Governed under military rule for long periods of its history, Pakistan’s July 25 general elections marked the second time a democratically elected, civilian government completed its five-year constitutional term, as per the 1973 constitution, and transferred power to a democratically elected successor. For Pakistan, the goal is...
As Pakistan faces a number of vexing regional and international challenges, Prime Minister Imran Khan will come into office with little foreign policy experience. Whether it’s repairing deteriorating U.S.-Pakistan relations or managing nuclear tensions with India, Khan’s ability to steer foreign policy will depend on his relations with...
On July 25, Pakistanis went to polls, following the first time two successive governments have completed their five-year terms in office. USIP’s Pakistan experts discuss what this election will mean for Pakistani democracy, the role of the military in the electoral process, and the impact on U.S.-Pakistani relations.
On Pakistan’s Election Day, Moeed Yusuf analyzes the significance of the country holding its third democratic election in a row amid a persistent power imbalance between the military and civilian spheres. Concerning U.S. interests, Yusuf says American engagement with Pakistan must go beyond Afghanistan issues, which Islamabad does not view as a top priority.
Later this summer, millions of Pakistani voters will have the opportunity to cast ballots to elect new representatives for the national parliament and provincial assemblies. Pakistan’s political landscape is fractious and has faced major upheavals in the year running up to the vote, leaving considerable uncertainty about the possible outcomes.
In Washington, discussion of the threat of nuclear proliferation mostly focuses on Iran and North Korea. Yet in South Asia, a nuclear stalemate between India and Pakistan persists, with decades of tension that regularly threaten to escalate at a moment’s notice.
While Iran and North Korea dominate Western headlines, tensions between Pakistan and India—two nuclear states that have grown unpredictable—are at the highest levels in over a decade, threatening a potential catastrophic outcome, says Moeed Yusuf.
Tens of thousands of ethnic Pashtuns have held mass protests in Pakistan in the past three months, demanding justice and better governance for their communities. The largely youth-led protests forged an organization, the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (“tahafuz” means “protection”), that has broadened its goals to include democracy and decentralization of power in Pakistan. The movement reflects demands for change among the roughly 30 million Pashtuns who form about 15 percent of Pakistan’s population, the country’s second-largest ethnic community.
Passage of the eighteenth amendment to Pakistan’s constitution in 2010 was rightly hailed as a major accomplishment. Not only did it devolve significant powers from the central government to the provinces, it also mandated the formation of local governments to bring government closer to the people. It took half a decade for the provinces to set up local governments—and real decision-making authority and financial resources have been even slower to arrive. In this Special Report, Syed Mohammad Ali takes stock of Pakistan’s devolution process and why its success is critical to the long-term prospects of democracy and the cultivation of new generations of democratic leaders.
Pakistan’s government has recently approved mainstreaming of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in an effort to bring the FATA region within the legal and governance structures of the rest...