Beginning with its bloody independence from Britain in 1947, Pakistan has been a country in turmoil that has lurched from one crisis to another and has been stained by violence and conflict. Its birth was marked by unprecedented, spontaneous, and massive population transfers between itself and India, its neighbour and rival. More enduring has been the bloody conflict between itself and India over the territory of Kashmir, a conflict which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Kashmir, one of the most dangerous places in the world, has been at the heart of a troubled relationship between these two neighbours that has broken down into major conventional war 3 times in the past 60 years (1947, 1965, and 1971) as well as 2 smaller violent conflicts specific to Kashmir (1984 and 1999) and numerous smaller skirmishes. This rivalry has contributed importantly to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by both states and to massive defence budgets, which in Pakistan consume a quarter of the state’s budget. Pakistan also has a history of exporting conflict to its neighbours. This can be seen in its support of insurgents in Afghanistan, both during the Soviet occupation (1979-1989) and today by providing them with sanctuaries and bases within Pakistan and through its continued support, or at least tacit approval, of insurgents and terrorists in Indian Kashmir.

Pakistan Risk Assessment