Welcome To Imtiaz Gul Official Website
 

Menu:

Welcome To Imtiaz Gul Official Website

Latest Articles

What next?..................................................................(Friday Times, Sep 05 ,2014)
Will September 2 be remembered as a day when the elected Parliament gathered around its leader Nawaz Sharif in a loud and clear message of support for him and rejection of non-constitutional assaults on the system, led by Imran Khan and......[ Read Full Story ]

Political parties and democracy?............................(Express Tribune,, Sep 03 ,2014)
“Political parties make strong demands for the conduct of free and fair elections to legislative bodies, but choose to ignore the application of the same principles when it comes to the functioning of their own party organs.”............................[ Read Full Story ]

Now or never.............................................................(Friday Times,,, August 29 ,2014)
It is now or never, say the proponents of the protests led by Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri, voicing support for their leaders’ demand that Nawaz Sharif step down. They believe that the British era elitist model of governance that only..........[ Read Full Story ]

Equal citizens?..............................................................(The News,, August 25 ,2014)
In recent months Pakistan has witnessed an unusual surge in violence against religious minorities who have faced violence across the country. Not only have Pakistani Christians, Ahmadis, Sikhs, and Hindus suffered at the hands of unknown............[ Read Full Story ]

Double jeopardy.......................................................(Friday Times,, August 22 ,2014)
Regardless of the outcome of the so-called marches on Islamabad in the name of “revolution and “real independence,” they reflect a gradual build up accruing from a litany of mistakes that the government in Punjab and in Islamabad.................[ Read Full Story ]

A sorry tale of friendship..........................................(Friday Times,, August 15 ,2014)
This is a sad tale of a conference at Islamabad’s Pakistan-China Friendship Centre on August 5, organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the....[ Read Full Story ]

Law and order.........................................................(Friday Times,, August 08 ,2014)
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is abuzz with the debate as to whether the provincial police is poised to become a model law enforcement agency under Nasir Durrani, the inspector general. Durrani claims that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police.............[ Read Full Story ]

Geopolitics, Libya and Palestine...........................(Express Tribune,, August 01 ,2014)
Mass evacuations of foreign nationals from the embattled cities of Libya, including Tripoli and Benghazi, continues. The mass exodus was triggered by Ansar al-Sharia’s claim of control on Benghazi late last week. The group....................................[ Read Full Story ]

From tactics to strategy............................................(Friday Times,, August 01 ,2014)
Pakistani leaders told the visiting US Special Representative James Dobbins on July 21 that the army is going after all militants in North Waziristan, without any distinction, and the operation will continue the objectives are met..............................[ Read Full Story ]

What ails our wings.............................................................(The News, July 25 ,2014)
Pakistani airports and the national airline stand out as a microcosm of the political ineptitude, administrative incompetence and social apathy that one comes across all over the country. As the first entry and last exit point,..................................[ Read Full Story ]

The battle for hearts and minds......................................(Friday Times, July 25 ,2014)
For the first time in Pakistan’s history, three major stakeholders – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Army find themselves caught in an unprecedented point-scoring.........................[ Read Full Story ]

Benazir trial & the criminal justice system................(Express Tribune, July 23 ,2014)
“Basically, our criminal justice system is responsible for the delay in the trial in this case.” This comment by Sardar Mohammad Latif Khan Khosa, the PPP secretary-general and a senior counsel in the Benazir Bhutto murder case,.................................[ Read Full Story ]

A new Afghan policy.......................................................(Friday Times, July 18 ,2014)
In June 2014, a Pakistani delegation consisting of a senior foreign office official and veteran Pashtun leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai met President Hamid Karzai. The objective was to take the Afghan leader on board for...........................[ Read Full Story ]

Policing Sindh....................................................................(The News , July 18 ,2014)
The removal early July of the Sindh police chief Iqbal Mehmood after a mere three-months in office makes a perfect case study for the need to revamp the police force across Pakistan and liberate it from political-bureaucratic clutches...................[ Read Full Story ]

The media in Balochistan........................................(Express Tribune, July 16 ,2014)
Balochistan continues to bleed and remains in the clutches of retrogressive tribalism, brutal multidimensional state and non-state militarism. It is also stymied by the curse of cronyism, rampant crime, and a damning collusion among the ............[ Read Full Story ]

Is this the end of the strategic depth doctrine?............(Friday Times, July 11 ,2014)
The alarming unraveling of circumstances in and around Iraq – the declaration of the caliphate by the new goliath of jihadists – al Baghdadi – and shocking fissures that Pakistan is experiencing internally underscore a stark, bitter reality:.....[ Read Full Story ]

Terror, crime and the tardy justice system..............(Express Tribune, July 02 ,2014)
A big question hangs around the perceived impact of the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) 2014. Will it make Pakistan safer and accelerate the disposal of cases at various courts? A massive pendency of more than 2.5 million in lower...............[ Read Full Story ]

Airports and Aviation Authority...................................(Weekly Pulse, June 30 ,2014)
Pakistani airports and the national airline PIA certainly represent a microcosm of the political ineptitude, administrative incompetence, and social apathy that one comes across all over. As the first entry and last exit point,...........................[ Read Full Story ]

There will be consequences.................................(The Friday Times, June 27 ,2014)
What distinguishes Dr Tahirul Qadri from the militants operating out of the mountainous Waziristan region if viewed against the backdrop of the violence and lawlessness accompanying Qadri’s arrival on June 24th? Not...................................[ Read Full Story ]

What happens in Syria...........................................(The Friday Times, June 20 ,2014)
Pakistan’s turn-around early this year on Syria and its faltering relations with Iran epitomize the ambivalence that has accompanied its foreign policy for decades. Geo-political compulsions aside, our foreign policy has either remained.......[ Read Full Story ]

Uzbeks in Waziristan...............................................(The Friday Times, June 13 ,2014)
“Tahir Jan is dead.” A rumour about Tahir Yuldashev, amid a siege by the Pakistan Army and the FC, triggered a massive rebellion in the village of Kaloosha, South Waziristan in March 2004. What followed within hours was a bloody trail for............[ Read Full Story ]

What's behind Karachi airport attack?........................................(CNN, June 09 ,2014)
It was the Pakistani Taliban's biggest strike on state security apparatus -- in terms of human casualties -- and is a reminder of the massive security challenge that comes from affiliates of al Qaeda holed up in the mountainous...............................[ Read Full Story ]

Shadowboxing?......................................................(The Friday Times, June 06 ,2014)
At a traditional tribal Jirga in Miranshah on May 25 – presumably at the instance of Hafiz Gul Bahadur and the Haqqanis – a scion of the Waziristan’s fabled Faqeer of Ippi was also present. His name is Sher Mohammad...........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Beyond veiled exchanges..................................................(The News June 01 ,2014)
A video released last year by the media wing of Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), Islami Awazi (Voice of Islam), Abuzar al-Burmi, flanked by a German and a Chinese militant, called on the “mujahideen” to shift their focus on Chinese.................[ Read Full Story ]

A tightrope walk to Delhi.......................................(The Friday Times May 30 ,2014) The optics in New Delhi were fantastic. Nawaz Sharif’s maiden meeting with Narendra Modi drew worldwide attention. Cameras, microphones and eyes were fixed on their body language too, particularly when Modi vehemently shook...........[ Read Full Story ]

Managing Modi..........................................................(The Friday Times May 23 ,2014)
Narendera Modi’s phenomenal success nearly stunned almost all political pundits even including his rivals such as Lalu Prasad Yadev and Deve Gowda – who vowed to change their names or leave Karnataka if Modi won. This has also....................[ Read Full Story ]

Dire consequences..................................................(The Friday Times May 14 ,2014)
Pakistan became a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) multilateral treaty in April 2008.  It commits its signatories to work toward the granting of economic, social, and cultural rights..........[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan’s multiple crises.................................(The Express Tribune, May 14 ,2014)
An international conference at Oxford University on May 10 looked at the possible opportunities that may arise out of the multiple crises that Pakistan currently faces. During proceedings and presentations, the 27 speakers ...................[ Read Full Story ]

Rid FATA of the FCR.............................................(The Express Tribune, May 07 ,2014)
The 1901 Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) governing the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) remains an aberration in the age of cyberspace. It is a set of laws that was essentially a replication of the British-era magistracy system,..............[ Read Full Story ]

The Afghan challenge.......................................(The Express Tribune,, April 30 ,2014)
On April 26, the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the preliminary results of the April 5 presidential elections, with Dr Abdullah Abdullah in the lead with 44.9 per cent of the votes, followed by..................................[ Read Full Story ]

Towards a pragmatic judiciary........................(The Express Tribune,, April23 ,2014)
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani seems to be gradually diluting what critics have often derided and dismissed as the ‘overbearing influence’ of his predecessor Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. In several recent speeches,.......[ Read Full Story ]

A new Afghanistan?..............................................(The Friday Times,, April18 ,2014)
he vote count in Afghanistan is still on. Initial official but partial results by its Independent Election Commission (IEC) appear to put Dr Abdullah Abdullah ahead of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, with Zalmay Rassoul, the Karzai favourite, .........................[ Read Full Story ]

Vandalising Islamabad and the rule of law...............(The Express Tribune,, April16 ,2014)
This can happen only in Pakistan: the prime minister rides through a bone-jarring road that leads up to a hill within Zone 5 — the designated area for a National Park in Islamabad’s master plan. Within hours, the beautiful locality...............[ Read Full Story ]

Faith, accountability and rule of law...............(The Express Tribune,, April 09 ,2014)
Addressing the launch ceremony of a new think tank on April 4, which was attended by religio-political leaders and activists, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan touched upon an issue that he considers is responsible for the social.............[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan-bashing and the Awami League.......(The Express Tribune,, April 02 ,2014)
Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, formerly the Zia/ Dacca International Airport perhaps, epitomises the long Sufi tradition that Bangladesh boasts of. Bengali Muslims owe this to the great saint Khwaja Enayetpuri, whose..........................[ Read Full Story ]

Analysis: Putting talks in context...................................(Daily Dawn, March 27 ,2014)
The government and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan sat down on Wednesday to find a mutually agreed way to peace. This first, direct contact is nothing short of the first major step towards legitimising a group that is proscribed by.........................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan Day in Dhaka....................................(The Express Tribune,, March 26 ,2014)
On March 23 in Dhaka, I woke up to a copy of the Daily Star. What greeted me inside, as I flipped the paper, was the Pakistan Day supplement with a bland full page adorned with portraits of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, President..........................................[ Read Full Story ]

