18 April 2014

Decoding Pakistan's 'Strategic Shift' in Afghanistan

Moeed Yusuf
ISBN 978-91-85114-76-4 

When in early 2012 Pakistan touted a major shift in its Afghan policy, the move was cautiously welcomed given the influence—and spoiling power—Pakistan has displayed in Afghanistan in the past. This paper asks exactly what Pakistan's 'strategic shift' entails, what are the motives behind it, and whether it opens any new opportunities for peace in Afghanistan.

This paper is published under the Wider Central Asia Initiative, a two-year SIPRI project to promote and facilitate dialogue among the main external stakeholders in Afghanistan's future. The initiative is funded by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

1. Introduction
2. The 'strategic shift': from what, to where?
3. The logic behind Pakistan's paradoxical behaviour in the endgame
4. Approaching the ISAF withdrawal: what has Pakistan achieved?
5. Conclusions and the way forward

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About the author

Moeed Yusuf (Pakistan) is Senior Pakistan Expert at the United States Institute of Peace and is responsible for managing the Institute's Pakistan programme. His current research focuses on youth and democratic institutions in Pakistan, and policy options to mitigate militancy in the country. He has worked extensively on issues relating to South Asian politics, Pakistan's foreign policy, the Pakistani-US relationship, nuclear deterrence and non-proliferation, and human security and development in South Asia. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming volume South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures (Anthem Press, 2013). He has also edited a volume on insurgencies and counterinsurgencies in South Asia, scheduled for publication in spring 2014. 

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