IRS |Institute of Regional Studies


Contemporary Regional Developments in Pakistan

29th March - 05th April
  • Pakistan approach World Bank after India completed Kishanganga on river Neelum Having confirmed that India has completed the controversial Kishanganga hydropower project, Pakistan has asked the World Bank to recognise its responsibility under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 to address its concerns over two disputed projects.
    (Dawn News, April 05, 2018)
  • Pakistan, India can take trade up to $30bn if they improve ties, said Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria.
    (Dawn News, March 30, 2018)
  • Anti-India protests erupt in held Kashmir as Indian troops kill 17 At least 17 people have lost their lives in Indian Kashmir in some of the fiercest fightings this year in the restive Himalayan region.
    (Dawn News, April 01, 2018)
  • Amid clashes in Kashmir, thousands of Kashmiris hit the streets, raising anti-India slogans and demanding an end to Indian rule over the region as troops launched “anti-militant” operations in three southern villages.
    (Dawn News, April 02, 2018)
  • US senior official Alice Wells was in Pakistan to discuss South Asia strategy. Alice G. Wells met the Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is Ambassador Wells second visit to Pakistan this year which aims at continuing the Pak-US conversation to strengthen bilateral relations and promote peace and security in the region.
    (Dawn News, March 29, 2018)
  • The US Department of State amended its designation of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) on April 2, identifying Milli Muslim League (MML) and Tehreek-i-Azadi-i-Kashmir (TAK) as LeT affiliates, which makes it impossible for them to register as political parties.
    (Dawn news, April 03, 2018)
21st March - 28th March
  • US imposed sanctions on seven Pakistani firms for ‘nuclear trade’. The Trump administration has added seven Pakistani companies to a list of foreign entities that presumably pose a significant risk to the national security and policy interests of the United States by allegedly engaging in nuclear trade. The move could undermine Pakistan’s ambition of joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an elite club of countries that can trade fissile materials and nuclear technologies.
    (Dawn News, March 26, 2018)
  • Trump White House divided over Pakistan: report The Trump White House is divided over how to deal with Pakistan, with some officials favouring a hardline approach and others warning against alienating a nuclear-armed country of 200 million people, the US media reported on March 27.
    (Dawn News, March 28, 2018)
  • Foreign Office of Pakistan cautions detractors against exploiting US listing of Pakistani firms. “We caution against unnecessarily politicising the issue. We reject attempts by Pakistan’s detractors to exploit these listings to cast aspersions on Pakistan’s non-proliferation credentials,” FO.
    (Dawn News, March 27, 2018)
14th March - 20th March
  • Pakistan ranked happiest among neighbouring countries: UN report Pakistanis are the happiest among all their bordering nations, a 2018 United Nations report on happiness revealed. According to the sixth World Happiness Report, Islamabad is 58 points ahead of its arch-rival India, 11 points ahead of all-weather friend China, 31 of Iran, and 70 points ahead of Afghanistan on the ranking table of happiness.
    (Dawn News, March 15, 2018)>
  • Pakistan decided that envoy ‘won’t return to India till ties improve’. In a development reminiscent of the 2002 standoff, Pakistan has decided not to send its high commissioner back to New Delhi until the overall situation improves and Indian secret agencies stop harassing its diplomatic staff and their families.
    (Express Tribune, March 17, 2018)
  • Pakistan has decided not to attend a World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting hosted by India next week, highlighting growing tensions caused by the ongoing diplomatic standoff.
    (Express Tribune, March 17, 2018)
  • India should look at SAARC minus Pakistan, states BJP foreign policy chief. India should strive for South Asian economic integration without Pakistan, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) foreign policy chief Vijay Chauthaiwale said on march 17. The BJP leader was of the opinion that the ruling party of the Hindu-majority country was under no ideological compulsion to mend ways with its regional rival and neighbour.
    (Express Tribune, March 18, 2018)
  • India is busy in fomenting unrest through terrorism using Afghan soil: DG ISPR. Major General Asif Ghafoor, the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in an interview with Gulf News expressed confidence that the Pakistani Army has eliminated all terrorist havens from its soil.
