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  • Why Pakistan cannot defeat the Taliban

    The simple truth that has eluded Pakistan is that fighting the Taliban is like fighting a shadow. The Taliban are but a symptom, the real problem is of religious extremism which is manifesting itself in radical Islamism and has struck deep roots in state and society.

    March 10, 2014

    Talks with Taliban: war by other means

    The situation in Pakistan today is very fragile. Despite the progress on the democratic front, there is a sense of helplessness on how to tackle the menace of terrorism. Unlike in the past, Islamabad appears quite weak vis-à-vis Taliban while it keeps chanting its commitment to talks with TTP, despite the provocation and retaliation from the army.

    March 03, 2014

    Elections in Pakistan: Perspectives from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir

    In the run-up to the May 2013 elections, the political scene in Pakistan was absorbed in electoral rhetoric, active campaigning and a hectic poll process. It culminated with an expected set of results—the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerged victorious and took the reins of power after a decade and a half. The incumbent Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was nearly decimated and Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) marginalised.

    January 2014

    Realism Not Romanticism Should Dictate India’s Pakistan Policy

    The next government in Delhi must be open to the idea of grabbing a good deal if one is on offer. But there is no reason for India to go overboard in trying to seal a deal. In other words, if Pakistan desires parity with India, it should not expect ‘magnanimity’ from India, and if it expects ‘magnanimity’, then it should not insist on parity.

    January 30, 2014

    Arthasastra: Lesson for the Contemporary Security Environment with South Asia as a Case Study

    Arthasastra: Lesson for the Contemporary Security Environment with South Asia as a Case Study

    In this monograph, the Arthasastra framework is used for examination of dynamics of fragility in South Asia, with a case study of Pakistan. The insights into human policy choices which can be gleaned from the treatise have a timeless quality that can offer a fresh perspective to today’s policy makers. It can be open to further academic investigation and debate for developing and enriching an indigenous strategic vocabulary.


    Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb, by Feroz Hassan Khan

    Brigadier Feroz Hassan Khan (Retd) brings to bear the right credentialsto this six year effort under review. The career Pakistan Army officer andJohns Hopkins University graduate (1989–91), currently a faculty memberof the Naval Postgraduate School, Moneterey, California, spent the lastdecade of his 32 year service (he retired in 2001) dealing with nuclearissues in key positions.

    January 2014

    A Year-end Security Review of Southern Asia

    It has been a year of unstable regional security with the endless conflict in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s half-hearted struggle against the remnants of the al Qaeda, Sri Lanka’s inability to find a lasting solution to its ethnic problems and Nepal’s new found inclination to seek neutrality between India and China.

    December 31, 2013

    Shubhendra Mishra asked: Has development of tactical nuclear weapons by Pakistan limited the option of punitive action by India in a 26/11 like situation?

    Reshmi Kazi replies:, Pakistan’s aim is to signal to India that any contemplation of a conventional punitive retaliation to its sub-conventional but “highly destructive and disruptive” cross-border terrorist strikes, such as the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, would bear disastrous consequences including probable use of tactical nuclear weapons. Pakistan’s objective thus is to dissuade India from considering the option of retaliation by lowering the threshold of nuclear option.

    Pakistan’s resort to the nuclear option, however, would break down the deterrence stability. In that case, it will be highly irrelevant whether a target has been hit by a strategic or tactical weapon. A nuclear attack is a nuclear attack. To quote Air Chief Marshal P. V. Naik, “Tactical or strategic, it (NASR) is a nuclear weapon. Our response would be absolutely violent, if it is used, as per our existing policy. So, it's not a game-changer.” What this essentially means is that in the event India faces a nuclear attack, New Delhi will be left with no other choice but to use nuclear weapons in the form of a massive retaliation. In that case, it makes little sense whether a strategic or tactical nuclear weapon or a long range or short range weapon is used, since the general response would be to carry out a punitive attack on the adversary.

    Also, see Reshmi Kazi, “NASR: A Disadvantage for Pakistan,” IDSA Comment, August 19, 2011.

    Militant Groups in South Asia

    Militant Groups in South Asia
    • Publisher: Pentagon Press

    This book is an attempt to profile important militant groups presently active in South Asian countries. The threat perception from each group has been covered in this book in details. The book will be useful for further research on militancy, terrorism, radicalisation and security related issues.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-754-8,
    • Price: ₹. 995/-
    • E-copy available

    Will Pakistan’s India Policy under Sharif Shift Strategically?

    The May 2013 parliamentary elections in Pakistan led to a stable government under the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Prime Minister Sharif promised a shift of the country’s India policy. Given his track record, the current pressing economic and security imperatives and recent improvements in Indo-Pakistan trade relations, the popular optimism is understandable and the first steps of rapprochement are to be expected.

    November 2013