A street vendor in Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital, sold hundreds of framed portraits of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the last one week.
Pakistan: Now or Never?
With one million Britons of Pakistani origin, and as the former colonial power, Britain has a unique relationship with Pakistan. But concerns about Britain’s vulnerability to bomb attacks planned by Pakistan-based militants — British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that three-quarters of the most serious plots investigated by British authorities had links to al Qaeda in Pakistan — has made for a rocky relationship.
A single paragraph in General Stanley McChrystal’s leaked assessment of the war in Afghanistan has generated much interest, particularly in Pakistan.
By Zeeshan Haider
Pakistan is battling Taliban militants, trying to patch up relations with old rival India and struggling to revive a limping economy but another issue has preoccupied the country over recent days: the sighting of the moon that markes the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Early last year a group of Indian and Pakistan retired generals and strategic experts sat down for a war-gaming exercise in Washington. The question, predictably enough, was at what point during a conventional war, would the generals in Rawalpindi GDQ reach for the nuclear trigger.
Back in 2008, even before Barack Obama was elected, Washington pundits were urging him to adopt a new regional approach to Afghanistan and Pakistan involving Russia, India, China, Saudi Arabia and even Iran. The basic argument was that more troops alone would not solve the problems, and that the new U.S administration needed to subsume other foreign policy goals to the interests of winning a regional consensus on stabilising Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s nearly 2.3 million people forced from their homes in the northwest are beginning to get more attention beyond the borders. Last weekend Pakistani artistes as well singing great Sting came together for a concert in the U.N.General Assemby in support of the men, women and children who have become refugees in their own land in one of the largest human dislocations in recent years.
Pakistan is pushing ahead with a plan to sell or lease agriculture land to foreign investors even as opposition grows at home. A Saudi delegation is due in the country at the end of Ramadan this month for further talks on a plan to lease an area of land more than twice the size of Hong Kong, a Pakistani official told Reuters this month.
Following up on my earlier post about what is happening behind the scenes in the fraught relationship between India and Pakistan, it’s worth keeping track of this report that Islamabad is considering appointing former foreign secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan to handle the informal dialogue with New Delhi known as “backchannel diplomacy”.
Saeed Shah at McClatchy has an interesting story about Jaish-e-Mohammad, an al Qaeda linked militant group, building a big new base in Pakistan’s Punjab province.