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Hassan Abbas

Hassan Abbas

Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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Website: http://www.watandost.blogspot.com/

 

 

By Date

 

2009 (continued)

AP Photo

November 25, 2009

"Lessons and Challenges for Pakistan"

Op-Ed, The Hindu

By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Pakistan has an ideal opportunity to show to India that it is fully committed to defeat terrorism in all its shapes and forms. Political rhetoric for public consumption on the subject, both in India and Pakistan, should not be allowed to disrupt honest and professional investigations of the Mumbai attacks. All other disputes between the two countries should be dealt with and tackled separately from this case and no quid pro quo arrangement or expectation should come in the way of giving an exemplary punishment to those responsible for this crime against humanity. This includes all who are to be found involved in planning, facilitating, or orchestrating the atrocity.

 

 

AP Photo

October 30, 2009

The Future of Pakistan: A Conversation with Simon Shercliff and Hassan Abbas

Media Feature

By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Simon Shercliff

Hassan Abbas, a former Pakistani government official and senior advisor to Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center, recently spoke to Simon Shercliff, First Secretary Foreign Security and Policy for the British Embassy, about the future of Pakistan. Their conversation touched on a range of topics, including the militants' recent attacks on the Pakistani military, Pakistan's relationship with India, Pakistan-UK relations, and U.S. aid to Pakistan.

 

 

AP Photo

October 11, 2009

"Deciphering the Attack on Pakistan's Army Headquarters"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"This was neither the first attack on an army structure in the country nor the most deadly — but it is unprecedented given the extent of the breach of the GHQ security, the confusion that it created in its initial stage (raising concerns about the safety of army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani), and its timing vis-à-vis the planned launch of a ground military operation in South Waziristan. It could be a transformational event for the army — cementing its resolve against local militants, bridging internal divisions and forcing a review of its intelligence estimates. However, jumping to conclusions without a thorough investigation and reacting rashly based on preconceived notions would be highly counterproductive. Additionally, though Pakistan's nuclear installations are not in the immediate vicinity of GHQ, the nature of the attack raises questions about how security agencies would react if a future attack targets any of the nuclear weapons facilities."

 

 

AP Photo

September 21, 2009

"Obama's AfPak Metrics Miss the Mark on Pakistan"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"It is quite striking that framers of the metrics have avoided the merest mention of Pakistan-India relations as a factor in understanding which way the wind is blowing in Pakistan's security environment. While the Obama administration has every right to wish that Pakistan delink its rivalry with India in the Kashmir region from its policy towards Afghanistan (and consequently in Federally Administered Tribal Areas), one cannot ignore the prevailing ground realities."

 

 

AP Photo

June 17, 2009

"The Fight for Pakistan's Soul"

Op-Ed, The Kosovo Times

By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"...[A] lot depends on the state's capacity to hold the Swat area and re-establish civilian institutions there. And, even if the state succeeds, re-asserting control over Swat will only be the first step. The Taliban is spread throughout the NWFP and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. "Punjabi Taliban" militants from the fighting in Kashmir against India continue to shuttle between the Punjab heartland and the Northwest Territories, posing another serious challenge to government authority."

 

 

May 2009

Pakistan Can Defy the Odds: How to Rescue a Failing State

Report

By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"Is Pakistan collapsing? How far are the Taliban from Islamabad? Can al-Qaeda grab the country's nuclear weapons? These are the types of questions raised every day by the American media, academia and policy circles. And these are critical issues, given the nature of the evolving crisis in Pakistan. The approximately two dozen suicide bombings in 2009 so far, 66 in 2008, and 61 in 2007, all of which have targeted armed forces personnel, police, politicians, and ordinary people not only in the country's turbulent northwest but also in its major urban centers, indicate the seriousness of the threat. A major ammunition factory area located close to some very sensitive nuclear installations in Wah (Punjab) was targeted by two suicide bombers in August 2008, an act that sent shudders across the country's security establishment...."

 

 

AP Photo

April 2009

"Defining the Punjabi Taliban Network"

Journal Article, CTC Sentinel, issue 4, volume 2

By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"The Punjabi Taliban network is a loose conglomeration of members of banned militant groups of Punjabi origin—sectarian as well as those focused on the conflict in Kashmir—that have developed strong connections with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Afghan Taliban and other militant groups based in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). They shuttle between FATA and the rest of Pakistan, providing logistical support to FATA- and Afghan-based militants to conduct terrorist operations deep inside Pakistan. Between March 2005 and March 2007 alone, for example, about 2,000 militants from southern and northern Punjab Province reportedly moved to South Waziristan and started different businesses in an effort to create logistical support networks. Given their knowledge about Punjabi cities and security structure, they have proved to be valuable partners for the TTP as it targets cities in Punjab, such as Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad...."

 

 

April 2009

Police & Law Enforcement Reform in Pakistan: Crucial for Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism Success

Report

By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"The police infrastructure is one of Pakistan's most poorly managed organizations. It is aptly described as ill-equipped, poorly trained, deeply politicized, and chronically corrupt. It has performed well in certain operations; overall, however, that is a rare phenomenon. Arguably, the primary reason for this state of affairs is the government's persistent failure to invest in law enforcement reform and modernization. It is ironic that despite frequent internal crises since its inception in 1947, ranging from ethnic confrontations and sectarian battles to a sharp rise in criminal activity and growing insurgencies, both political and military policymakers have never given this sector top priority. Hence, poor police performance in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency is not surprising. The fact that the police successfully challenged some militant religious groups in Punjab and tackled an insurgency-like situation in Karachi in the late 1990s shows that they do have the potential to deliver the desired results when political support is present and resources are provided...."

 

 

January 26, 2009

President Obama's Policy Options in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)

Report

By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"There is an emerging consensus among foreign policy experts that the growing insurgency and militancy in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) poses the greatest security challenge not only to Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also to the United States. Some scholars even project that a major terrorist act with al-Qaeda footprints in the United States might result in an American strike and ground invasion of this area."

 

 

AP Photo

January 7, 2009

"South Asia at War"

Op-Ed, Guatemala Times

By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"Last month's terrorist assault in Mumbai targeted not only India's economy and sense of security. Its broader goal was to smash the India-Pakistan détente that has been taking shape since 2004. The attackers did not hide their faces or blow themselves up with suicide jackets. Anonymity was not their goal. They wanted to be identified as defenders of a cause. Unless this cause is fully understood, and its roots revealed across the region, this attack may prove to be the beginning of the unmaking of South Asia."

 

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