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Abstract: This is a transcript of an event held on 11 October at Chatham House. A panel of Pakistani journalists discussed the role of the media in Pakistan and considered what role, if any, the media can play in helping to bring stability to the country.
Abstract: Conflict continues to pose one of the biggest
threats to the survival, development and well being
of a significant number of children across the world.
In the past decade, 2 million children have died
directly as a result of conflict and 6 million have
been permanently disabled or seriously injured.
Explosive weapons were responsible for the death
and injury of thousands of children in a number of
conflicts in 2009, including Operation Cast Lead
in Gaza, the final stage of the war in northern
Sri Lanka, and the intensification of conflicts in
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. In these
latter four countries, as well as in the occupied
Palestinian territory and Iraq, the use of explosive
weapons continued through 2010. Children were
often the victims in these conflicts, with too little
attention paid to minimising the risk to them or to
ensuring that their fundamental human rights, such
as the right to life,were not violated.
As well as governments’ use of explosive weapons
in populated areas, recent decades have seen
a rising number of non state actors using more
sophisticated explosive weapons. For instance,
information leaked from Afghanistan indicates that
the Taliban has used shoulder launched surface to
air missiles, which are more technologically
advanced than the rocket propelled grenades they
frequently use. Improvised explosive devices
have also become more sophisticated and more
deadly over the past two decades.
Section 1 of this report describes the impact
of explosive weapons on children and their
communities. Section 2 outlines the international
human rights and legal framework that could
and should be implemented to protect children.
In Section 3, Save the Children proposes three
steps towards minimising the impact of explosive
weapons on children and makes recommendations
to the international community, governments and
Abstract: This report documents serious government abuses, starting in mid-February 2011. These include attacks on health care providers; denial of medical access to protesters injured by security forces; the siege of hospitals and health centers; and the detention, ill-treatment, torture, and prosecution of medics and patients with protest-related injuries.
The government violations were part of the violent response by authorities to largely peaceful pro-democracy and anti-government demonstrations that began in February and continued months after military and security forces began a massive crackdown in mid-March, which led to the armed occupation of Bahrain’s main public hospital, the Salmaniya Medical Complex, on March 16.
Abstract: The Combating Terrorism Center is an
independent educational and research
institution based in the Department of social
sciences at the United states Military Academy,
West point. The CTC sentinel harnesses
the Center’s global network of scholars and
practitioners to understand and confront
contemporary threats posed by terrorism and
other forms of political violence.
Abstract: The past century has seen a transformation in women’s legal rights, with countries in every region expanding the scope of women’s legal entitlements. Nevertheless for many of the world’s women the laws that exist on paper do not translate to equality and justice.
Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice looks at how the legal system can play a positive role in women accessing their rights, citing cases that have changed women’s lives both at a local and at times global level. It also looks at the important role women have played and continue to play as agents for change within the legal system, as legislators, as lawyers, as community activists but also asks why, despite progress on legal reform, the justice system is still not delivering justice for all women.
The report focuses on four key areas: legal and constitutional frameworks, the justice chain, plural legal systems and conflict and post-conflict. Drawing on tangible examples of steps that have been taken to help women access justice, the report sets out ten key recommendations for policy and decision makers to act on in order to ensure every woman is able to obtain justice.
Abstract: The Pakistan Index is a statistical compilation of economic, public opinion and security data. This resource will provide updated and historical information on various data, including security, governance, quality of life, economic development, and job creation.
The index is designed to assemble the best possible quantitative indicators of the reconstruction and security efforts underway in Pakistan, to track them over time, and to offer an objective set of criteria for benchmarking performance. It serves as an in-depth, non-partisan assessment of U.S. and international efforts in Pakistan, and is based on data compiled primarily from government and non-government organizations, both in Pakistan and the United States. Although measurements of progress in any counterinsurgency effort – like that of the Pakistan-led and U.S.-supported strategy – can never be reduced to purely quantitative data, a comprehensive compilation of such information can provide a clearer picture and contribute to a healthier and better informed debate.
Michael O'Hanlon spearheads the Pakistan Index project at Brookings, with assistance from Senior Research Assistant Ian Livingston. O'Hanlon is director of research and senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings.
