Living in a Tough Neighborhood: Pakistan’s War among the People
The biggest internal security challenge facing Pakistan today arises from developments in
Afghanistan. The United States’ war in Afghanistan has plunged Pakistan into a politically and
militarily unsustainable situation at home. The direct ad indirect costs of the conflict are steadily increasing as extremist groups continue to attack US and NATO-ISAF troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan security forces within. The US military is increasingly getting impatient and has begun attacking targets on Pakistani territory. The recent US Special Forces heliborne attack in South Waziristan has caused deep resentment in Pakistan at all levels and for the first time Islamabad summoned the US ambassador and issued a demarche. The Pakistani military has said that in the future it will retaliate and if need be engage intruding troops. The internal security thus has a direct foreign policy dimension. Given the deteriorating situation, there is need to see if all concerned actors need a policy shift.
Pakistan alone cannot help correct the situation especially with the presence of other actors like Iran, Russia and India. The talk will focus on Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts, the US role in Afghanistan, the inability of Kabul to take control of its territory, the Russia factor given increasing tension between Moscow and Washington and the Indian strategy to trouble Pakistan. What is all this likely to lead to and is there a way to improve the situation?
Haider’s areas of interest include politics, political Islam, defence and security, theories and
concepts of war, and civil-military relations. He has written extensively on these subjects for
various publications in addition to his own. These include The Washington Post, International
Herald Tribune, Beirut-based Daily Star, the Indian Express, Times of India, India Abroad,
Central Asia Monitor and The World Today, a monthly publication of the Royal Institute for
International Relations in London. In addition to his reporting and editing work and analyses, Haider has been a Ford Scholar at the Programme in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Visiting Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Programme at the Brookings Institution at Washington D.C..
Haider has also lectured at various universities and institutions abroad. At home he regularly
speaks at the National Defence University, Command and Staff College, Quetta, the National
Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) and Administrative Staff College, both in Lahore.