Accepted Paper:

Evolving civil-military relations in Pakistan: impact on internal and geopolitical security  

Author:

Alina Filimonova (Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University)

Paper short abstract:

This study explores in what way the changing balance of power in Pakistan (specifically, the soaring popularity of the military) is likely to influence security developments both within and outside the country.

Paper long abstract:

Through history, Pakistan's internal affairs had direct repercussions on the security environment in South Asia. Currently soaring popularity of the Pakistani military within the country is one of such cases. A complicated process in itself, it gradually changes not only the balance of power in Pakistan, but also the relations between Pakistan and other countries of the region: contacts with India are once again strained, while ties with Afghanistan and China are receiving positive impulses.

What is more, the rise of military support bears twofold correlation with the relatively successful war on terror (in the form of Zarb-e Azb - a counter-insurgency operation, which is taking place in Pakistan's most turbulent regions). Originally being the reason for army's growing influence, it gradually turned into its consequence (namely, it became one of the ways to claim the broad scope of functions and justify the expanding military budget).

The war on terror, on its part, directly impacts on the standing and structure of Islamic radicalism in South Asia. Though up to now Pakistani commandment has managed to keep ISIS at bay, successive attempts to curtail the activity of Taliban may potentially clear space for the establishment of other extremist organisations in the region.

The purpose of this study is to explore in what way new political realities in Pakistan (specifically, the growing role of the military) are likely to influence security developments both within and outside the country.

Panel P21
South Asia's changing security environment