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H I G H L I G H T S

• Overview 
• Developments in Pakistan
• Developments in Afghanistan

I Overview

Pakistan:

• Political turmoil
• Economy
• Terror violence grows and hits Chinese interests again
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan-US

Afghanistan:

• Significant spike in violence 
• Eid message from the Supreme Taliban leader 
• Afghanistan-Pakistan
• Afghanistan-Iran

II Developments in Pakistan 

Political Turmoil

Change of government took place both at the federal level and in the Punjab province

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H I G H L I G H T S

• Overview 
• Developments in Pakistan
• Developments in Afghanistan

I Overview

Pakistan:

• Constitutional Crisis 
• Economy
• Terrorism
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan on the Ukraine Crisis
• Pakistan-Uzbekistan
• Pakistan hosts OIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting

Afghanistan:

• Taliban’s growing acceptance as the de-facto rulers of Afghanistan
• Taliban hardliners assert themselves
• Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries in China

II Developments i

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H I G H L I G H T S

• Overview 
• Developments in Pakistan
• Developments in Afghanistan

I Overview

Pakistan:

• Political Scene
• Terrorism
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan-China
• Pakistan-US
• Pakistan-Russia

Afghanistan:

• Humanitarian situation
• Terrorism
• Human Rights situation
• Afghanistan-Pakistan
• Afghanistan-India
• Afghanistan-China

II Developments in Pakistan 

Political Scene

The opposition efforts that had hitherto failed to dislodge the Imran Khan government gathered steam in F

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H I G H L I G H T S

• Overview 
• Developments in Pakistan
• Developments in Afghanistan

I Overview

Pakistan:

• Political situation
• Economy
• Terrorism and extremism 
• National Security Policy unveiled
• Pakistan-India

Afghanistan:

• Humanitarian crisis
• Continued human rights violations reported 
• Afghanistan-Pakistan
• Afghanistan-India
• Afghanistan-Iran
• Taliban engagement with other members of the international community

II Developments in Pakistan 

Political situation

Its image

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Economy 
• Extremism and terrorism
• Political Scene
• National Security Policy
• Pakistan-US

Afghanistan:

• Humanitarian crisis
• No recognition but countries engage with the Taliban
• OIC Foreign Ministers’ meet on Afghanistan
• Pakistan-Taliban contradictions to the fore
• Indian aid 
• Taliban stick to their old ways

II Developments in Pakistan 

Economy

Barely six months after adopting a development oriented budget, contrary to the belt-tightening conditions of

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Security situation and terrorism​​​​
• PM-army chief discord on appointment of DG ISI ​​​​​​
• Economy
• Pakistan-US
• Pakistan-India

Afghanistan:

• Violence continues
• Apprehensions of a socio-economic collapse
• Security concerns in Afghanistan’s neighbourhood
• Afghanistan-China
• Afghanistan-Pakistan
• Afghanistan-India 
​​​​​
II Developments in Pakistan

Security situation and terrorism

Security situation in Pakistan’s north-west continued to be fraught in spite

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Uncertainty on Pakistan-US relations​​​​
• Concerns on CPEC slowdown​​​​​​
• Terrorism and security concerns

Afghanistan:

• Taliban consolidate territorial control
• “Interim” Taliban government
• Governance challenges confront the Taliban
• International opinion
• Pakistan’s role
​​​​​​​• India’s options 
​​​​​​​​​​​​
II Developments in Pakistan

Uncertainty on Pakistan-US relations

There had been apprehensions in Pakistan in the run up to the US exit from Afghanista

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SPECIAL ISSUE

IMPLICATIONS OF THE  TALIBAN MILITARY VICTORY IN AFGHANISTAN

The US-Taliban deal of February 2020, by giving legitimacy to the Taliban, without linking the withdrawal of the US forces to a political settlement in Afghanistan, had placed a question mark over the continuance of a democratic, republican system in the country. There were warnings of collapse of the Afghan forces in the face of an inevitable Taliban onslaught as the Americans departed. The only surprise was the speed of

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Economy
• Controversy over POK polls​​​​​​
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan-US
• Pakistan-Saudi Arabia

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation
• Afghanistan-Pakistan

II Developments in Pakistan

Economy

Addressing his first press conference in Islamabad barely a month before presentation of the national budget for the financial year 2021-22 (July 2021-June 2022), the newly appointed Finance Minister, Shaukat Tarin said that the government had informed both IMF and World B

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Economy
• Split in Pakistan Democratic Movement
• Religious Extremism​​​​​​
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan-China
• Pakistan-Russia

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation

II Developments in Pakistan

Economy

According to the IMF staff level report on the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Pakistan, released in April, the Government of Pakistan has agreed to fulfil certain stringent conditions, including a steep increase in electricity tariff and imposition of a

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Pakistan Democratic Movement on the brink of breakup
• Economy
• ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan-US

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation
• Afghanistan-India
• Afghanistan-Pakistan

II Developments in Pakistan

Pakistan Democratic Movement on the brink of breakup

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of opposition parties, came to the brink of a breakup in March. The month began with Yusuf Raza Gilani, the former PPP Prime Minister and PDM c

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Pakistan stays on FATF grey list
• IMF Extended Fund Facility to be revived
• Pakistan-India agree to cease firing along the LoC and all other sectors
• Pakistan-US
• Pakistan-Sri Lanka
• Pakistan-France

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation
• Afghanistan-India

II Developments in Pakistan

Pakistan stays on the FATF grey list

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to retain Pakistan on its grey list in its meeting held in the last week of February. The matt

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)
• Terrorism
• Pakistan-US

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation
• Afghanistan-India
• Afghanistan-Pakistan
• Afghanistan-China

II Developments in Pakistan

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)

The opposition alliance -Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)- was nowhere close to its declared goal of forcing the Imran Khan government out of power and confined itself largely to threatening rhetoric at its rallies. Speaking in the beginning

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Pakistan Democratic Movement running out of steam?
• Economy
• Pakistan-US
• Pakistan-China

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation
• Afghanistan-Pakistan
• Afghanistan-Iran

II Developments in Pakistan

Pakistan Democratic Movement running out of steam?

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of eleven opposition parties formed in September 2020 to, inter alia, press for the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and an end to the role of army in politics,

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)
• Economy
• Terrorism
• Pakistan-India
• OIC on Kashmir
• Pakistan-China
• Pakistan-Russia
• Pakistan not to recognise Israel

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation
• Geneva Pledging Conference on Afghanistan
• Afghanistan-India
• Afghanistan-Pakistan

II Developments in Pakistan

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)

The eleven party opposition alliance- PDM- continued to hold well attended rallies in various parts of Pakistan in spit

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Opposition Parties
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan-China

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation
• Afghanistan-Pakistan

II Developments in Pakistan

Opposition Parties

In November 2019, Nawaz Sharif, who had remained incarcerated on corruption charges since December 2018, was allowed to leave Pakistan for medical treatment in London by the PTI government based on an order of the Lahore High Court. Though the initial court permission was for four weeks, extendable on med

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Terrorism
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan-Saudi Arabia
• Pakistan-China
• Pakistan-Israel

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation
• Afghanistan-Pakistan

II Developments in Pakistan

Terrorism

With an eye on its forthcoming review at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan issued two notifications regarding application of UNSC prescribed sanctions on 88 leaders and members of various terror groups included in the UNSC 1267 list. Those mentioned in the notifications

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Economy
• Terrorism
• Religious Extremism
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan-China
• Pakistan-Bangladesh

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation
• COVID-19 Pandemic
• Afghanistan-Pakistan
• Afghanistan-India

II Developments in Pakistan

Economy

According to a report of IMF, Pakistan’s growth during the current financial year (July 2020 to June 2021) is expected to be 1% as against minus 0.4% during the last financial year. In the budget passed by Parliament in June this year, th

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Budget 2020-21
• Terrorism and FATF
• Pashtun Tahafuz Movement
• COVID-19 crisis
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan-China

Afghanistan:

• Peace and Reconciliation
• Corruption
• COVID-19 crisis
• Afghanistan-Pakistan
• Afghanistan-Iran


II Developments in Pakistan

Budget 2020-21
 
The Pakistan National Assembly approved the budget for 2020-21 in the backdrop of worsening economic situation, particularly because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Economic Survey presented bef

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I Overview

Pakistan:

• Economy
• Pashtun Tahafuz Movement
• COVID-19 crisis
• Pakistan-India
• Pakistan-China

Afghanistan:

• Power sharing agreement between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah
• Peace and Reconciliation
• COVID-19 crisis
• Afghanistan-Pakistan
• Afghanistan-Iran


II Developments in Pakistan

Economy

Addressing an online session of the World Economic Forum, PM Imran Khan called upon developed countries to provide debt relief to poorer countries struggling to cope

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About the Author

Ambassador Sharat Sabharwal

Former High Commissioner of India to Pakistan and Distinguished Visiting Fellow – AC

Mr Sharat Sabharwal joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1975. After serving in various positions in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN in Geneva and the Indian Missions in Madagascar, France and Mauritius, he was Director/Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi from 1990 to 1995. The positions held by him subsequently have been Deputy High Commissioner of India in Pakistan (1995-99), Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the UN in Geneva (1999-2002), Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan (2002-2005) and Additional Secretary/Special Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (September 2005-March 2009).

Mr. Sabharwal was High Commissioner of India to Pakistan from April 2009 to June 2013.

He was appointed Central Information Commissioner in November, 2013 and served in this position till September, 2017.
Mr. Sabharwal has been Deputy leader/member of the Indian delegations to the UN General Assembly, the erstwhile UN Commission on Human Rights, International Labour Conference and World Health Assembly. He was also the Deputy Leader of the Indian delegation to the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent held in Geneva in October 1999 and member of the Indian delegation to the World Conference against Racism, held in Durban in September 2001.

Mr. Sabharwal holds a post graduate degree in Political Science. He speaks English and French besides Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi.

Mr. Sabharwal has been an author at the Indian Express, The Hindu, India Today, The Tribune and The Wire.