The solution and the anvil of division

The current situation in the country continues to deteriorate and reach a point of no return amidst many initiatives that are presented daily, which, so to speak, are patchwork solutions to address a worsening crisis left by the occupation 19 years ago, after supporters of the Sadrist movement went out to demonstrate and sit in at the end of last month, and we are witnessing  day after day a real blockage in the political scene in the country, which has become worn out in an unprecedented way,since the first day of the October Revolution, the political parties in the country have breathed their last.

Today, the gap between the political classes has reached a point of no return. For example, the Shiite political parties have reached a bone-breaking stage, amid an unprecedented case of the leader of the Sadrist movement, who came out with a reformist tone that transcended sectarian boundaries, and as we see today, the popularity of the leader of the Sadrist movement has grown. Significantly since the start of the demonstrations in the areas west of Baghdad and the north, that is, specifically between the Sunni provinces and Kurdish circles, which makes politicians really feel the danger of this situation, which has become a threat to their presence in the country.

As for the Sunni politicians, the moves are clear to establish a Sunni current outside the system of the current parliament speaker, Muhammad al-Halbousi, and this current’s attempt to control the House of Representatives.

With regard to Kurdish politicians, they are currently trying to appear more coherently than ever, at least in the media, in an attempt to monitor the situation and upcoming developments in a somewhat cautious manner.

Returning to Baghdad, the initiative put forward by Prime Minister Al-Kazemi failed amid the Sadrist movement’s refusal to attend, which constitutes the real basis for the solution. As for the Sadrist movement, until this moment, the true direction is unknown, which makes the current reading of the situation completely unclear.

We should also not forget many of the real questions that were directed to the Sadrist movement, because the service ministries during the past years had been in the current’s pocket, so where is the fight against corruption and the corrupt?!

Perhaps the real question that can be asked in view of what happened in the previous days, what if the demonstrations that took place were led by the October youth, would it have been possible for them to enter the House of Representatives and the celebration square and hold their sit-in there, or would they have faced death by the third party, as happened in Nasiriyah, Baghdad and others from the provinces.

As for returning to the Arab environment, which always appears with patchwork solutions to contain the current political class without considering the history of its ties, which is impossible to return to the embrace of the Arab, as they call it.

In conclusion, the use of the religious turban to lure people with resonant statements and trying to play with the people’s emotions will not continue and will be revealed sooner or later, which will lead to the uprooting of this distorted process of various shades.

Note: The Center will soon publish a study on the unprecedented events and developments in the Iraqi arena during the past days, and we will review the causes and results and a vision for the future.

Iraq and Biden’s visit

Biden’s visit to the Middle East comes as an embodiment of the consistent American strategic policy for our region, which he summarized as follows:

1/ Israel’s security

2/ Control and domination of oil, gas and energy sources in the region

3 / Minimizing (not ending) the Iranian role in the Arab region

Later, other objectives can be added to this strategic policy according to the development of the situation in the world and the region, which are:

1/ Putting pressure on the Arab Gulf states to increase their oil production and reduce their prices to compensate for the shortage of Russian oil and gas due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, which America is striving to prolong its duration to drain and destroy Russia

2/ The American fear of Russian and Chinese expansion in the region and filled with the American vacuum, which Biden admitted, saying, “We made a mistake when we neglected the Middle East.”

We will discuss in this study from Biden’s visit its impact on Iraq’s crisis situation along the line, and here we must mention the most important thing in this visit is what Biden personally announced linking Iraq to the electrical system of the Arab Gulf states through Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and here I want to clarify the following:-

1/ Why does America not obligate its major companies to reconstruct, rehabilitate and build the electrical stations that were destroyed by its military forces and missiles during its abhorrent, illegal, immoral occupation, contrary to the independence and sovereignty of states and contrary to human rights!!!! Instead of linking us once to Iran and at other times to the neighboring countries and the Gulf

2/ Why doesn’t America allow major companies from other countries to build and rehabilitate electrical stations in Iraq like what these companies did in Egypt!!!

3 / What will be secured from the Gulf connection is 1500 megawatts, while Iraq’s actual need exceeds (20) thousand megawatts, and thus it will be a temporary prosthetic solution and a media gain that is nothing but

4 / The Iraqi agreement on the electrical connection took place 4 years ago and did not advance a single step and remained ink on paper, because the economic, security and political decision is in the hands of Iran, which opposes and prevents any Iraqi rapprochement with the Arabs

5 / The connection requires infrastructure that can only be secured by exceptional efforts and continuous and continuous work from one year to a year and a half at least.

The most important question remains

Will Iran and its tails remain idle, and it is the one who considers Iraq’s need for electric power its important market and lung from which it breathes in order to obtain billions and to circumvent the international sanctions imposed on it, even if they are in fact formal sanctions?

In order to reach the truth and understand the Iraqi situation, in light of the violent waves of wishes for change in Iraq, it is necessary to answer the following questions:-

1/ Is America really dissatisfied or upset with what is happening in Iraq?? She is the one who founded and supervised the failed political process in it!! She is the one who has supported and supported the political parties and personalities of this process until now!!

2/ Does America really want a developed, prosperous, stable, sovereign, independent and democratic Iraq that will be a model in the Middle East….

We leave the answer to these questions for the days, and the silent majority has the final say in the end.

Summary of the Iraqi situation

Perhaps what the country is going through today from chaos and  state of political blockage, so to speak, and a collapse accompanied by great confusion at the internal level and in all directions, whether political, economic or service, until the situation today has reached a point that is difficult to cope with, which was imposed by the regional and international forces controlling the Iraqi situation  and which the association with them and the subordination to their desires led to the situation in which the country is living today.

Today, we see the resignation of the Sadrist bloc from Parliament after the failure of all dialogues between it and the other Shiite forces to name the largest bloc and pass it in the House of Representatives to form the new government. Here, the framework forces obtained an increase in the number of their deputies to be able to name themselves the largest bloc that will form a government in light of the Sadrist bloc’s threat to resort to demonstrations, which will lead to the inevitable clash that many forces have long threatened, and what will result from this clash are events that cannot be counted because The strength of the conflicting parties and the extent of this dispute,

As for the Sunni forces, as usual, they returned to fragmentation and liquidation of some of their elements through several methods, the most important of which is political money in a mean struggle over the so-called leadership of the Sunni component to achieve financial corruption gains.

