Pakistan: Now or Never?

Pakistan names new spy chief: at U.S. behest or own move?

September 30, 2008

Pakistan has replaced the head of its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, following months of questions from the United States about its reliability in the battle against the Taliban and al Qaeda.  Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha, formerly head of military operations, will replace Lieutenant-General Nadeem Taj.

Revisiting America’s war in Afghanistan

September 26, 2008

File photo of Afghan riding a donkey past a destroyed tankI finally got around to reading Charlie Wilson’s War (much better than the film and considerably longer) about the U.S. Congressman who managed to drum up huge amounts of money to fund the mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980′s.

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

Why choose now to complain about Pakistan’s ISI?

August 1, 2008

Partial solar eclipse in Karachi/Athar HussainWhy now? Until this week, the ISI was an acronym for Pakistan’s powerful spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, that was little known outside of South Asia. Now it’s all over the American media as the organisation accused of secretly helping Islamist militants in  Afghanistan and Pakistan, while the country it works for is a crucial ally in the U.S. battle against al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Countering al Qaeda, a must-read for Pakistan

July 30, 2008

File photo of Osama bin LadenIt’s probably unusual to link to a report by the RAND Corporation and an op-ed on Foxnews.com in the same blog, but since both address the same subject – tackling al Qaeda in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region – here goes.

Bush’s Pakistan policies: caution or carelessness?

July 1, 2008

1998 file photo of bin Laden in AfghanistanMuch has been made of this week’s New York Times article accusing the Bush administration of allowing al Qaeda to rebuild in Pakistan’s tribal areas after it was chased out of Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks, not least because the White House took its eye off the ball as it turned its attention to Iraq.

Pakistan’s peace deals with militants: the march of folly?

May 24, 2008

SwatDespite the reservations of its principal ally, the United States, Pakistan’s new civilian leaders have gone ahead and sued for peace with militants in the Swat valley this week, and by all indications are about to cut another deal, and this with the head of the Taliban in the country.