Focus: Pakistan - Afghanistan


Dr. Gunter Mulack

Uneasy Neighbours- The relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan


The article provides a basic analysis of the problematic relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan in its historical and cultural dimension. The conflicts stem from the Durand Line, the border between the two countries, which was introduced by the British in the 19th century and divides the Pashtu tribe. Afghanistan does not recognize that border. The author stresses the international and particularly the German efforts to ease the conflict and concludes that reconciliation between the countries is possible, as shown in European history between former arch-enemies like France and Germany. However, a solution cannot be imposed by foreign outsiders, but has to be developed by both governments and populations.


Pakistan, Afghanistan, Durand Line, relationship


Prof. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah

Pakistan and Afghanistan in the context of 9/11 – Current Situation


The present study evaluates the events following the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the rise and popularity of the Taliban in the Pashtun-dominated areas inside Afghanistan and the tribal region of Pakistan. It primarily deals with Pakistan’s role in the war on terror and the Pakistani-Afghani relations in its context. The author concludes that the neighbouring countries are compelled to share the responsibility to combat the rising tide of militancy in the region, despite strong reservations on both sides.


Pakistan, Afghanistan, 9/11, War on Terror, Tribal Region, USA, Taliban



Prof. Dr. Jamal Malik

Madrasas in Pakistan – Breeding ground for terrorism?


The article challenges the widespread assumption that madrasa pedagogy generally fosters anti-western, traditionalist and even fundamentalist worldviews and thereby produces fanaticism and intolerance. They are instead being described as traditional institutions providing education to the poor in the context of Islamic social welfare. Focussing his analysis on the pressure the madrasas are objected to by the Pakistani state, the author uses a political economy as well as an ideational approach to explain religious resistance processes.


Madrasa, Pakistan, Education, Religious Resistance, Fundamentalism, Traditionalism



Prof. Moonis Ahmar

Paradigm Shift in Pakistan’s Foreign Policy?


This paper examines Pakistan’s foreign policy after the assumption of power by the new regime and the challenges, which Islamabad is facing along its eastern and western borders. It also examines different dimensions of strategic ties between Pakistan and the United States and the issues impacting on Pak-Afghan relations. Finally, the paper discusses alternatives to deal with the hard pressing issues faced by Islamabad not only concerning its eastern and western neighbours, but on matters concerning ties with the United States under the new Democratic Party administration and the way out of the foreign policy predicament.


Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, USA, Foreign Policy, PPP, Zardari


Faryal Leghari

Pakistan-Gulf Ties: The Strategic Aspects of a Critical Relationship


This article aims to explore the importance of the Gulf States in Pakistan’s foreign policy considerations and the possible expansion of the Gulf role as far as containing the threat posed by terrorism. The development of a long term strategy aimed at economic and social reintegration of deprived people, who are vulnerable to the recruitment efforts by extremists, is being discussed. Such a strategy could entail a wider participation going beyond the U.S. and include the EU, the Gulf States along with other regional stakeholders, who have concerns about the long term security of the country


Pakistan, GCC, Gulf States, USA, EU, Security, Development, Foreign Policy


Nusrat Sheikh

Democracy and Rule of Law in Pakistan – Challenges and Opportunities


This paper analyzes the outlook of democracy and rule of law in Pakistan, as promoted by the Pakistani Lawyer’s Movement. It identifies the dominance of the army in the civil-military relations as the main reason for the lack of institutional democracy, the existence of structural conflict and violence. The Lawyers’ movement, whose history and current situation are described in the paper, challenges this dominance. The author concludes that the new civilian government has made a few improvements towards a better human rights situation in the country, but that still much has to be done.


Pakistan, Lawyer’s Movement, Civil-Military Relations, Democracy, Rule of Law, Human Rights