What China wants...............................................(The Friday Times,, March 21 ,2014)
During his rare visit to Kabul in February, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized categorically that ”the peace and stability of Afghanistan has an impact on the security of western China, and more importantly, it affects the tranquility and development of the entire region”. Most observers interpreted it as an ..............................[ Read Full Story ]

A bureaucratic cocktail......................................(The Friday Times,, March 14 ,2014)
In a country that has looked more like a rudderless ship than a functional state, the National Internal Security Policy (NISP) marks the first major response to the multitude of challenges that Pakistan faces today. It provides some guiding.............[ Read Full Story ]

Don’t write off Karzai....................................(The Express Tribune,, March 12 ,2014)
Ever since Afghan President Hamid Karzai became vocal in his criticism of the US role in the last decade and publicly made signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) conditional, American officials and media began peddling the...............[ Read Full Story ]

Before the next attack.........................................(The Friday Times,, March 07 ,2014)
Within hours of the Islamabad court carnage on March 3, chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani vowed to take the culprits to task. The next day, he ordered the installation of security cameras at all court premises....................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Dealing with paradoxes.............................(The Express Tribune,, February 26 ,2014)
Is Pakistan becoming a deeply political nation with a thirst for extremism or is it just the largely vision-less political parties whose lacklustre and self-serving approaches are giving way to radicalisation? Should the West invest in .........................[ Read Full Story ]

Cauldron of proxy wars..............................(The Express Tribune,, February 18 ,2014)
In an interview with The Guardian, Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab, seems to have hit the nail on the head when talking about the roadblocks to trade between India and Pakistan...........................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

The paradoxes of negotiating with Taliban......(The Friday Times,, February 14 ,2014)
Writing in The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History in their 2011 article titled “The Paradoxes of Negotiating with Terrorist and Insurgent Organizations”, Isabelle Duyvesteyn and Bart Schuurman maintain that such..............................[ Read Full Story ]

Enforcing the rule of law...........................(The Express Tribune, February 12 ,2014)
During a hearing on January 23, senior judge of the Supreme Court Justice Jawwad S Khawaja asked that if the anti-corruption institutions fall into slumber, should the courts close their eyes too? Australia has mentioned in its law that.................[ Read Full Story ]

Maybe it’s time we change our ways.............(The Friday Times, February 07 ,2014)
A number of Pakistanis took offence to the 2013 global survey conducted by the Worldwide Independent Network/Gallup released recently. The poll placed Pakistan second behind the United States in terms of the threat it poses............[ Read Full Story ]

Playing with fire...............................................(The Friday Times, February 07 ,2014)
“We are as eager to enforce Sharia as the prime minister is for peace talks,” Ehsanulla Ehsan, a former spokesperson for the TTP, told a Peshawar-based journalist hours after the outfit tossed up its nominees for talks with the government.........[ Read Full Story ]

Prosecution and the rule of law..................(The Express Tribune, February 05 ,2014)
The UN secretary general in a 2004 report, The rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies, defined rule of law as “a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, ............................[ Read Full Story ]

Peshawar’s governance paralysis....................(The Friday Times, January 24 ,2014)
Peshawar, the once fabled capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), symbolises the decline that major Pakistani towns and cities have endured in the last.............[ Read Full Story ]

Paralysis of the state.........................................(The Friday Times, January 24 ,2014)
The latest wave of violence in Pakistan betrays the pattern that we have seen since December 2007, and needs to be looked at in a different way...............[ Read Full Story ]

Confused state...............................................................(The News, January 23 ,2014)
At least 40 deaths within five days in three incidents – about ten in an apparent suicide blast in the busy RA Bazaar of Rawalpindi on January 19, and a remotely-operated time-device embedded in a van carrying Frontier Corps soldiers,...................[ Read Full Story ]

Counter-Terror Policy and Prosecution: Time to plug loopholes..............(Weekly Pulse, January 20 ,2014)
Two days after the assassination (January 9) of Chaudhry Aslam, the Karachi police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Mullah Fazlullah and Spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid. .......................[ Read Full Story ]

Burden of proof.................................................(The Friday Times, January 17 ,2014)
Two days after the assassination of Chaudhry Aslam, Karachi police registered a case against Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah and spokesman Shahidullah Shahid. The latter’s claim of responsibility, it seems,...............................[ Read Full Story ]

Caught in the middle...........................................(The Friday Times, January 10 ,2014)
The two most pressing challenges that Pakistan faces in 2014 relate to worsening security and an unstable economy, reeling from more than a decade of insecurity................................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Gulf of mistrust............................................................(The News, January 01 ,2014)
Mutual suspicions, acrimony, allegations, and brinkmanship marked the Pakistan-Afghan relations during 2013. Pakistan “released” Mulla Baradar and some three dozen Taliban prisoners................................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Tools of trade...............................................(The Friday Times, December 20 ,2013)
The Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP Plus) that the European Parliament recently granted to Pakistan for three years underscores an unusual level of goodwill for the conflict-hit country...........................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Don’t squander EU goodwill................................(Weekly Pulse, December 20 ,2013)
The Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP Plus) that the European Parliament recently granted to Pakistan for three years underscores an unusual level of goodwill for the conflict-hit country............................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

The lost years?.................................................(The Friday Times, December 13 ,2013)
Unusual circumstances evoke unusual responses. This is what began playing out once Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry declined to sing General Musharraf’s song on March 9, 2007. This marked an epochal moment for Pakistan’s thus..................[ Read Full Story ]

The new army chief’s challenges....................(The Friday Times, December 06 ,2013)
The new army chief Gen Raheel Sharif has been called ‘professional’, ‘laid back’, ‘quiet’, ‘politically safe’ and ‘low profile’. Most observers, politicians and ex-servicemen tend to believe, or argue that his professional credentials...............................[ Read Full Story ]

A wake-up call................................................(The Friday Times, November 29 ,2013)
The PTI-led protest against drone strikes and the headless opposition to the movement of NATO cargo out of Afghanistan ahead of the December 2014 pullout deadline may have serious consequences for Pakistan..........................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Mourning a murderer....................................(The Friday Times, November 08 ,2013)
“It is surprising that he would be so missed in death when he was so despised in life,” a British friend based in New York said about Hakimullah Mehsud............[ Read Full Story ]

Speaking of sovereignty..................................(The Friday Times, November 01 ,2013)
When UN rapporteur on human rights and countering extremism Ben Emmerson visited Pakistan in March this year, the government of President Asif Ali Zardari asked him to stay away from media attention......................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Right step, wrong direction..............................(The Friday Times, October 25 ,2013)
It has never happened before. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif began his Washington visit with a courtesy call on the US Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department – a shocking visual for most Pakistanis indeed...............................................[ Read Full Story ]

The unusual reign of Gen Kayani.......................(The Friday Times, October 18 ,2013)
However controversial his reign as the chief of army staff, General Ashfaq Kayani owed his elevation and particularly his second tenure to an overwhelming desire that former Obama adviser Bruce Riedel made an indirect reference to..................[ Read Full Story ]

Proxy wars of Balochistan..................................(The Friday Times, October 11 ,2013)
The notion of foreign support for Baloch insurgents rests on a slippery slope. If a country accuses others of aiding separatism (India’s position on Pakistani support for Kashmiri separatists, or Pakistan’s allegation of Indian backing for the...............[ Read Full Story ]

Thought and action.............................................(The Friday Times, October 04 ,2013)
The Peshawar bloodbath must be seen in the context of two narratives – one coming from TTP’s Omar Studio Productions, and the other essentially from Pakistan’s TV and Radio. One is forceful and aggressive, revolving around........................[ Read Full Story ]

Lets Clear Confusion First..................................(Weekly Pulse, September 30 ,2013)
No words are enough to condemn the Sept 22 deadly twin suicide bombings at a Church in Peshawar. Neither is the case ambiguous any more; the nature of these strikes betrays a proxy war mounted on Pakistan to bleed and detsabilize.....[ Read Full Story ]

Geopolitical faultlines....................................(The Friday Times, September 27 ,2013)
There are three types of faultlines in South Asia - the fractures resulting from the movement of tectonic plates (as shown by the September 24 earthquake), the geopolitical differences that have kept Islamabad and New Delhi..........[ Read Full Story ]

Analysis: Diagnosis first, dialogue later....(The Express Tribune, September 24 ,2013)
The September 22 deadly twin suicide bombings at a church in Peshawar left no ambiguity about it – the nature of these strikes manifests a campaign targeting innocent Pakistani citizens, irrespective of faith, caste or creed, as well as...........[ Read Full Story ]

Double talk...................................................(The Friday Times, September 13 ,2013)
The All Parties Conference (APC) backing for initiating a dialogue with 'all stakeholders' and a crackdown against groups shy of peace talks can at best be called a growing confluence of civil and military views on the strategy for........................[ Read Full Story ]

An open letter to the interior minister.................(The Friday Times, August 23 ,2013)
Dear Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan,
The shameful but scary Sikandar Saga that played out near the Red Zone of the capital on August 15 exposed the intellectual paralysis and the institutional inefficiency that is glaringly evident as the hallmark of our security apparatus..................[ Read Full Story ]

Back to brinkmanship..........................................(The Friday Times, August 16 ,2013)
We are back to gauche brinkmanship. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for "a new beginning" in relations with India on August 13. No way, came the brash snub from New Delhi within a couple of hours. "India will not hold talks with..................[ Read Full Story ]

KP-FATA continue to bleed.........................................(Weekly Pulse, August 05 ,2013)
The daring jail break in Dera Ismail Khan on July 29 came as a yet another rude shock, as much as the April 2012 attack on the Bannu jail left many wondering as to whether the entire security apparatus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA is at...........[ Read Full Story ]

Breaking the walls..............................................(The Friday Times, August 02 ,2013)
The brazen Taliban attack on a jail in Dera Ismail Khan on July 29 to free their comrades has raised important questions about the preparedness of our security apparatus for a war that involves relentless attacks on key state institutions...............[ Read Full Story ]