Perhaps one of the most important suspicious deals that passed during the lifetime of this parliament is the Food Security Law, which expresses the extent of the political class’s disregard for the Iraqi citizen.

As for the Kurds, they succeed in reuniting them to negotiate with Baghdad as a single bloc, as they used to in the past, and the Iraqi army remains suffering from the domination of the political class on one hand, and facing terrorist challenges on the ground on the other, with deliberate neglect to give it a good budget that raises its combat and logistical capabilities and suits the challenges that it is dealing with on the ground.

It is worth noting the joint military exercise with the Saudi army, called (The brothers-1), which was announced briefly without any details. And here we do not mean the military details that is not acceptable to disclose.

As for the government, it forgets that it came as a caretaker government as a result of a youth revolution with clear and legitimate goals, despite what some try to accuse them arbitrarily, and we see it signing investment agreements, which are suspicious of many question marks and which are not constitutionally within its powers, not to mention the impossibility of implementing most of them for political and economic reasons.

And we do not forget the prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia and then to Iran, which is seen by many as a political maneuver whose purpose may be to put forward the idea of ​​Al-Kazemi’s second term, specifically in conjunction with the mutual visits of the presidents and kings of neighboring countries and the leaks that talked about seeking to form an Arab NATO.

At the conclusion of all of the above, the Iraqi situation remains rapidly heading towards the unknown, and we will soon be at a crossroads from which it will be very difficult to return.

Summary of the Iraqi situation

Today, Iraq is living in a state of charged political stagnation in the shadow of a foggy situation over the Iraqi street. More than six months have passed since the parliamentary elections and after the results were announced, the parameters of the next government are still unknown, what many see as a bad omen in the coming days.

In short, the situation in which the country is living today is not a product of the moment, nor is it the product of the current circumstance only, but it carries within it many previous failures as well as the foundations that were built wrong, and the evidence for this is that the two most important elements of the system of government in the country represented in the constitution and institutions suffer from severe weakness In its main structure,

The constitution was written in confusing and unstable circumstances and according to the requirements of the interest at that time, and the institutions were restructured according to the partisan map of political alliances. They are no longer real institutions that work for the country, but are political and partisan quotas, and perhaps these two reasons are the basis of what the situation has reached today.

As for the axes on the ground today, they are listed, if you will, in the following way:

1- The inability of any of the political forces present on the ground to form the two-thirds plus in order to be able to form the government without the need for the blocking third.

2- The absence of any signs of agreement between the Shiite forces until this moment, despite the repetition of the scenario in previous elections, but it eventually resulted in an agreement between these forces. The current government and the formation of the government within 15 days, where he stressed that the Alliance to Save a Homeland is the largest bloc and that the reason for the delay in forming the government is to activate the blocking third, which predicts until the moment that no real agreement has been reached between the Shiite forces.

3- As for the Sunni forces, they suffer from fragmentation that appeared clearly in the previous period, specifically after the return of Sunni figures who were either outside the country or in prisons to the political scene, which makes it difficult to agree all these faces on the ground, even if these personalities do not have real weight. But in the end, this maneuver will bear fruit, even after a while.

4- With regard to the Kurdish forces, for the first time we see a clear disagreement and an open division among them with regard to the central government, and the matter became clearer with the negotiations we see individually for the Kurdish forces with the central government.

5- In conclusion, the continuous security breaches in large parts of the country, which take place as a kind of reminder between the parties that each party has the greatest authority in its position, as well as the attempt by the regional neighborhood to impose pressure cards on the ground, which makes the picture in the country the way we see it today.


1- In what is termed as largest military campaign since World War II , Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The attack marked a steep escalation of the Russo- Ukrainian War which began in 2014, in which Russia had annexed Crimea and Russian backed separatists seized part of the south- eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.In 2021,Russia began a large military build up along its border with Ukraine amassing up to 190,000 troops with tanks and arsenal .On 21 February 2022, Russia recognized the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, two self proclaimed states in Donbas controlled by pro- Russian elements. The invasion began on the morning of 24 February when Russian President Putin announced a special military operations to” demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine. In the ensuing attacks massive missiles and air strikes were launched all across Ukraine , including its capital Kyiv, followed by large scale ground invasion from multiple directions . In response Ukrainian President Zelensky enacted martial law and general mobilization while conscripting all male Ukrainian citizens in age bracket 16-60 for military service.

