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Pakistan Security Research Unit

PSRU Reports

Research Report 2:

'Civilian Control and Democratic Transition: Pakistan's Unequal Equation' (01/04/2013) - Siegfried O. Wolf

Civilian control of the armed forces is a sine qua non for democratic consolidation. In Pakistan, since its existence, the military played an eminent role in all spheres of socio-economic and political life. In this context it is stated by several analysts that the soldiers are mainly responsible for the country’s setbacks on its path to democratic consolidation. The main argument made is that the military top brass, through either formal or informal interventions, were able to avoid the institutionalization of civilian control. Civilian control is understood as the distribution of decision-making power between civilians and the armed forces. This report sheds light on the successes and failures in the efforts of civilian governments to establish supremacy over the country’s armed forces in order to consolidate democratic rule. The analysis derives from a conceptualization of civilian control that distinguishes five areas of political decision-making: elite-recruitment, public policy, internal security, national defence, and internal security. In order to establish control in these various areas civilians have a choice between different strategies for which they need certain resources. In this context, the study shows that civil-military relations in Pakistan have tended to be affected by historical legacies, leading to the emergence of military dominance which undermined the civilian supremacy and affected the quality of democracy.

Research Report 3:

'Terrorism and the Macroeconomy: Evidence from Pakistan' (01/05/2013) - Sultan Mehmood

Pakistan with highest number of terrorism related deaths of any country over the past decade, the number exceeding the total terrorism related deaths for both the European and North American continents, provides an ideal laboratory to study impact of terrorism on the macroeconomy (GTD, 2012). Quasi-Structural VAR, VECM, Impulse Response Functions and Granger-Causality tests on a sample that covers over 4500 terrorist incidents and consequent 10, 200 deaths [from 1973 to 2010] are employed to study the relationship between terrorism and the macroeconomy. One of the major advantages of the current methodology is that it not only enables one to circumvent the heterogeneity biases inherent in cross-country studies but it also allows distinguishing between short and long-run effects. It is documented that cumulatively terrorism has cost Pakistan around 33.02% of its real national income i.e. terrorism costs Pakistan around 1% of real GDP per capita growth every year.

Research Report 4:

'Has Democracy Reduced Terrorism in Pakistan' (11/08/2013) - Raja M. Ali Saleem
The return of democracy in 2008 raised hopes that terrorism would be defeated in Pakistan. Five years on, with a new popular government in the saddle, it’s important to take stock and examine the effects of democratic rule on terrorism in Pakistan. The main argument of this paper is that the effects of democracy on terrorism cannot be ascertained before identifying which type of democracy and terrorism one is dealing with. After identifying the type of Pakistani democracy and the two main types of terrorism prevalent in Pakistan, data related to terrorism during the tenure of democratic government (2008-13) is analyzed. The data show that religious terrorism decreased significantly during the last five years but Baloch nationalist terrorism generally maintained its course. These different outcomes are then linked to the nature of Pakistani democracy, where the military only conditionally submits to the elected civilian leaders. Pakistan’s military plays a crucial role in dealing with both religious and nationalist terrorists and thus the effects of democracy in Pakistan on terrorism depend paradoxically on the military’s role. If the military supports government’s anti-terrorism policies, those policies have a good chance of being successful. If it does not, anti-terrorism policies will fail.

Research Report 5:

'On The Durability of Kashmir Identity: Inflexible Indian and Pakistani Positions' (22/07/2014) - Nathalene Reynolds

The Jammu and Kashmir conflict is one of the longest standing of contemporary disputes. This work explores the issue of Kashmiri identity by examining the British and French archives covering the earlier period, a selection of the available bibliography, as well as consultation of the press from Jammu and Kashmir, India and Pakistan. It also draws on regular field trips the author has undertaken in these three areas; the author has tried to listen to the voices of ordinary people, who are generally only too ready to recount the different chapters of the history of the sub-continent to a foreigner. In their efforts to elaborate a convincing discourse, India and Pakistan have inadvertently nurtured an ethno-nationalism that took root in a number of the regions of the princely state once ruled by Maharajah Hari Singh. This work argues that inflexible positions in India and Pakistan, rooted in particular readings of history stand as an obstacle to the political pragmatism needed to take Kashmir forward.

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