Pakistan: Now or Never?

Obama’s Kashmir comments hit a raw nerve in India

November 3, 2008

Barack Obama has hit a raw nerve in India by suggesting the United States should try to help resolve the Kashmir dispute so that Pakistan can focus on hunting down Islamist militants on its north-western frontier — who in turn threaten stability in Afghanistan — rather than worrying about tensions with India on its eastern border. India is extremely sensitive to any suggestion of outside interference in Kashmir, which it sees as a bilateral dispute, though Pakistan itself has long chafed against this position.

Will the U.S. have to turn to Iran for help on Afghanistan?

October 28, 2008

Will the United States have to turn to its old nemesis Iran for help in Afghanistan? A couple of articles out this month suggest it will.

Al Qaeda – From bin Laden’s cave command to regionalised “franchise company”?

October 23, 2008

Osama bin Laden is no longer involved in the day-to-day planning of attacks, Germany’s spy chief says, arguing that al Qaeda has turned from a centralised force into a regionalised “franchise company” with power centres in Pakistan, North Africa and the Arab peninsula. Does this weaken or strengthen the Islamist militant group? And how does it influence its operations, planning of attacks and its efforts to recruit new followers?

Singer flees Pakistan northwest, fear of Talibanisation grows

October 16, 2008

Is this what the future holds for Pakistan?

Haroon Bacha, a  Pashtun singer, has fled his home in the Pakistani city of  Peshawar after a year of phone calls, text messages and even personal visits warning him to stop playing, the New York Times reported this week.

The sound and fury of the Pakistan-Afghanistan debate

October 15, 2008

Marriott Hotel in Islamabad after bombingThe debate about the fate of Pakistan and Afghanistan is getting noisier by the day.

Pakistani-Americans looking to Obama to ease rhetoric

October 14, 2008

Is U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama going to heed calls from Pakistani-Americans to tone down his statements on hunting militants inside Pakistan ?

Afghanistan: the 20-year war?

October 13, 2008

America is in Afghanistan for the long haul and the sooner it tells its people the better it would be for its own sake, says top U.S. military scholar Anthony Cordesman in a study published by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Tactics versus strategy in Afghanistan

October 11, 2008

Reading the latest spate of news reports about U.S. policies in Afghanistan, one thing strikes me as troubling — the failure to distinguish between tactics and strategy. Military boffins argue about the exact meaning of those two words, but for the purposes of argument, let’s say that tactics are a means to an end, while strategy contains within it an understanding of the end to be attained.

Does anyone care about bin Laden any more?

October 2, 2008

May file photo of Pakistani TalibanThere have been many contradictory reports this week about whether Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, had died. Pakistan’s Geo television channel said that the leader of the Pakistani Taliban had died of kidney failure after a long illness, while a Taliban spokesman dismissed the report.

The mystery of a downed drone in Pakistan

October 2, 2008

Last week, the Pakistan Army said it had recovered the wreckage of an unmanned aerial vehicle in the South Waziristan region, but it didn’t identify the aircraft.