Pakistan: Now or Never?

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.

Pakistan’s Zardari wins mixed reviews with U.S. trip

September 29, 2008

President Asif Ali Zardari meets Alaska Governor Sarah Palin/Shannon StapletonDepending on who you read, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was either an embarrassment for trying to flirt with Sarah Palin during his trip to New York last week, or a street-smart wheeler-dealer bravely standing up to Islamist militancy after the assassination of his wife Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan: firing reported on Indian and Afghan borders

September 22, 2008

Just two days after a suicide bomb attack on the Marriott killed 53 people in the heart of Islamabad, there were reports of trouble both on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan and on the Line of Control with India.  

U.S., bin Laden losing support in Pakistan – Pew report

September 19, 2008

Both the United States and Osama bin Laden are losing support in Pakistan, according to the latest Pew Global Attitudes report released this week (download the full PDF report to see details on Pakistan).

Nudging India and Pakistan towards peace

September 13, 2008

Barricade of burning tyres in Srinagar/Fayaz KabliOne of the more recurrent themes in U.S. political punditry these days is the need to nudge India and Pakistan towards peace. The theory is that this would bolster the new civilian government in Islamabad by encouraging trade and economic development, reduce a rivalry that threatens regional stability, including in Afghanistan, and limit the role of the Pakistan Army, whose traditional dominance has been fuelled by a perceived threat from India.

A decisive moment : India, Pakistan on different paths

September 7, 2008

The irony is hard to miss. Just as Pakistan is struggling with the fallout of the first known breach of its territorial sovereignty by U.S. ground troops and all the odium associated with it in a proud nation, India has been welcomed into the nuclear high table, almost entirely at America’s behest.

Obama says Pakistan used U.S. aid to prepare for war against India

September 6, 2008

Senator Obama speaks in Milwaukee/Allen FredricksonSenator Barack Obama has accused Pakistan of misusing U.S. military aid meant to help it fight al Qaeda and the Taliban to prepare for war against India. In an interview with Fox News he also says the United States must put more pressure on Pakistan to crack down on Islamist militants, hold it accountable for increased military support, and be prepared to act aggressively against al Qaeda; “if we have bin Laden in our sights, we target him and we knock him out,” he says. However he adds that “nobody talked about some full-blown invasion of Pakistan.”

Does Obama’s choice of Biden spell hope for Pakistan?

August 23, 2008

File photo of Senators Obama and Biden/John GressDemocrat Senator Joseph Biden, chosen by Barack Obama as his running mate, said famously early on that America needed to have a Pakistan policy, not a Musharraf policy.

Afghanistan: Kandahar by Humvee

August 21, 2008

Afghanistan Chief Correspondent Jon Hemming, with Afghan children in QalatHere’s a great story by Jon Hemming (pictured left), Reuters Chief Correspondent in Afghanistan, on a recent trip he made to Kandahar with U.S. troops: