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Contents - October 2003

Pashtun versus Western culture of peacemaking
The policy of peace agreements in the tribal belt of Pakistan
Dr BETTINA ROBOTKA urges upon the need for a conflict transformation and looks into the substance and constraints of the peace agreements in Pakistan's tribal belt.

Pakistan’s role in the American “war on terror” in Afghanistan
Since 2001 when the US decided to launch its “global war on terror” starting it in Afghanistan, Pakistan is the most important ally in this war. Today, seven years down the line, the war is still going on and seems to get more intense with no end in sight for the years to come. While the US and the West have contributed in the first place financially and technologically, Pakistan has been taking the brunt of the warfare on the ground. Right now it deploys 100,000 troops along the Afghan border. With regard to the casualties informed guesses suggest that officially it has lost about 1500 security personal with more than 2000 wounded. Civilian deaths in the tribal areas are reported to be around 1500 with another 3000 wounded.1 These numbers could even be higher because the readiness of the army to share the real losses is quite limited; after all they are fighting their own population, and after seven years of sacrifices and with a growing number of victims, the support of the population in Pakistan and even within the army itself2 for this war is vanishing. In addition to this, the war could not be contained in the tribal areas but has spread out into the whole of Pakistan endangering the lives of each and everybody. During the whole year of 2007, series of suicide attacks and road side bombings rocked the country from FATA to Karachi, claiming the lives of more than 2467 people, including 949 civilians, 467 security force and 1051 militants by November 10.3 The report quoted here commented already at the time of its publication (November 2007) that “events in NWFP show signs of hurtling entirely out of control, providing disturbing indices of the magnitude of Pakistan’s slide into anarchy”..........more

COIN Strategy
Columnist Gp Capt (Retd) SM HALI examines a RAND report on countering insurgency in the Muslim world and its findings.

Pakistan has been an important U.S. partner since the events of September 11, assisting in the hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban leaders on its western frontier regions. Despite its contributions, some within the U.S. assert that Pakistan needs to do more, especially in light of continuing American military aid. Given these factors and the upcoming elections in USA, Pakistan-USA relations have been the focus of intense scrutiny by the two governments, their peoples, and the media. Further, Pakistan’s nuclear program and its ongoing tensions with its neighbor Afghanistan also pose unique challenges to the bilateral strategic relationship.

Insurgencies like those in Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to be a feature of the global security environment for the foreseeable future. The Pentagon recently commissioned a report to study the ongoing insurgency and recommend a strategy to combat it. The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis. For 60 years, the RAND Corporation has pursued its nonprofit mission by conducting research on important and complicated problems. Initially, RAND (the name of which was derived from a contraction of the term research and development) focused on issues of national security. Eventually, RAND expanded its intellectual reserves to offer insight into other areas, such as business, education, health, law, and science.........more

Challenges Impacting Strategic Thought of Pakistan
Columnist TAUQEER H. TAKI SIRGANA argues that Pakistan needs to evolve strategic thought based on the visions of our forefathers and in harmony with prevailing environment.

Challenges and opportunities are opposite sides of the same coin. This needed to be understood and challenges converted into opportunities. Though Pakistan has progressed from its humble beginning to a nuclear power, it has not experienced sustained economic growth and a lot more could have been achieved; the reasons being that we failed to evolve strategic thought based on the vision of our fore fathers, in harmony with the prevailing environments. Keeping myself unbiased with the worst experiences of my generation, I should also put the highest onus for today’s unfortunate situation on our military dictators and political leaders.

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