Balochistan’s Relentless Power politics!........................(Weekly Pulse, July 29 ,2013)
Chief Minister Malik Baloch is a democratic nationalist. Despite enormous craving for taking Balochistan out of its current mess, the doctor-turned politician seems helpless – at least as of now – in the face of daunting challenges rooted..............[ Read Full Story ]

By proxy....................................................................(The Friday Times, July 26 ,2013)
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai reacted with an extremely measured and conditional response to Pakistan's invitation for a visit to Islamabad. That was not unexpected.............................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Lessons from Abbottabad..........................................(The Friday Times, July 19 ,2013)
Osama Bin Laden's escape from the Tora Bora mountains in Eastern Afghanistan in December 2001 to his last refuge in Abbottabad raised many questions. Some of them have been answered by the Abbottabad Commission,...........................[ Read Full Story ]

No respite..................................................................(The Friday Times, July 12 ,2013)
A comparison of terrorism statistics for the months of May and June shows violent attacks will continue regardless of who governs the country...............................[ Read Full Story ]

Terrorist do not favour any party...................................(Weekly Pulse, July 12 ,2013)
A comparison of statistics for the months of May and June makes it abundantly clear that violence under various covers continues to take lives – regardless of who governs the country. The number of deaths off violence during the month...............[ Read Full Story ]

Who massacred Pakistan's interests at Nanga Parbat?..............(Weekly Pulse, July 05 ,2013)
“We will absorb what you have done to us, but you will not be able to absorb what we might do to you.” These words that Vivek Katju, the chief Indian negotiator for the release of the hostages told me outside the Kandahar airport...............[ Read Full Story ]

Competitors of the state..........................................(The Friday Times, July 05 ,2013)
Dr Malik Baloch took charge as the chief minister of Balochistan on June 9. He was greeted with four dead bodies, apparently tortured, killed and dumped on the roadside. Then on 14th June, heavily armed militants bombed a bus carrying .......[ Read Full Story ]

Strategic blunder....................................................(The Friday Times, June 28 ,2013)
Pakistan denied its purported contacts with and influence over key Taliban leaders for years. Civil and military officials would reject out of hand any link whatsoever with any Taliban leaders. They also expressed ignorance of the.........................[ Read Full Story ]

The drone dilemma...................................................(The Friday Times, June 14 ,2013)
Following the June 7 drone strike on Al Qaeda targets in the mountainous Shawal area of Waziristan, Pakistan summoned Ambassador Richard Hoagland, the deputy head of the US mission, to protest this violation of its sovereignty...........................[ Read Full Story ]

Lessons from Turkey.............................................(The Friday Times, June 14 ,2013)
Two distinguished scholars from Turkey, Dr Nuri Tinaz and Dr Ali Murat Yel, identified insufficient quality education as Pakistan's biggest problem - something responsible, in their view, for the confusion that surrounds the..................................[ Read Full Story ]

Sharif’s Five “E-Challenges”..........................................(Weekly Pulse, June 07 ,2013)
Balochistan represents a microcosm of Pakistan’s politics of expedience. For decades, expedience ruled the roost and thus ruined the socio-political fabric of that unfortunate province, practically hostage to Nawabs, Mirs and Sardars,..................[ Read Full Story ]

Tightrope walk ahead for Nawaz Sharif......................(Foreign Policy, June 05 ,2013)
On Wednesday, Nawaz Sharif made history by becoming a three-time prime minister of the embattled nation of Pakistan. His thumping 244-vote......................[ Read Full Story ]

Deal or no deal?........................................................(The Friday Times, May 31 ,2013)
April 19, 2009 marked a watershed in the Pakistani military establishment's unrealistic view of Islamist militant groups. The then general officer commanding, Major General Ejaz Awan, and his troops had convinced the aging.......................................[ Read Full Story ]

Talks at what cost?...................................................(The Friday Times, May 24 ,2013)
The post-election Pakistan is echoing with slogans of change, reconciliation and the need for talks (including with the Taliban). Nawaz Sharif says there is no harm in talking to the Taliban. So does Imran Khan. Dialogue of course is the.........................[ Read Full Story ]

Breaking new grounds.............................................(The Friday Times, May 24 ,2013)
Mehreen Faruqi, a Muslim of Pakistani origin, broke new grounds when the Australian Greens party appointed her to the Upper House in the New South Wales. Faruqi, a Muslim academic, will replace Cate Faehrmann, who will resign.........................[ Read Full Story ]

Analysis: Indo-Pak relations and the curse of 24/7 TV.....(The Express Tribune May 23 ,2013)
War lobbies in both India and Pakistan continuously focus on the issues that prevent reconciliation, and the media happily stokes differences.........................[ Read Full Story ]

A swing to the right.................................................(The Friday Times, May 17 ,2013)
On May 11, Pakistan spoke again, this time predominantly for centrist, right-of-the-center, and religio-political parties. The turnout was unprecedented - over 60....[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan’s RIGHT Swing?.................................................(Weekly pulse, May 17 ,2013)
Election May 2013 marked another huge step forward in Pakistan’sdemocratic transition. The Punjab spoke out for Sharifs, Sindh for Bhuttos and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Imran Khan. Balochistan once again ended up politically and ..........................[ Read Full Story ]

No stepping backwards............................................(The Friday Times, May 10 ,2013)
We chose Kangaroo for the coat of arms of Australia because it symbolizes forward movement only, a caretaker at the Healesville Sanctuary outside Melbourne told us with a discernible sense of pride while walking past a......................................[ Read Full Story ]

Clear Messaging is what Pakistan Needs.....................(Weekly pulse, May 10 ,2013)
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s loaded speech that he delivered on the occasion of the 'Yaum-e-Shuhada' (Martyrs Day) ceremony at GHQ on April 30th came to the context of an unusual surge in violence and mounting speculation on the...................[ Read Full Story ]

Betting on the bat......................................................(The Friday Times, May 03 ,2013)
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) bank account has received a monthly average of Rs 100 million in private donations since mid-January. In the beginning of April, it had Rs 140 million. The balance decreased to Rs 50 million because of heavy withdrawals, but rose back to Rs 70 million by the end of the month. .....................................[ Read Full Story ]

Multiculturalism and women in Australia..................(Weekly pulse, May 03 ,2013)
A Pakistan-origin Muslim, MehreenFaruqi, broke new grounds when the Australian Greens party appointed her to the Upper House in the New South Wales. Faruqi, a Muslim academic, will replace Cate Faehrmann, who will resign in .....................[ Read Full Story ]

Truth and reconciliation.........................................(The Friday Times, April 26 ,2013)
The way Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court and Justice Kausar Zaidi of Islamabad Anti-Terrorist Court have handled former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf's case has raised legal concerns................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Western Lessons in Countering Extremism..................(Weekly pulse, April 19 ,2013)
At a recent conference in Ottawa, exchange of views with officials and experts from Australia, United Kingdom and Germany provided interesting perspectives on violent extremism. It was quite relieving to observe that a decade of state response to Al-Qaeda-inspired violence has entailed a number of lessons not onl ......[ Read Full Story ]

Balochistan braces for ballot..................................(The Friday Times, April 19 ,2013)
Quetta, the capital of the violence-prone Balochistan province is humming with some political activity. Major political parties are positioning themselves for the showdown on May 11, with each party attempting woo others for...............................[ Read Full Story ]

Cricket and Pak- Australia relations...........................(Weekly pulse, April 12 ,2013)
(Based on Imtiaz Gul’s recent visit to the Australian capital Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney)

Any discussion on Pak-Australia relations will remain incomplete without cricket. And Pakistani’s visit to Australia will probably be equally incomplete..........[ Read Full Story ]

A lost battle?...........................................................(The Friday Times, April 12 ,2013)
The diffusion of once monolithic Al Qaeda central into smaller but lethal territorial entities, though wedded to the same ideology, represents a much bigger challenge than Al Qaeda did from its safe haven in Afghanistan until 9/11....................................[ Read Full Story ]

Open Letter to CJ: Focus on Abuse of power................(Weekly pulse, April 05 ,2013)
My dear Chief Justice, More than 18,000 petitions in your court show the unprecedented trust that you and your colleagues have aroused among the public at large. Ever since March 2007, common Pakistanis have looked up to you all as..............[ Read Full Story ]

For better or worse.................................................(The Friday Times, April 05 ,2013)
The first three months of 2013 saw an unusual surge in violence across Pakistan. There have been an average 70 incidents of terrorism, violence and unrest every week since January. The average weekly death toll has been round 175 -..............[ Read Full Story ]

Missed opportunities..............................................(The Friday Times, March 22 ,2013)
Asif Ali Zardari took many Pakistanis by surprise on September 8, 2008 when he invited his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai to sit next to him for his post swearing-in interaction with the press. The move, it looked, was meant to underline................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan’s Oxymorons and Terrorism........................(Weekly pulse, March 22 ,2013)
Glaring contradictions continue to eat Pakistan from within; it’s touted to be an Islamic republic, but deceit and deception at highest political and military level deny the fundamentals of an Islamic republic such as honesty and integrity, and commitment to the people of Pakistan. The armed forces are supposed to guard ...............[ Read Full Story ]

Strange bedfellows................................................(The Friday Times, March 15 ,2013)
Five US troops were killed in a helicopter crash and two American soldiers died in a green-on-blue attack on March 11, making it the deadliest day for the United States in Afghanistan this year so far. Last year, attacks by Afghan troops .........[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan, US on same page? At least for now...........(Weekly pulse, March 15 ,2013)
As of March 2013, Pakistani and the American establishments are talking again. Afghanistan and Pakistan’s dealings with Iran (gas pipeline inaugurated on March 11) constitute the core of this dialogue that began unfolding soon after......[ Read Full Story ]

Arrows in the army's quiver...............................(The Friday Times, March 08 ,2013)
In a country where the military establishment has called the shots for most of its existence, an unusual focus on the army, particularly during times of crisis, makes sense. Whether it is the general elections,......................................................[ Read Full Story ]

The power of counter-narrative...........................(The Friday Times, March 01 ,2013)
After months of dithering, President Asif Ali Zardari signed the Fair Trial Bill of 2012 into law on February 20. The law empowers Pakistan's spy agencies to intercept private communications in order to catch terrorists............................................[ Read Full Story ]