  1. At the start of the invasion, the northern front was launched out of Belarus, targeting Kyiv with a northeastern front directed at the city of Kharkiv; the southeastern front in two prongs was directed at the cities of Luhansk and Donbas. By middle April progress on southeastern front appeared to be impeded by the residual troops continuing to hold out in pockets . On 19 April Russia launched a renewed invasion referred to as an “ eastern assault” across a 300 miles front extending from Kharkiv to Donetsk and Luhansk, with simultaneous missile attacks again directed at Kyiv. In almost 70 days of the commencement of attack by Russia, the stipulated political and military objectives remain un achieved .
  2. The invasion has been widely condemned internationally as an act of aggression. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding a full withdrawal of the Russian forces . The US and many European countries have imposed new sanctions on Russia which have affected its economy in particular the energy exports. It has caused Europe’s largest refugee crisis, with more than 5.3 Million Ukrainians leaving the country and a quarter of the population displaced . Another serious implication of the Ukrainian war is the likely food shortages not only in Europe but the world over by non availability of Ukrainian and Russian wheat . The war has all the potentials of escalating into a ballistic and nuclear Russian President has repeatedly warned that any country trying to intervene in the Ukraine war will face a “ lightening fast response “.
  3. A dispassionate analyses of the Russian campaign plan would reveal many violations of the centuries old principles of war and strategy .The attack on Ukraine being launched after many months of preparations and from secure bases was expected to be juggernaut of the Russian might in the form of a swift and short campaign. The later manifestation proves other wise . The slow pace of progress is primarily due to three factors vis; divergent fronts spread over long distances and treacherous terrain, conscript Russian Army with little motivation for overwhelming Ukraine fighting with out dated vintage arms and equipment and unexpected resistance and resilience by the Ukrainian troops and people in fight for the Motherland. A due analysis of the world response to any act of aggression on such a large scale should have indicated to the Russian military planners a short and swift campaign with limited objectives . Contrarily the objectives selected were dispersed causing frittering away of Russian war efforts and creating a nightmare of logistic supplies to the fighting troops . In my reckoning, Putin should have gone for the liberation of eastern region of Donbas which had announced their independence and which could have received some moral justification . This should have been simultaneous with a large airborne attack on capital Kyiv to tackle Ukrainian centre of power and gravity . A regime change to pro- Russian political figure could have transformed Ukrainian resistance and will to oppose the Russians. There appeared no linkages between stated political objectives and the military campaign plan . A seizure of a large berth Ukrainian port in initial days was also a logistic prerequisite to sustain such large scale ground operations but did not figure out in initial attack plans. In midstream , Russia reorganized the command of its flagging offensive on 23 April selecting General Aleksandr V Dvornikov, accused of ordering strikes on civilians in Syria. The pace of Russian operations and the resilience displayed by the Ukrainians as a Nation aided by the supply of arms and equipment by the Europeans and US does not portray an immediate end to the war. The prolongation will have grave impacts on world economies , energy and food supplies and power equilibriums. The catastrophic possibility of a nuclear holocaust in the event of an extreme Russian frustration though a distinct possibility but can not be ruled out !

Ukraine, part two. Impact of the Russo-Ukrainian War on the Middle East

1.The populace  of Middle East ( ME)  along with other parts of the world are feeling the impacts of the war in Europe  on their food security, energy prices and job markets . They are divided between sympathizing with the  Ukrainians devastated by Russian aggression and how the world shied away when the same weapons were used in Syria and Libya few years earlier! In political terms, the crisis has not yet forced any significant realignments.   Rather, various countries including the Gulf and Israel are hedging their bets between the US and Russia and seeking to draw maximum benefits in key areas of interests.  However, long term sanctions on Russia will be challenging for ME countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE , all of whom have been diversifying their defense needs and seeking greater cooperation with Russia and China .

  1. Since the Presidency of Joe Biden, in January 2021, ME leaders have been working to reduce regional tensions by rekindling strained bilateral relations . Turkey for example has opened channels of communication with Egypt, UAE and Israel, there are talks between Qatar and Egypt and between Saudi Arabia and Iran. These governments do not want Russian invasion of Ukraine to invalidate these efforts and start a new wave of polarization. They also do not want Russia to experience a major defeat , which would reinforce American unilateralism and make it difficult for them to diversify their alliances.Meanwhile, the Biden Administration and Arab leaders have conflicting priorities. US is currently focused on deterring and isolating Moscow and is working towards a possible nuclear agreement that might end Iran’s economic isolation. In contrast , Arab governments want Russia to remain strong to help contain Iran’s ambitions to expand its influences over the region .Saudi Arabia and UAE relations with the Biden Administration remain strained , especially as they believe the US did not sufficiently support them over recent Houthi attacks on their territories . This has affected how they have responded to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in particular at UN SC and other world forums .
  2. The Russian invasion of Ukraine also demonstrated the fragility of Russia’s alliance with Turkey and Iran. Due to sanctions imposed on it , Moscow has become more dependent on Turkish and Iranian trade which has caused it to loose its traditional leverage over the two. Israel too is playing a balancing game between US and Russia over Ukraine .After the Israeli government issued a statement supporting the “ territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Ukraine” , Russia condemned the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights . Israel however , did not go as far as Turkey and declined a Ukrainian request to send weapons and military equipment.

4.The worst affected from the Ukraine war will be Syria and Libya , the two arenas where US- Russian collaboration is most needed for a sustainable political outcomes.Russia’s considerable military presence in both countries and its increasing political and economic isolation may drive it to be a disrupter of ongoing efforts to address political divisions in Libya and to be even more supportive of the Syrian and Iranian regimes than it has been in the past.. Meanwhile, both Turkey and Israel are troubled by the prospects of future Russian action in Syria , due to their stakes in these countries. Turkey is concerned that Russia-could increase pressure in the rebel enclave Idlib, triggering an influx of refugees . Syria’sKurdish population concerns are that a US- Turkey trade- off in this larger geopolitical tussle would come at their expense. Israel is worried with growing Russian- Iran cooperation and possible limits on its aerial bombardment of Iranian targets in Syria.

5.. Another areas  of serious concern for the ME nations are humanitarian aid and food security in the region especially related to fragile regional countries. The growing number of Ukrainian refugees and the phenomenal cost of post conflict re construction are raising fears that the critical humanitarian aid may be diverted from ME to address the fall out from the Ukrainian conflicts. For the millions of Palestinians, Lebanese, Yemenis, Syrian and even Iraqis who live in countries affected by conflicts and economic depreciation and increasing humanitarian needs, this would be a shutting down of critical life support . The crisis is also aggravated by the likely food shortages in countries like Lebanon, Egypt which rely on Russia and Ukraine for their wheat supplies in the range of 90%. Food and humanitarian aid shortage could cause severe political crises if the people come to streets in protests.

6.The future of gas and oil supplies is critical . Europe will likely seek to build up alternate gas supplies and therein lies an opportunity for Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean countries. Gulf countries are currently gaining from the increase in oil prices and leveraging this situation to renegotiate their relationship with US on favorable terms in places like Yemen etc. Much remains to be seen in this conflict which has heralded a long term shift in global relations. The traditional alignment of prominent ME countries with US has also suffered a set back because of US lackluster support and aid to Ukraine against the Russian aggression. Even NATO & European Union have been found wanting at the time of need. These factors will cast their influences in Geo- political realignments for many of the ME states in not too distant a future ! What really happens, only time will tell.


