The Dynamics of Power Sharing in Afghanistan: Challenges and Prospects for Ongoing Peace Process
This research thesis focuses to evaluate the essence and application of Power Sharing Formula
adopted in Afghanistan followed by the conflictual election outcome of 2014. The study also
highlights the challenges it faces in implementation of Power Sharing settlement and its role in
current peace process. After the 2014 presidential elections in Afghanistan, the two leading
candidates (Ashraf Ghani & Dr. Abdullah) rejected the election results. The disagreement
converted into a political conflict further destabilizing Afghanistan’s political fabrication. The reelection in the same year also could not manage the issue. Hence a Power Sharing Formula was
charted out considering the dispute and for establishing a legitimate government and peace in
Afghanistan. Though, the distribution of power and authority domain remains a complex division
to define between the two contenders, however in September 2014, both the parties agreed to a
power sharing settlement. Taking both the conflicting parties onboard through this parallel
settlement, Afghanistan’s political climate became calm. There is a general opinion taken by the
researcher while doing this research from the experts and practitioners on Afghan politics and the
current peace process that this power sharing settlement remains a blessing for ongoing peace
process. Both the executives remain intact and engaged in negotiating with Taliban for bringing
peace and stability in Afghanistan. The research also presents an analysis of Afghan peace process
and the contribution of both Ghani and Abdullah into it.
In contemporary era, energy trade and energy politics are going vis a vis. World
powerful countries are always in efforts to dominate the energy trade and protect the
energy routes to ensure their needs. However, politics on this field is also underway
side by side. Nord Stream II is second of two Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II which
is the first project by Russia to supply its gas to a European country Germany. This
project is the one which is decreasing Russian and German reliance on Ukraine
which served for long as Russian gas transit route. Thus, the project not only deprives
Ukraine from huge economic benefits but allows Russia to seek its political ambitions
in Ukraine which is the former Soviet Republic. Project is of great importance for
Germany because it will fulfil Germany’s increasing energy needs. Whereas Ukraine,
foresee this project as threat to its national security. After annexation of Crimea by
Russia in 2014 and then unrest in eastern parts of Ukraine has realized Ukraine that
Russia by fulfilling energy needs of significant European countries will try to achieve
its designs in Ukraine and has tried to securities this at local level. US and NATO
both grasped the Russian ambitions and making an effort of collective securitization
to refrain Russia from moving further in West. Russia on the other hand sees EU and
NATO as main opponent want to further squeeze Russia. In this whole game Ukraine
has become the battleground for East and West for New Cold War.
“India ‘s Growing Influence in Afghanistan in Post 9/11 Era: Security Implications for Pakistan”
The US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 is considered as a turning point in the politics of Afghanistan with special context to Pakistan and India. Pakistan and India both jumped into the race of joining US global war on terror (WoT) and gaining the status of most friendly nation of US. India manipulated the happenings in Afghanistan in its favor by increasing its physical, diplomatic, economic and socio-cultural presence in the war-torn country and tried to manipulate the situation in its anti-Pakistan stance. Owing to its bilateral cleavages, ethnic differences, border clash, and Pashtunistan factor, Afghanistan strongly cooperated with India in destabilizing Pakistan from the two fronts of border. The theory of soft power is the appropriate theory regarding the underlying problem and provided the best scenario to understand the India usage of developmental and infrastructural projects in Afghanistan to increase its influence to damage the Pakistan’s image and sovereignty with ease. Regional actors and specially US strongly recommended and appreciated India’s role in Afghanistan at the expense of Pakistan, which directly went into India’s favour to increase the maneuverings in Afghanistan vis-à-vis Pakistan. This research aims at specifically elucidating India’s intentions to manipulate the 9/11 event to pursue its anti-Pakistan agenda. It evaluates the Indian efforts to defame and disrepute Pakistan associating it with Islamic militancy, fundamentalism and terrorism and especially how India pampered Afghanistan through soft penetration to win the hearts of Afghan youth and the society. The important point in this research is to emphasize on Pakistan’s security apprehension with Indian presence in the very next bordering country who has ethnic, religious and cultural similarities.
