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Security Brief: CENTCOM Week of April 10, 2022

April 10-13, 2022 | Issue 3

Giorgio Tiberio, Elizabeth Leoce, Ashani Wijesuriya, Sofia Pantoula, Muskan Muskan, Mohammad Ali; CENTCOM Team

Justin Maurina, Editor; Julie Jones, Senior Editor



Mian Shehbaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan[1]



Date: April 11, 2022

Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

Parties involved: China; US; India; Sri Lanka; Pakistan; Pakistani Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif; Former PM Imran Khan; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi; Hamza Shehbaz Sharif; Parliament of Pakistan

The event: Pakistan’s parliament elected Shehbaz Sharif as the nation’s new prime minister, following a no-confidence vote ousting former PM Imran Khan. Shehbaz Sharif was the sole candidate after his only rival, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, withdrew from the election.[2] Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz were to be indicted in a high-profile money laundering case which the special court has deferred.[3] The newly elected prime minister promises to tackle poor economic conditions, resolve the Kashmir dispute, improve Pakistan-India relations, and strengthen ties with China and the US.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Sharif will likely be acquitted of the money-laundering case as he will likely exploit his authority to evade any criminal charges. He will very likely remove government officials who prosecute him, his family members, or colleagues. Sharif’s likely abuse of power will incentivize other government officials to engage in corrupt practices that will likely lose the trust of Pakistani citizens. Sharif’s popular support will likely decrease among Pakistani citizens, re-creating the unstable political climate present during the last prime minister’s term.

  • Shehbaz Sharif’s foreign policy objectives will very likely provide China with greater access to the Indian Ocean. Chinese trade will likely bolster as China’s export routes to Africa, the Middle East, and Europe become shorter and less costly. China will likely capitalize on Sharif's foreign policy objectives to switch its economic dealings with Sri Lanka to India, as Sri Lanka’s recent economic crisis will likely damage its manufacturing ability to meet Chinese demands. Relocating Chinese business ventures to India will likely exacerbate the Sri Lankan economic crisis, increasing its fiscal deficit, unemployment rate, and inflation.

  • Pakistan’s change of government will likely allow both India and Pakistan to work towards reviving ceased bilateral talks. Sharif’s business background and ties with Indian businessmen will likely cause collaboration with India to improve Pakistan’s development program and failing economy. Increased imports from India will likely allow Pakistan to reduce high retail prices, reducing the consumer’s burden when consumption will likely increase due to Ramadan.


Date: April 11, 2022

Location: Near Nablus, West Bank, Palestine

Parties involved: Israel Defense Force (IDF); Palestinian National Security Forces; Hassidic Jewish worshippers; Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ); Hamas; Palestinian rioters

The event: Two Hasidic Jewish worshippers tried to access Joseph’s Tomb without notifying the overseeing IDF units. They went through an unmanned roadblock and were shot and wounded in unclear circumstances. Joseph’s Tomb was damaged by nearly 100 Palestinian rioters the previous day, breaking objects and setting fires in rooms.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Armed Palestinian rioters will likely carry out similar actions around or within other holy sites in Israel to reclaim territory under Israeli control. IDF operations in the West Bank will very likely increase to prevent future riots and vandalization. The IDF will likely perform raids in the West Bank to arrest the rioters, which will very likely result in increased casualties on both sides and further escalation of attacks. The IDF will likely respond by inputting restrictions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank, likely to reduce other clashes.

  • Terrorist groups such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas will almost certainly praise Palestinian rioters and encourage future attacks. The PIJ and Hamas will likely encourage Palestinians to attack during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to present the perpetrators as martyrs. Palestinians will very likely target public gatherings and celebrations during the Jewish holiday of Passover, likely discouraging using shared holy spaces. Attacks during these religious holidays will likely create a global response, specifically on mainstream media, likely driving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict further away from a ceasefire.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1]Mian Shehbaz Sharif” by RedGerbera licensed under Public Domain

[2] Pakistani MPs elect Shahbaz Sharif as new prime minister after Khan ouster, France24, April 2022, https://www.france24.com/en/asia-pacific/20220411-pakistani-mps-elect-shahbaz-sharif-as-new-prime-minister-after-khan-ouster

[3] Who is Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan’s opposition leader?, The Economist, April 2022, https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2022/04/01/who-is-shehbaz-sharif-pakistans-opposition-leader

[4] Pakistan's parliament votes in Shehbaz Sharif as PM after Imran Khan's ouster, CBC News, April 2022, https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/pakistan-politics-sharif-khan-1.6415543

[5] Two Jews shot, wounded while trying to reach Joseph’s Tomb in West Bank, The Times of Israel, April 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/two-hassidic-jews-said-shot-wounded-while-trying-to-reach-west-bank-shrine/

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