-term objective of bringing stability to a turbulent region.

Brief 28 | The ISI and the War on Terrorism 
Drawing on a full-length study published in Studies is Conflict and Terrorism, (30(12), December 2007, Washington DC) this briefing provides a short analysis of the role of the Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence Directorate (ISI) in the war on terrorism. It argues that in seeking to maximise Pakistan's security the focus of the ISI's actions have been, and remain, to shore up Pakistan's ruling military elite and to destabilize Pakistan's enemies by the promotion of Sunni Islamism at home and pan-Islamist jihad abroad. This strategy however deeply conflicts with that of the West, a point underlined by the resurgence of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban more than six years after the War on Terrorism began. With grave new trends evident in Pakistan.

Brief 27 | Are Pakistan's Nuclear Warheads Safe? 
The Director of India's Centre for Land Warfare Studies provides detailed insight into the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons with particular emphasis on Permissive Action Links (PALs) and on the physical security measures in place to defend Pakistan's nuclear weapons against assault either by exteremists/terrorists or by the armed forces of other states. He argues that robust measures are in place to protect Pakistan's nuclear weapons but that serious threats to the weapons remain and he urges the Pakistan military to continue to strengthen safety and security measures.

Brief 26 | Nuclearization and the External Dimensions of South Asian Strategic Stability 
In this briefing a retired Pakistan Air Commodore argues forcefully that the nuclearisation of India and Pakistan has enhanced strategic stability is South Asia by rendering conventional wars unwinnable and thus unlikely to occur. As a consequence, he argues, the chances of a nuclear showdown, now that both the main adversary countries are overtly nuclear, are remote. The paper pays particular attention to the difficulties of reaching favourable outcomes in the event of conflict and concludes that India and Pakistan are now locked in a regional "Cold War" with all that that implies for the future of Indo-Pakistan relations.

Brief 25 | Swat: A Dangerous Flashpoint in the Making 
The quick successes achieved by the Pakistani military in its counter-terrorist operations against pro-Taliban militants of the Maulana Fazlullah-led Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) in the Swat and Shangla districts of Malakand division, could be termed as a significant achievement in Pakistan's war on terror. This accomplishment is, in part, down to the military campaign, however the particular social, political and economic evolution of Swat has made it more difficult for militants to settle there than is the case, for example, in the less developed FATA. Swat remains an important geostrategic area and continued military - as well as social, political and economic - attention is required.

Brief 24 | The Gathering Strength of Taliban and Tribal Militants in Pakistan 
The unending Pakistan/NATO/US military operations in the tribal areas have radicalized Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and the Tribal Areas, a process consolidated by the movement of hundreds of members of various Pakistani-backed Kashmiri jihadi organizations, trained in guerrilla warfare by the Pakistan Army, to the Waziristans. These organisations which previously held differing objectives and approaches, are converging in their approaches and strategies and their sights are now set not only on Kabul, but also on Islamabad. 

Brief 23 | Militancy in the FATA and the NWFP 
Pakistan is facing a growing problem with Islamist extremist movements which have expanded from the Waziristans in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to the so called settled regions of the NWFP. This has resulted in an increase in levels of violence in the region and facilitated the spread of a Taliban style of governance and justice in areas of Pakistan's restive North West which engenders a potentially serious problem for Pakistan's cohesion and stability.

Brief 22 | The Security of Nuclear Weapons in Pakistan 
Pakistan is a nuclear weapons state with perhaps as many as 120 nuclear weapons in its arsenal. As the political situation in Pakistan continues to deteriorate, and as tensions within Pakistan's military and intelligence services grow, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and pro-Taliban militants are stepping up their violent opposition to the Pakistan state. This briefing paper reviews the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons in this turbulent context. It argues that while robust measures are in place to prevent the weapons, or weapons components, from falling into extremist/terrorist hands, these measures cannot provide complete assurance against that possibility. Should the situation in Pakistan further disintegrate nuclear weapons security may be compromised.

Brief 21 | Pakistan's Political Process 
President Musharraf won a one-sided victory for another term of 5 years in the October 2007 Presidential elections, although the legitimacy of the vote is yet to be confirmed by the Supreme Court. However informal results have been announced and with the national and provincial elections so close, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court that assembles on October 17, 2007 will reverse the decision. The timing of the vote combined with the weakness of the political parties and the presidents politicking of the PPP and the MMA and the banishment of PML (N) leader Nawaz Sharrif suggests that Musharraf may be given another opportunity to lead Pakistan and potentially move the armed forces away from politics and allow the normal democratic evolution to take place. This is however, dependent on whether the new leadership has learnt any lessons from the past.

Brief 21 | Pakistan's Political Process 
President Musharraf won a one-sided victory for another term of 5 years in the October 2007 Presidential elections, although the legitimacy of the vote is yet to be confirmed by the Supreme Court. However informal results have been announced and with the national and provincial elections so close, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court that assembles on October 17, 2007 will reverse the decision. The timing of the vote combined with the weakness of the political parties and the presidents politicking of the PPP and the MMA and the banishment of PML (N) leader Nawaz Sharrif suggests that Musharraf may be given another opportunity to lead Pakistan and potentially move the armed forces away from politics and allow the normal democratic evolution to take place. This is however, dependent on whether the new leadership has learnt any lessons from the past.

Brief 20 | The India-Pakistan Peace Process: Overcoming the 'Trust Deficit' 
The current state of the India-Pakistan peace process is that it is still 'alive', but progress has stalled somewhat, particularly in relation to the so-called 'Kashmir dispute' (i.e. resolving which nation should possess which part of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)). There are many reasons for this stalled state of affairs, however, the author argues that little can be achieved in the India-Pakistan peace process, particularly in relation to resolving the most contentious issue of J&K, until India and Pakistan overcome the significant and debilitating 'trust deficit' that exists between them. Given both nations' inability to resolve their dispute over J&K, the author contends they should now involve the people of J&K in the resolution process.

Brief 19 | Pashtuns in the Crossfire: Pashtun Politics in the Shadow of 'War against Terrorism' 
This paper offers an historically informed analysis of the complexies of Pashtun politics centred around five forms of Pashtun identity: (a) Pakistanized Pashtuns (b) Islamized Pashtuns, (c) Pashtunized Islamists, (d) Secular Nationalists, and (e) Traditional Pashtuns. It argues powerfully that only genuine federal democratization in Pakistan, and the replacement of the Pakistan state's militarist mindset under Musharraf, can create the conditions in Pashtun areas from which traditional and modernizing Pashtun politics can successfully challenge the current dominance of Islamists and militants with profound implications for the" war on terrorism".

Brief 18 | Terrorists in the Tribal Areas: Endgame for Musharraf? 
Bordering with Afghanistan, Pakistan's north-west frontier zones have remained a key areas in the Global war on terrorism since 2002 and, with US encouragement, Pakistan has committed approximately 70,000 troops to operations in the Pashtun tribal belt since 2002. Conflict in these regions has however been costly to Musharraf's Pakistan in terms of lives lost but also in terms of the battle for ideological supremacy in the region and more broadly across Pakistan. Despite efforts to bring stability to the region through peace agreements this region remains distinctly problematic and, under intense pressure from the USA, time may be running out for Musharraf to develop an effective policy in the tribal areas which will win the confidence of the Pakistani people and ensure his political survival into next year.

Brief 17 | Awaiting a Breakthrough: Cyclical Issues of Governance in Pakistan 
Even after six decades of existence, Pakistan is still waiting for a commonly agreed participatory system that could guarantee a peaceful transfer of power, besides representing a consensus among its diverse population. The current system, a highly centralised polity run on a modified colonial pattern, has ensured that Pakistan remains victim of recurring misgovernance and in doing so, has exacerbated ethnic and ideological fissures within the country. However, Pakistan's ethnic and religious pluralism is not inherently negative and can be harnessed through a systemic overhaul and corresponding administrative reformation, which may usher in a greater sense of belonging necessary for national integration and help Pakistan steer out of a repetitive cycle of governability crisis.

Brief 16 | Kashmir and The Process Of Conflict Resolution 
Kashmir as a major source of conflict in Indo-Pak relations is now passing through a process of transformation. From a bilateral issue, the conflict of Kashmir is now changing its shape and witnessing the gradual involvement of people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in a process of conflict management and resolution. This paper, written by the Chair of the Department of International Relations, University of Karachi, suggests that for the just and fair resolution of the Kashmir conflict, an alternate architecture for peace is essential. Such an alternative architecture must embrace a process of purposeful dialogue that includes the Kashmiris, Indians and Pakistanis all of whom must seek to abandon the path of confrontation and following the path of reconciliation and cooperation.