Incorporating Nontraditional Security Threats in Pakistan’s National Security Discourse: Environmental Challenges
The security discourse of Pakistan has remained territory-centric due to Indian hegemonic ambitions and New Delhi’s anti-neighborhood policy. Moreover, New Delhi’s opposition to the creation of Pakistan further hampered Pakistan’s desires for managing security threats beyond the traditional domain. Gradually, an overwhelming wave of non-traditional security threat in the world politics compelled Pakistan to consider the potential of non-traditional security threats where the environment challenges have become an undeniable force. The leading architectures of national security strategy from Islamabad have started realizing the significance of non-traditional security threats generally, and environmental challenges particularly in Pakistan. This thought forced the mainstream political leadership to alter the traditional security discourse of Pakistan because it is difficult for Islamabad to manage escape from the emerging wave of nontraditional security threats. Where all states are equally vulnerable, the government of Pakistan needs to focus more on the security threats of non-traditional nature. Therefore, the research focuses the implications caused by the environmental challenges on socio-economic structure of Pakistan. Research has mainly focused two areas of environment, climate change and water scarcity in Pakistan respectively. Rapid surge in temperature, irregular weather and depletion of water resources or reservoirs is going to disturb the lifecycle since Pakistan is a large populated state with majority of its workforce indulged in agriculture, therefore the effects of environmental degradation cannot be marginalized at any cost which is the central theme of this research. It is an endeavor to integrate the threat of environmental challenges in the mainstream national security discourse of Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Afghanistan Policy: A Comparative Analysis of PPP (2008-2013) and PML-N (2013-2018) Governments
Afghanistan is Pakistan’s most immediate neighbor. Throughout the history both countries find it
difficult to maintain cordial and stable bilateral relations. Incident of 9/11 turned to be more chaotic
for Pakistan as well as for Afghanistan. American twin towers attack, involvement of Al-Qaeda,
and Pakistan’s front line role in US led global war on terrorism remain the most critical aspects of
post 9/11 Pak-Afghan relations. Pakistan’s foreign policy towards Afghanistan mostly remained
military-orientated because of immediate security concerns throughout. In 2008 the first post 9/11
civilian government in Pakistan under Pakistan People’s Party regime had to deal with severe
security implications in the backdrop of global war on terrorism. Pakistan People’s party foreign
policy agenda towards Afghanistan mainly dealt with the security concerns in the form of suicide
bombing, terrorist attacks, kidnapping, and target killing by the terrorists. At the same time, the
issues of settlement of Afghan refugees also remain at the priority agenda of PPP’s Afghan policy.
The successor of PPP was Pakistan’s Muslim League-N coming into power in 2013 after the
successful completion of five years terms of PPP. Though, PML-N foreign policy agenda towards
Afghanistan also remain focused to combat terrorism but they revised their afghan policy including
the normalization of its relations on the common grounds. The PML-N agenda included to
strengthen economic ties, settlement of Afghan refugees and a contribution to peace building in
Afghanistan. Both the democratic governments in their respective periods managed to maintain
bilateral relations with Afghanistan in the best available policy options. It is argued that during the
PPP’s regime Pakistan’s foreign policy towards Afghanistan have been dominated and influenced
by the military decision making due to high security and strategic risks in the wake of fighting
Taliban in Afghanistan. As comparatively during the PML-N tenure starting from 2013, Pakistan’s
Afghan policy broadened taking other issues in its agenda as Afghanistan entered into
reconstruction and rebuilding phase. This research aims to comparatively analyze Pakistan’s
foreign policy under the two governments of Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-N. The research evaluates the challenges faced by both the governments during their rule
US Withdrawal Policy from Afghanistan and its Implications for Pakistan
Afghanistan had been mostly at the receiving end of the international politics between major world
powers since 1980s. The vested interests of the global and regional powers pushed the Afghan
nation into a violent era that stretched over four decades. Afghanistan, and to some extent Pakistan,
bore the brunt of the two wars that major world powers had launched on Afghanistan between
1979 and 2001. However, the US was signaling an end of second Afghan War by withdrawing its
troops from Afghanistan. The US withdrawal would have implications for Pakistan as the latter’s
security and prosperity are directly linked with the stability in Afghanistan. Since 1947,
Afghanistan had largely been governed by the regimes that were unsupportive of Pakistan. What
factors would govern the future of Afghanistan after the US withdrawal and how the US and
international community would contribute to stabilized the political condition of Afghanistan?
What would be the implications of the US withdrawal for Pakistan? How the new Afghan
government would look towards Pakistan and how the regional dynamics would shape the relations
between the two countries. These questions instigated the curiosity regarding the future of
Afghanistan and Pakistan after US withdrawal. Historically, Afghanistan had served as a battle
field for major international players. The regional powers like India, Iran and Pakistan also used
the Afghan soil for launching proxies against their adversaries. This study evaluates the US
invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11 attacks in 2001. It also examines the role of Pakistan in this war
after becoming the ally of USA. The most important part of this research is based on analysis of
the US withdrawal policy from Afghanistan and its implications for Pakistan in the perspective of
Classical Realism Theory.
Role of Think Tanks and Study Centers in Pak-China Relations
Basic premise of my study is that think tanks and study centers are an instrument of normative world. They are situated in a certain context and operate in certain dynamics; therefore, they are at liberty to choose what role they can play in foreign relations of any country. The role could be many since think tank is such a flexible entity that it can wear many hats and can claim itself anything. Their diversity and the ease to operate in any given environment is surely their strength but, at the same time, it is a big hurdle for those who wish to categorize them in a certain type. Although it is hard to typify them in one neat definition, those think tanks that orient their work and activities towards foreign policy they are called foreign policy think tanks.
Focus of this study is such think tanks. It takes a detailed account of foreign policy think tanks in Pakistan that are focused on Pak-China relations. Established recently, this study considers Pak-China study centers as think tanks because their work and conduct fall within the scope of a think tank. However, at the same time, this study considers them somewhat different entities than a typical regular think tank because some of them also working as study centers in literal terms. This thesis concluded that ideas influence policies when the principled or causal beliefs they embody provide roadmaps that increase actor’s clarity about goals or ends-means relationships, when they affect outcomes of strategic situations in which there is no unique equilibrium, and when they become embedded in political institutions.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES IN WEST AFRICA-PAKISTAN RELATIONS: A CASE STUDY OF SIERRA LEONE
Pakistan relations with Western African countries have always led to peaceful outcomes before and after their independence. These countries are abundantly blessed with natural resources and needs suitable international partners to invest in various mining areas like diamond, gold, oil, timber, cocoa, uranium, and iron ore among others. This research looks at brief historical background of these countries and their relations with Pakistan. The second parts deal with Sierra Leone-Pakistan relations bring out history of Sierra Leone during colonialism, outbreak of civil war, role of Pakistan in civil war, relations between the two states in other areas and their relations in international organizations such as UN, OIC and Commonwealth. Third part deals with economic diplomacy between Sierra Leone and Pakistan especially in socio-economic sectors, factors influencing extension of their relations, economic diplomacy, trade volumes, and expansion on political relations between them. Final part deals with AfCFTA and ECOWAS, how Pakistan has getting closed to these countries, benefits for Sierra Leone and challenges to their relations. This study has great influence to directing scholars in Pakistan lacking clear knowledge of Western African and uniqueness of their cultural heritages. It will help researchers also to know about recent development of western Africa and potentials in creating relations, especially Sierra Leone.
“Changing Geo Politics in Indian Ocean Region in 21st Century: Security Implications for Pakistan”
This study is explicitly aimed at exploring the Indian Ocean vis-à-vis the
changing geo politics of the region and their repercussion over Pakistan
while expounding the intriguing interest of major powers in the region. The
geopolitics of Indian Ocean apparently seems to be complex and is mostly
being illustrated by resource conflict and by the struggle for influence.
