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|Society & You - Social Critic|
|Wednesday, 29 August 2012 22:58|
This post is part of our special coverage of International Relations and Security .
As Pakistan enters its 66 years as an independent country, it is a good time to take stock of the security situation in the country - in order to understand the role that the nation continues to play in global security and stability in the region .
According to the Pakistan Security Report, 2011 [en, pdf] published by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), although Pakistan remains "one of the most volatile regions of the world," there has been some improvement in overall security situation in the country, especially since the latter part of 2011. The report says:
Since the country has experienced a sharp decline [in] in deaths from suicide attacks and that there was no major terrorist attacks in large cities or in the capital in 2012, the change in the overall security situation seems significant, especially when compared with 2009 - 2011, which was fatal in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
Flags waving in Pakistan on the occasion of Independence Day. Photo on Flickr Ejaz Asi, CC BY-NC 2.0
However, this is no time for complacency. On August 16, 2012, a military base high value just outside the capital Islamabad was attacked by gunmen. Pakistan Special Forces controlled the situation in five hours and deaths were mostly militant side.
Three days later, the government issued a general prohibition of wireless services for 15 hours in the four major cities - including Karachi and Lahore - in the Islamic holiday of Eid-ul-Fitr, due to security threats that were credible members.
These latest developments show that despite claims made in May 2012 by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan - Yousuf Raza Gilani, that concerns about the security situation in Pakistan were "exaggerated" [in] the situation on the ground continues still fragile and improvement in the security situation is not general.
The 'targeted killings' [in] continuing in many parts of the country. Karachi continues to suffer its share of ethnic and political violence [in] while a turf war raging since 2010 [in]. Violence continues chasing the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), including its capital, Peshawar. These areas continue to bear the brunt of Pakistan's involvement in the War on Terrorism .
Balochistan remains under control of the insurgency, with the government still unable to provide a sustainable solution acceptable to address the grievances of the region. Rather, as the Pakistani journalist Malik Siraj Akbar blogger pointed out [in] the violence intensified in early 2012 after "an audience unprecedented [in] the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. Congress, expressed its deep concern at the appalling human rights violations allegedly committed by the army in the largest province of Balochistan. "
This infographic published in the Pakistan Security Report 2011 of PIPS provides a visual overview of the security situation in the country. Used with permission.
There is also a growing concern [in] by rising sectarian violence in the country, which has seen a resurgence [in] since 2007. Only in 2012 there have been three cases of assassinations targeting Shiites . While the largest number of clashes have been between the Sunni and Shiite sects, has also been violence occurring within the Sunni community, for example, between Deobandi and Barelvi Sunnis. Huma Yusuf, who is a well-known columnist for the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, wrote in his analytical report [en, pdf] published by the Norwegian Centre for Resources Peacebuilding (NOREF):
So while there are reasons for a certain amount of cautious optimism regarding the relative improvements in the overall security situation in Pakistan, it seems that the country still has a long way to go in its struggle to successfully resolve the complexities of their problems sectarian, ethnic and political multifaceted and help improve stability and security, not only within its borders, but in the region.
This post and its translations into Spanish, Arabic and French have been commissioned by the International Security Network (ISN) as part of an alliance to locate voices of citizens from around the world on issues of international relations and security.