IRS |Institute of Regional Studies


Contemporary Regional Developments in Pakistan

27th April - 04th May
  • Pakistan’s NSC asked the government to forcefully pursue Indian violations of the Indus Water Treaty with the World Bank to foil New Delhi’s designs. A statement was issued by the National Security Committee after its meeting that focused extensively on the economy and water. (Dawn News, May 03, 2018)
  • In a first, arch rivals India and Pakistan will be part of a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in Russia in September under the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It will also be joined by China and several other countries. (Economic Times, April 29, 2018)
  • Pakistan confirmed that it would be taking part in joint military exercises with India and other regional countries under the banner of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). (Dawn News, April 26, 2018)
  • Pakistan’s For¬eign Office urged all warring factions of Afghanistan to seek a peaceful settlement of the conflict. “During the past 17 years, the pursuit of a military option has only added to the sufferings and miseries of the Afghan people. We, therefore, urge all sides to focus on resolving the internal Afghan dispute through dialogue,” said FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal at the weekly media briefing. (Dawn News, April 26, 2018)
  • Two civilians were martyred and two others injured from Indian firing along the Line of Control (LoC) on April 26, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The Indian posts targeted civilians using heavy automatic weapons, mortars and anti-tank guided missiles in Village Bramla, as well as, the Thub, Banchiran and Padhar sectors. (Dawn News, April 26, 2018)
  • Pakistan retained the top spot in the annual International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty20 cricket rankings after delivering stellar performances in T20 tournaments over the past year.(Dawn News, May 02, 2018)
20th April - 26th April
  • Pakistan and Russia reaffirmed their commitment to intensify bilateral military cooperation during Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa meeting with Commander Russian Federation Ground Forces Col Gen Oleg Salyukov. It was Gen Bajwa’s first visit to Russia. His predecessor Gen Raheel Sharif had earlier visited Russia in 2015. The military contacts between the two countries that started in 2007 have strengthened military cooperation as seen from the joint drills of ground troops and the navies. (Dawn News, April 25, 2018)
  • China desires consolidated ties with Pakistan. Talking to Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mah¬mood Abbasi, Chinese Def¬en¬ce Minister Wei Fenghe said that China is willing to work with Pakistan to focus on building a community of human destiny, consolidate the all-weather friendship and deepen pragmatic cooperation between the two armed forces. (Dawn News, April 20, 2018)
  • Pakistan, China pledged to work for regional stability through SCO. Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif has said that Pakistan and China have resolved to enhance bilateral cooperation with the pledge to play a key role for regional stability through the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The FM appreciated Chinese initiative of Pakistan-China-Afghanistan Foreign Ministers Trilateral Mechanism for enhancing cooperation with Afghanistan. He also apprised Mr Wang of grave situation prevailing in India-held Kashmir. (Dawn News, April 24, 2018)
  • Stalemate prevails in ties between Pakistan and the US as fresh round of negotiations held between a senior official of the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice Wells with Pakistani officials on the US list of expectations on April 23 in Islamabad. (Dawn News, April 24, 2018)
  • Modi claimed that he had informed Pakistan about 'surgical strike' before making it public in India. He further said that India will not tolerate those who like to "export terror" and will respond to them "in the language they understand", referring to the 2016 'surgical strikes' across the Line of Control (LoC), reported Times of India.