External powers, the bolstering economies of Asia and non-traditional
threats like terrorism and extremism are shaping the orientation of
geopolitics. Additionally, I have investigated the role of major powers in
spawning the acuity of securitization while retaining Regional Security
Complex theory by Buzan and waver. The discussion tries to assess the
basic principles of the theory of Regional Security Complex by using the
Change of geo-politics in Indian Ocean Regions which has become of new
arena for the exertion of global politics since the past two decades. This
study also encompasses the elaboration of sub complexes within the super
complex Indian Ocean region while seeking the diverging and converging
interest of major powers along the trajectory of Indian Ocean. Also, this
study sought to explicate the implication for Pakistan vis-à-vis Indian
growing presence and arms buildup in the region.
Rise of Hindu Nationalism: Implications for Secularism in India
There is a rapid rise of Hindu Nationalism in India especially under the regime of Narendra Modi. This rise of Hindu Nationalism is against the Secular and liberal values of the Indian State and, therefore, it is damaging the secular and liberal image of India at international level in front of international community. Moreover, it is also causing severe problems for the Indian minorities especially Muslims, Christians and Dalits. This rapid rise of Hindu nationalism is not only a threat for Indian minorities but it is also making regional stability and peace at stake, so the study has also discussed the threats for regional peace and stability due to rise of Hindu Nationalism in India. Further, this study has mainly discussed the recent developments in India during the BJP government under Narendra Modi especially the situation after the annexation of State of Jammu and Kashmir, CAA and NRC bills, Ayodhva verdict, pro-Hindu policies of the BJP and other issues which are against the fundamentals of Secularism. The Secular Indian State has been taken over by the followers of Hindutva ideology. Now they are trying to transform the Secular State of India into the Hindu Majoritarian Nationalist State. The Hindu majoritarian nationalists under the umbrella of BJP government are threatening the fundamentals of secularism. The rise of Hindu nationalists has sever implications for Indian minorities as well as for the future of secularism in India. This has also affected secular image of India at international level. Additionally, the strong influence of the ideology of RSS over PM Modi and its government is creating regional security further threatening the stability of the region. Today, Indian State is facing criticism over its discriminatory dealings with the minorities as the RCA and CAA acts attract severe criticism across the globe. Further, the UN Security Council, EU, the UN commission for Independent Religions and many other important international organizations are raising concerns on the violations of human rights especially in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. All these events indicate that secularism is at stake in India under BJP government and it is continuously destroying its image due to its harsh policies.
NATIONAL SECURITY IN THE AGE OF CYBERSPACE: A CASE STUDY OF PAKISTAN
Pakistan is a least prepared country against cyber warfare from hostile nations/elements. Cyber warfare is a domain that poses major challenge to the national security of Pakistan. Indeed, the digital domain determines the defeat and triumph of rival parties whether it’s in politics, business, or battlefield. More so, the enemy in cyber domain is invisible and unpredictable, therefore, it becomes very hard for nation states to identify the actual enemy. Although there is no dearth of literature in this field, however there seems insufficient scholarly literature on the case study of Pakistan. The main objective of the research is to evaluate the challenges and threats faced by the national security of Pakistan in the Age of Cyberspace and recommend viable solutions to protect cyberspace to meet future challenges. Moreover, this research is an attempt to make an addition to the existing body of knowledge while comprehending cyber challenges to national security of Pakistan and its response to mitigate such threats. The thesis discusses as to how Pakistan should carefully complete its cyber threat mapping, and craft a new strategy to overcome such threats.