Brief 15 | Is Pakistan a Failed State? 
In the post Cold War era, and particularly since September 11th, failed states have become increasingly discussed and regularly cited as major threats to international peace and stability. The term "failed state" is, however, somewhat ambiguous and state failure manifests in differing ways. In recent years the Failed State Index has highlighted Pakistan as a state experiencing many of the signs of failure and its contemporary predicament seems perilous. This article analyses the evidence of Pakistan's failing and suggest that, though its contemporary predicament is perilous in many respects, characteristics specific to the country militate against definitive conclusions.

Brief 14 | Is the Crescent Waxing Eastwards? Pakistan's Involvement in India's Northeast and Bangladesh 
The Northeast India region has been in the grip of violence and fear for many years. Once, it was the fear of atrocities of Indian armed forces and of gun totting non-state actors, now it is the rise of Islamists and behind them the "hidden hand" of Pakistan and Bangladesh. In the complex geo-politics of South Asia the region is in danger of becoming a new locus of Islamic terrorism and it is the ordinary people of the region who suffer the consequences. On the radar screen of global terrorism, Northeast India is but a faint blip. However, the reality is that the Islamist crescent in waxing in the region with the collusion of Pakistan's ISI and Bangladesh's DGFI.

Brief 13 | Pakistan - The Threat From Within 
The rising influence of the Taliban and Islamists in Pakistan is a growing concern for the international community. This paper, from a well known and widely respected Pakistani academic, offers a first hand account of the way in which that influence is now increasingly being felt in Islamabad itself. The paper explores the way in which the military government has aided the rise of the Islamists and argues that the latter may now be out of control. It concludes that the next 12 months will most likely see a continuation of the civil-military alliance that has dominated Pakistani politics for decades, and that the interests of this alliance will determine how far Pakistan can go towards meeting the radical threat.

Brief 12 | Lashkar-e-Tayyeba 
Pakistan-based terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, has survived global sanctions and is poised to move into the political realm thereby strengthening the collective religious extremist groups' move to coalesce as a formidable opposition to the re-emergent civil democratic movement in Pakistan. This coalition of extremist and terrorist elements within Pakistan and the broad trajectory of the Taliban-al Qaeda relationship in Afghanistan threatens the stability of Pakistan and the region and risks fueling the export of terrorism across the world.

Brief 11 | An Uncertain Voice: the MQM in Pakistan's Political Scene 
The secular and pluralist vision of Pakistan's fifth largest political party, the Muttahida Qaumi Mahaz (MQM), and its support for Musharraf and the US war with Al-Qaeda, ought to position it as a key player in the stuggle to restore democracy in Pakistan. However, as this study which charts the evolution of the MQM shows, the regional focus of the organisation, its involvement in violence, and the lack of clear direction from its leadership means its potential is being squandered at a critical moment for Pakistan.

Brief 10 | Towards a Durable Peace in Waziristan 
In relation to the fortunes of the Taliban and the resurgence of al-Qaeda in Pakistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), in particular those of Waziristan, are of crucial importance, yet details of what is taking place there are difficult to obtain. This briefing, based in part on recent interviews in Islamabad, explores the situation in Waziristan, offers insight into the complexities of relations between tribal groups, the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and examines Pakistan's faltering efforts to establish stability and order in the region. It concludes that military action in the region, undertaken by Pakistan at the behest of the United States, has been counter-productive and it argues that a strategy of engagement, dialogue and regional investment offers the best long-term response to the present quagmire.

Brief 9 | Attacks on Uzbek Militants in South Waziristan: Issues and Implications of an Internal Jihad. 
Pakistan has claimed that the recent fighting between local FATA tribesmen and Uzbek foreign fighters is evidence that the much-criticized Waziri peace deals concluded between Pakistan and pro-Taliban groups in 2004-2006 are working. This briefing however demonstrates that the fighting is explained by complex ethnic and tribal issues specific to relations between Uzbeks and a particular sub-tribal group of southern Waziris. It argues that despite Pakistan's support for local tribesmen in this specific conflict the fighting is unlikely to spread to other parts of FATA or to spark a broader conflict between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and local tribesmen.

