Research: Publications

Pakistan: The State of the Union

April 6, 2009 | Report

By Selig S. Harrison

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This report focuses on four key issues:

  • Why is ethnic conflict in Pakistan so deep rooted and intractable?
  • In the absence of the economic and constitutional reforms sought by the Baluch, Sindhi and Pashtun minorities, is the eventual breakup of Pakistan likely?
    • Will the Baluch insurgency succeed in establishing a sovereign, independent Baluchistan, or a sovereign, independent Baluch-Sindhi federation, embracing all or parts of the existing Pakistani provinces of Baluchistan and Sind?
    • Will continuing turbulence in the contiguous war-torn Pashtun areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan lead to a revival of the movement for an independent Pashtunistan straddling the disputed boundary between the two countries?
  • III. What are the principal grievances voiced by the minorities, and how have successive Pakistan central governments, including the present one, responded to them?
  • IV. How do U.S. policies affect ethnic conflicts in Pakistan, and how would U.S. interests in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Iran be affected by the growth of ethnic separatism?

After assessing these issues, the report presents recommendations for economic and constitutional reforms in Pakistan and for changes in U.S. policies in Pakistan that have exacerbated ethnic conflict.

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