1.Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, launching the biggest military offensive in Europe since World War II. Moscow’s incursion into the territory of its south western neighbor has brought Ukraine into the world limelight. Ukraine with an area of 603,628 Square Kms is  the second largest country in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east. It also shares borders with Belarus , Poland, Slovakia, Hungary , Romania and Moldova . Ukraine with 44 million people is the 8th most populous country in Europe, rich in coal, iron, natural gas, manganese, oil, graphite, timber and mercury. The nation’s capital and largest city is Kyiv, which is also the hub of culture and education.The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. Ukraine became the founding member of the Soviet Union( USSR) in 1922. In 1939,Western Ukraine, with cultural and linguistic affinity with Europe was annexed by the USSR. Ukraine gained its independence on 24 August 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

2.After it’s independence, Ukraine formed a unitary republic under a semi- presidential system and declared itself a neutral state, forming a limited military partnership with Russia, while also establishing a partnership with NATO in 1994. In 2013, after President Victor Yanukovych suspended the Ukraine- European Union Agreement in favor of closer economic ties with Russia, mass protests erupted , leading to the overthrow of the President and establishment of the new government. These events formed the background to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, which was part of Russian Republic until 1954 when Soviet leadership transferred it to the Ukrainian republic.. This was also accompanied by Russian interference in uprising by ethnically Russians in Eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk( Donbas region).To date an estimated 14,000 people have been killed and  1.5 million displaced. This on going separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine and their liberation, is  cited as one of the reasons by President Putin of Russia for the invasion in February 2022.

3.Relations between Russia and Ukraine have remained hostile since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. Ukraine post revolutionary government wished to commit the country to a future within bothEuropean Union( EU )and North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO), rather than continue to play the delicate balancing game of balancing its economic and security interests with those of Russia, EU and NATO member states. In 2004 , Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia , Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia had joined the EU followed by Bulgaria and Romania in 2007. Russian government feared that Ukraine becoming of a member of EU and NATO would restrict Russia’s access to the Black Sea besides posing a military and nuclear threat to Russia.In 2019, under President Volodymyr Zelensky, amendments were made to the Constitution of Ukraine, which legalized the strategic course towards EU and NATO membership. Throughput 2021-22, a Russian military buildup on the border of Ukraine escalated tensions between the two countries and strained their bi lateral relations to the lowest ebb. The US strong message that an invasion by Russia would be met with dire consequences for Russia’s economy further escalated the brinkmanship.

  1. A genesis of inter-state relations between Ukraine and Russia , since the independence of Ukraine in 1991, reveals a Checkered history. Ukraine, on its part has not been able to develop an intrinsic sense of nationalism due to culturally, linguistically and ethnically diverse Eastern and Western regions. While the former are mostly Russian speaking and have cultural affinity with Russia, the later who joined Soviet Union as late as 1957, view themselves as part of Europe. After Russian capture of Crimea region in 2014 and its open support to the separatists in the Eastern region, there was a backlash in the Western part in manifestation of its desire to become part of EU and NATO.US and other European powers also played a role in fomenting this division and to wane away Ukraine from Russian influence. Since 1949 raising of NATO, it’s membership has been raised from 12 to 30 as of now. In 2008 when NATO approved the membership of Ukraine, Russia showed its resentment but it was ignored. In 2019 wen Ukraine formally legislated the bill to join EU and NATO, Russia draw a Red Line and started amassing forces at its border. The security concerns of Russia vis a vis Ukraine  emanate from two  critical factors ; presence of NATO on Ukraine soil and possibly nuclear missiles mere 150 miles away from Moscow( similar to US- Cuba missile crisis of 1962) and a ‘wall ‘of ex Warsaw Pact countries under the umbrella of NATO, blocking its access to the Black Sea. The present launching of Russian attack is to stem these security imperatives, fore-stall future ingress of EU & NATO to Russian allies and also  President Putin ambitions of revival of an imperialist Russia.


Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program was established in 1972 by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, then the President of Pakistan. India’s 1974 testing of a nuclear “device” and hostile statements by the Indian leadership, gave Pakistan’s nuclear program a new momentum. Through the late 1970s, Pakistan’s program acquired sensitive uranium enrichment technology and expertise. The 1975 arrival of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan considerably advanced these efforts. Dr. Khan was a German-trained metallurgist who brought with him knowledge of gas centrifuge technologies that he had acquired through his position at the classified URENCO uranium enrichment plant in the Netherlands. He was put in charge of building, equipping and operating Pakistan’s Kahuta facility, which was established in 1976. Under Khan’s direction, Pakistan employed an extensive clandestine network in order to obtain the necessary materials and technology for its developing uranium enrichment capabilities.

In 1985, Pakistan crossed the threshold of weapons-grade uranium production, and by 1986 it is thought to have produced enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. Pakistan continued advancing its uranium enrichment program, and according to Pakistani sources, the nation acquired the ability to carry out a nuclear explosion in 1987.As a response to India conducting five nuclear tests on 11 and 13 May,1998 Pakistan tested its nuclear devices on 28 May. The Pakistani Atomic Energy Commission reported that the five nuclear tests conducted on May 28 generated a seismic signal of 5.0 on the Richter scale, with a total yield of up to 40 KT (equivalent TNT). Dr. A.Q. Khan claimed that one device was a boosted fission device and that the other four were sub-kiloton nuclear devices. Details are reflected as follows:

[boosted device?]28 May 199825-36 kilotontotal 9-12 kiloton
Fission device28 May 199812 kilotons
Low-yield device28 May 1998sub-kiloton
Low-yield device28 May 1998sub-kiloton
Low-yield device28 May 1998sub-kiloton
Fission device30 May 199812 kilotons4-6 kiloton
Fission devicenot detonated12 kilotons


Pakistan’s nuclear tests were followed by the February 1999 Lahore Agreements between Prime Ministers Vajpayee and Sharif. The agreements included confidence building measures such as advance notice of ballistic missile testing and a continuation of their unilateral moratoria on nuclear testing.