Abstract: This report is the culmination of a six-month project commissioned
by the Women’s Refugee Commission and co-funded by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to address the
rights and needs of displaced persons with disabilities, with a
particular focus on women (including older women), children and
youth. Based on field research in five refugee situations, as well as
global desk research, the Women’s Refugee Commission sought to
map existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identify
gaps and good practices and make recommendations on how to
improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons
with disabilities. The objective of the project was to gather initial
empirical data and produce a Resource Kit that would be of
practical use to UN and nongovernmental organization (NGO) field
staff working with displaced persons with disabilities.
Abstract: This report explores how the Haqqani network has historically functioned as a nexus organization and as a strategic enabler of local, regional and global forms of Islamist militancy. Specific attention is placed on examining the Haqqani network’s support for al-Qa`ida and its global jihad, and more recently the Pakistani Taliban. The report is based on a review of three jihadist magazines released in Pashto, Urdu and Arabic by the Haqqani network from 1989-1993; a series of digital videos produced by the group since 2001; and various memoirs written by al-Qa’ida linked fighters present in Afghanistan during the period under study (1973-2010). The authors also reviewed several thousand pages of letters written to and from Haqqani commanders during the 1980s and 1990s, which were captured in Afghanistan after the U.S. invasion and have since been stored in the Department of Defense’s Harmony database. The report’s key findings provide insight into the Haqqani network’s identity and role; the nature of its relationships and the history and development of al-Qa’ida.
Abstract: Blamed for the large-scale terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) has gained prominence as one of the world’s most fearsome terrorist groups. In a Q&A;, Stephen Tankel discusses the growing threat posed by LeT and the group’s relationship with Pakistan’s government and security forces.
Tankel, author of the new book Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba, explains what should be done to limit LeT’s reach and prevent a fresh attack in South Asia from bringing two nuclear powers to the brink of war.
Abstract: President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s authoritarian and Sinhalese nationalist post-war policies are undermining prospects for reconciling Sri Lanka’s ethnic communities, weakening democracy for all Sri Lankans and increasing the risk of a return to violent conflict.
Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Harder than Ever , the latest report from the International Crisis Group, analyses how the Rajapaksa government continues to use its war-time “with us or against us” paradigm to consolidate power and deny the Tamil minority’s legitimate grievances against the state.
“Two years since the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lanka is further from reconciliation than ever”, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. “President Rajapaksa and his powerful brothers continue to repress the media and political opponents, while manipulating elections and silencing civil society”.
Decades of political violence and civil war have polarised Sri Lanka’s ethnic communities and politicised institutions, particularly those involved in law and order. Each of the major ethnic groups – Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims – has suffered immensely. Conflicts have left hundreds of thousands dead, injured or displaced and entrenched fears and misunderstandings in each community.
Instead of addressing these post-war challenges, the government has increasingly co-opted opponents, undermined institutions and cut minorities out of decisions on their economic and political futures, clinging to its claim that the war was about “terrorism” and not an ethnic conflict. It has controlled narratives both within and outside the country, reacting furiously to any challenge to the official version. Its hand is strengthened by the unwillingness of much of the million-strong Tamil diaspora to recognise the brutality of the LTTE and its share of responsibility for a largely broken Tamil society.
Abstract: On June 14, 2011, more than 200 policymakers and experts participated in an invitation-only, full-day working meeting at CSIS to discuss a constructive, realistic way forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The main topics were Afghan governance, the Afghan security sector, and Pakistani cooperation. Informed in part by expert presentations on these topics, participants formed 17 simultaneous working groups asking: What accomplishments are essential? What are not essential? And what lasting gains can realistically be achieved?
What most participants felt was important is for the Obama administration to publicly identify what it believes to be the minimal essential requirements for Afghan stability and U.S. security and the minimal essential conditions on the ground that would enable those requirements to be met. By offering guidance on what accomplishments are essential, the administration would encourage activities on the ground to be prioritized more constructively. As a modest contribution to that guidance, this report provides the key observations and suggestions that emerged from the conference discussions, focusing mainly on those issues on which there was broad (though never unanimous) agreement among the convened experts and policymakers.
Abstract: The left-wing revolutionary movement whose constituent
groups are known as Naxalites has been
active in India since 1967. There are more than a
dozen Naxalite parties leading this movement across
the country. Almost all of them pledge to capture
state power through armed struggle. The strongest
and most popular of the Naxalite parties, working
across ten states in east and central India, is known
as the Communist Party of India.
