Pakistan’s Current Political situation


In order to introduce and discuss the latest publication: “Pakistan - Reality, Denial and the Complexity of its State” the HBS Head Office in Berlin organized an Expert’s Round Table.

The publication is an effort to compile a journey of Pakistan’s democratic history since its inception, which marks a multi-layered trajectory of contrasts and contradictions, be it in the social, political and/or economic domains since the very inception of the country in 1947. Contouring through this journey highlights, the publication brings to the forefront the factors responsible for the present complexity and fragility in the Pakistani state. After Saima Jasam and Abbas Rashid, both of them contributors to that book had given their presentations, the discussion joined by prominent experts was very intense and with a lot of interest in the upcoming conflict between the judiciary and the executive in Pakistan.

The discussion also revolved around the role of Pakistan and India in relation to their strategic interest in Afghanistan. Abbas Rashid proposed that regional solution is pre-requisite to bring peace in the region which debated a lot. Barbara Unmüßig, the moderator, also brought forward the work of Heinrich Böll Stiftung on peace in India and Pakistan and pointed towards the joint Peace Declaration by Indian and Pakistani NGOs, Think Tanks, academics held in New Delhi and co-organized by the India and Pakistan HBS offices. This shows Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s commitment to resolving issues through dialogue.

Besides many interviews and meetings, there has been even organized a round table in the German Parliamentary House. The speakers were Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhruy (Ex-Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir), Abbas Rashid and Saima Jasam. The round table included an excellent group of people from the German Foreign Office to Think tanks to the Political Foundations. The issue included discussion on Kashmir and the geo-political situation of the region. The domestic issues in Pakistan and the role of the judiciary were also discussed with the present controversy. It was also very amazing to find that there is no German policy towards Pakistan. This also shows much more is needed to understand each other, as well as more dialogues and foreign politics’ issues, should be brought into limelight. In this respect HBS Pakistan Office is organizing a conference on foreign politics at the beginning of June inviting people from various think tanks etc. and talking precisely on the EU in the region.   

Furthermore, on 12th February, Saima Jasam gave a lecture at the South Asia Institute (SAI) in Heidelberg on Pakistan’s Lawyers’ Movement, including the historical background of judiciary, explanation of the importance of that movement and the way other groups joined it. However, the discussion went then to the current conflict between the judiciary and the executive in Pakistan. The documentary “Pakistans Neuanfang – The successful Lawyers’ Movement 2007-2009“, a special production by Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s Lahore Office, was also shown and then followed by a vivid discussion.

Abbas Rashid is a journalist who writes a regular column for one of Pakistan’s leading national newspaper, the Daily Times, and the author of many books. He contributes to issues relating to politics, power and foreign policy and holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Punjab University, Lahore as well as in International Affairs from Columbia University, New York. Please find here the transcript of an interview given by him at the Head Office of Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Berlin.