Brief 8 | The Landlord, the Mollah and the Military: the Education Issue in Pakistan. 
9/11, more than any other consideration, has convinced the western world in general, and the US in particular of the need to consider education in Pakistan as a security problem. However, the debate concentrates so far on the religious seminaries, the madrasas, and their role in spreading religious intolerance as well as sectarian and jihadi cultures. This is taking the consequence for the cause which is the complete failure of the public education system which not only is unable to provide the Pakistani youth with a proper education but is, at least, as effective an instrument of propaganda and political conditioning as the madrasas.

Brief 7 | Instability in Balochistan. 
The Pakistani province of Balochistan has never enjoyed political or economic autonomy and has been a source of conflict and instability for decades because of its geostrategic position and natural wealth. However, over the course of the President Musharraf's administration unrest has increased with the suppression of the Baloch peoples by the state combined with the rise of Taliban militancy in the region creating tension in the province. A continuation of this current trajectory bodes poorly for the region, however, appropriate consideration and wise decisions could prevent the region from continuing to suffer a major human tragedy. 

Brief 6 | The 2007 Elections and the Future of Democracy in Pakistan
The upcoming elections at the end of 2007 have the potential to be a defining moment in the political evolution of Pakistan. The decision by President Musharraf to have himself re-elected by the outgoing Parliament and to remain as Chief of the Army Staff is a profound obstacle to the evolution of democracy. The military and the present political leadership must accept their shortcomings and move toward building a consensus on the operational norms of polity. By working toward creating fair opportunities in the next elections for political aspirants and strengthening institutions of parliament, election commission, political parties, bureaucracy and judiciary the future of democracy and the long term stability of the country could be ensured. Otherwise the country will continue to slide, as is already happening under pressure from increasing violence, widespread poverty and ignorance, religious bigotry and political opportunism. 

Brief 5 | Al-Qaeda in Pakistan. 
Six years after the "War on Terrorism" began Al-Qaeda is resurgent from its hub in Pakistan. The tribal deals Pakistan agreed in 2005 and 2006 have taken the pressure off Al-Qaeda and it has been able to renew some of its financial conduits, reconstitute some training camps, and reassert some of its influence over global Al-Qaeda affiliates. Five trends appear to be strengthening Al-Qaeda's hands further in Pakistan: the continued growth of radical Madaris, the rising radicalisation amongst young Pakistanis and Afghans; a creeping radicalisation within the Pakistan military and intelligence services, a strengthening of links between disparate radical Islamist forces in Pakistan, and the reestablishment of cross-border illegal drugs and arms trading. With the Taliban resurgent and with grave trends emerging in Pakistan it is time for the West to look again at its near unconditional support of Musharraf.

Brief 4 | Security research in Pakistan. 
This briefing is intended as an orientation piece for those unfamiliar with security research taking place in Pakistan. It is a brief tour d'horizon of the main think-tanks, university departments, and NGOs, involved in security research across Pakistan and a personal guide to some of the best work taking place in the country.

Brief 3 | Pakistan, the Taleban and Dadullah. 
The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are resurgent, though there are strains in the relationship between them about the way in which the war against the US and NATO is being prosecuted. The successes of the Taliban in 2006 have laid the foundation for a major uprising in 2007 under the leadership of Mullah Dadullah. Pakistan is working to ensure the success of this uprising in order to displace the Karzai government in Kabul and bring Dadullah to a position of dominant influence in Afhanistan. Pakistan is then planning to present Dadullah to the West as the moderate and acceptable face of the Taliban in a deal which will marginalise Mullah Omar and Al-Qaeda, provide a face-saving exit for the West, and leave Pakistan in a position to reassert its dominant influence over Afghanistan.

Brief 2 | Sectarianism in Pakistan: A Destructive Way of Dealing with Difference. 

Sectarianism in Pakistan has been institutionalised to the extent that it has become a complex part of Pakistani society. This brief explores the role of religion in sectarianism, how violence is used for sectarian purposes, and the weakness of the responses to sectarianism.

Brief 1 | Pakistan, Biological Weapons and the BTWC. 
Although there is nothing in the public domain that suggests Pakistan is engaged in offensive biological weapons research or has any active biological weapons programme, there is growing concern over terrorists and extremist groups acquisition of WMD. Whilst the literature on such groups is often sensationalised, it nonetheless suggests that Pakistan as with many other states needs to ensure domestic measures are in place to ensure non proliferation of BW. In undertaking such measures however, greater incentives need to be presented by the West to encourage more extensive national measures.

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