It has been a great year for Spearhead Research. We celebrated the seventh year of our research work. We published some thought-provoking research and analyses. And we highlighted writings and reports by some of the world’s most influential figures and institutions.
As it has in the past, Spearhead Research covered the entire spectrum of Pakistan’s international and national interest — from Russia, China and the US and the future of Afghanistan, India-Pakistan relations and Iran, to the evolving geo-strategic situation in the Middle East, the US ‘pivot’ to Asia and geo-strategic competition in the Islamic world, between US, Russia and China and the emerging world economic order. We examined the international and national priorities for Pakistan’s government and suggested measures for better decision making, policy formulation and governance.
This year’s analyses and interactions clearly indicated that most Pakistanis saw a clear linkage between internal security and an improvement in the economy. They also felt that besides internal security, the economy needed uninterrupted energy and long term reforms in the revenue generating structure. Most Pakistanis abhorred religious and sectarian strife and felt this was a fissure being created by external exploitation. Almost all segments of society wanted peace and stability in Afghanistan, better relations with India and an end to radicalization and terrorist violence within Pakistan and across its borders. Without exception they wanted more jobs, better health care and education facilities and law enforcement to ensure human security.
Spearhead Research focused on water and other unresolved issues between India and Pakistan, Pakistan’s economic situation and the political transition in Pakistan and similar coming transitions in India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Ongoing situations like the cease fire violations on the Line of Control, terrorism incidents, prospects of dialogue with insurgents, the situation in Baluchistan and Karachi and Pakistan’s bilateral relations were all covered in our on line publications as analyses and special issue reports. The Spearhead Research team avoided any partisan outlook, biased reports and confrontations on issues but respected different opinions and views.
We had the privilege of interacting with international institutions like the IISS, Brookings, the Atlantic Council and the University of Ottawa at various events and Track II discussions. Spearhead Research was also represented at the Asia Pacific and European Leadership Network meetings sponsored by the Nuclear Threat Initiative. We hope to continue and expand this interaction in the future and will welcome joint ventures.
We also launched several major new initiatives this year. A monthly economic snapshot to follow and highlight the evolving economic situation, special issue reports focused on specific national and international events, a monthly summary of the law and order situation including terrorist/extremist activities in disturbed areas and the work being done by law enforcement and security agencies. Many Spearhead Research analyses had advocated an institutionalized decision making tier and the first meeting of the Cabinet Committee on National Security held recently is a step in this direction especially in the context of civil-military relations.
We hope that next year—2014—will be just as rewarding, exciting and busy for the Spearhead Research team. Besides focusing on domestic issues and the progress expected as a result of government policies, the impact of political transitions in Pakistan’s neighborhood, the evolving bilateral relationships with Iran, India , the US and Afghanistan will be studied and analyzed.. We hope to start new research projects on key issues leading to special project reports. The impact of post 2014 Afghanistan and the situation in the western border areas will be especially challenging. Above all Spearhead Research will continue to project the aspirations and hopes of the people of Pakistan.
Spearhead Research does not solicit funds. We do solicit funded projects and can submit project proposals in response to requests or a suggestion from our research team. Our sister organization — Mandala Technologies — besides providing technical support to Spearhead Research, undertakes on line marketing and image promotion and various marketing and projection projects to support Spearhead Research. We will welcome projects for both organizations.
My best wishes to you for the coming year. We look forward to your continued interest and support in 2014.
From all of us at Spearhead Research and Mandala Technologies a very happy 2014.
Faraz Jehangir Karamat
& Mandala Technologies