Pakistan and India should go further than MFN to boost integration

A Pakistani labourer carries an empty fruit basket following his day's work in Lahore on November 12, 2011.  (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Nisha Taneja and Vatsala Shreeti, ICRIER

Is the time ripe for a new push for normalised trade between India and Pakistan? The foreign secretaries of both nations recently met in Islamabad. The two countries can expect formal talks to resume after a hiatus of six months. This came soon after the announcement by Khurram Dastgir, Pakistan’s Commerce Minister, that Pakistan may grant ‘non-discriminatory market access’ or Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, a move that will get the two countries closer to striking a deal to fully liberalise trade between them.  Read more…

Pakistan faces perilous choice on Yemen

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif delivers a statement on the Yemen-Saudi Arabia conflict in Islamabad, Pakistan, 13 April 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Abdul Basit, RSIS

Saudi Arabia’s demand that Pakistan joins its coalition against the Houthi uprising in Yemen has put Islamabad in a catch-22 between joining the Saudi alliance and not antagonising its neighbour Iran. Joining the Saudi coalition would have long-term political, economic and security repercussions for Pakistan. Read more…

Pakistan caught in a bind by Sharif’s Saudi debt

A supporter of Pakistani religious group Jamat ud Dawa waves a party flag during a rally to support the Saudi Arabian government, in Islamabad, Pakistan, 9 April 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sajjad Ashraf, NUS

Stung by his complete failure to muster the parliamentary support needed to join in a Saudi-led intervention in Yemen’s civil war, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is now counting the costs of his $1.5 billion folly. Read more…

Pakistan and the crucible of terror

Mourners are overcome as they pass the site of a suicide bomb attack in Quetta in August 2013. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack upon a funeral procession. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Imtiaz Gul, CRSS, Islamabad

Within days of 11 September 2001, Pakistan became an inseparable element in calculations about responding to al-Qaeda. Not only was Pakistan seen as a potential springboard for punitive action against the transnational organisation, but it also came to be regarded as a crucible of terrorism. Read more…

No hope on the horizon for Pakistan’s myriad problems


Author: Sajjad Ashraf, NUS

Pakistan is in a state of discord. Its civilian governance structure is becoming corrupt and oligarchic. Its façade of democratic order belies a more tawdry reality characterised by money, patronage and cronyism, in which parliament exists to enhance the privileges of the few. Read more…

A bittersweet year for Pakistan

Children hold flags as women supporters of Pakistani political and Islamic party Jammat-e-Islami stage a protest against the Taliban militants attack on an army-run school in Peshawar, Islamabad, 26 December 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: S. Mahmud Ali, LSE

Pakistan in 2014 was characterised by a mixture of ongoing malaise and, in some instances, guarded optimism.

For many Pakistanis, the proudest moment came when the Nobel Committee awarded the 2014 Peace Prize to the teenager Malala Yousafzai along with India’s Kailash Satyarthi for ‘their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education’. Read more…

Pakistan’s economy still limping along

A labourer carries vegetables at the main vegetables and fruits market in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab province, Pakistan, 25 September 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Mohsin Khan, Atlantic Council

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inherited an economy in poor shape when his government came into power in 2013. The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government launched an economic plan in September 2013, with the financial and technical support of the IMF, to reverse the deteriorating macroeconomic picture. Read more…