Pakistan’s nuclear program is based primarily on highly enriched uranium (HEU), which is produced at the A. Q. Khan research laboratory at Kahuta, a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility. The Kahuta facility has been in operation since the early 1980s. By the early 1990s, Kahuta had an estimated 3,000 centrifuges in operation, and Pakistan continued its pursuit of expanded uranium enrichment capabilities.

In the 1990s Pakistan began to pursue plutonium production capabilities. With Chinese assistance, Pakistan built the 40 MWt (megawatt thermal) Khusab research reactor at Joharabad, and in April 1998, Pakistan announced that the reactor was operational. According to public statements made by US officials, this heavy water reactor generates an estimated 8-10 kilotons of weapons grade plutonium per year, which is enough for one to two nuclear weapons. The reactor could also produce tritium if it were loaded with lithium-6. Khusab’s plutonium production capacity could allow Pakistan to develop lighter nuclear warheads that would be easier to deliver with a ballistic missile.

According to The Nuclear Notebook of the Federation of American Scientists, by 2021 Pakistan has 165 HEU-based nuclear warheads. This puts Pakistan ahead of Indian stockpiles of nuclear warheads. Pakistan like its arch rival India, also has a sea based second strike capability.    Pakistan’s nuclear warheads are based on an implosion design that uses a solid core of highly enriched uranium and requires an estimated 15-20 kg of material per warhead. According to Carnegie, Pakistan has also produced a small but unknown quantity of weapons grade plutonium, which is sufficient for an estimated 5-10 nuclear weapons.

Pakistan is pursuing a “full spectrum deterrence posture” which includes long range missiles and aircrafts for strategic missions as well as several short-range lower yield nuclear capable weapon systems in order to counter military threats below strategic level. The Nuclear and Missiles programs and its employment are handled by Strategic Planning Division (SPD), which is headed by a three-star general and works under the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff. The SPD is headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and its important meetings, depending on the environments are attended by relevant federal ministers, besides all the services chiefs.

Pakistan’s rapidly evolving missile arsenal forms an important part of its defense strategy for offsetting the significant conventional military advantages of its main rival, India. Pakistan’s arsenal consists primarily of mobile short and medium-range ballistic missiles, but it is also making significant strides in its cruise missile capability. Pakistan’s combined strategic forces allows it to target almost any point in India, and is now working more advanced technology such as multiple independent reentry vehicles (MIRV) to complicate developing Indian missile defense efforts. Pakistan has received significant technical assistance from China on its nuclear and missile programs.


Missile NameClassRangeStatus
AbabeelMRBM2,200 kmOperational
Abdali (Hatf 2)SRBM180 – 200 kmOperational
Babur (Hatf 7)Cruise Missile350 – 700 kmOperational
ExocetASCM40 – 180 kmOperational
Hatf 5 “Ghauri”MRBM1,250 – 1,500 kmOperational
Ghaznavi (Hatf 3)SRBM290 kmOperational
Hatf 1SRBM70 – 100 kmOperational
Nasr (Hatf 9)SRBM70 kmIn service
Ra’ad (Hatf 8)Cruise Missile350 kmTested in 2007
Shaheen 1 (Hatf 4)SRBM750 – 900 kmOperational
Shaheen 2 (Hatf 6)MRBM1,500 – 2,000 kmOperational
Shaheen 3MRBM2,750 kmOperational


Pakistan is pursuing an Offensive-Defense and its war fighting strategy is based on maintaining both a Conventional and Nuclear deterrence. It has fought three major wars and many skirmishes with India due to the unresolved issue of Jammu and Kashmir, which according to British formula for the division of Indian sub-continent in 1947, should have been part of Pakistan, being a Muslim majority state. The Nuclear program has given Pakistan the longest era of peace since the last war of 1971. Being only Muslim Nuclear-powered state, its program is focus of subversion by many hostile states. The safety standards applied to the nuclear reactors and the war heads have been continuously monitored by International Atomic Energy Commission and other world bodies and have been acclaimed. As a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan remains committed to the observance of highest safety standards and its prime use as a deterrence against any aggression.


As an initiative of Chinese concept of Belt & Road ( B&R) to  improve global linkages and trade,China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) , the only bi lateral initiative of B&R was announced in 2013.CPEC is primarily a regional framework of connectivity as part of the BRI which is a framework of intercontinental connectivity. CPEC is perceived not only to benefit China and Pakistan but will have positive impact on the neighboring countries like Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republic. The focus on enhancement of geographical linkages with improved road, rail and air transportation system will promote frequent and free exchanges of growth and people to people contacts. The project also aims at enhancing understanding through academic, cultural and regional knowledge and activity of higher volume of flow of trade and businesses. This is likely to have more optimal businesses and enhancement of co-operation by win-win model and  will result in well connected, integrated region of shared destiny, harmony and development. CPEC when implemented will be a ‘ game changer’ for the people of Pakistan and Southern Chinese region, mostly populated by Muslims. It will improve their  lives  by building an economic corridor promoting bilateral connectivity, construction, explore potential bilateral investment, economic and trade, logistics and people to people contact for regional connectivity. While it is considered a 60 billion dollar project so far around 20+ billion dollar worth of projects have been undertaken. The project has the completion date of 2030.

The areas of cooperation envisioned under CPEC include:

  • Integrated Transport & IT systems including Road, Rail, Port, Air and Data Communication Channels
  • Energy Cooperation
  • Spatial Layout, Functional Zones, Industries and Industrial Parks
  • Agricultural Development
  • Socio-Economic Development (Poverty Alleviation, Medical Treatment, Education, Water Supply, Vocational Training)
  • Tourism Cooperation & People to People Communication
  • Cooperation in Livelihood Areas
  • Financial Cooperation
  • Human Resource Development

For the implementation of CPEC projects the two sides have agreed to set up a 1+4 cooperation mode in which the two sides take CPEC as the Core while prioritizing development of Gwadar, Energy, Transport Infrastructure and Industrial Cooperation. The two countries have set up a mechanism of coordination for the construction of CPEC.

Cooperation Mechanism

The goals set in the Long-Term Plan of CPEC are divided into short, medium and long term as given below.

