Thursday, June 10,2010
The department’s Global Peace Index (GPI), released on Wednesday, reports that Pakistan’s overall score deteriorated steadily for the second successive year and it slid three places into the bottom five.
Pakistan’s overall rank now is 145 on a list of 149 countries.
All South Asian nations occupy the lower half of the regional table, headed by Nepal, in 82nd place. India, although better than Pakistan, is also in the red zone and is ranked 128.
Israel rose two places to 144th in the 2010 index. Now it is one place ahead of Pakistan.Ongoing internal conflicts and related security concerns in Afghanistan and Pakistan contribute to their low rankings.
Embroiled in conflict and instability for much of the past two decades, Afghanistan remained far from peaceful during 2009.
A sharp rise in Pakistan’s GPI indicator of the number of people killed in internal conflict and upward shifts in scores for the potential of terrorist acts, the likelihood of violent demonstrations and the homicide rate underline the extent to which the country became embroiled in violence that verged on civil war in 2009.
Frequent suicide bombings and attacks by religious insurgents occurred throughout the year and across the country.
Major offensives by the army against Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in Swat valley and in South Waziristan forced more than two million people to flee their homes.
Conflict also increasingly afflicted Balochistan, parts of Punjab, Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan in 2009.
The report notes that Pakistan’s score and rank did not fall further in part because of an improvement in the measure of relations with neighbouring countries, albeit from the lowest possible level, and a slight rise in political stability.
The report points out that “overall, government level relations between India and Pakistan are much stronger than in the past, and the fact that India’s recent general election resulted in another government led by the Indian National Congress party means that Indian policy towards Pakistan will remain stable.”
The report notes that when he reinstated Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who was sacked in 2007, President Asif Ali Zardari “addressed the key source of recent political tensions, resolving a stand-off between the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Mr Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party.”