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ISPU: Police and Law Enforcement Reform in Pakistan

Author: Hassan Abbas, Fellow, Asia Society; Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
April, 2009


Hassan Abbas argues that Pakistan's poor performance in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency within its borders is largely due to the government's failure to adequately invest in law enforcement reform.

Excerpt: It is a globally recognized fact that a state's police and law enforcement agencies play a critical role as the first line of defense against the threats of terrorism and insurgencies. An informative RAND study titled How Terrorist Groups End provides evidence that effective police and intelligence work, rather than the use of military force, deliver better counterterrorism results.2 Based on this conclusion, the report suggested to U.S. policymakers that they stop using the phrase "war on terrorism," because there is no battlefield solution to defeating terrorists.

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