Counter-Terror War: Indonesia and Pakistan............(Weekly Pulse, March 01 ,2013)
Indonesia with around 6,000 inhabited islands out of approximately 17,500 islands is a huge country with close to 250 million inhabitants. It has roughly 97 public universities, but the private universities or equivalent institutions are about 3,200....[ Read Full Story ]

Curious Parallels(Pat-II) ..................................................(The News, Feb 25 ,2013)
A scandal recently hit Indonesia’s Islamist, self-righteous Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) when the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the equivalent of Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau, named its president Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq...........[ Read Full Story ]

Curious Parallels(Pat-I) .......................................................(The News, Feb 23 ,2013)
The setting looks so familiar: Edhie Ibas Baskoro Yudhoyono, the son of the Indonesian president, being caught on camera asking his staff to bring him an attendance form for the plenary session of the House..........................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Getting real.................................................................(The Friday Times, Jan 11 ,2013)
Drone strikes on targets in Pakistani border territories remain highly contentious and deeply unpopular particularly among the political right and lower rungs of the security forces, which condemn these attacks as violation of...............................[ Read Full Story ]

Enemy is Not Amorphous..........................................(Weekly Pulse, Jan 04 ,2013)
In his address to the 98th Midshipmen Commissioning term and 7th SSC Officers class at Pakistan Naval Academy PNS Rahbar on Dec 29th, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani made a statement that merits a critical scrutiny....[ Read Full Story ]

The enemy is not amorphous.....................................(The Friday Times, Jan 04 ,2013)
The daring two-pronged storming of the Peshawar airbase on December 15, the assassination of Bashir Bilour in Peshawar on December 22, the cold-blooded execution of 22 Levies men near the city on December 29, and the killing............[ Read Full Story ]

Peshawar on the brink..............................................(The Friday Times, Dec 21 ,2012)
Peshawar is in the eye of the storm. Regardless of whether the orchestrators belong to Al Qaeda or Taliban, they have demonstrated that the old plan of laying siege around greater Peshawar is still very much in place. Back in early 2009...........[ Read Full Story ]

Eye spy.....................................................................(The Friday Times, Dec 14 ,2012)
Despite the changed dynamics of information - the combination of print, electronic and social media - the ISI continues to look at the world through the cold war era prism. Its policies still appear to rest on intrusive, preventive and obstructive.......[ Read Full Story ]

SPA with Afghanistan: Panacea for Peace?................(Weekly Pulse, Dec 14 ,2012)
A number of Pakistani and Afghan members of parliament and civil society recently got together in Islamabad as part of an Afghanistan-Pakistan Track Two dialogue. Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is the driving spirit behind.............................[ Read Full Story ]

Europe's war............................................................(The Friday Times, Dec 07 ,2012)
A recent consultative workshop on Effective Programming for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) at Brussels drew experts, academics and analysts from all over the world to provide practical ideas on how to programme..........................[ Read Full Story ]

Supreme Court Redefining Power Structures................(Weekly Pulse, Nov 09 ,2012)
Did the Oct 12 Supreme Court ruling on Balochistan spring any surprises? What is new in terms of facts on ground, and does it help the province break out of the clutches of Nawabs, Sardars and Mirs on the one hand and the..............................[ Read Full Story ]

What Obama's victory means for Pakistan.........(The Express Tribune, Nov 08 ,2012)
The victory speech US President Barack Obama gave to the roar of the crowd was a mixof confidence, sobriety, magnanimity, oratory and optimism......................[ Read Full Story ]

Anti-Terror Legislation: Finally visible?.......................(Weekly Pulse, Nov 02 ,2012)
On Oct 8th, the ruling coalition introduced a draft legislation titled ‘the Investigation for Fair Trial Bill 2012’ in the National Assembly. It is expected to formally pave the way for the government to tap phones and use e-mails...................................[ Read Full Story ]

Losing the war on drugs............................................(The Friday Times, Nov 02 ,2012)
Between 2001 and 2009, the US spent nearly $3 billion on the counter-narcotics mission in Afghanistan, becoming the largest contributor to international efforts against drug trade originating in Afghanistan.............................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Laws and outlaws......................................................(The Friday Times, Oct 26 ,2012)
President Asif Ali Zardari recently underscored the "need for consensus" to achieve "the desired results in the war against terror". The president warned against the use of force against a mindset which is widespread in cross....................................[ Read Full Story ]

Narcotics and the war...........................................................(The News, Oct 24 ,2012)
Narcotics – poppy and heroin – continue to serve as one of the major conflict drivers in Afghanistan. A recent United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report says that opium production nearly doubled in southern Afghanistan.....................[ Read Full Story ]

Analysis: Waziristan finally off US agenda?........(The Express Tribune, Oct 22 ,2012)
ISLAMABAD: If somebody thought the attack on Malala Yousafzai would amount to Pakistan’s “Moment of Action” when it came to tackling militant ideology, it was sheer delusion............[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan outraged over girl's shooting, but crackdown on Taliban unlikely................(The Los Angeles Times, Oct 12 ,2012)
The United States has long urged Pakistan to target North Waziristan. The Pakistani army has talked of an offensive there, but has never followed through...........[ Read Full Story ]

Laden in a clueless Pakistan...........................(The Hindu Business Line, Oct 05 ,2012)
Imtiaz Gul uses his excellent contacts and reach to portray Osama Bin Laden, considered the world’s No. 1 terrorist until the Americans took him out. His book Pakistan Before and After Osama explores at some length whether........................................[ Read Full Story ]

What stopped Putin?.........................................................(Friday Times, Oct 05 ,2012)
What made Russian President Vladimir Putin postpone his much-anticipated maiden visit to Pakistan? Did India, as many right-wing hardliners would have us believe, play dirty in subverting what could have been a landmark event, or did the ............[ Read Full Story ]

Game-changer?.................................................................(Friday Times, Sep 14 ,2012)
Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar seemed to exude the confidence that is required for a constructive......[ Read Full Story ]

Blasphemy law and criminal inaction of the ruling elite.(Weekly Pulse, Sep 14 ,2012)
Young but terrified Rimsha Masih is out. But her fate hangs in the balance because countless lunatics lurch around in the society who, despite the startling revelations, would still believe she committed a blasphemous..................................[ Read Full Story ]

Eleven years on, Pakistan seething in violence?..........(Weekly Pulse, Sep 07 ,2012)
Eleven years on, Pakistan faces unprecedented consequences of what began on October 7, 2001 as a crucial partnership in the coalition against terrorism. Today, about 36 percent of Pakistan’s territory is reeling under one or other...................[ Read Full Story ]

Open letter to the chief justice of Pakistan.....(The Express Tribune, August 31 ,2012)
On August 8, Mr Yaseen Azad, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, drew your attention to an extremely pressing issue, i.e., massive.........................[ Read Full Story ]

The Judiciary and the Kleptocrats.............................(Weekly Pulse, August 17 ,2012)
On August 13, the Supreme Court again took up the issue of the so-called "obscene TV programmes" and the exchange between the judges, lawyers and PEMRA officials revolved around the definition of obscenity.............................................[ Read Full Story ]

Indo-Pak on the way to ‘Peace’.................................(Weekly Pulse, August 10 ,2012)
A string of background interviews with senior civilian and military officials reflects a bit of new thinking within the policy planning apparatus. This indicates a new line of thinking i.e. reach out to India, because, presumably, if relations......................[ Read Full Story ]

India key to internal peace?...........................(The Express Tribune, August 09 ,2012)
After decades of relentless mutual pin-pricking, India and Pakistan appear to be moving out of the mutually damaging negative zone that have characterised their relations so far. A gradual change is possibly in the air, discernible from....................[ Read Full Story ]

The elusive alliance................................................(Foreign Policy, August 07 ,2012)
The July 31 U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing for ambassadors-designate Richard Olson (for Pakistan) and James Cunningham (for Afghanistan) exemplified the contradictory nature of U.S......................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan Must Change................................................(Weekly Pulse, August 03 ,2012)
The final deal on the ground lines of communications (GLOCs), and ISI Director-General, Lieutenant General Zaheer-ul Islam’s first formal interaction with his CIA counterpart in Washington, probably hardly matter to a relationship.............................[ Read Full Story ]

Change we need...................................................(The Friday Times, August 03 ,2012)
There is finally a deal on ground lines of communications between Pakistan and the US, and the new ISI director-general had his first formal interaction with his CIA counterpart in Washington. But that may not change much in..................................[ Read Full Story ]

The essence of democracy.......................................(The Friday Times, July 27 ,2012)
As a whole, the historic 18th, 19th and 20th amendments, the amicable determination of the 7th National Finance Commission (distribution of federal financial resources) among provinces, and at least a dozen laws relating to human and..................[ Read Full Story ]

Punishing Pakistan for non-action in North Waziristan?.....................(Weekly Pulse, July 27 ,2012)
Even if Pakistan and United States conclude the final deal on the ground lines of communications (GLOCs) early next month, the relations are likely to remain hostage to the ego and arrogance of a super power driven...................................[ Read Full Story ]

The issue of border attacks .............................(The Express Tribune, July 25 ,2012)
Two recent developments underscore the unravelling of contradictions that have accompanied the questionable US-led war against terrorism unleashed in October almost 11 years ago. In the first instance, the family of an al Qaeda member,...[ Read Full Story ]

Russia and Evolving Regional Order.............................(Weekly Pulse, July 20 ,2012)
For the past couple of years, Russia has been pursuing a pro-active engagement with both Afghanistan and Pakistan, shaking off the controversial and atrocious past resulting from its occupation of Afghanistan, probably.........................................[ Read Full Story ]

A new lens on Pakistan ...........................................(The Friday Times, July 20 ,2012)
For decades, an expressed desire for parity with India and a defence doctrine predicated on "strategic depth to the West" in case of a conflict with India shaped Pakistani responses to the issues in its neighbourhood.........................................[ Read Full Story ]

The judiciary’s ‘overdrive....................................................(The News, July 20 ,2012)
Pakistan is currently aflush with two opinions about the senior judiciary; its supporters hail the current conduct of the court as benchmark-setting but detractors begrudge the Supreme Court’s “activism” vis a vis state functionaries.........................[ Read Full Story ]

