Will a Counterterrorism Operation in Pakistan Succeed under Current Conditions?

February 10, 2014 - 1:00 pm

1030 15th Street, 12th Floor
Washington, DC
A discussion with
Imtiaz Gul
Executive Director
Centre for Research and Security Studies, Islamabad

Commentary by
Arif Ansar
Chief Analyst and CEO

Introduced and moderated by
Shuja Nawaz
Director, South Asia Center
Atlantic Council

Pakistan's new government has yet to announce its long-awaited new security strategy. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on January 28, announced the formation of a four-member committee to pursue dialogue with the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Many expected the government to abandon efforts to bring the TTP to the table after similar moves failed last year. The TTP, while expressing interest in dialogue, has continued violent attacks within Pakistan, leading Prime Minister Sharif to condition peace talks on a cessation of attacks. The prime minister continues to entertain a military option, stating, "We have to win this fight, whether by dialogue or by war." What are the conditions under which the military of Pakistan can and will tackle the internal insurgency? Is the civilian component of the impending plan ready? Imtiaz Gul, an Islamabad-based expert will review Pakistan's likely counterterrorism strategy and its potential for success.

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Arif Ansar is a chief analyst and CEO of PoliTact. Arif has more than sixteen years of cross industry experience in defense-national security, international development, and information technology sectors. He has worked as a senior South Asia analyst with companies such as Boeing, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Northrop Grumman, and Academy for Educational Development (AED). In 2003, he spent 6 months in Afghanistan as a civilian advisor to the Department of Defense. Arif has a BA in political science and international relations and MPA in policy analysis from the University of Toledo.

Imtiaz Gul serves as the executive director of the Islamabad-based Centre for Research and Security Studies. The Centre is a research and advocacy outfit, focused primarily on security, radicalization and governance. Gul has reported in English, Urdu, and Hindi for numerous news outlets, and presented papers at international security and counter-terror conferences throughout the world. He specializes in militancy, security approaches to insurgency, radicalization, and is one of the leading television commentators on militancy, radicalization and Afghanistan. He has published several books on Pakistan and militancy, including Pakistan : Before and After Osama Bin Laden and The Most Dangerous Place– Pakistan’s Lawless Frontier.