DIIS Reports, Danish Institute for International Studies 2012:12
What connects Chinas to the challenges of separatism in Balochistan? Why is India important when it comes to water shortages in Pakistan? How does jihadism in Punjab an Sindh differ from religious militancy in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)? Why do Iran and Saudi Arabia matter for the challenges faced by Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan? These are some of the questions that are raised and discussed in the analytical contribution of this report. Overall, the present report aims to illuminate the regional context of Pakistan's challenges, the rivalry and alliances between powerful actors in South and Central Asia and Pakistan's place therein. The analytical contributions address the interplay between the macro and micro level conflicts which undermine the resilience of Pakistan. The rationale behind this perspective is that a comprehensive understanding of Pakistan's challenges requires a consideration of both these levels and, not least, of the dynamics between them. The report consists of an initial overview of the regional conflicts playing out within Pakistan, focusing particularly on the impacts of Afghanistan, China, Russia, India, Iran and Saudi Arabia. This 'outside-in' analysis is followed by six papers that take their points of departure in local conflict zones in Pakistan, analysing the dynamics between the local and regional tensions. The papers focus on selected provinces, administrative divisions and urban centres in Pakistan, namely: (i) Balochistan, (ii) FATA, (iii) Pakistan-administered Kashmir, (iv) Gilgit-Baltistan, (v) Punjab and Sindh, and (vi) urban Sindh. Thematically they touch upon issues of contested boundaries, sectarianism, and militancy in Pakistan. The papers were originally prepared for the international seminar, 'Pakistan - the Impact of Regional Rivalries' held on 8 May 2012 and convened in London in a collaboration between Chatham House and the Danish Institute for International Studies. The views expressed in the contributions are those of the individual authors and are not representative of Chatham House or the Danish Institute for International Studies.