Pakistan: Now or Never?

from Global News Journal:

Bush: With friends like these…

August 18, 2008

President Bush and Prime Minister Putin in Beijing/Aug 8/Larry DowningHe tried to build relationships with other world leaders but where did it get him?

Politics aside, Pakistan grapples with humanitarian crisis

August 18, 2008

p18.jpg

While Pakistan and indeed much of the world has been transfixed by the political power play that has seen President Pervez Muaharraf go, a refugee crisis is unfolding in its troubled northwest.

UPDATE-Will Musharraf’s resignation bring stability to Pakistan?

August 18, 2008

PPP supporters dancing in the streets/Athar HussainUPDATE – President Pervez Musharraf’s resignation has been greeted with jubilation from supporters of the ruling PML-N and PPP parties (see picture right), and sparked a rally in the stock market. But reading through the comments on this and other blogs, I can’t see any clear theme emerging, with some praising and others condemning Musharraf’s legacy, some regretting and others welcoming his departure, and many fretting about the future.

Breaking the taboo, Indian op-eds suggest Kashmir plebiscite

August 17, 2008

Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar/Fayaz KabliThe last time I visited Kashmir, in November, I was struck by an apparent contradiction: it was more peaceful than it had been in years, at least in the capital Srinagar, and yet the overwhelming mood was one of gloom.  With the peace process between India and Pakistan going nowhere, there was a sense    that thousands of people had died for nothing in the violence that had convulsed the region since a separatist revolt erupted in 1989. Although the soldiers had disappeared from the streets of Srinagar, and tourists were flocking back, it retained the some of the same tinderbox atmosphere that I had known at the height of the violence. One spark, people told me, could ignite it again.

Looking past Musharraf and the role of the Pakistan Army

August 16, 2008

June photo of President Musharraf and Army Chief General Pervez Kayani/Ho NewAmid the feverish speculation about when, how and where President Pervez Musharraf will go, analysts are already looking beyond to the future of Pakistan in a post-Musharraf era. One theme stands out: while the consensus appears to be that the Pakistan Army will not step in to save Musharraf, it might well intervene in the not so distant future if it believes it needs to save the country.

Will Obama’s Afghan plans survive Kashmir crisis?

August 15, 2008

Senator Barack Obama/Hugh GentryLess than a month ago, Senator Barack Obama was saying  that the U.S. war in Afghanistan would be made easier if the United States worked to improve trust between India and Pakistan. “A lot of what drives, it appears, motivations on the Pakistan side of the border, still has to do with their concerns and suspicions about India,” he told a news conference in Amman.

The case of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui

August 14, 2008

Five years after she vanished from her parents’ home in Karachi along with her three children, Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia  Siddiqui appeared in a New York court last week accused of trying to kill U.S. officers in Afghanistan

Kashmir: is this a re-run of 1989?

August 12, 2008

Protesters shout pro-freedom slogans in Srinagar/Fayaz KabliAfter months of relative peace which turned Kashmir into a near-forgotten conflict, the region has exploded  again with some of the biggest protests since a separatist revolt erupted in 1989.  What started as a dispute over land allocated to Hindu pilgrims visiting a shrine in Kashmir has snowballed into a full-scale anti-India protest, uniting Kashmiri separatists and reviving calls for independence.

Impeaching Musharraf will not end the problems

August 7, 2008

Pakistan’s fractious coalition has agreed to begin impeachment proceedings against President Pervez Musharraf but can it really pull it off ?  Do they have the numbers — the two-thirds majority required from the National Assembly and  Senate combined? Impeachement is like a trial, so what charges will they bring against him?

Who really is in control of Pakistan ?

August 5, 2008

One of the questions that repeatedly came up during Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s rather eventful trip to the U.S. last month was who was in charge of the Inter-Services Intelligence , especially after the botched attempt to bring the powerful spy agency - that critics see as a state within a state – under the interior ministry.