Pakistan is involved in non-international armed conflicts with various armed groups acting throughout its territory, particularly Taliban-affiliated groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and independence fighters in Balochistan. The tensions with India over the status of Kashmir regularly lead to armed violence amounting to an international armed conflict.
Pakistan is currently involved in a series of armed conflicts.
- First, Pakistan is involved in non-international armed conflicts with various armed groups acting throughout its territory, particularly Taliban-affiliated groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and independence fighters in Balochistan. The relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan is tense, with both countries accusing each other of providing safe haven to armed groups and fostering violence in the neighbouring country. See for example their statements to the Security Council in March and June 2017: 7896 th meeting of the Security Council, 10 March 2017, UN doc S/PV:7896, pp 7-8 (Afghanistan) and 25 (Pakistan) and 7980th meeting of the Security Council, 21 June 2017, UN doc S/PV.7980, p 5 (Afghanistan). The non-international armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan have both spilled over across the frontiers between the countries. Repeatedly, there have been border skirmishes and cross frontier incursions by the armed forces of Afghanistan and Pakistan, leading to a series of short-lived international armed conflicts. See for example ‘Clash Erupts on Afghan-Pakistan Border’, BBC, 5 May 2017. In 2017, Afghanistan repeatedly complained to the Security Council about Pakistani cross-frontier violations, see 7896 th meeting of the Security Council, 10 March 2017, UN doc S/PV:7896, pp 7-8; 7980th meeting of the Security Council, 21 June 2017, UN doc S/PV.7980, p 5.
- Second, the status of Kashmir continues to be a source of conflict between India and Pakistan. Pakistani and Indian forces engage in regular skirmishes across the Line of Control, the ceasefire line established by the 1972 Simla Agreement. In 2016, heavy shelling forced more than 35,000 people to flee and caused the death of at least 83 soldiers and civilians. Conflict Barometer 2016, Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, 2017, p 16. In May 2017, heavy shelling from the Pakistani Army reportedly led to the evacuation of 1700 people along the Line of Control. ‘Pak Shelling Dislocates 1,700 from LoC Areas’, The Times of India, 16 May 2017. India accuses Pakistan of supporting Pakistani based militants who undertake attacks in the zone controlled by India, such as raid in 2016 that left 19 Indian soldiers dead or an October 2017 attack against a regional airport. India responds to such attacks with strikes against militant camps in Pakistan. S. Yasir and J. Gettleman, 'Kashmir Is Rattled by Bold Attack Near Fortified Airport', The New York Times, 3 October 2017; H. Kumar and G. Anand, '17 Indian Soldiers Killed by Militants in Kashmir', The New York Times, 18 September 2016.