  • Pakistan military, however, had swiftly rubbished the notions of a surgical strike, saying: "This quest by the Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross-border fire as a surgical strike is fabrication of the truth. Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, the same will be strongly responded." (Dawn News, April 20, 2018)
  • The Foreign Office on April 19 rejected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest assertion on the so-called surgical strike of September 2016 telling New Delhi that repeating lies did not make them true. FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal, speaking at the weekly media briefing, said: “Constant repetition of a fallacious claim does not make it real. The Indian government is increasingly sounding like a broken record.” (Dawn News, April 19, 2018)
  • FOREIGN Office spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal says the US administration has notified Pakistan about the travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats in the United States that would take effect from May 1. (Dawn News, April 19, 2018)
  • A teenage girl succumbed to her wounds, a day after suffering an injury in Indian firing from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Aamna Miskeen, 15, was injured in her home some 200 feet from the LoC in Battal sector of tehsil Hajira on April 18 as she came out in the courtyard at about 5am, she was sniped at by Indian troops in an incident of targeted firing. (Dawn News, April 20, 2018)
  • Muslims fleed Kashmir village after Asifa’s rape and murder .There are no Muslims left in the village of Rasana, which has become a symbol of India’s rape crisis after the brutal murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl blamed on Hindu men. Police say the girl was raped and killed as part of an attempt by some of the village’s majority Hindus to evict Bakarwal Muslim nomads, who graze their cattle in the hills in the summer months. (dawn News, April 19, 2018)
  • Two Indian security men, ‘militant’ killed in India-held Kashmir on Tuesday triggering anti-India protests and clashes. (Dawn News, April 25, 2018)
  • A Pak-Afghan jirga on April 22 decided to extend the ceasefire agreed upon after the April 15 cross-border firing incident till the time a final settlement is made over the border dispute. (Dawn News, April 23, 2018)
  • Project financing from China is expected to dip by more than half to only $906 million during the next fiscal year due to completion of work on some major China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and a snail’s pace progress on other schemes. (Express Tribune April 26, 2018)
  • The Coun¬cil of Common Interests (CCI) on formally approved the National Water Policy (NWP) with consensus and directed Wapda, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to work out net hydel profit arrears for the two provinces in accordance with the A.G.N. Kazi formula. A meeting of the CCI presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also approved the National Water Charter that was signed by the four chief ministers. (Dawn News, April 25, 2018)
  • Rupee weakens to over Rs119 against dollar in open market as panic buying continues. (Express Tribune, April 26, 2018)
14th April - 19th April
  • Pakistan is gradually reducing its dependence on American military technology and China is filling the gap, says a Financial Times report, which also warns that this shift will have geo-political repercussions as well. (Dawn News, April 19, 2018)
  • At least two Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were martyred and 12 injured in a cross-border skirmish along the Pak-Afghan border late on April 14 night, said a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Originating from Afghanistan’s Khost province, the attack targeted FC troops conducting routine surveillance near the Laka Teega check-post in Lower Kurram Agency. (Express Tribune, April 15, 2018)
  • Afghan officials handed over the bodies of five martyred personnel of the Frontier Corps as well as an injured soldier to the elders of Kurram Agency on April 16 as talks continued between the two sides to deescalate tension along the border. (Dawn News, April 17, 2018)
  • The Fore¬ign Office (FO) denied an Indian allegation that Pakistan had instigated Sikh pilgrims to agitate over the Khalistan issue and cautioned New Delhi against fanning this controversy. (Dawn News, April 18, 2018)
  • Diamer-Bhasha dam gets go-ahead at last. Pakistan gave a final go-ahead to the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam at an estimated cost of Rs474 billion aimed at increasing the country’s depleting water storage capacity. The dam will have a 6.4 million acres feet live storage capacity and an installed power capacity of 4,500 megawatt, according to an announcement by the Prime Minister Office. (Dawn News, April 18, 2018)
  • Three Iranian security personnel were killed by militants in an attack along the country’s border with Pakistan on April 17. An Iranian police officer was killed in an ambush on a border post in the city of Mirjaveh in Sistan-Balu¬ch¬estan province, and two soldiers died when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said. (Dawn news, April 18, 2018)
6th April - 12th April
  • PM Abbasi termed Pak-China friendship as 'bedrock of strategic regional stability' while addressing attendees at the Boao Forum on April 10 at Hainan Island, China. Dubbing both countries as ‘iron brothers’ PM Abbasi viewed that it is natural for Pakistan to take the lead in partnering with China to usher a new era of peace and prosperity through enhanced connectivity.
  • Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi visited Kabul on April 6 to hold discussion with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani regarding fight against militancy, the Afghan-led peace process, bilateral relations and regional connectivity. According to Radio Pakistan, both countries agreed on achieving the common aim of regional security through connectivity. The Afghan president reiterated that the current situation does not benefit anyone and that any concerns in this respect should be addressed through talks, Tolo News reported.
    (Dawn News, April 06, 2018)
  • The United States “fully supports” the peace process that led to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s visit to Kabul and hopes for a “more productive exchange” of views between India and Pakistan as well. These views were shared by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells in an interview to India’s The Hindu newspaper. She acknowledged that Pakistan had taken steps against terrorists but called for more “sustainable and irreversible” actions.
    (Dawn News, April 09, 2018)
  • Pakistan rejected the Afghan allegations that its air force had violated its airspace and carried out raids inside Afghan territory. The tension had come ahead of a visit to Kabul on April 6 by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
    (Dawn News, April 06, 2018) The World Bank confirmed on April 5 that it had received Pakistan’s complaint on the completion of the Kishanganga hydropower plant by India and was working with Islamabad and New Delhi for an amicable resolution of the dispute. Pakistan complained that India has violated a World Bank-mandated pause, placed in 2016, by completing the controversial Kishanganga project.
    (Dawn News, April 06, 2018)
Credit: Nabila Jaffer