The UK works to support sustainable development, democracy and human rights in Pakistan, and securing Pakistan's engagement with international and regional security agendas.

default Buffer Zone, Colonial Enclave or Urban Hub? Quetta

Title: Buffer Zone, Colonial Enclave or Urban Hub? Quetta
Author: Gazdar, H.  Kaker, S. Khan, I.
Institution:  Crisis States Research Centre
Publication Date: 2010
Keywords: Pakistan


This paper argues that the city of Quetta, the provincial capital of the border-province of Balochistan, could help to make Pakistan more stable.  Currently, the central Pakistani state is in conflict with Baloch separatists, Islamic clerics and local elites who dominate the city.  The paper argues if the central state were to engage politically with these actors, the city could become a consensually managed “urban hub” that would help bring the region under central control, rather than a “colonial garrison” used to advance the central state’s interests and control political rivals.  If the Pakistani state changes its approach to engaging with Quetta’s political elite, they could help contribute to the stabilisation of Balochistan and encourage a more united Pakistan. 

default Counterinsurgency in Pakistan

Title: Counterinsurgency in Pakistan
Author: Seth G. Jones, C. Christine Fair
Institution: RAND
Publication Date: 2009
Keywords:  Pakistan, Counter Insurgency, Security and Justice

This paper considers counterinsurgency in Pakistan through the lens of American policy.  The paper argues US-Pakistani counterinsurgency strategy is failing because Pakistani security agencies are unable to hold territory captured from insurgents.  The international community should therefore build the capacity of the security services and support improvement of legislation governing the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) so as to ensure better resourced police and more robust and independent domestic intelligence agencies.  This should contribute to a new, effective counterinsurgency strategy focusing on providing civilian security in areas captured from insurgents.  The key is to move away from military power to building civilian capacity. 

pdf Domestic Politics and Systemic Constraints in Pakistan’s India Policy

Title: Domestic Politics and Systemic Constraints in Pakistan's India Policy
Author: Rajesh Basrur
Institution:  Pakistan Security Research Unit (PSRU)
Publication Date: July 2010
Keywords: Pakistan, Peace Processes


This paper explains how regional, inter-state and domestic political issues shape Pakistani policy on Kashmir.  The paper - noting that Kashmir is both a haven for insurgent groups and threatens the interests of the United Kingdom - suggests the conflict over Kashmir threatens to further destabilise Indo-Pak relations if an accepted political settlement is not established.  For the Indo-Pak relationship to become more stable, both domestic and inter-state political and systemic issues need to be addressed through political engagement that incorporates the Pakistani military.

pdf One or Many? The Issue of the Taliban’s Unity and Disunity

Title: One or Many? The Issue of the Taliban’s Unity and Disunity
Antonio Giustozzi
Institution:  Pakistan Security Research Unit (PSRU)      
Publication Date: April 2009
Keywords: Pakistan, Counter Insurgency, Political Settlements


There is increasing international discussion over the need to engage with the Taliban and specifically division over how the Taliban is organised.  Some argue that the Taliban operates as a franchise of independent groups that are authorised to take the Taliban “brand” but are operationally independent. Others argue that the Taliban is a decentralised organisation with some degree of strategic control directed by Mullah Omar.  This paper convincingly argues that the Taliban is a decentralised organisation and explains the important implications this has for engaging with the Pakistani Taliban.

pdf Pakistan State - Society Analysis

Title: Pakistan State - Society Analysis
 Marco Mezzera, Safiya Aftab
Institution: Initiative for Peacebuilding
Publication Date: January 2009
Keywords: Pakistan, Governance


Pakistan’s formal state institutions mask vertical, informal institutions controlled by the military-dominated elite that is unresponsive to the needs of the population.  When working on issues such as governance in Pakistan, this makes achieving intended outcomes and avoiding unintended negative outcomes particularly difficult.  This paper analyses the way the Pakistani social system works, explains the “here and now” implications of this on governance, and stresses the need to take this into consideration when working in Pakistan.  The paper is useful for those interested in Pakistan-related issues, and specifically the challenges to sub-national governance.   

pdf Policing Urban Violence in Pakistan

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Title: Policing Urban Violence in Pakistan

Institution: International Crisis Group

Publication Date: 2014

Keywords: Pakistan, Security and Justice 


 Urban violence in Pakistan’s provincial capitals has increased in recent years causing political and economic unrest. This paper presents a number of practical recommendations (page iii) for federal and provincial governments in order to reform urban policing systems to meet present needs. This will ensure stability is maintained and the current democratic transition is not put at risk. This document is useful for practitioners working on security issues in Pakistan and neighboring countries.

pdf Resetting Pakistan’s Relations with Afghanistan

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Title: Resetting Pakistan’s Relations with Afghanistan

Institution: International Crisis Group

Publication Date: 2014

Keywords: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Stabilisation, Counter-Insurgency


This report utilises qualitative research from a number of relevant sources, to support discussion of the political and economic benefit to Pakistan from stability in Afghanistan in an uncertain transition period. The recent increase in cross-border tensions indicates the papers relevance. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the challenges faced by the Pakistani government and their need to retain political space from a military that undermines bilateral ties. It then demonstrates how a mutually beneficial relationship can be formed, based on an expansion of trade, by moving beyond a narrow security-centric approach. This paper is useful to those working on the Pakistan-Afghanistan dynamic and on issues of stability around the region.

pdf The Search for Peace - Pakistan and India

Title: The Search for Peace - Pakistan and India
Author: Sajjad, M.  Hafeez, M. Firdous, K.
Institution: Institute for Strategic Studies Islamabad
Publication Date: 2010
Keywords: Pakistan, Peace Processes


Despite continuing tensions, there have been opportunities to improve relations between Pakistan and India; however, these have been missed.  Capitalising on opportunities arising in the future is crucial to stabilising the south/central Asia region.  Understanding the contemporary and long-standing issues of dispute between the two countries is essential for brokering peace.  This study is useful to those working on the Pakistan-India relationship.

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