  • By 2020, the CPEC strive to take the initial shape, major bottlenecks to Pakistan’s economic and social development shall be basically addressed, and the CPEC shall start to boost the economic growth along it for both countries.
  • By 2025, the CPEC building strive to be basically done, the industrial system approximately complete, major economic functions brought into play in a holistic way, the people’s livelihood along the CPEC significantly improved, regional economic development more balanced, and all the goals of Vision 2025 of Pakistan achieved.
  • By 2030, the CPEC building strive to be entirely accomplished, the endogenous mechanism for sustainable economic growth in place, the CPEC’s role in stimulating economic growth in Central Asia and South Asia brought into holistic play, and South Asia shall grow into an international economic zone with global influence.

CPEC has largely achieved the short-term objectives (almost 60 percent projects have been completed so far), however the speed of implementation and further investments have slowed down for several reasons. Given below are some constrains which have been influencing the speedy construction of CPEC:-

  1. The geo-political environment in South Asia is inherently unstable. More over the Indian interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan and its open opposition to the construction of CPEC has adversely affected.
  2. International players especially the US and its allies which have opposed construction of BRI have been opposing the CPEC and creating hindrances both by open opposition and tacit sabotage.
  3. The political instability and divergent orientation of various political parties have created several controversies from the beginning. The 18th Constitutional amendment has given greater powers to the provinces and the smaller and less developed provinces have grievances against the Central Government and Punjab province.This has resulted in demanding more shares in CPEC projects by the smaller provinces.
  4. The religious extremism which is reflected in the shape of terrorist organizations such as Tahrek e Taliban ( Pakistan )(TPP) and some others are a constant threat to the state and CPEC.
  5. The management capacity of the Pakistani bureaucracy and other organizations involved in the CPEC is relatively limited and different from the common Chinese practices and speed to accomplish tasks.
  6. A lot of negative propaganda initiated by the enemies of China and Pakistan have created grave misperceptions which must be removed by building counter narrative.

During recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China, in February, 2022 most of the irritants in the furtherance of CPEC have been removed and work on Phase II projects will now commence . This includes an oil refinery at Gawadar, deep sea port and setting up of mega technical training facility. Prospects for future development of CPEC would largely depend on mitigating the above mention threats and introducing stringent reforms in institutional and financial sectors besides creating political and financial stability in the country.


  1. At the time of independence in 1947, Pakistan inherited roughly 33% man power assets of the British Indian Armed Forces and scant provision  of  arms and equipment . Confronted by a hostile Eastern neighbor in India,  it was imperative for the State-to build a strong armed forces to retain its sovereign right. Since it’s inception the Armed Forces have played a decisive role in the modern history of Pakistan, notably due to three major wars against India in 1948, 1965 and 1971 and many skirmishes. Today Pakistan Armed Forces rank sixth largest in the world and comprise of Army , Navy and the Air Force, backed by paramilitary forces . The chain of command of Armed Forces is organized under the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee( JCSC) alongside the Chiefs of Staff of Army, Navy and Air Force. The post of CJCSC and the three services chiefs are tenable by a four star with tenure appointment of three years.A critical component to the armed forces’ structure is the Strategic Planning Division, which is responsible for the maintenance and safeguarding of Pakistan tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. The Armed Forces have approximately 725,000 active personnel backed by 500,000 personnel in the various paramilitary forces . The induction in the Armed Forces is on volunteer basis on merit based selection, though the Constitution of Pakistan allows for conscription in a state of war.
  2. The armed forces have a highly approved rating in the society because of their profound contributions in Nation building , health and education. It has served the people at times of every crises and natural calamities, earth quakes, floods and in the conduct of census and elections. The military has played a key role in holding the state together, promoting a feeling of nationalism and providing a bastion of selfless service. Since 1960s, Pakistan has been one of the three largest contributors to UN Peace keeping operation under most trying conditions. It has taken an active part in Somalian and Bosnian conflicts and have won world over acclaim for their display of bravery and courage against heavy odds.Other foreign deployments have included Pakistani military contingent and personnel serving in African and Arab countries to name, Saudi Arabia, Jordan,Libya, Kuwait and Qatar. Pakistan military has maintained combat divisions in Arab states during Arab -Israeli Wars and in support of US lead Coalition forces in the Gulf Wars.
  3. Pakistan in accordance with ‘ continental strategy’ has the largest component of its Armed Forces in the Army with its Headquarters at Rawalpindi. The motto of Pakistan Army is Imam, Taiwanese and Jihad fi It is organized into two theatre commands namely Southern and Central and has nine corps headquarters with under command divisions . Army has its integral Aviation Corps with more than 300 fixed and rotary wing aircrafts . One of the elite component of Pakistan Army is the Special Services Group ( SSG) division initially raised and trained by US forces.These troops have shown their mettle in the conduct of special operations under challenging demands.The Army Strategic Forces Command operates a wide range of missile systems in its arsenal . Pakistan Army is self sufficient in developing its small arms, ammunition and battle tanks by affiliated defense industry. It has world class training institutions from Pakistan Military Academy to all arms and services including more than a century old Command & Staff College,Quetta and National Defense University , attended by a large number of students from Muslim and friendly countries. Since 9/11, the  Army has also been actively involved in anti terrorist operations both inside Pakistan and in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan. Due to diverse geography and fighting against terrorists equipped by latest arms and technology and aided by traditional enemy of Pakistan, the army has extensive combat experience in a variety of terrain conditions.
  4. Pakistan Navy is responsible to protect nation’s sea ports, marine borders approximately 1000 Kms daily supporting national security and peace keeping missions. It has almost 50,000 active duty personnel. It has its Headquarters at Islamabad and Naval Academy at Karachi . The added operational scope of Navy includes countering the threat of sea based global terrorism, drug smuggling and trafficking . The Navy’s surface fleet consists of helicopter carriers, destroyers , frigates, amphibious assault ships, patrol ships , mines counter measures and miscellaneous vessels for intelligence gathering etc. The Naval Air Arm provides fleet air defense, maritime reconnaissance and anti submarine warfare capabilities. The Navy fleet of P-3 Orion aircraft equipped with electronic intelligence ( ELINT) play a pivotal role in gathering of intelligence.Navy has its indigenous ship yard which manufactures submarines and frigates .The Navy also has a fleet of submarines with a strategic strike capability. Navy has its Marines component to undertake amphibious operations.Pakistan Navy has facilitated raising of navies of many Muslim countries and in training of their officer cadre .
  5. Pakistan Air Force is the seventh largest Air Force in the world with over 945 combat fighter jets and 200 trainer transport , communication and force multiplier aircrafts.A single command structure, Air Headquarters is based at Islamabad while Air Academy is situated near Peshawar .In the historic context, Air Force has played a pivotal role in nation’s defense and national security . In its inventory PAF has US, Chinese and French aircrafts. While F-16s continue to be a backbone of the Air Force, the development and production of JF-17at Aeronautical Factory,,with Chinese collaboration has provided it the operational requirements. Air Force operates two types of airborne early warning and control systems aircraft: four Erieye equipped Saab 2000s from Sweden and six Chinese AWACS- . Pakistan Air Force has assisted in raising and training of many air forces of Muslim countries to include Libya, Jordan and its pilots fought alongside Arab nations( including Iraq)in Arab Israel wars and downed many Israeli aircrafts.
  6. The world renowned Inter- Services Intelligence ( ISI) is the premier intelligence service of Pakistan that is responsible for providing, managing and coordinating military intelligence for the three services .ISI is headquartered at Islamabad and is headed by a three star Army general. It has various wings for domestic, external and special subjects each headed by a two star officer . The induction in ISI is from three services on tenure basis and permanent civilian employees. ISI has played a major role in exit of Soviet Forces from Afghanistan and in inking of US- Taliban Peace Accord of 2020. It is  rated as one of the top intelligence agencies in the world .Each service also has their intelligence branch, primarily for counter intelligence  and counter terrorism. The Media Publicity wing of Armed Forces is Inter – Services Public Relations( ISPR) which is responsible for news coverage related to Armed Forces, projection of its operations and countering hostile propaganda, both external and internal . It is co located with General Headquarters at Rawalpindi and is headed by a two star officer from Army . ISPR also publishes many professional magazines covering domestic and international issues .
  7. To know more about Pakistan Army, the link to web portal is :