Formed in 1980, initially to mobilise the poor, tribal
and working classes, its militarization intensified
from the early 1990s onwards. By the late 1990s
violence between Naxalites and the Government
of Andhra Pradesh had reached a stage where
many in civil society felt that the suffering of a
large section of rural society was a serious concern
which merited civil society intervention. In 1997 a
group of civil liberties activists, former bureaucrats,
journalists and lawyers formed the Committee
of Concerned Citizens, CCC, to mobilise public
opinion in favour of a peace process.3 After five years
of patient effort, the CCC succeeded in building a
public constituency, and in 2002 and 2004 it
brought the revolutionaries and the State Government
to the table for negotiations. This case study
outlines the events and the lessons that can be
learned from this example of civil society leadership
in a peace process.
Abstract: China and India remain locked in a stagnant embrace when it comes to the most intractable of security dilemmas: the Sino-Indian border issue. A closer look at Chinese and Indian strategic, scientific and academic experts' security perceptions vis-à-vis one another reveals that there is much more to the Sino-Indian security dynamic than meets the eye. Chinese and Indian strategic analysts hold divergent interests when evaluating each other's military modernization, the former preoccupied with India's naval development and the latter with China's army. Technical analysts in each country share a similar level of interest in the other's aviation and aerospace programs. Scholars exhibit a strong, if not symmetrical, level of focus on the other country's nuclear strategy and status. Using this tripartite discourse as a baseline, this essay provides both a quantitative and qualitative analysis of each group's perceptions to better understand Sino-Indian security relations and to propose measures within each arena to enhance mutual understanding. It shows that the Sino-Indian security dilemma cannot be simply viewed through the prism of the border anymore.
Abstract: Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006, one of the
greatest challenges for the Government of Nepal has been to maintain public security.
This has not been easy in a country where police posts and government offices were
displaced for many years as a result of the conflict. In the Terai in particular, non-state
armed groups have taken advantage of this law and order vacuum, and have engaged in
killings, abductions, threats and extortion. This has taken a severe toll on local
communities, and also on the morale of the police. In response, the Government of
Nepal has increased its police presence in the Terai and expanded the roles of the
paramilitary Armed Police Force and the Nepal Army in the context of national parks,
without a corresponding increase in support to and reform of the civilian police and
criminal justice system. There are preliminary indications that violent criminal activity
has decreased since the Government began implementation of its Special Security Plan
in 20091 . Though the Plan incorporates a commitment to protecting human rights, 2
credible allegations of unlawful killings have continued to surface, most of which,
according to information received by OHCHR, have gone uninvestigated.
OHCHR supports government efforts to counter criminal activity, increase public security
and enhance respect for the law, but stresses that these initiatives should be consistent
with international human rights standards and the Interim Constitution. Unfortunately,
over the years, OHCHR monitoring teams have documented a troubling pattern in which
the security forces resort to the use of excessive and sometimes unwarranted lethal
force during their operations. Drawing on OHCHR’s monitoring experience, this summary
of concerns attempts to identify problems of law, policy and practice that contribute to
persistent allegations of extra-judicial killings, and the failure to fully investigate such
allegations. It provides a tool to address extra-judicial killings with concrete and specific
recommendations developed in consultation with or building upon the work of partners
including members of civil society organizations, the National Human Rights Commission
- NHRC, the Office of the Attorney General, and police personnel at the regional and
district levels. The summary of concerns was developed with the cooperation of the
Nepal Police and Armed Police Force Human Rights Cells, and formal comments on a
draft version were received from the Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, NHRC, Office of
the Attorney General and the Nepal Army. OHCHR believes that strong and effective
policing can best be achieved by respecting international human rights standards.
Abstract: This report analyses the role of global arms trade in civil wars, focusing specifically on Sri Lanka. The war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - ltte - was one of the world’s most violent and long-lasting armed conflicts. An estimated 84 000 people lost their lives, while hundreds of thousands were displaced. Severe human rights abuses accompanied the armed conflict, which started in 1983 and ended with a government military victory over the ltte in 2009 – a victory that, however, did not end the underlying conflicts that had caused the war.
The experiences from Sri Lanka vividly illustrates how contemporary armed conflicts remain one of the most pressing global problems, causing death, displacement, poverty, social divides and personal trauma. Civil wars such as the one in Sri Lanka are enabled by weapons provided through the global arms trade. A global process is currently under way, aiming to develop an Arms Trade Treaty - att - – a comprehensive and binding agreement that would control the international trade in conventional weapons. The treaty is being negotiated in a series of preparatory committee meetings, leading up to a negotiating conference in 2012.
