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In Pakistan’s upcoming general elections on March 11th 2013 only 36 women are contesting general National Assembly seats on political party tickets, up from 34 in the 2008 elections. This low number contradicts overall trends whereby a growing number of women are contesting elections as independent candidates and more women are registered to vote than ever before. Despite these indicators, Pakistan’s political parties have done little in this election cycle to facilitate women’s participation in the political process.
Clare Castillejo, 17 October 2012
Internationally supported statebuilding processes offer an opportunity to address engrained gender inequalities and develop a state that is accountable to women. However, international statebuilding support has so far been largely gender blind, with the result that such opportunities are often missed.
This report surveys social media in Pakistan. It identifies five ways in which Pakistan’s social media act as communication tools: they break or give greater attention to stories ignored by traditional media; they play a mobilisation role by disseminating information about protests and other social campaigns; they promote humanitarian efforts by co-ordinating and advertising initiatives; they serve as advocates for social causes; and they stimulate communication between politicians and their constituents.
Pakistan is experiencing a sharp resurgence in sectarian violence. Most frequently, such violence involves clashes between members of the two main sects of Islam – Sunnis and Shias – but violent incidents between the Barelvi and Deobandi sub-sects of Sunni Islam are also on the rise. The heightened frequency and brutality of Sunni-Shia clashes threaten national security – Pakistan’s is the second-largest Shia population in the world after Iran – as well as bilateral relations with Iran and the regional power dynamic vis-à-vis Saudi Arabian influence.
Clare Castillejo , 26 April 2012
Deeply entrenched patterns of political, social and economic exclusion are fuelling Pakistan’s fragility. Large segments of the population are denied basic rights, access to resources, or a political voice based on their identity or location. This creates grievances that motivate people to violence. It also perpetuates Pakistan’s elite and unaccountable governance, which itself is a major cause of instability.
Pakistan faces a multidimensional water crisis that claims hundreds of thousands of lives every year.
The six Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along Pakistan's western border have long been seen as a hub for militants, some with sympathies to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The region has increasingly come to the world's attention as a recruitment and training base for groups responsible for attacks on Pakistani soil and as a launch pad for attacks on US troops and their allies in Afghanistan.