Two Years After Easter Attacks, Sri Lanka’s Muslims Face Backlash

Two Years After Easter Attacks, Sri Lanka’s Muslims Face Backlash

Thursday, April 29, 2021

By: Jumaina Siddiqui;  Melissa Nozell

Two years after the Easter Sunday attacks that left 269 dead and injured more than 500, Sri Lanka’s Christian community is still waiting for justice while its Muslim community is reeling from the backlash that followed the bombings. Recent government restrictions targeting Muslims have exacerbated religious tensions in the South Asian nation and risk alienating large portions of the community.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

ReligionHuman Rights

India, Pakistan choke on their smog. Can they clear the air?

India, Pakistan choke on their smog. Can they clear the air?

Monday, March 29, 2021

By: Jumaina Siddiqui;  Zaara Wakeel

South Asia’s extreme smog worsens each winter, helping to kill an estimated 1.2 million Indians and 128,000 Pakistanis annually—more than have died in either country from the COVID virus. As pollution this past winter exacerbated the pandemic, India’s and Pakistan’s governments responded with mutual blame. Yet COVID, and a sudden moment of détente between these bitter rivals, could offer an opportunity to address the smog crisis, and build rare collaboration with the only strategy that can work: a joint one. The governments, their U.S. and international allies and civil society should use this chance to jumpstart such an effort.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment

Could Water be a Flashpoint for Conflict in Pakistan?

Could Water be a Flashpoint for Conflict in Pakistan?

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

By: Jumaina Siddiqui;  Faiqa Mahmood

Water has now become a commodity in many parts of the world. This is a problem in and of itself, as water is essential for every living thing. However, instead of being equally and fairly available to all, water mafias have emerged around the world and put a stranglehold on this essential resource. In Pakistan, this is most starkly seen in urban centers; however, rural areas have also been affected. Urban or rural, the most impoverished sectors of society are the ones most negatively impacted by water’s commoditization. This situation is ripe for conflict, especially in places where poor governance and rule of law are endemic. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & EnvironmentDemocracy & Governance

Pakistan Senate Election Upsets Government Efforts to Solidify Power

Pakistan Senate Election Upsets Government Efforts to Solidify Power

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

By: Tamanna Salikuddin;  Jumaina Siddiqui;  Colin Cookman;  Ambassador Richard Olson

Pakistan held indirect elections on March 3 for the Senate, its upper house of Parliament, which is elected by sitting legislators in the National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament) and each of the provincial assemblies. Given the typically party-line vote, Pakistani Senate elections tend to be mundane affairs, with the results often preordained. However, in last week’s elections the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, despite having a numerical majority in the national and provincial assemblies, failed to forestall defections among some lawmakers and in doing so failed to take control of the Senate from the opposition.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

In Karachi, Flooding Lays Bare City’s Governance Issues

In Karachi, Flooding Lays Bare City’s Governance Issues

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

By: Jumaina Siddiqui

Many parts of Pakistan have always struggled with flooding, especially over the last decade, due in part to climate change as weather events have become more extreme. But for Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, August saw immense rainfall—breaking all previous records in the past century—and widespread flooding that brought the city to a standstill. USIP’s Jumaina Siddiqui and Cyril Almeida look at why Karachi’s flooding situation is so dire, how contentious political dynamics have impeded governance reforms in the city, and what can be done to prevent future humanitarian disasters.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceEconomics & Environment

Sri Lanka’s Election Helps Cement the Rajapaksas’ Return to Power

Sri Lanka’s Election Helps Cement the Rajapaksas’ Return to Power

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

By: Jumaina Siddiqui;  Tamanna Salikuddin;  Vikram J. Singh

The Sri Lanka People's Front (SLPP) gained a parliamentary supermajority earlier this month in what was the first major election held in South Asia since the coronavirus pandemic began. The results solidified the political power of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had dissolved the previous parliament shortly after he was elected last year. USIP’s Jumaina Siddiqui, Tamanna Salikuddin and Vikram Singh look at whether the polls were free and fair, what the landslide victory means for Sri Lanka as the country continues its recovery from civil war, and how the election impacts South Asia.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Despite Violence, Pakistan’s Elections Steadily Improve

Despite Violence, Pakistan’s Elections Steadily Improve

Thursday, August 16, 2018

By: Jumaina Siddiqui

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...

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceElectoral Violence

Identity, Gender, and Conflict Drivers in Pakistan

Identity, Gender, and Conflict Drivers in Pakistan

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

By: Jumaina Siddiqui

Based on a study conducted in the Pakistani town of Haripur that investigated children’s attitudes toward identity, this Peace Brief finds that identity-based divides are in fact not the primary drivers of conflict at the community level, but notes the continuing salience of gender identity, which produces differing social expectations and differing understandings of conflict resolution roles.

Type: Peace Brief

GenderConflict Analysis & Prevention

Supporting Civil Society to Combat Violent Extremism in Pakistan

Supporting Civil Society to Combat Violent Extremism in Pakistan

Monday, June 6, 2016

By: Jumaina Siddiqui

In the past few years, there has been an increase in funding for civil society organizations for the goal of countering violent extremism (CVE). While donors are investing large sums for CVE efforts, in Pakistan, local organizations often lack the technical capacity to understand the nature of violent extremism as well as how to utilize such large amounts of money. This brief discusses the challenges to implementing CVE programs and provides recommendations for how stakeholders can overcome t...

Type: Peace Brief

Violent ExtremismGlobal PolicyDemocracy & Governance