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Decoding Pakistan's 'Strategic Shift' in Afghanistan

Publisher: SIPRI
ISBN 978-91-85114-76-4
May, 2013

When in early 2012 Pakistan touted a major shift in its Afghan policy, the move was cautiously welcomed given the influence—and spoiling power—Pakistan has displayed in Afghanistan in the past. This paper asks exactly what Pakistan's 'strategic shift' entails, what are the motives behind it, and whether it opens any new opportunities for peace in Afghanistan.

This paper is published under the Wider Central Asia Initiative, a two-year SIPRI project to promote and facilitate dialogue among the main external stakeholders in Afghanistan's future. The initiative is funded by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.





1. Introduction

2. The 'strategic shift': from what, to where?

3. The logic behind Pakistan's paradoxical behaviour in the endgame

4. Approaching the ISAF withdrawal: what has Pakistan achieved?

5. Conclusions and the way forward