Global Voices

Pakistan: The Long Road to Peace and Security

Flags flying in Pakistan on the occasion of Independence Day. Flickr photo by Ejaz Asi, CC BY-NC 2.0

As Pakistan enters its 66th year of independence, -it is a good time to take stock of the country’s internal security dynamics in order to understand how these impact upon the overall security and stability of South Asia.

According to the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies’ (PIPS) Pakistan Security Report, 2011 [pdf], while the country continues to rank “among the most volatile regions in the world”, there has been some improvement in its overall security situation, especially since the later part of 2011. The report states:

“The last half of the year 2011 was a period of comparative peace in Pakistan in terms of internal armed conflict, acts of terrorism and the consequent casualties. A decrease in the number of suicide attacks and drone strikes were the major contributing factors… the security situation is slowly improving as violence has decreased 24 percent in the last two years.”

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India, Pakistan: Working Towards Thawing the Siachen Conflict?

Pakistan Army rescue operation at the world's highest border Siachen Pakistan Army rescue operation at the world’s highest border in Siachen. Photo by Mohsin Hassan © Copyright Demotix (April 8, 2012)

On April 7, 2012, a deadly avalanche hit a Pakistani military camp in the Gayatri Sector, 30km west of the Siachen glacier, killing over 130 people, most of them military personnel. The scale of the tragedy once again brought into focus a long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan over Siachen, often referred to as “the world’s highest battlefield.”

Regional Cooperation in Afghanistan: What Makes the Heart of Asia Beat?

ISAF soldiers provide aid at Kabul airport.
Turkish civil-military cooperation teams from the ISAF’s Regional Command provide aid at Kabul airport. Photo: isafmedia/flickr.

The new grand bargain went into its next round. On 14 June 2012 the Heart of Asia group gathered in Kabul to push forward the Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan. The real potential for regional security and cooperation, however, remains a contentious issue. Some observers disregarded the gathering as yet another useless meeting which failed to take concrete steps towards a regional security architecture. Others like UN-Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon praised it as “real progress on the path to security and broad-based development”.

Global Voices

India’s and Pakistan’s Missile Launches: Game Changers or Mere Posturing?

The Agni V missile being launched off the coast of Odhisa, India, on 19th April, 2022. Image courtesy Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

On April 19th, India successfully test-fired its Agni V inter-continental ballistic missile (IBCM). With a range of over 5000km, the Agni V places India’s missile capabilities increasingly in line with the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China. The following week, neighboring Pakistan successfully test-launched its nuclear capable ballistic missile, the Shaheen 1-A.

These back-to-back missile tests received widespread coverage and comment on mainstream and social media outlets. In particular, netizens have been engaging in lively online discussions regarding the escalating arms race in South Asia and its impact on the overall security of the region.

Welcome to Karzai’s Peaceful and Prosperous Afghanistan

Naveed Ahmad is a journalist and academic with a special focus on governance, security and diplomacy. He reports for various international online and electronic news sources. The views expressed in this blog do not reflect those of the ISN, the CSS, ETH Zurich or any affiliated agencies.

Photo: World Economic Forum

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is quite resourceful when it comes to creating ripples in the media. And that is the only thing he is good at. With American generals and NATO troops protecting Kabul, the Afghan president tirelessly designs colorful robes, worn in a funny way amid high profile dignitaries. The happy-go-lucky Afghan was enjoying the limelight in Bonn when his peaceful country fell prey to terrorism.

While everyone condemned the gory killing of 58 Shiite pilgrims, Mr Karzai sacrificed his shopping trip to London, where mercury and prices nosedive ahead of Christmas. No wonder, only a dedicated, full-time statesman would do so. For once, he thought of a quick stop-over in the United Kingdom. But in the interest of visually-starved media back home, the Afghan president descended on the Kabul airport. Soon, a bunch of loyal American commandoes enveloped their beloved friend and shipped him to the president‘s palace where Afghan and western journalists dashed to record his fireworks.