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  • Author: Moeed Yusuf, Scott Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Shortly after entering office at the end of 2014, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani embarked on a bold but controversial policy of sustained conciliation toward Pakistan, with the goal of securing greater cooperation in securing a comprehensive peace with the Afghan Taliban and integrating Afghanistan into the regional economies. Pakistan's tepid response to date, however, has left Ghani politically vulnerable, with his opponents attacking his outreach effort. Time is of the essence. Without meaningful actions soon from Pakistan and robust support from the international community, especially China, the initiative is likely to collapse, with devastating results for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the broader region
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Power Sharing, Taliban
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Author: Rashid Aziz, Munawar Baseer Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Pakistan’s energy shortages disrupt daily life in the country, and protests and demonstrations against the shortages often turn violent, creating a risk that Pakistan’s energy crisis could threaten peace and stability. Incorporating official and donor perspectives, this report examines the factors in Pakistan’s energy crisis and what can be done to address it.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Author: Mehwish Rani, Parvez Tariq
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Pakistan passed the Anti-Terrorism Act in 1997 in response to the rising threat of terrorism within its borders. The law was designed to help law enforcement combat terrorism. Instead, conceptual difficulties within the law and procedural problems in implementing it have led to an alarmingly high number of acquittals. This report examines the weaknesses in the Anti-Terrorism Act and suggests ways to improve the law and its application to better fight terrorism in Pakistan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Terrorism, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Pakistan
  • Author: Robert Perito, Tariq Parvez
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Terrorism, secessionist insurgency, sectarian conflict, and ethnic turf wars have convulsed both Pakistan's major cities and tribal areas along the Afghanistan border. The escalation in mega-urban centers in particular has increased the importance of the police in controlling the endemic violence. The police station retains both its historic role as the symbol of government authority and its position as the basic law enforcement institution responsible for public order, law enforcement, and police services. Yet police stations and personnel are ill prepared and poorly equipped to meet the challenges of the country's complex, urbanized, and increasingly violent society. Pakistani police have found themselves on the front lines, and a growing number have given their lives to protect others in the struggle against terrorist and criminal groups. The need is now urgent to empower the police through a program of positive reform that would begin with modernizing police stations and reorienting and retraining their personnel. An effective program for police station reform would begin with assigning primacy to the police for controlling terrorism. It would include developing new organizational struc¬tures, positions, and standard operating procedures to ensure that local police understand their enhanced role and mission. It would also include improving police-public relations and networking police stations into a national information-sharing network with anti-terrorist agencies. Creating high-profile specialized units appears to offer a quick fix to a complex and increas¬ingly pervasive problem. The real solution, however, lies in empowering Pakistan's police stations to protect their communities from criminal and extremist violence through modern¬ization and reform.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan
  • Author: Anita M. Weiss
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The history of laws affecting women's rights and empowerment in Pakistan involves a com¬plex pattern of advances and setbacks, with the state's efforts to articulate a definition of women's rights complicated by the need to balance divergent views on the place of women in Pakistani society. After General Pervez Musharraf's 1999 coup, a number of factors, including international perceptions of Pakistan, brought women's rights, greatly curtailed by General Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization project, to the fore. Most critical among the changes to women's rights dur¬ing this period was the 2006 revision to the Hudood Laws, resulting in the Protection of Women Act. The incumbent Pakistan People's Party government has passed several important pieces of legislation continuing the progress for women's empowerment made under Musharraf. These new laws focus on sexual harassment at the workplace, antiwomen practices, and acid throwing. Additionally, the National Commission on the Status of Women has recently achieved elevated status. Despite these advancements, new legislation is needed to address ongoing challenges such as women's ability to control inherited land and human trafficking. If the Pakistani state is to make lasting improvements on these and other challenges facing the legal status of Pakistani women, it must find solutions that will not only benefit women in the country but create consensus among Pakistanis on the best and most achievable way to prioritize global rights for women while adhering to Islamic precepts.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Islam, Poverty, Law
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Author: Minna Jarvenpaa
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The proposition that a political settlement is needed to end the war in Afghanistan has gained increasing attention in recent months. Channels for preliminary talks with Taliban leaders have been sought and a High Peace Council created. However, despite upbeat military assessments, the insurgency has expanded its reach across the country and continues to enjoy sanctuary in Pakistan. Afghans increasingly resent the presence of foreign troops, and the Taliban draw strength from grievances by ordinary Afghans against their government. External money to supply military bases and pay for development projects often ends up fueling conflict rather than creating stability. For their part, President Karzai and many Afghan political elites lack genuine commitment to reform, calling into question the viability of a state-building international strategy and transition by 2014. Missing is a political strategy to end the conflict that goes beyond dealing with the Taliban; it must define the kind of state that Afghans are willing to live in and that regional neighbors can endorse. Knowing that such a settlement could take years to conclude does not diminish the urgency of initiating the process. Given doubts about Karzai's ability to manage the situation effectively, the international community needs to facilitate a peace process more pro-actively than it has. To be sustainable, the process will need to be inclusive; women's rights, human rights, and media freedoms cannot become casualties of negotiations. Afghanistan's international partners should commit to a peace process and lay the groundwork to appoint a mediator. This includes gauging the interests of parties, identifying actual participants in talks, and structuring an agenda. In the meantime, international military efforts must be realigned to avoid action that contradicts the ultimate aim of a peace settlement.
  • Topic: NATO, Treaties and Agreements, War, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Taliban
  • Author: Hassan Abbas
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: An efficient, well-functioning police service is critical to counterinsurgency as well as counterterrorism efforts in Pakistan, now and in the future. At the same time, the police force must also address rising crime rates and a deteriorating law-and-order situation, among many other tasks. The capacity of the Pakistan Police Service to deliver on all these fronts is severely diminished by political manipulation, the lack of forensic services, inadequate training and equipment, corruption, and weaknesses in the judicial sphere. Disconnect and lack of coordination between numerous kinds of policing and intelligence organizations are major hurdles on the path leading to collective strategizing. Upgrading the existing police system as the central law enforcement institution in the country cannot occur in isolation, however. Instead, it must be part of an overarching restructuring of the total law enforcement infrastructure, including a reform of the criminal justice system and the stripping of politically motivated amendments from the Police Act of 2002. Both traditional and innovative reforms would be expected to bear fruit in this arena. With a high degree of public consensus on the need for far-reaching law enforcement reforms in Pakistan, there is political space to make tough, reform-oriented choices. Pro-reform circles within police are also gaining strength.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia
  • Author: P. R. Chari, D. Suba Chandran, Shaheen Akhtar
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: India and Pakistan have initiated a number of confidence-building measures in Kashmir, including the creation of a bus service and the limited expansion of trade across the Line of Control (LoC). The present cross-LoC confidence-building measures address primarily the divided families living on both sides of the LoC and thus are limited in scope and do not serve the entire region and all communities of Kashmir. It is imperative for India and Pakistan to expand cross-LoC confidence-building measures and add new initiatives that would address the imbalances in the existing interactions. Cross-LoC tourism will be an important initiative in further expanding the present confidence building and will allow members of the broader civil society of Kashmir to visit and interact with each other. Cross-LoC tourism will expand the scope of interactions between the two sides, beyond the divided families, and include everyone in Kashmir. Cross-LoC tourism will also create constituencies of peace beyond the select group of divided families and businessmen who already benefit from the cross-LoC bus services and truck traffic. As a first step, India and Pakistan should develop a “package tourism” program that would include select destinations on both sides of the LoC. More important, both India and Pakistan should seriously consider further relaxing travel restrictions for people to travel across the LoC.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Kashmir
  • Author: Shuja Nawaz
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Internal militancy and insurgency are the immediate threats to Pakistan's security. Pakistan's polity is fractured and dysfunctional, allowing the military to assert greater control over Pakistan's response to this growing internal threat. Civilian authorities have missed numerous opportunities to assert control over security matters. Miscalculation by the current civilian government in its attempt in 2008 to exert control over the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate soured civil-military relations at a time when the new army chief favored keeping the army out of politics. The military's interests are expanding to newer sectors, including economic policymaking, since a shrinking economy could hurt military interests and lifestyles. An opportunity to improve security sector governance exists in the proposed National Counter Terrorism Authority, which the government has unduly delayed.
  • Topic: Security, Intelligence, Islam, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan
  • Author: Daanish Mustafa
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Water problems in Pakistan result largely from poor management, but the consequences of management failures are accentuated, both materially and politically, by international and subnational hydropolitics. There is enough water in the Indus basin to provide for the livelihoods of its residents for a long time, provided that the water is managed efficiently and equitably and that additional water is made available not just through storage but, more importantly, through higher efficiency and intersectoral transfers. The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) seems to moderate the worst impulses of India and Pakistan toward each other, and perhaps therein lies IWT's greatest strength. Pakistani engineers typically interpret the IWT's extensive technical annexures very literally, whereas the Indian engineers tend to emphasize the treaty's criteria for techno-economi¬cally sound project design. No single completed or proposed Indian project on the three western rivers of the Indus basin alone has the potential to significantly limit flows of water to Pakistan. But the long list of proposed Indian projects on the those rivers will in the future give India the cumulative storage capacity to reduce substantively water flows to Pakistan during the low-flow winter months. The IWT, by performing an amputation surgery on the basin, made matters simple and allowed India and Pakistan to pursue their nationalist agendas without much need for more sophisticated and involved cooperation in the water field. This lack of cooperative sharing of water leaves the ecological and social consequences of the treaty to be negotiated and contested at the subnational scale. The interprovincial conflict over water distribution in Pakistan has potential—albeit entirely avoidable—repercussions for stability, at both the subnational and international levels. Instead of constructing very expensive, environmentally damaging, and economically dubious water-storage megaprojects in Pakistan, enhancement of the existing infrastructure's efficiency, coupled with better on-farm water management and more appropriate irrigation and farming techniques, would perhaps more than make up for any additional water that might be gained from megaprojects. Since the drought in southern Pakistan in the latter half of the 1990s, the single-minded focus of the Pakistani water bureaucracy on water development has made the issue of the construction of the Kalabagh Dam project a surrogate for a litany of Sindhi grievances against the Punjabi-dominated political, military, and bureaucratic system in Pakistan. The emphasis on maximizing water withdrawals and on greater regulation of the Indus river system contributed to accentuating the very high flood peaks in 2010. Although the floods are being used by the pro-dams lobby to call for construction of more storage on the Indus, the tragedy ought to inspire a more nuanced and comprehensive reevaluation of the water-management system in the basin. The IWT is a product of its time and could be fruitfully modified and renegotiated to bring it more in line with contemporary international watercourse law, the Helsinki rules, and emerging concerns with water quality, environmental sustainability, climate change, and principles of equitable sharing. But that renegotiation, if it ever happens, is going to be contingent upon significant improvement in bilateral relations between India and Pakistan. India could be more forthcoming with flow data and be more prompt and open in communicating its planned projects on the Indus basin to Pakistan, particularly in the western basin. Pakistan can engage with India within the context of the IWT more positively than defensively, and also educate its media and politicians so as not to sensationalize essentially technical arguments by presenting them as existential threats.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Water
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India