This in-depth study of arms supplies to Sri Lanka aims to contribute to the debate about arms trade and a potential international treaty. The report illustrates the workings of the global arms trade and the limitations of current arms trade regulations, while also connecting the arms deals to its real consequences in armed conflict. The report shows how the arms trade was part of and has affected both the conflict and conflict resolution attempts in Sri Lanka. It looks at the human suffering and economic consequences of the war, investigates from where the Sri Lankan government and the ltte obtained their weapons and, finally, identifies the gaps between arms trade regulations and the rhetoric by international actors, on the one hand, and the practices of arms trade on the other.
Abstract: Searching for the roots of terrorism after the attacks
of 9/11, the world’s attention turned to Pakistan and
to Pakistan’s religious schools, the “madrasas”. This
put pressure on the Pakistani government to reform
the madrasas and ignited a long standing debate on
the role of religious education in Pakistan and its links
to radicalisation and militancy. This policy brief argues
that the madrasa debate is not premised on a fair
description of reality. The madrasa sector is diverse.
The majority of Pakistan’s madrasas are moderate
institutions, concerned with promoting Islamic beliefs
and knowledge. This makes it important to distinguish
between moderate and militant madrasas. Madrasas
must be seen as part of an Islamic tradition of
learning, not primarily as political groups, but rather
as socio-cultural institutions that are revered by many
in Pakistan today.
The madrasa community has resisted state
interference and rejected government control over
curricula in favor of the authority of religious experts.
Likewise, madrasas are wary of financial dependence
on the government, which is associated with state
control. The government’s ambiguous relationship
to militant groups is also condemned by madrasas
who argue that the government is clamping down
on moderate schools, while madrasas known to have
links to militant groups are protected and therefore
Abstract: Balochistan is Pakistans largest province,
comprising approximately 43 percent of the
countrys total land area. It is rich in mineral
resources and is the second major supplier of
natural gas in an energy-starved Pakistan. Control
over these resources and the extent of provincial
autonomy have long remained contentious issues.
But a larger issue has remained the exclusion of
the Baloch people from the decision making
regarding how their affairs are governed and
persistence of the state with the use of force to
address questions that are essentially political in
Earlier, HRCP had conducted detailed factfinding
missions to Balochistan in 2005 and 2009.
In October 2009, the entire Executive Council of
HRCP spent one week in Balochistan, visiting
various parts of the province to see firsthand the
human rights situation as well as to meet senior
government officials and representatives of the
people. At the conclusion of the 2009 mission,
HRCP had suggested the following
recommendations with a view to improve the
situation. These remain as relevant and direly
needed today as they were in 2009.
Abstract: The Pakistan government’s inability to provide for the security and prosperity of its own people has led to questions about its sovereignty, whether in terms of its monopoly of violence, fiscal solvency, or human security. But rather than asking questions of the Pakistani government, Pakistanis are content with blaming Washington for the country’s ills. Washington wants Pakistan to succeed, even though, admittedly, the United States has often compromised long-term goals for short-term access. Pakistan can certainly do better by following India’s example of self-sufficient economic growth. Pakistanis should also question Chinese and Saudi intentions as vigorously as they do those of the United States. Both countries have used Pakistan for their own interests, without attempting to invest in the country’s people. Pakistan can only escape the leash of donors and manipulative outsiders by raising revenue, securing its territory, providing for its citizens, and becoming a responsible international actor.
Abstract: The sea lanes of Indo-Pacific Asia are becoming more crowded, contested and
vulnerable to armed strife. The changing deterrence and
warfighting strategies of China, the United States and Japan involve expanded
maritime patrolling and intrusive surveillance, bringing an uncertain mix of
stabilising and destabilising effects.
Nationalism and resource needs, meanwhile, are reinforcing the value of territorial
claims in the East and South China seas, making maritime sovereignty disputes
harder to manage. Chinese forces continue to show troubling signs of assertiveness
at sea, though there is debate about the origins or extent of such moves. All of these factors are making Asia a danger zone for incidents at sea.
While the chance that such incidents will lead to major military clashes should not be
overstated, the drivers – in particular China’s frictions with the United States, Japan
and India – are likely to persist and intensify. As the number and tempo of incidents
increases, so does the likelihood that an episode will escalate to armed confrontation,
diplomatic crisis or possibly even conflict.
This report, part of the Lowy Institute’s MacArthur Foundation Asia Security
Project, explores the major-power maritime security dynamics surrounding China’s
rise. It focuses on the risks and the management of incidents at sea involving Chinese
interactions with the United States, Japan and India. The report concludes with some realistic recommendations to reduce risks of crisis
and escalation under conditions of continued mistrust.
