Pakistan: Now or Never?

Talk of Waziristan offensive picks up in Pakistan

October 2, 2009

According to Dawn newspaper, the Pakistan Army is poised to launch a major military operation in South Waziristan, stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban.

India, Pakistan and Afghanistan: the impossible triangle

September 25, 2009

A single paragraph in General Stanley McChrystal’s leaked assessment of the war in Afghanistan has generated much interest, particularly in Pakistan.

The missile shield and the “grand bargain” on Afghanistan and Pakistan

September 17, 2009

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.

India and Pakistan: looking beyond the rhetoric (part 2)

September 14, 2009

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”.

Jaish building new base in Pakistan’s south Punjab-report

September 13, 2009

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.

Afghanistan, still the new Vietnam ?

August 24, 2009

Try hard as you can, there doesn’t seem to be any escaping from comparing America’s eight-year war in Afghanistan to the one it fought in Vietnam.

Pakistan: After Mehsud, Mullah Omar in the cross-hairs?

August 17, 2009

Bruce Riedel, who led a review of the “Af-Pak” strategy for the Obama administration, says the United States must now target Mullah Mohammad Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, following the apparent death of the chief of the Pakistani Taliban this month.

Pakistan after Baitullah; a new political hurdle

August 9, 2009

The obvious question to ask about the apparent death of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in a U.S. drone attack (apart from the question of proving his death) is what, or who, is next? Does the Pakistan Army still go into South Waziristan to fight the Taliban, or does it consider it “mission accomplished”? And after apparently eliminating a militant leader who had focused on targetting Pakistan, will it now go after other militants whose main area of operation is Afghanistan?

Punishing Baitullah Mehsud

August 5, 2009

Pakistan’s military campaign against Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan has been seen very much as a punitive mission - and that has just been forcefully highlighted by reports that the Pakistani Taliban leader’s wife was killed in a missile strike. A relative said that Mehsud’s second wife had been killed when a U.S. drone fired missiles into her father’s house in the village of Makeen. He said four children were among the wounded.

Manmohan Singh’s Pakistan gamble

July 30, 2009

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has staked his political reputation on talks with Pakistan, earning in equal measure both praise and contempt from a domestic audience still burned by last November’s attack on Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants.