Pakistan: Overview of Sources of Tension with Regional Implications 2015

Pakistan: Overview of Sources of Tension with Regional Implications 2015

Publication date:
01/2016
Author:
Safiya Aftab, Independent Analyst
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Policy Research Papers

January 2016

After the upheavals of 2014, wherein the government faced a sustained street campaign from some opposition parties for the better part of the year, 2015 was a relatively stable year for domestic politics. Ironically, the improvement in government-opposition relations came after the country witnessed the worst terrorist incident in its history – the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, in which 132 children lost their lives, in addition to staff and other personnel. The incident, which had significant repercussions in terms of Pakistan’s response to militancy, its relations with Afghanistan, and domestic law enforcement, cast a pall on the first few months of the year, with widespread shock and horror being expressed across the country and internationally. Political parties, civil society groups from across the spectrum, and the media, all demanded decisive action from the authorities, who responded by lifting the moratorium on the death penalty the day after the attack, and intensifying the ongoing military operation, or Zarb e Azb as it is named, in the North Waziristan region.