THE DYNAMICS OF GLOBAL FLOWS IN ARCTIC OCEAN REGION: COOPERATION AND COMPETITION
The ever escalated Climate change has prompted global interest in the Arctic Ocean
region as an arena of with enormous economic potential for hydrocarbons and novel
maritime trade routes (Geoeconomics). With every passing day the prize of Arctic’s
geoeconomics is realizing, so as the scenario for competition and cooperation. The
region is home to some severe unresolved issue, including, legal status of maritime
trade route, territorial disputes and issues of Exclusive Economic Zones, hence has
been fabricated as new theater for power politics and competition over the emerging
geoeconomics among regional and extra regional states. The region has been
politicized as a new cauldron and “Cold Front” by intellectuals and mainstream
media. However, on the contrary the 21st century Arctic geopolitics is with high
stability and functional cooperation among different actors. Along with possibilities
for competition and confrontation climate change has brought opportunities for
collaboration in various spheres. Since the climate change is affecting life of
individuals all over the world, particularly those adjacent to Arctic region,
collective responses can tackle these emerging issues, subsequently Arctic states
have joined hands to deal with these issues. The key reason behind Arctic’s peace
and stability is the presence of multilateral institutionalism such as Arctic Council.
Moreover, all the Arctic and non-Arctic states in their strategies have emphasized
the importance international cooperation in the region.
DYNAMICS OF INTER-KOREAN RAPPROCHEMENT: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS
Korean conflict has become an enigmatic challenge for International Peacemaking Bodies and a serious concern for the region of world leading economies. The North Korean testing of ICBM’s in 2017 and war of words with America had put both states on the brink of war. The sudden shift in Kim’s hostile posture in 2018 and opening of talks with South Korea and US had raised hopes for the resolution of conflict. This phase of improvement in relations remained in progress for a year and again states reached on a deadlock. How did the historic developments in Inter-Korean relations unfold in 2018? Why is North- South Korean rapprochement is challenging and what are the future prospects of Inter-Korean Peace? This study aims to identify its major dynamics along with the possible solutions of the problems in the light of Ripeness theory. This study argues that there will be no solution of the conflict until the states do not reach on the state of mutually hurting stalemate. As the Korean Conflict has not ripened yet therefore the North-South Korean conflict will likely to continue in future. The absence of uniform approach of all the actors of Korean conflict with lack of perception of a way out had been the basic cause of continuous breaking down of negotiations over the past years. The absence of a neutral third party for conflict resolution and repetition of failed policies in dealing the North Korean nuclear issue has been the subject of utter ignorance by the international community.
Korean Peninsula, Inter-Korean Conflict, Inter-Continental Ballistic missiles (ICBM’s), Peace-Making Bodies, North Korea, US-China, Denuclearization, Conflict Resolution, Third Party, Dead-lock.
PAKISTAN’S KASHMIR POLICY (2016-2019): A CRITICAL ANALYSIS
This is a qualitative research critically analysing Pakistan’s Kashmir policy since
2016. This study empirically investigates the phenomenon by objectively analysing
Pakistan’s decisions on Kashmir post 2016. The study is analysed by employing the
theory of Neo-Classical realism coined by Gideon Rose. India changed the status quo
ante in Kashmir by unilaterally annexing it in August 2019 by revocation of article
370 of the Indian constitution which gave Kashmir a special status. This policy shift
in India brought India and Pakistan again at the logger heads and the cold war
between the two has intensified ever since with Pakistan initiating a diplomatic battle
against India. The study finds that Pakistan’s confused response against India’s
decision was because of geopolitical environment which limited Pakistan’s options,
for instance it lacked economic resources to wage a war against India, the country’s
economy was in distress, furthermore, the geo-strategic limitations like internal
political instability and the presence of the US in its backyard in Afghanistan also
influenced its decisions. This study recommends Pakistan to take dual approach of
hard and soft power in achieving its ends. Soft power in the short run, where it
exploits variables of human rights violation, genocide, demographic change, and
legality of the dispute. In the long run, Pakistan must improve its economy by
increasing its exports and openness to the world with increased regional and global
trade. Similarly it also needs to enhance its military power to prepare for the hard
power solution of Kashmir.