    (Dawn News, March 18, 2018)
  • Wider cooperation in West Asia a key to peace in the region said Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in a meeting with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on March 13. During his three-day visit, Mr Zarif has urged Pakistan to play its role in defusing the tensions in the region and contribute to materialisation of a new paradigm of “understanding and inclusion” that he calls “a neighbourhood paradigm”.
    (Dawn News, March 14, 2018)
  • In a disclosure that could jolt the country’s financial markets, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Pakistan’s net international reserves after excluding its foreign exchange liabilities are negative $724 million.
    (Express Tribune, March 16, 2018)
  • Pakistan’s external debt to climb to $103b by June 2019The IMF said high levels of public debt and gross financing needs presented significant fiscal risks and needed to be addressed in a timely fashion through fiscal tightening to improve debt sustainability.
    (Express Tribune, March 16, 2018)
  • Iranian forces fired about half a dozen mortar shells into Pakistani territory near the Panjgur border in Balochistan on March 17, according to official sources. The shells were fired by Iranian border guards without provocation. The shells landed and exploded in an open space in the Parako area, a small village in Panjgur district.
    (Dawn News, March 18, 2018)
7th March - 13th March
  • The United States announced head money on the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leaders and two other suspected Pakistani militants on March 8 as Islamabad urged Washington to resume a structural dialogue between the two countries.
  • The US Department of Justice has placed a head money of $5 million on Mullah Fazlullah and of $3m each on Mangal Bagh and Abdul Wali, official sources told Dawn.
    (Dawn News, March 09, 2018)
  • Iran invites Pakistan to participate in Chahbahar project. Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Javad Zarif invited Pakistan to participate in Chahbahar seaport project and development of its link with Gwadar Port as he sought to allay concerns here over Indian involvement in the Iranian port.
  • Dr Zarif was on a three-day visit to Pakistan. During the bilateral talks, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Pakistan and Iran should work together and make their utmost efforts for enhancing the bilateral trade to $5bn by 2021.
    (Dawn News, March 13, 2018)
  • Pakistan accused India of harassing its diplomats and their families in the country and threatened to pull out the families if the intimidation did not stop. A demarche was made to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and external affairs ministry in Delhi, a diplomatic source revealed.
    (Dawn News, March 11, 2018)
  • Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that with decades of experience in use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes Pakistan is ready to further strengthen partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals worldwide.
    (Dawn News, March 13, 2018)
28th February - 06th March
  • The United States urged India and Pakistan to sit down and talk about the issues that increase tensions between South Asia’s two nuclear-armed neighbours. “We think that both sides would certainly have to sit down and have talks about that,” said US State Department’s Spokesperson Heather Nauert while reacting on the continued cross-border shelling between India and Pakistan for the past several weeks.
    (Dawn News, March 01, 2018)
  • India’s parties of the left are losing patience with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “no talks” policy with Pakistan, and the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the largest parliamentary group in the pack, gave expression to the frustration on March 1, calling for an early resumption of dialogue with Islamabad.
    (Dawn News, March 02, 2018)
  • Pentagon urges Pakistan to avail new opportunities for defeating terrorism. As the United States and Pakistan reengage on March 5 in efforts to improve their ties, the Pentagon reminded Islamabad that war against terrorism in the South Asian region has reached an inflection point and it should use this opportunity to defeat terrorists.
    (Dawn News, March 05, 2018)
  • “With respect to Pakistan we believe that Pakistan can do more to combat terrorism,” Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White said at a weekend news briefing in Washington.
    (Dawn News, March 05, 2018)
  • US general dispels impression of friction with Pakistan. a collision course, saying they valued the military-to-military relationship with Pakistan.
    (Dawn News, March 01, 2018)
  • UN body terms Pakistani’s detention at Gitmo illegal. A Pakistani man held at the US Guantanamo Bay detention facility since 2006 should be released immediately and given a right to compensation, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said on February 28. (Dawn News, March 01, 2018)
  • Pakistan won’t act as US proxy, said Pakistan FM. Foreign Minister Khawaja Muham-mad Asif on March 1st said that Pakistan’s interests could not be sacrificed for the sake of American interests.
    (Dawn News, March 02, 2018)