Kashmir, also termed as the, ‘Heaven on Earth’, is an 85,806 square – miles valley between the snowcapped Himalaya and Karakoram Mountain ranges. The Kashmir conflict is the oldest, unresolved international conflict and is both a territorial and ideological issue between India and Pakistan with China playing a third –party role. The dispute started,following the partition of Indian sub-continent in August 1947, after the forced annexation of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, by India. This abnegation was the violation of the British instrument of accession of India, accepted by both Muslims and Hindus which stipulated that Muslim majority areas will form part of Pakistan, while Hindu dominance states will form part of India. Pre-partition state of Kashmir had 87 percent of Muslim population. The dispute spread over more than seven decades, has resulted in three wars between nuclear neighbors India and Pakistan and several other skirmishes. India controls over 55% of the land area of the region that includes Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, most of Ladakh, The Siachen Glacier and 70 % of its population; Pakistan controls approximately 35 % of the land area that includes Azad Kashmir, Gilgit- Baltistan and part of Siachen; China controls the remaining 20 % of the land that includes Aksai Chin region and mostly uninhibited Trans Karakoram tract.

After the partition of India, and a rebellion in western Kashmir against Indian occupation, Pakistani tribes and military freed the areas of Kashmir state, which now form part of Pakistan. The resulting war between India and Pakistan ended with a UN mediated ceasefire along a line that was eventually named the Line of Control (LOC). This remains a cease fire line even today. The UN Security Council Resolution passed on 21st April 1948 and eleven more UN resolutions, last being passed in January 1957, laid down that,” Accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite”. Despite tabling and accepting these UN Resolutions, India continues to defy the provision of calling for a plebiscite denying eight million people of Kashmir their right of self-determination. Disillusioned by Indian use of force against un armed Kashmiris, including women and children, many Kashmiri resistance movements emerged seeking a merger with Pakistan. These indigenous movements for the freedom struggle against the occupation forces of India, assumed uncontrollable dimension in 1989. Despite strong Indian military presence, the struggle of Kashmiri people has continued for more than three decades now without any signs of receding. Amnesty International, UN Human Right and international human watch organizations have severely criticized the Indian government for the grave violations of human rights and killing of Kashmiris in fake encounters. However, India refuses to provide access to UN Observers or Human Rights bodies to visit Jammu & Kashmir for fact finding.

In August 2019, Indian government of extreme rightist Bharatiya Janata  Party (BJP)repelled the Articles 370 and 95 A of the Indian Constitution which gave Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K) a special status and non-purchase of property by any outsiders. This move was enacted in accordance with the well-designed plan to recreate ground realities, change the demographic base by settling non-Muslims for Indianization of the disputed territory. After the down gradation of the constitutional status of J&K, India has introduced 200 laws to reshape the occupational state. A major change has been in the domicile law paving way for the settlement of more than two million outsider to change the population ratio to Hindus. The BJP government since coming into power in 2014 refuses to enter into a dialogue either with Pakistan or with the Kashmiri parties struggling for the separation of J&K from Indian subjugation. In the past all bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan on the unresolved issues of Kashmir have failed to yield any meaningful results. In 2007 President Musharraf of Pakistan and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, after years of back-channel diplomacy, came near formalizing a peace agreement on the status of Kashmir but lawyers’ unrest in Pakistan and the weakening of the government, shelved the agreement. Successive US Presidents have declared Kashmir as a serious flash point between two nuclear states in South Asia and even offered a third-party mediation, but India refuses any indulgence by a third party.

