Post an American exit, China is likely to increase its investments in Afghanistan, provide employment to hundreds of unskilled Afghan workers, and assume the role of regional stabiliser.
America’s new strategy in Afghanistan needs to be based on the concept of `connect–hold–build’, where the ground troops surely and silently `connect’ with the local population.
The year 2009 has seen more sectarian killings in Gilgit-Baltistan than the previous two years put together. Although sniper shooting has remained the primary method of sectarian killings, owing to Taliban influences bomb blasts are also becoming common.
Pakistan faces a new challenge with the United States advocating privatization of security to deal with the country’s internal security challenges, a move that would also increase the level of American monitoring and supervisory capabilities.
While Pakistan could still try and develop a taste for grass by rejecting US assistance, there is no way it can economically sustain the fight against the Islamist insurgency without external assistance.
The threat from the Taliban could be in the form of heightened infiltration attempts across the Line of Control or see a new breed of Talibanised Pakistani militants targeting the Indian hinterland or a combination of both.
Resource-rich Balochistan province has high rates of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and infant and maternal mortality.
Pakistan’s ability to press home a multidimensional campaign against the radical forces, and contain domestic instability and economic downturn, is suspect.
The aggressive posture that the Chinese have adopted along the otherwise relatively tranquil Line of Actual Control (LOAC) has come under a lot of analytical examination by Indian Sinologists.
Pakistan has yet again shown its proclivity to raise tensions with India.