Pakistan: Now or Never?

Sentenced to death: On Pakistan’s minorities

November 20, 2010

aasia bibiEarlier this year I asked someone who had been a senior minister in the government of Pakistan why the country could not change laws which discriminated against minorities. I asked the question because more than 80 people from the minority Ahmadi sect had just been killed in two mosques in Lahore, which at the time served as a wake-up call of the dangers of growing religious intolerance in Pakistan.

CFR on Pakistan: hold course (for now)

November 14, 2010

damadola2The Council on Foreign Relations has just released a new report on U.S. policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan based on a study by a bipartisan group chaired by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and former national security adviser Sandy Berger and directed by CFR senior fellow Daniel Markey.

Pakistan and the narrative of shame

November 11, 2010

lahore mosqueManan Ahmed has a piece up at Chapati Mystery which should be essential reading for anyone interested in the current state of Pakistan and its prickly relations with the west, particularly with the United States. 

Between the lines: Obama’s comments on Kashmir

November 8, 2010

nubra reducedPresident Barack Obama’s words on relations with Pakistan were always going to be carefully scripted during his visit to India, where even to say the word “Kashmir”  aloud in public can raise jitters about U.S. interference in what New Delhi sees as a bilateral dispute.

Guest contribution-Unifying Pakistan

November 3, 2010

sindh floodsThe 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.

On either side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border: Bajaur and Kunar

October 31, 2010

damadolaWhat is going on in Kunar and Bajaur, two neighbouring regions on either side of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border?

Will Obama refer to Kashmir in public in India?

October 30, 2010

fayazaward2Will President Barack Obama make some public remarks on Kashmir during his trip to India next month?

“Orientalism” in Afghanistan and Pakistan

October 22, 2010

dust storm twoIn his must-read essay on the debate about the state of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, Amil Khan has one of the best opening lines I’ve seen for a while: ”Much is said about Pakistan, but I’m constantly saddened that so many innocent pixels are lost without good cause.”

Pakistan – a list too long

October 19, 2010

childPakistani journalist Mosharraf Zaidi had a good post up last week attempting to frame the many different challenges Pakistan faces in trying to deal with terrorism.  Definitely worth a read as a counter-balance to the vague “do more” mantra, and as a reminder of how little serious public debate there is out there about the exact nature of the threat posed to a nuclear-armed country of some 180 million people, whose collapse would destabilise the entire region and beyond.

Taliban talks: “an iffy, high-level treaty”

October 15, 2010

arghandab3In Obama’s Wars, Rob Woodward attributes the following thoughts to U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke on the prospects for a peaceful settlement to the Afghan war: