RESEARCH PAPER 12/76 6 December 2012
2013 will be another important year for Pakistan. Federal and provincial elections will be held during the first half of the year. If, as seems increasingly likely, the Pakistan People’s Party-led Government sees out its full term in office and hands over to a civilian successor, it will be the first time in Pakistan’s history that this has happened. But the political and economic situation remains highly volatile and unpredictable. In addition, by the end of 2013 the coalition allies, led by the United States, are expected to have withdrawn more of their combat forces from neighbouring Afghanistan – with total withdrawal the following year. Pakistan’s policies and actions will be pivotal in shaping the outcome there. Further, the run-up to elections in India in 2014 could affect the fragile peace efforts once again underway between these enduring rivals. During 2013, the wider world will probably continue to view developments in Pakistan primarily through the prism of Islamist militancy and the actions taken (or not) to combat it by the Federal Government. This is understandable, but it is crucial not to oversimplify the country’s politics by neglecting the many other factors which shape its trajectory. This paper seeks to create that wider lens on Pakistan. It begins by surveying the electoral landscape in Pakistan as 2013 draws near, before going on to assess the record in office of the Federal Government, led by the Pakistan People’s Party, since 2008. The paper then looks at Pakistan’s complex and often fraught relationships with other countries since 2008, focusing specifically on the US, India, Afghanistan, China, the UK and the EU. It also reviews development and humanitarian aid to Pakistan since 2008. The paper ends with a summary of recent expert views of Pakistan’s ‘possible futures’.
Jon Lunn Gavin Thompson
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Research Paper 12/76 Contributing Authors: Gavin Thompson, sections 2.6, 2.7 and part 4, Economic Policy and Statistics Section
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Summary Map of Pakistan 1 Elections 2013 1.1 Who will be voting and which representative bodies are involved? 1.2 The 2008 election results 1.3 Electoral reform since 2008 1.4 The contending political parties The PPP and the PML-N The PTI The Islamist parties Other significant parties 2 The record of the PPP-led Federal Government since 2008 2.1 The 18th Amendment to the Constitution 2.2 The seventh National Finance Commission award 2.3 Other...