Pakistan: Now or Never?

The shifting alliances of Pakistan and Afghanistan’s militants

October 22, 2009

The Jihadica website has just posted an item about an apparent rift between al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban in the so-called Quetta shura led by Mullah Omar.

Afghanistan, Pakistan and … all the other countries involved

October 20, 2009

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have questioned before the value of the “AfPak” label, which implies that an incredibly complicated situation involving many different countries can be reduced to a five-letter word.

Attack in Iran: What are the links to Pakistan?

October 18, 2009

A week after suspected Sunni Islamist insurgents attacked the headquarters of the Pakistan Army, a suicide bomber killed six senior Revolutionary Guards commanders and 25 other people in Shi’ite Iran in one of the deadliest attacks in years on the country’s most powerful military institution.

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.

Obama says not seeking military bases in Afghanistan

June 4, 2009

When President Barack Obama unveiled his plans for Afghanistan and Pakistan in March, he promised to involve other countries with a stake in the region, including the Central Asian states, the Gulf nations and Iran; Russia, India and China. But a major sticking point in enlisting regional support has been distrust over the United States’ long-term intentions for Afghanistan.  Washington has never been able to shake off suspicions that it is using its battle against the Taliban and al Qaeda to establish a permanent military presence in the region. 

Iran presses Pakistan to curb militant groups

June 1, 2009

Pakistan is already under intense pressure from the United States and India to crack down on militant groups inside its borders. Now Iran has added its own pressure after 25 people were killed last week in the bombing of a Shi’ite mosque in Zahedan, in the southeast of the country towards the Pakistan border.

Nuclear South Asia: Iran fires a shot at India

May 4, 2009

Iran looks like it will come out swinging at a global conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) opening in New York on Monday, and in the process take a swipe at Israel as well as India.

In Afghanistan, China extends its reach

March 23, 2009

Afghanistan sits on one of the largest mineral deposits in the region, the country’s mines minister told Reuters in an interview this month.

Afghanistan and the breakdown of the balance of power

January 27, 2009

Keeping track of the many countries with a stake in Afghanistan — and the shifting alliances between them — is beginning to feel awfully like one of those school history lessons when you were supposed to understand the complex and tenuous balance of power whose breakdown led to World War One.

Eye on Pakistan’s Baluchistan as violence mounts

January 5, 2009

While the firepower and consequently all the media attention has been focused on Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the North West Frontier Province, violence in Baluchistan province to the south has worsened.
 
The year gone by was the bloodiest in a decade for Baluchistan, the country’s largest but most impoverished province where a low key insurgency has raged for decades, the Daily Times said. Official data showed a steadily rising level of violence, up from 303 people killed in 2005 to 433 in 2008, the first time killings crossed the 400-mark.