India –China standoff in Ladakh in 2020 was also a consequence of Indian abrogation of Special status of J&K. Chinese capture of more than 900 square kilometers of Indian territory has placed China in a position to severe the base of Indian troops in Siachen Glacier and deny any threat to Gilgit Baltistan. It has also given a strategic advantage to Pakistan. India-China conflict has further brought the dispute to international limelight and a renewed pressure on India to resolve this long outstanding dispute. There are many similarities between the Kashmir and Palestine conflicts. Both are the oldest UN legislated resolutions, calling for the rights of self-determination of the people, occupied by neighboring states and where innocent civilians are the victims. Both India and Israel follow the policies of the use of brute force, constitutional amendments for land grabbing and illegal settlements to change demographic profiles. In both Palestine and Kashmir, now the third generation of populace is waging the freedom movement, ‘Intifada’ against the occupation forces. Together, these two conflicts remain as the unresolved issues of the Muslim Ummah.



The Pakistan Movement, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a barrister from Karachi ,was a political movement in the 1940s that aimed for the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of Indian subcontinent .This struggle was based on the ideology of ‘two nations theory’, which asserted that the Muslims and Hindus in India are two separate nations, with their own customs, religion and traditions; therefore from social and moral points of view, Muslims should be able to have their own separate homeland, separate from Hindu- majority , in which Islam is the dominant religion. Jinnah as the leader of the All- India Muslim League led the struggle for a separate home land for the Muslims of India. The joint efforts by Hindus under the banner of Indian National  Congress led by Mohan Das Gandhi and the Muslim League against the British occupation lead to the acceptance of two independent states in 1946, by the Rulers.

The agreed formula between the three sides for the division was, that  the Muslim majority areas under British subjugation would become part of Pakistan while Hindu dominated states to form part of Indian domain.. This Indian Partition Act did not apply to more than 630 Princely states whose rulers were given the option of seeding to any state based on population bias and  geographical contiguity. This divide on nationalism basis led to the creation of Pakistan on 14 August 1947 and India a day later. The creation of Pakistan was catalyst to the largest demographic movement in the recorded history. Nearly seventeen million people- Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs moved in both directions between India and Eastern (now Bangladesh) and Western wings of Pakistan. There was a large scale violence, with estimates of the loss of life accompanying or preceding the partition varying between several hundred thousand and two million .

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, with its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah as its first Governor General came to existence with barely 33 percent share of the assets of the armed forces and financial outlays of un-divided India.The contentious nature of the partition with 87 percent Muslim majority state of Kashmir forcibly made to accede to India and the violent religious riots, an environments of hostility and mistrust between Pakistan and India, that affect their bilateral relations even to this day. Mohammad Ali Jinnah died barely an year after the creation of Pakistan in September, 1948. The death of one man should not mean so much but the untimely death of its founder, who had a plan for the newly founded nation, lead to crises of the envisaged identity and decades of political and economic turmoil.

Pakistan is world’s fifth- populous country with a population of almost 227 million, and has the world’s second largest Muslim population. Pakistan is strategically located on the geopolitical juncture between the capricious West, South and Central Asia. It has 881,913 kilometres area and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southeast and China to the northeast. It has a 1,046 kilometres coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south. Karachi is the largest port with Gwadar deep- sea, as  the second port.

Pakistan is the site of several ancient cultures, including the 8500-year-old Neolithic site of Mehrgarh in Baluchistan and the Indus Valley Civilisation of the Bronze Age, the most extensive civilisation of the Old World. The region was the realm of multiple empires and dynasties, including that of Alexander the Great; the Seleucid, the Maury’s, the Umayyad Caliphate in its southern region, the Ghaznavids, the Mughals, the Durrani, the Sikh Empire, British East India Company rule and the recent British Indian

Empire from 1858 to 1947.

After Independence, Pakistan drafted its constitution in 1956 and emerged as a declared Islamic Republic. In 1971, the 1000 miles apart, exclave of East Pakistan seceded as the new country of Bangladesh after a nine month long civil war instigated and supported by India. It has five provinces in the Punjab, Sind, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Baluchistan and the recent addition of Gilgit Baltistan. The part of the disputed territory of Kashmir, aligned to Pakistan, Azad Kashmir, has its independent President, Prime Minister and a legislative Assembly. Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir with 8 million Muslim population remains a United Nations recognised international dispute and has been the cause of three wars and many skirmishes between India and Pakistan.

In the seven decades following its creation, Pakistan has been ruled by governments alternated between civilian and military, democratic and authoritarian. The present constitution of Pakistan, with parliamentary form of government was adopted by consensus vote in 1973 and has an upper house in Senate with equal representation by all the provinces and a lower house in National Assembly which has 342 seats, out of which, 272 are by direct elections on the basis of population-based constituencies and 60 are reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities. The general elections on adult franchise are scheduled to be held after a maximum tenure of  five years.

Pakistan, a member of the Third World, is a middle power nation and has the world’s sixth largest standing armed forces. It is a declared nuclear weapon and ballistic missiles state and is ranked amongst the emerging and leading economies. It has a multicultural and multi-ethnic society with diverse geography from seven out of thirteen tallest mountains in the world in north to plains in centre irrigated by five rivers to desert in the south. It hosts one of the largest refugee population in the world (more than 2.2 million). Pakistan has an agro based economy and posses the world’s largest contiguous gravity based irrigation system with the length of canals extending 56,073 km. Women form almost 48 percent of its gender population and participate in all fields including the armed forces. It has more than 184 universities and has world’s seventh largest base of scientists. It has a sixty percent youth population with an average age between 15-29 years. Pakistan chequered political history has been characterised by periods of significant economic and military growths as well as marred by political and economic instability. English is the official language whereas Urdu is the National dialect.

Pakistan is a member of the United Nations and one of the largest contributor to UN  Peace keeping missions.  It is also the member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the Islamic Military Counter- Terrorism Coalition and is designated as a major non- NATO ally by the United States.Post 9/11,Pakistan has been a front line state in fight against terrorism and in two decades have suffered almost 80,000 deaths including both military and civilians and US Dollar 103 Billion in economic losses, in fight against terrorism.

Thualfuqar Center for Strategic Studies, Research and Human Rights .... Thualfuqar center is a private, independent research institution concerned with public affairs in Iraq and the effects of its regional and international environment.

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