Pakistan's Enduring Challenges: Pakistan after the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Pakistan's Enduring Challenges: Pakistan after the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Pakistan's Enduring Challenges: Pakistan after the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Pakistan's Enduring Challenges: Pakistan after the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan


From the U.S. declaration of war against Afghanistan in 2001 to the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2014, Pakistan's military cooperation was critical to the United States. Yet, Pakistani politics remain a source of anxiety for American policymakers. Despite some progress toward democratic consolidation over the last ten years, Pakistan's military still asserts power over the country's elected government. Pakistan's western regions remain largely ungoverned and home to the last remnants of al-Qaeda's original leadership, as well as multiple militant groups that have declared war on the Pakistani state. The country's economy is in shambles, and continuing tensions with India endanger efforts to bring a durable peace to a region haunted by the distant threat of nuclear war.

Pakistan's Enduring Challenges surveys the political and economic landscape of Pakistan in the wake of U.S. military withdrawal. Experts in the domestic and international affairs of the region consider the country's prospects from a variety of angles, including security issues and nuclear posture, relations with Afghanistan, India, and the United States, Pakistan's Islamist movements, and the CIA's use of drone warfare in Pakistan's tribal areas. This timely volume offers a concise, accessible, and expert guide to the currents that will shape the country's future.

Contributors : Christopher Clary, C. Christine Fair, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Karl Kaltenthaler, Feisal Khan, William J. Miller, Aparna Pande, Paul Staniland, Stephen Tankel, Tara Vassefi, Joshua T. White, Huma Yusef.


C. Christine Fair and Sarah J. Watson

Pakistan on 9/11: From Pariah to Paladin

On September 10, 2001, Pakistan was virtually a pariah state. It was encumbered by layers of sanctions meant to punish it for, inter alia, nuclear and missile proliferation, its May 1998 nuclear tests (conducted almost immediately after those of India), and the 1999 bloodless coup in which Chief of Army Staff Pervez Musharraf overthrew the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The U.S. Department of State had even considered placing Pakistan on its list of countries that support terrorism. While Pakistan narrowly escaped designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, it did in fact support a vast fleet of Islamist militants waging a terror campaign throughout India, particularly in Indian-administered Kashmir, and it was providing key military, political, diplomatic, and other support to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. When then U.S. President Bill Clinton visited the subcontinent in 2000, he spent several days in India, but in contrast, only a few hours in Pakistan. He took the opportunity to lecture Pakistani leaders on their reckless policies and even refused to shake the hand of General Musharraf, the country’s fourth military dictator. Prior to 9/11, the George W. Bush administration had embarked on a serious effort to reconfigure its relations with India and Pakistan. Whereas the United States sought to engage India in a significant strategic partnership, it was trying to prepare Pakistan to accept its unequal position in South Asia and diminished importance to the United States (Fair 2004; Tellis 2001: 88; Tellis 2008).

The tragic events of September 11, 2001, afforded Pakistan the opportunity to regain its standing among the community of nations and to force . . .

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