Abstract: This document reformats the latest annual US State Department country reports on terrorism (http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2009/index.htm), to provide a single source showing the reports for the entire Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia.
This report provides an overview of US government assessments of the role of given state and non-state actors in sponsoring or conducting terrorist activities. It also describes the role of other states in fight internal terrorism and in cooperating in the international struggle against terrorism.
As such, it provides both a useful overview of official unclassified US government views, and a basis for discussing ways to improve cooperation in counterterrorism and conduct a dialogue on different US, other country, international organization, and independent expert views of terrorism and who should be designated as a terrorist.
Abstract: There are many definitions of terrorism and many ways to count it. The key, from a US policy viewpoint,
is how the US government makes that count and what data it uses for measuring the threat and shaping its
counterterrorism policies. With this in mind, the Burke Chair has compiled a set of tables showing
terrorist attacks in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia from 2007-2010.
Abstract: Pakistan is the most critical example of a series of issues that are vital to determining whether the US and its allies should pursue the war in Afghanistan, and to determining the chances for any meaningful grand strategic victory in the war. As Vietnam showed all too clearly, tactical victories, and even apparent strategic success, have no value unless they produce stable and lasting favorable results.
The current odds of such success may be uncertain even if one only considers the problems in Afghanistan.
All wars involve the risk of failure, and no one can ever guarantee lasting strategic and grand strategic success. The practical problem, however, is that the war is not simply being fought in – or for – Afghanistan. The stability and future of Pakistan alone is critical, and so is its willingness to put an end to Al Qa’ida, Taliban, Haqqani, and other sanctuaries inside Pakistani territory.
Abstract: Why have the madrasas become a subject of such controversy? What
roles do madrasas play in Pakistani society? What are the main
challenges and opportunities for madrasa reform? Since 11 September
2001, Pakistan’s madrasas have received much attention from the
media, policy analysts and politicians. The bulk of the literature has
asserted strong links between madrasas and militancy. Madrasas have
thus become the focus of a much larger debate on Islam and militancy.
This security discourse has placed the most radical madrasas in the
spotlight and has left out the moderate, non-militant and non-political
madrasas. From a broader policy implication perspective, one can
more constructively and fruitfully approach the “madrasa challenge”
by looking at the diversity of schools existing in this sector, in terms of
size, financing, and theological and ideological positions, as well as at
their links to political groups. This report presents the core issues in
the debate and identifies some of the challenges and opportunities for
The paper is based on a review of existing secondary source literature
and primary sources, including 17 interviews with madrasa leaders in
Pakistan, Pakistani government officials, as well as academics, analysts
and journalists who in different ways have analyzed madrasa reform
or the related debate. The interviews were conducted in April and May
2010 and February 2008. (See Annex 1 for list of interviews).
Abstract: India has long been the country with the greatest influence over Sri Lanka but its policies to encourage the government there towards a sustainable peace are not working. Despite India’s active engagement and unprecedented financial assistance, the Sri Lankan government has failed to make progress on pressing post-war challenges. Government actions and the growing political power of the military are instead generating new grievances that increase the risk of an eventual return to violence. To support a sustainable and equitable post-war settlement in Sri Lanka and limit the chances of another authoritarian and military-dominated government on its borders, India needs to work more closely with the United States, the European Union and Japan, encouraging them to send the message that Sri Lanka’s current direction is not acceptable. It should press for the demilitarisation of the north, a return to civil administration there and in the east and the end of emergency rule throughout the country.
Abstract: The Oxford Research Group’s Recording of Casualties of Armed Conflict Project in their first discussion
paper identified all of the elements of the international legal responsibility to identify, bury and record
civilian casualties of armed conflict in the same way as military casualties are treated. The project team
in the second phase of the project has conducted research which involves applying this international
legal obligation to record civilian casualties of armed conflict to the drone attacks that are currently being
conducted by the United States Central Intelligence Agency in Pakistan and Yemen. The standards
identified in the previous discussion paper are repeated and applied to this current conflict situation.
The project team determined that this situation represents an egregious example of the violation of the
various components of the obligation to record civilian casualties. It is complicated by the fact that there
are various participants involved in these attacks, all who share the legal obligation. These include the
United States government, the Pakistani authorities, the Yemeni government and the non-state actors
involved in acts of terrorism being perpetrated in both Pakistan and Yemen.