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Governance and conflict in Pakistan: Developing a Conflict Prevention and Reduction (CPR) model to promote peace in Baluchistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA)

Pakistan is an unstable country, home to a single religious nation made up of four major regional ethnic sub-nations. The inability of the political leadership of Pakistan to successfully connect and merge the interests of the nation and sub-nations with the interests of the state has been a longstanding issue. This has weakened the central political institution and allowed the military and civil bureaucracies, feudal elites and oligarch families to dominate the central government, preventing it from delivering good governance to the nation and sub-nations. These key central stakeholders allow the tribal chiefs, and religious and ethnic elites to dominate the regional political institutions and to become key regional stakeholders, triggering religious and ethnic conflict. Out of the four major sub-nation regions in Pakistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Baluchistan are hotbeds of religious terrorism and ethnic insurgency, generating a conflict that affects the rest of the country. Through a mix of secondary data and primary information (that includes field interviews and surveys) gathered from Baluchistan, FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), this thesis reveals the existence of sub-states that operate as discrete regional systems of socio-political governance. The study provides empirical evidence that the religious and ethnic conflicts in Pakistan are produced and sustained by these socio-political structures and their governance mechanisms. These conflicts exist in FATA and Baluchistan but not in KP – this difference between the regions offers an opportunity to consider why KP has been more successful than FATA and Baluchistan. This, in turn, provides an opportunity to consider why the governance structures and mechanisms in KP have been successful, and in the process to develop a new Conflict Prevention and Reduction (CPR) model focused on improving governance in FATA and Baluchistan. This could reduce violence and terrorism in Pakistan, while the model has potential relevance for fractured nations beyond Pakistan.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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