Pakistan: Now or Never?

India-Pakistan – cricket, spooks and peace

March 27, 2011

cricket  refugee“Cricket diplomacy” has always been one of the great staples of the relationship between India and Pakistan. The two countries have tried and failed before to use their shared enthusiasm for cricket to build bridges, right back to the days of Pakistan President Zia ul-Haq, if not earlier.

from FaithWorld:

Islamic bloc drops 12-year U.N. drive to ban defamation of religion

March 24, 2011

(U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the high level segment of the 16th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, February 28, 2011. REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud)

(U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the Human Rights Council in Geneva and urges it "to move beyond a decade-long debate over whether insults to religion should be banned or criminalised," February 28, 2011/Valentin Flauraud)

On Taliban talks and driving out al Qaeda

March 23, 2011

osamaIn the debate about the possibility of reaching a peace settlement with the Taliban in return for them breaking with al Qaeda, it has never been entirely clear how that breach would be defined. While on one hand the international community would expect the Taliban’s break with al Qaeda to be public and irreversible, few expect them to turn on al Qaeda’s leaders, preferring instead for them to leave the Afghanistan and Pakistan region.

from India Insight:

Amnesty says hundreds detained in Kashmir without charge or trial

March 21, 2011

Amnesty International has accused the government of detaining hundreds of people each year in Kashmir without charge or trial under a "draconian" Indian law.

The “sound and fury” of U.S.-Pakistan ties (Part II)

March 20, 2011

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I have (somewhat belatedly) got around to reading the full text of the statement made by Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani condemning last week’s drone strike in North Waziristan which killed more than 40 people. The strike has reignited tensions with Washington, and came only a day after Pakistan released Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor who shot dead two Pakistanis, after a bruising row with the United States. 

The “sound and fury” of U.S.-Pakistan ties

March 17, 2011

rayjmonddavisphotoWith the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, the United States and Pakistan have put behind them one of the more public rows of their up-and-down relationship.  It was probably not the worst row — remember the furore over a raid by U.S. ground troops in Angor Adda in Waziristan in 2008, itself preceded  by a deluge of leaks to the U.S. media about the alleged duplicity of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency in its dealings on Afghanistan.

Guest contribution-a tribute to Shahbaz Bhatti

By Guest Contributor
March 17, 2011

shahbaz(The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the author’s alone. The writer is Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK)

Will S. Arabia broker a deal to repair Pakistan-US ties?

March 15, 2011

With the U.S.-Pakistan dispute over CIA contractor Raymond Davis stuck in Pakistani courts, newspapers are reporting that the two countries’ common ally, Saudi Arabia, may step in to defuse the deepening crisis between them.

Keeping Raymond Davis and Lashkar-e-Taiba in perspective

March 15, 2011

tajmumbaiAccording to the New York Times, Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor arrested in Pakistan for shooting dead two Pakistanis in what he says was an act of self-defence, was working with a CIA team monitoring the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group.

Towards a review of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

March 12, 2011

rehman malikAfter two assassinations, Pakistani politicians are finally beginning to address tensions over the country’s blasphemy laws.