Pakistan: Now or Never?

Fake degrees stir fear of ‘mini mid-term polls’ in Pakistan

June 29, 2010

punjab universityPakistani education authorities are verifying university degrees of members of parliament amid fears that scores of them could be disqualified for holding “fake degrees”, leading to “mini mid-term elections” less than three years after general elections were held in the country.

from India Insight:

Killing of civilians fuels Kashmir anger

June 17, 2010

Supporters of separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq shout slogans while being detained by police during a protest in Srinagar June 17, 2010. REUTERS/Fayaz KabliJust days ago, scenic Kashmir, torn by two decades of war, was near normal.

Thousands of tourists were flocking to the region and honeymooners were once again gliding in shikaras, small Kashmiri boats, across the mirror-calm Dal Lake.

New report accuses Pakistan’s ISI of backing Afghan insurgents

June 13, 2010

us soldiersAccording to a new report published by the London School of Economics, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency not only funds and trains Taliban fighters in Afghanistan but is officially represented on the movement’s leadership council, giving it significant influence over operations.

Killings of Ahmadis unleashes fresh soul-searching over Pakistan’s identity

June 2, 2010

ahmadiIn a country which has suffered many bombings, the killing of more than 80 people in two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore last week has unleashed a particularly anguished bout of soul-searching in Pakistan, going right to the heart of its identity as an Islamic nation.

from India Insight:

In Kashmir, nearly half favour independence

May 29, 2010

Nearly half of the people living in the Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir want their disputed and divided state to become an independent country, according to a poll published by think tank Chatham House.

Between golf and war, Pakistan’s General Kayani’s future is debated

May 26, 2010

kayani profileThe Pakistan Army prides itself on being an institution which rises above politics and personal ambition, committed to defend the interests of the nation. That this has not always been the case is demonstrated by its history of military coups, and a tendency of past military rulers, from General Zia ul-Haq to former president Pervez Musharraf, to impose a very personal brand of leadership.  Where Zia pushed Pakistan towards hardline Islam, Musharraf aimed at “enlightened moderation” in a country he wanted modelled more on Turkey than on Saudi Arabia.

In Pakistan, making sense of the “do more” mantra

May 19, 2010

damadola2White House National Security Adviser Jim Jones and CIA director Leon Panetta are visiting Pakistan to step up pressure on militant groups following this month’s failed car-bombing in New York’s Times Square. But what specifically do they want from Pakistan in what has now become a familiar “do more” mantra from the U.S. administration?  That, as yet, is not entirely clear.

Kashmir-beginning the long road back into peace talks

May 16, 2010

fayazaward2Indian writer A.G. Noorani has just become the latest to weigh in on the parameters of a possible peace deal in Kashmir.  Writing in Dawn newspaper, he argues that  no solution will work unless it is supported by a domestic consensus within each of the three parties involved – India, Pakistan and Kashmir.

On microfinance in Pakistan

May 15, 2010

women cottonGiven the amount of negative news about Pakistan in the last few weeks,  it is good to see a report about something going reasonably well, with this article by the blog Changing up Pakistan on the country’s first microfinance institution. 

Guest contribution-The United States and Pakistan

May 13, 2010

orakzaiThe following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the author’s alone. The writer is a defence expert and author of two books on the Pakistan Army.