Balochistan: Crying for Attention: Crying for Attention..(Weekly Pulse, July 13 ,2012)
Law and order in Balochistan has broken down largely because of certain groups that enjoy direct or indirect support of some state institutions. The provincial government and the security forces, particularly the FC and..............................................[ Read Full Story ]

The dynamics of a crisis........................................................(The News, July 13 ,2012)
Balochistan has clearly turned into a security and governance black hole where multiple political, financial and criminal interests either converge or ....................[ Read Full Story ]

Who is Pakistan’s enemy?.................................(The Express Tribune, July 12 ,2012)
It is indeed certain that non-state actors serve as the basic ingredient of Pakistan’s discord, particularly with the United States, India and Afghanistan. Such groups have been operating, at times unhindered within Pakistan,. ........................[ Read Full Story ]

Workshop demands end to target killings in Balochistan..........(Daily Dawn, July 07 ,2012)
QUETTA, July 6: At a workshop on law and order situation in Balochistan, organised by Centre for Research and Security Studies on Friday, speakers urged all stakeholders, including the government, law-enforcement agencies, political leadership and others to play their due role to restore peace in the province and ........................[ Read Full Story ]

Does Pakistan have an Afghan strategy?................(The Friday Times, July 06 ,2012)
Does Pakistan have an Afghanistan strategy? Is it still a carry-over from the cold war era policy embedded in the desire for using Afghanistan as a strategic backyard in case of a conflict with India? Can the Pakistani military.........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Panetta and after.................................................................(The News, July 01 ,2012)
“Too much Panetta has spoiled the air,” remarked a senior American diplomat recently. This has left us little room for setting things back, he said, visibly anguished for having been caught between Pakistani demands.............................................[ Read Full Story ]

Fighting terror with prayers? ............................(The Express Tribune, June 29 ,2012)
On June 19, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain shocked us all when, at the end of his keynote speech at a CRSS-Radio launch ceremony in Peshawar, he asked all those present to..........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Hoping against Hope ...................................................(Weekly Pulse, June 29 ,2012)
Within two days (June 24/25) Pakistan Army lost 17 soldiers in twocross-border attacks in Upper Dir district. In surprise raids, MaulanaFazlullah-led militants from Afghanistan’s Kunar province inflicted the heaviest loss thus far.................................[ Read Full Story ]

Never before did they walk this path ................................(The News, June 28 ,2012)
The rise of Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to the prime minister’s office underscores a stark reality; we have lost fundamentals of ethics to politics of expedience. Most Pakistanis seem to have lost distinctionbetween the quest for rule of..................................[ Read Full Story ]

Rio the Beautiful......................................................(The Friday Times, June 22 ,2012)
The aerial view of Rio de Janiero at night is straight out of an animated fairy tale: flickering lights, wild sea waves smashing into the lit-up rocks and illuminated beach, and countless cars forming a beeline on its busy roads..............................[ Read Full Story ]

Disaster averted?....................................................(The Friday Times, June 22 ,2012)
The PPP seems to have read the writing on the wall and has chosen to avoid confrontation with an increasingly assertive superior judiciary. It finally gave up its defiant posturing and decided to replace disqualified prime..............................[ Read Full Story ]

Egyptian turmoil stokes up fears in Gulf ......................(Weekly Puls, June 22 ,2012)
The stunning, though not unexpected, ruling by Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court in Egypt Thursday that declared parliamentary elections null and void, followed by the actual dissolution of the parliament — which was ............................................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan and the SCO........................................(The Express Tribune, June 19 ,2012)
Pakistani officials insist that the Beijing Summit, held on June 8-9, turned out to be very useful considering the troubled times the country faces. After President Barack Obama did not officially meet President Asif Ali Zardari at the .................................[ Read Full Story ]

Regional Realities of Gulf Security and Transnational Concerns...................(Manama, Bahrain, June 13, 2012)
Pakistan – fighting many wars – suffering partly because of skewed and short-sighted domestic and foreign policies its military pursued for long. It is also suffering because the United States twice partnered with illegitimate military rulers...............[ Read Full Story ]

Looking ahead in the post-Spring era.....................(Manama, Bahrain, June 13, 2012)
sub-surface tribal and ethnic rivalries, quest for political freedoms, sectarian tensions,
the role of media and the impact of the US-led NATO's paradoxical Middle East policy on these conflicts dominated the proceedings.........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Brazil and Pakistan..............................................(The Express Tribune, June 06 ,2012)
Brazil attracted tourists from all over Europe for its triple ‘S’ appeal i.e., surfing, sun and sex. the world over, its carnivals were seen as synonymous with an extremely liberal society. Brazil was looked down upon as a country.............................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan should seize the moment......................(The Express Tribune, May 26 ,2012)
Cynics in and outside the country have derided any attempt by the government to try and resume the passage of US-Nato supplies as yet another capitulation to America. Others still have called it a compromise of national honour................................[ Read Full Story ]

What went wrong in Chicago?................................(The Friday Times, May 25 ,2012)
Regardless of the spins that Pakistani officials are now putting on President Asif Zardari's participation in the Chicago summit, predicating it on the need to be "present" at such an international forum, the occasion brought unnecessary.......................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan on Trial Again..................................................(Weekly Pulse, May 25 ,2012)
Pakistan got an unconditional invitation for the Chicago conference. NATO officials took the resumption of the ground lines of communication- GLOC – for granted. Little did they realize that the Pakistani and US officials.............................................[ Read Full Story ]

Embarrassment and patriotism ...............................(The Friday Times, May 11 ,2012)
Around 7:45 in the morning on 2nd May 2011, two consecutive calls on my cellphone pulled me out of bed. 'Osama has been found and killed in Abbottabad,' said the caller, my younger brother. This electrifying revelation....................................[ Read Full Story ]

Mending Pak-US ties: the Challenges ......................(Weekly Pulse, May 11 ,2012)
Mutually conflicting interests and different approaches to some of the fundamental issues continue to dog the Pakistan-US relations. Through revised recommendations, Pakistan’s parliament spelt out the main contours of its.........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Pak-US ties: Challenges ahead...........................(The Express Tribune, May 08 ,2012)
Ahead of a Nato summit in Chicago which is to review the military effort in Afghanistan and take stock of progress towards reconciliation, Pakistani and US officials are negotiating a way out of the impasse....................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Pak-US Relations: Hostage to Two Narratives..............(Weekly Pulse, May 04 ,2012)
Pakistan and US relations are currently being defined by two narratives, one being peddled in Washington, and the other in Islamabad. The former questions “Is a nuclear-equipped Pakistan really worth $928.3 million in economic....................[ Read Full Story ]

Crisis of conscience and credibility............................(Express Tribune, May 02 ,2012)
In a recent editorial in the The Friday Times (April 20), my dear friend Najam Sethi listed 10 crisis that he says are wrecking Pakistan: crisis of economy, education, urbanisation, demography, foreign policy, terrorism and radicalisation........................[ Read Full Story ]

Grey areas.....................................................................(Friday Times, April 27 ,2012)
Are Taliban Pashtun nationalists? Or are they all proxies of the Pakistani military establishment? Does the establishment still support these...................[ Read Full Story ]

Defence of Pakistan Council Antics, Premised on delusional vision................................ ......................(Weekly Pulse, April 27 ,2012)
“When studying any matter or studying any philosophy, see what are the facts what is the truth that facts bear out, never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe or by what you think could have been.”......................................[ Read Full Story ]

Mountains and molehills.................................................(Friday Times, April 20 ,2012)
The conflict on and around Siachen glacier symbolizes the scourge of overbearing militarism that has hurt both India and Pakistan...................................[ Read Full Story ]

Terror in Kabul portends dismal future.........................(Weekly Pulse, April 20 ,2012)
Sunday’s multiple terrorist attacks on locations in Kabul, Jalalabad, Logar and Paktia offered yet another grim reminder of the volatility of Afghanistan in 2012. The extremely well-coordinated strikes took security forces.........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Chilling reality....................................................................(The News, April 15 ,2012)
The deadly avalanche that struck the battalion headquarters of the Northern Light Infantry (NLI) in Gyari sector of Siachen Glacier on Saturday, April 07, 2012 underlined the appalling human and economic costs of the protracted.......................[ Read Full Story ]

Death and despair in Balochistan ....................(The Express Tribune, April 15 ,2012)
Balochistan continues to burn. The federal government remains indifferent to the smouldering fires of militancy, sectarian violence and, above all, the wave of crime that many believe is happening under political patronage..........................[ Read Full Story ]

Turn Siachen into Peace Park ..................................(Weekly Pulse, April 13 ,2012)
The nature delivered yet another bitter reminder to India and Pakistan when it struck at 22,000 feet high altitude on April 7, 2012, burying 135 soldiers of the Northern Light Infantry (NLI) of Pakistani Army - the latest toll that the Indo-Pak dispute over this forbidding glaciated region has taken on human lives..........................[ Read Full Story ]

Boao Forum: Lessons for Pakistan?..............................(Weekly Pulse, April 06 ,2012)
Economy drives the world in the new world order and all the countries must focus on economic development as a panacea for their political problems as well as a tool for improving the lives of their peoples......................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Choices are limited...................................................(The Friday Times,Mar 30 ,2012)
Pakistani leadership has pushed itself into a corner in the way it has dealt with the controversial issue of the transit of NATO supplies through Pakistan......[ Read Full Story ]

Turkish Advice for Pakistan: Rethink Rationally...........(Weekly Pulse, Mar 30 ,2012)
As the government agonizes over the review of relations with the United States, and expects the parliament to rubber-stamp the recommendations by the Security Committee, one wonders whether Pakistan can afford a..........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan and Turkish democracy........................(The Express Tribune, Mar 28 ,2012)
Turkey used to be called the ‘the sick man of Europe’ and suffered inflation rates as high as 80 per cent per annum. But eventually, it fought back, reformed its economy with some tough decisions and made a remarkable economic turnaround.............[ Read Full Story ]

Fukushima: Japan’s Living Horror One Year On!..........(Weekly Pulse, Mar 16 ,2012)
Japan – a remarkable blend of cutting-edge technologies and tradition; humility, hospitality and mannerism – is redefining itself. A year ago, on March 11, 2011, monstrous waves caused by a tsunami ..................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Why not the Turkey way?...................................(The Express Tribune, Mar 15 ,2012)
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded modern Turkey in 1923, with the aim of reigning in religious forces and making religion irrelevant to the sociopolitical climate of the country. He considered Islam ............................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Reforming and Preserving Public Broadcaster – How?...(Weekly Pulse, Mar 9 ,2012)
Lack of dispassionate and informed debate obfuscates many issues in Pakistan because Pakistanis at large suffer from a high degree of emotionalism and a tendency to knee-jerk reaction to new ideas. The recent proposal to introduce ......................[ Read Full Story ]

Rhetoric versus reality ... .........................................(The Friday Times,Feb 24 ,2012)
The Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan summit on counterterrorism in Islamabad was high on rhetoric and low on substance. .............................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Balochistan’s Maze of Violence ! .....................................(Weekly Pulse,Feb 24 ,2012)
The security situation in Balochistan continues to aggravate with the passage of time, despite the government’s efforts to curtail the downward spiral and win back the trust of the disenchanted Balochis.....................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Above the Constitution? ..................................................(Weekly Pulse,Feb 22 ,2012)
It is a story of stark contrasts; German President Christian Wulff resigned on February 17, following disclosures over his personal financial dealings and acceptance of financial favours from political backers.................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Grand Deescalation ! ......... ...........................................(Weekly Pulse,Feb 03 ,2012)
Conscious of their respective limitations, the titans have decided to deescalate, and climb down from their stated positions. The Centre of Gravity – the Supreme Court on Jan 30 gave two more months for the controversial..........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Land of some haves, many have-nots ................(The Express Tribune, Feb 02 ,2012)
The people of Pakistan are caught between a self-centred ruling elite and an arrogant superpower. The ruling elite — the politicians and the military — treat power as a privilege rather than as a sacred public trust. ......................................[ Read Full Story ]

EU Counter-Terror Strategy ...........................................(Weekly Pulse, Jan 27 ,2012)
Is the European Union emerging out of the shadows of the United States on the terrorism and radicalization front?........................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Battle of elephants......................................................(The Friday Times Jan 27 ,2012)
Before commenting on the current stand-off between the government and the judiciary, let us take a look at two sharply contrasting realities: the depressing social reality and the bitter but ironic political reality......................................................[ Read Full Story ]

The big fight.............................................................(Hindustan Times, Jan 24 ,2012)
Political crises are hardly new to Pakistan, but the one playing out now is unprecedented: the government is under threat primarily from the judiciary, not the army, which has intermittently seized the reins of power................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Fighting terror.....................................................(The Express Tribune, Jan 22 ,2012)
A high-level EU delegation recently met with a number of Pakistani officials as part of the EU’s counterterrorism strategy.............................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Security apparatus under attack again .........................(Weekly Pulse, Jan 20 ,2012)
Five bloody incidents since the middle of December betray have left a trail of over 80 deaths, mostly of the security personnel, and rocked Pakistan’s military and civilian security apparatus................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Battle of elephants......................................................(The Friday Times Jan 20 ,2012)
Before commenting on the current stand-off between the government and the judiciary, let us take a look at two sharply contrasting realities: the depressing social reality and the bitter but ironic political reality.......................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Bad blood, defiance and acrimony.............................(The Friday Times Jan 13 ,2012)
Are the Supreme Court and the military establishment acting in tandem against the Pakistan People's Party-led government? Prima facie, they are in unison in their bid to undo President Asif Zardari and his government.............................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan way of New Silk Route Idea...........................(Weekly Pulse, Jan 13 ,2012)
Obama Administration’s AfPak envoy Marc Grossman says that the proposed new ‘Silk Road’ project places Afghanistan and Pakistan at the centre of economic activity in the region. It will also integrate regional economies................................[ Read Full Story ]

Curricula and socio-political security.................(The Express Tribune, Jan 12 ,2012)
Distortion of facts, glorification of war, a bloated sense of Muslims’ self-righteousness and the dehumanisation of followers of ‘other faiths’ or subtle projection of non-Muslims as sub-humans, continues to cast its shadows on the..........................[ Read Full Story ]

Political tsunami brewing across Pakistan ...............(Hindustan Times, Jan 12 ,2012)
A  political tsunami has been sweeping Pakistan since the Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the federal government six options to implement its various rulings, particularly those that directly relate to President Asif Ali Zardari..........................[ Read Full Story ]

Tsunami and Japanese spirit of Volunteerism..............(Weekly Pulse, Jan 06 ,2012)
Until the massive tsunami struck on March 11, the sleepy but sprawling town of Ozuchi, Iwate Prefecture, with 13,000 inhabitants, prided itself for being the gateway to three rivers. Surrounded on three sides by lush-green hills...........................[ Read Full Story ]

The Great Game revisited...................................(The Express Tribune, Jan 04 ,2012)
Imran Khan and Co. want to deal with the US as equal partners. They want the US to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty. The PTI also wants a permanent end to the drone war, as well as a fundamental review of the counter-terror cooperation.............[ Read Full Story ]

Another bumpy road ahead ...........................................(Weekly Pulse, Dec 30 ,2011)
2011 leaves behind a sad and bitter legacy; it practically began with the murder of two Pakistanis by CIA contractor Raymond Davis on January 27. The ensuing spat until his release on March 17held the US-Pakistan............................................[ Read Full Story ]

Countering terror in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ..............(The Friday Times Dec 30 ,2011)
When hundreds of Taliban militants, disguised in FC uniform and armed with sophisticated weapons, overran a paramilitary Frontier Corps fort in Mullazai area of Tank in the northwestern KPK province and took 17 personnel...........................[ Read Full Story ]

The farce called Memogate: More questions than answers......................(The Express Tribune, Dec 28 ,2011)
It can only happen in Pakistan; the national discourse is being held hostage to something that never happened – the contents of a..............................................[ Read Full Story ]

A dismal outlook for 2012....................................(The Express Tribune, Dec 28 ,2011)
The latest State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) annual report highlights Pakistan’s institutional weakness at all tiers of the government — judiciary, civil services, law enforcers, regulatory bodies and accountability agencies .....................................[ Read Full Story ]

A billion dollar question ......................................................(The News, Dec 25 ,2011)
In the aftermath of the Mohmand incident resulting in the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers and officers, the Obama administration and lawmakers in Washington have once again invoked economic and military ..............................................................[ Read Full Story ]

What’s happening in Pakistan? .............................(The Times of India, Dec 25 ,2011)
In 2011, Pakistan took a big leap forward. Despite serious political and economic crises, relentless power outages and great popular discontent, the country fended off the threat of yet another direct military intervention.............................................[ Read Full Story ]

Dismal Pakistan in 2011 ...........................................(Weekly Pulse, Dec 23 ,2011)
If we look back, the picture for 2011 has remained bleak; politicians are at each others’ throat. Together they are gunning for the military establishment. And the establishment, so is the perception, is keenly expecting.............................................[ Read Full Story ]

Mengal’s timely warning......................................(The Express Tribune, Dec 21 ,2011)
The Veteran Baloch nationalist, Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal’s warning that atrocities against the Baloch have pushed the situation to a “point of no return” is timely. After his meeting with Nawaz Sharif in Karachi on December 19,........................[ Read Full Story ]

An American in Tokyo ............................................(The Friday Times Dec 16 ,2011)
It is an amazing story of love and hate, like and dislike: the father fought against the Japanese army; the son flew with Japanese fighter pilots. The father - noted Hollywood cinematographer Frank W. Stanley, A.S.C. - viewed.............................[ Read Full Story ]

Illegal structures: paradox of rule of law ..................(Express Tribune Dec 15 ,2011)
In the maze of issues, most Pakistani politicians lose sight of some matters that are fundamental to the rule of law. The construction of illegal structures, such as mosques and seminaries, in the name of Islam..............................................[ Read Full Story ]

Fallout for Pakistan ..................................................(The Friday Times Dec 09 ,2011)
Ties between the US and Pakistan are in jeopardy after the Salala episode. Whether long term interests in mutual cooperation will revive the relationship is yet to be seen, but it is clear that the security establishments of.............................................[ Read Full Story ]

Iran– US-UK Tangle: Historical Mistrust Continues to breed acrimony, competition ............................(Weekly Pulse Dec 09 ,2011)
Iran is back in news; all Iranian diplomats in Britain have left the country after receiving marching orders by the foreign secretary. All British diplomats based in Tehran are also back home following the Nov 29th siege and ransacking .................[ Read Full Story ]

A for effort .............................................................(The Friday Times Dec 02 ,2011)
An enquiry into the state of academia and policy research in Pakistan demands a scrutiny of the system and circumstances that governed higher education in the country for decades........................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

US bullying: something’s got to give ............................(Weekly Pulse Dec 02 ,2011)
The US and NATO want Pakistan to do more. One way to make Pakistan – specifically the army – comply with this desire is to prick and pressure it. This has been the pattern, and one wonders whether the Nov 26th brazen......................................[ Read Full Story ]

Bitten by a double-sting operation? .........................(Express Tribune Nov 30 ,2011)
On the face of it, Pakistan’s response to the memo — the removal of the ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani — looks like the salvaging of its so-called national pride. The matter for the time being seems settled.........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Japan Quake: Story of a hanging newspaper in Japan....(Weekly Pulse Nov 25 ,2011)
This is how a Japanese reporter for the Washington Post remarked when journalists of local newspaper informed him how they produced a hand-written newspaper for almost a week after the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster...............................[ Read Full Story ]

TREASON, Civilians and Military ...................................(Weekly Pulse Nov 25 ,2011)
The memogate has raised questions that essentially revolve the constitution’s Article 6 which says that that, any person who “attempts to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance... the Constitution................................................[ Read Full Story ]

How South Asia can learn from Japan and Korea..(The Express Tribune Nov23 ,2011)
During the recent Saarc summit in the Maldives, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Gilani a “man of peace”. The two leaders also vowed to write “a new chapter” in the troubled mutual ties because...............................................[ Read Full Story ]

US Okinawa Bases, Alliance or Punishment for defiance? Part II...................(Weekly Pulse Nov 18 ,2011)
Some of the wounds that the world war II inflicted on Okinawa, the southern-most prefecture of Japan, still seem to fester. Until the Japanese moved into the island to use it as a first line of defense of the mainland.........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Slander, speculation and sense ...............................(The Friday Times Nov 18 ,2011)
A totally ridiculous article," is how Dr Berry Blechman, an American expert on nuclear safety, reacted to the recent report on the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons by the Atlantic. This denunciation notwithstanding....................................[ Read Full Story ]

Can India learn from Japan?..................................(The Friday Times Nov 11 ,2011)
Major capitals anxiously watch as Islamabad and New Delhi tread the delicate path of normalisation. The vibes right now look good and all those concerned about the two "nuclear-armed" south Asian neighbours........................................[ Read Full Story ]

US Military Bases in Okinawa: Alliance or longest Punishment for Defiance of USA? ......................(Weekly Pulse Oct 28 ,2011)
Some say it is a strategic partnership, others call it a partnership of expedience, and many dub it enslavement in the name of such an alliance, something a young Japanese artist has illustrated at the Sakima Art Museum;.............................[ Read Full Story ]

Hillary shows Pakistan 'a new Silk Road'................(The Friday Times Oct 28 ,2011)
Hilary Clinton's October 21 visit to Islamabad underlined a new sense of realism in Washington. It was the reiteration of the old Washington view on Pakistan, though embedded in a more cautious and comforting tone.............................[ Read Full Story ]

Back to Brinkmanship..........................................................(Newsline Oct 25 ,2011)
In the five months since the controversial raidon Osama bin Laden’s last abode in Abbottabad, the trajectory of Pak-US relations has nosedived, with both sides now trading allegations and bitter recriminations. In September,................[ Read Full Story ]

Machiavelli's prince and the Sharifs.......................(The Friday Times Oct 21 ,2011)
Before venturing comment on the style of politics of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), let us take a peep into the history; the Italian writer Count Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote his classic ThePrince .......................................................[ Read Full Story ]

A different worldview: From Japan with compassion..............(The Express Tribune, Oct 17 ,2011)
TOKYO: Unlike the acrimony intermittently poured out from Washington, Tokyo resonates with compassion. Pakistan, after all, is too important to be left on its own. Without it, there is little hope for peace and stability in the region, and thus it would be suicidal to sidestep the country in the current circumstances. It is also................[ Read Full Story ]

A conflict of national interests?....................................(Friday Times, Oct 07 ,2011)
eptember 2011 has been as unusual for Pakistan-US relations as was the September exactly one decade ago. In 2001, the entire American empire and its people wanted revenge on Al Qaeda for the dastardly attacks on symbols of the American financial and military might......................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan-US relations: Back to Brinkmanship...............(Weekly Pulse,Sep 30 ,2011)
"We need to put Pakistan on notice, …I am saying that the sovereign nation of Pakistan is engaging in hostile acts against the United States and our ally Afghanistan. "The idea of Pakistan's intelligence agencies supporting terrorism as a national strategy needs to come to an end. It destabilizes Afghanistan.......................................[ Read Full Story ]

Haqqani Network – the Eye-Sor................................(Weekly Pulse,Sep 23 ,2011)
The latest spat between the Pakistani and American officials suggests that the Haqqani network continues to cast ominous shadows on the Pak-US relations. Ambassador Cameron Munter first shocked everybody by telling Radio Pakistan that the Pakistan government was linked .................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Situationer: Rabbani murder ruptures reconciliation process .............(The Express Tribune, Sep 22 ,2011)
Former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani’s brutal assassination – more or less a repeat of what had happened to Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Northern Alliance military commander on September 9, 2001 – underscores the extreme volatility of present-day Afghanistan. Massoud fell to assassins disguised .............................[ Read Full Story ]

The surrender of foreign policy....................................(Friday Times, Sep 16 ,2011)
When the Zardari-led Pakistan Peoples' Party swept into power in the Feb 2008 general elections and struck an alliance with Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League and the Awami National Party, it radiated an unusual confidence and hope...............[ Read Full Story ]

Gas Pipeline – Regional Stabilisation Factor? .............(Weekly Pulse,Sep 16 ,2011)
Both President Asif Ali Zardari and his Prime Minister Yusuf Reza Gillani currently seem preoccupied with their neighbourhood. Zardari’s recent visits to some central Asia republics, followed by Gillani’s visit to Iran ..........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Small wonder ...............................................................(Friday Times, Sep 16 ,2011)
Pakistan's northern areas are a tourist paradise. Dozens of towering peaks and high altitude plains are like a magnet for trekkers, climbers and nature-lovers. K-2, Nanga Parbat (the killer mountain), Gashabrum, Mashabrum........................[ Read Full Story ]

Salaam from Tokyo ..........................................(The Express Tribune, Sep 15 ,2011)
On March 13, 2011, outspoken Indian writer, critic and essayist Arundhati Roy was supposed to dilate on this subject at the prestigious International House of Japan........... ........................[ Read Full Story ]

9/11: Pakistan a decade later ....................................(Weekly Pulse,Sep 09 ,2011)
It has been a decade of trauma and pain for most Pakistanis – dominated by a gradual but unprecedented spike in violence, largely attributable to Al Qaeda and its Pakistani force-multipliers (in the words of Daniel Benjamin, the UN..................[ Read Full Story ]

Can the army save Karachi? ........................................(Friday Times, Sep 02 ,2011)
With a population of over 17 million, including up to 4 million Pashtun and more than 2.5 million Punjabi settlers, Karachi makes an ideal arena for conflict, particularly when it is about protecting or expanding political and economic interests.............[ Read Full Story ]

On top of the world ................................... .............(Friday Times, August 19 ,2011)
cup of steaming cappuccino, the roar of the Shigar river, the fast breeze made by the gushing water, a huge walnut tree nearby, massive mountains on three sides and the lively company of friends - it reminds me of William Wordsworth eulogizing "a book of verses, a bottle of wine, a shady tree ............................................[ Read Full Story ]

What draws army officers to Hizbut Tahrir .............(Friday Times, August 19 ,2011)
Barely two weeks after the US raid on the Osama bin Laden compound, hundreds of leaflets were distributed in the Rawalpindi cantonment, where the army has its headquarters,by operatives of Hizbut Tahrir......................................[ Read Full Story ]

Afghan Quagmire: Multi-Decade Conflict..................(Weekly Pulse,August 19 ,2011)
Former British ambassador and Special Representative to Afghanistan Sherard Cowper Coles offers a revealing first-hand account of the present day Afghanistan in his memoires Cables from Kabul. His critical comments............................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan today reels under multiple crises................(Daily Dawn ,August 14 ,2011)
Pakistan today reels under multiple crises. These range from the economic crisis to insecurity to the crippling of governance. All these crises flow from the armed forces’ predominance of the national security paradigm................................[ Read Full Story ]

Security and terrorism, Can we go hand in hand? ......(Weekly Pulse,August 12 ,2011)
Recently, a group of about a dozen well-placed Pakistanis – corporate and business executives and writers - suffered an indignation at the hands of young captain and his colleagues at the check post immediately after the Khaplu town, some 80 kilometres north of Skardu....................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

US-Pakistan ties: prospects and fears ...................(Friday Times, August 12 ,2011)
On July 25, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen warned in a press briefing that US-Pakistan military-to-military ties were at a "very difficult" crossroads. "We are in a very difficult time right now in our military-to-military relations...[ Read Full Story ]

Analysis: Fiddling while Balochistan, Karachi sizzle ........................(Express Tribune, August 05 ,2011)
The two strategic locations of the country are aflame but the ruling elite is fiddling and busy in pulling one another down. The solution for Karachi that most of politicians suggest is a grand operation, including increased .............................[ Read Full Story ]

Balochistan sizzles, so does Karachi ........................(Weekly Pulse,August 05 ,2011)
The death toll – political and social murders / assassinations - in Karachi surged to 318 for the month of July, among them almost 100 only in and around the Orangi town area. The first day of August alone saw at least 23 people...............................[ Read Full Story ]

Spy wars at heart of worsening US-Pakistan ties.......(Friday Times, August 05 ,2011)
In the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden, the American CIA expanded its tentacles across Pakistan, spinning a multilayered spider web to incapacitate its prey. Although most ISI officials were ostensibly aware and....................................[ Read Full Story ]

Norwegian Tragedy: Alarming Message for Pakistanis...(Weekly Pulse,July 29 ,2011)
Is it strange or surprising that Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian mass murderer of over 90 people considers Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan as a contagion that will engulf entire Europe by 2083? For Breivik, Pakistan...............................[ Read Full Story ]

Between defiance and diktat ...................................(Friday Times, July 29 ,2011)
"We will guard our interests, come what may," says a top Pakistani general. His posture indicates the defiant mood in the General Headquarters....................[ Read Full Story ]

Is agreement on Afghanistan possible? ........................(Friday Times, July 22 ,2011)
The recent spat between Pakistan and the US over "security assistance" was brinkmanship at best. Whoever advised the Obama administration to suspend payments to Pakistan most probably lacked knowledge..............................[ Read Full Story ]

US-Pakistan: Coming back to Senses .............................(Weekly Pulse, July 22 ,2011)
American Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s statement on Pakistan during the press stake-out with her Indian counterpart S.M.Krishna on July 19th at New Delhi augurs well for the........................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

US says ‘aid’ , Islamabad ‘coalition support fund’................(The Times of India, July 17 ,2011)
It has been a season of acrimony for Pakistan and America. Post Abbottabad, both countries have been quick with offensive rhetoric and administrative retribution against each other. Never before has the relationship ..................... ...........[ Read Full Story ]

Why the army will have to go into North Waziristan.................(Express Tribune, July 15 ,2011)
Shortly before leaving Kabul, General David Petraeus, the outgoing chief commander of the US-Isaf troops, referred to Pakistan Army’s long-overdue operation in Kurram and the trans-border movement by Afghan militants and their TTP affiliates as “North Waziristan in Reverse.” ...................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Who's hoodwinking whom............................................(Friday Times, July 15 ,2011)
Imagine Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani making statements against the American government in the media. "I cannot disabuse the Obama administration of a role in the murder of X, but I don't see any evidence that the ...........[ Read Full Story ]

Appeasing the Baloch youth.......................................(Express Tribune, July 08 ,2011)
The youth – the future leaders of this country – continue to bear the major brunt of the simmering conflict in Balochistan. ...................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Winning Back Balochi Youth..........................................(Weekly Pulse, July 08 ,2011)
Balochi youth continues to bear the major brunt of the nationalist insurgency in Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest but the poorest province. It is also marred by the collusion between the ruling elite........................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

A royal mess ................................................................(Friday Times, July 08 ,2011)
As the US troop drawdown in Afghanistan begins amid news of a mini-surge of 'special troops' being relocated from Iraq to Afghanistan, negotiations over Kabul's future appear to be headed nowhere..........................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Addressing America ...................................................(Friday Times, July 01 ,2011)
The cumulative cost of the Operation Enduring Freedom that began with the bombing of key installations in Kabul on October 7, 2001, will touch the trillion dollar mark by the end of this year. To the backdrop of domestic financial crunch that is forcing President Barack Obama to cut costs, the drawdown of combat troops was................[ Read Full Story ]

Focusing on Intelligence ................. .........................(Weekly Pulse, July 01 ,2011)
The deadly violence Pakistan has been experiencing since the killing of Osama bin Laden explains the length and breadth of the asymmetrical war that the country currently faces; the security apparatus from Karachi to Peshawa................................[ Read Full Story ]

Call of the Hour ...............................................................(Newsline, June 29 ,2011)
The twin-suicide attacks outside the Frontier Corps Fort at Shabqadar (May 13), that left almost 100 dead, the PNS Mehran raid (May 22) registering 10 casualties, the early morning mobile suicide strike at the CID Police Station opposite the Peshawar Defence Housing (May 25), and a deadly attack.................................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan needs to learn from Turkey .........................(Weekly Pulse, June 24 ,2011)
I wish I did not know what I know.” This was how Zulkof Ajer surprised us, and in fact had us speechless for a while after we had asked him what he knew about Pakistan. It was dinner time at the Conrad Hotel in Istanbul on June 4, where we had gathered for a pre-consultation of the International Contact.................................[ Read Full Story ]

Has Pakistan's military been infiltrated by extremists? ...... .....(Foreign Policy, June 21 ,2011)
A few days after the May 2nd Abbottabad raid by the U.S. Navy SEALs, in which al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed, a member of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulemai Islam stunned other members of the Pakistani parliament by asking them to offer condolences for "the departed soul of bin Laden. ..........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Reform or perish ..........................................................(Friday Times, June 17 ,2011)
On the heels of an inconclusive visit by CIA director Leon Panetta to Islamabad on June 10, the US House Appropriations Committee on June 14 imposed limits on US aid to Pakistan. The bill will withhold 75% of the $1.1 billion in US assistance to Pakistan until the administration reports to the Congress ..........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Turkey Elections and Pakistan...................................(Weekly Pulse, June 17 ,2011)
Huge bill boards all over Turkey with portraits of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan carry a three-word promise: Hazir Hadef 2023 (Present Target 2023)...........[ Read Full Story ]

Clinton’s Tough Message: Play ball or don’t ask for Help..........(Weekly Pulse, June 03 ,2011)
“America cannot and should not solve Pakistan’s problems. That’s up to Pakistan. But in solving its problems, Pakistan should understand that anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories will not make problems disappear............................................[ Read Full Story ]

American aid: myth and reality ..................................(Friday Times, June 03 ,2011)
"We provide more support than Saudi Arabia, China, and everybody else combined, but I will stand here and admit that I’m not sure many Pakistanis know that,” US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said in Islamabad on May 27. She was talking to the press after meetings with Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership.................[ Read Full Story ]

Strategic Rethink Needed ............................................(Weekly Pulse, May 27 ,2011)
"If the army doesn’t back off, we will turn entire Pakistan into Kashmir for it.” A Tehreeke Taliban commander, Abdullah, gave me this message in the outskirts of Wana, South Waziristan, in April 2004, as we sat at a compound late in....................[ Read Full Story ]

The invisible enemy .......................................................(Friday Times, May 27 ,2011)
May is turning out to be a month of bloodshed and embarrassment. An early-morning suicide attack at a CID police station in Peshawar two days after the raid on the PNS Mehran navy base in Karachi explains the length and breadth of the asymmetrical war that Pakistan currently faces. On May 13, two motorbike riders............[ Read Full Story ]

PNS Mehran attack: Vulnerable, embarrassed and targeted ..........(Express Tribune , May 24 ,2011)
The daring raid on PNS Mehran can probably be viewed in three dimensions. If the objective was to make Pakistani defence look vulnerable, the operation came remarkably close to doing just that. If the goal was to embarrass the country’s security establishment, it certainly did — like similar attacks in the recent past....[ Read Full Story ]

Pushed or shoved? ........................................................(Friday Times , May 13 ,2011)
"Pakistan is a real problem because they have nuclear weapons. And I would say something that I haven’t heard. I would say we don’t give them any money unless they get rid of their nuclear weapons,” ....................................................[ Read Full Story ]

“Mother of all Embarrassments!” .................................(weekly Pulse , May 13 ,2011)
“For a country with more than its share of misfortunes and sheer bad luck, we could have done without this warrior of the faith, Osama bin Laden, spreading his beneficence amongst us.........................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Quid pro quo? . ...............................................................(Friday Times , May 06 ,2011)
They came, they killed and got away with the booty - a perfect display of skill and a brazen projection of power. The midnight operation demonstrated that the Americans won’t sit back until they get what they want.......................................[ Read Full Story ]

A Slap in the face! .........................................................(weekly Pulse , May 06 ,2011)
It was nothing less than a slap in our face; the world’s most wanted person living under the shadow of the Pakistan Military Academy Kakul. The news of the spectacular mid-night commando raid that got Osama bin Laden came thus as a shocking surprise to us all; that of all the places in Pakistan,....................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Tactical games ...............................................................(Friday Times , April 29 ,2011)
The Pakistani political circus continues amid new alignments and new alliances. President Asif Zardari and his prime minister have reached out to the party he had called the Qatil League after his wife Benazir Bhutto’s assassination...........................[ Read Full Story ]

ISI – Again under Fire ..............................................(Weekly Pulse , April 29 ,2011)
The ISI is again in the eye of the storm. After Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen's damning statements on the agency’s past and its relations with the Haqqani Network and Lashkare Taiba last week, the Wikieleaks has spilled more beans on it;.....................................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

The U.S.-Pakistan stalemate.........................................(Foreign Policy , April 23 ,2011)
It looks like the proverbial marriage of convenience; although international obligations and strategic considerations continue to serve as the glue for an increasingly volatile partnership between the United States and Pakistan, deep-seated mutual mistrust and conflicting geo-strategic objectives prevent Pakistan ..........................[ Read Full Story ]

The balancing act .....................................................(Friday Times , April 22 ,2011)
et us consider what primarily drives and defines the current US policy toward Pakistan.in January this year, Adm Michael Mullen reiterated what the majority of the US Congress and the establishment believes. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, [Pakistan] is the epicentre of terrorism in the world right now. .....................................[ Read Full Story ]

Paradise Lost and Neglected ......................................(Weekly Pulse, April 22 ,2011)
The construction of road for the small village of Jarray near Madyan is a telling comment on the perfect illustration of slow political and bureaucratic response to the devastation that the floods caused last year; comprising about 120, if not more, households with very small farming plots, the enti ..................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Judging government on Counter-Terror Front ............(Weekly Pulse, April 08 ,2011)
"On September 6 this year the nation is confronted with an existential threat from fanatics, zealots and extremists on the one hand and from the material devastation caused by the history's worst floods on the other. While the former is testing our will to survive and live in accordance with our val.............................................[ Read Full Story ]

It takes two to tango.....................................................(Friday Times , April 08 ,2011)
Before looking at the future of the current thaw, let us rewind to the tumultuous year of 1999. In February that year, Atal Behari Vajpayee became the first Indian prime minister to cross Wahga border on board a bus and eventually visit the Minar-e-Pakistan as a great gesture of recognition of the Muslim state.....................................[ Read Full Story ]

Illegal religious structures ............................................(Weekly Pulse, April 01 ,2011)
The presence of as many as 83 illegally constructed mosques illustrates one dimension of the internal security challenges that Pakistan faces today (reported in a national daily on March 28th). It is a combination of poor law enforcement by the police and the city administration as well as the willf ..........................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Performance on the anti-terror front ...........................(Friday Times , April 01 ,2011)
"n September 6 this year the nation is confronted with an existential threat from fanatics, zealots and extremists on the one hand and from the material devastation caused by the history’s worst floods on the other. While the former is testing our will to survive and live in accordance with our values and ideology,..........................................[ Read Full Story ]

America’s war economy.............................................(Express Tribune , Mar 31 ,2011)
Wastage, pilferage, appropriation and criminalisation of development and reconstruction are some of the unintended but almost certain consequences of conflict. What emerges out of this de facto war economy is a number of non-governmental vested interests, i.e. security contractors, supplies, cargo contractors and officials who directly deal with and eventually benefit from this interplay of interests. For example, ...........[ Read Full Story ]

CIA-ISI partnership after Davis.....................................(Friday Times , Mar 25 ,2011)
It was a classic proverbial mid-night deal secured by all those who matter in this country – from the presidential palace on the Hilltop to Aabpara to the General Headquarter in Rawalpindi, underscoring a “consensus among all the stake-holders in the current power structure” that Davis deserved no diplomatic immunity but his case would be wrapped up before sunrise on March 16, in the heavily fortified Kot Lakhpat jail........[ Read Full Story ]

FATA Security Challenges: Internal Dimensions............(Weekly Pulse , Mar 25 ,2011)
Pakistan today faces several internal security challenges. One is how to counter the godzillas created during the anti-Soviet jihad. These challenges also entail the question whether the Pakistani establishment realizes the need to weigh the costs of its deference to and tolerance of groups such as the Haqqani Network, Tehreeke Taliban of Hafiz Gul Bahdaur and Lashkakre Taiba (Jamaatud Dawa) – because these outfits are at the core of the challenges that Pakistan faces today in FATA and on the mainland..................................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Why fear US Presence in Afghanistan?..........................(Weekly Pulse , Mar 18 ,2011)
In and outside Pakistan, we often come across the apprehension that the Americans are here to stay. They will not leave Afghanistan and that is why we may have to hedge our bets. These apprehensions primarily stem from the alleged American quest for permanent basis in Afghanistan, a subject that President Hamid Karzai has cleverly deferred to the Parliament – Woolasi Jirga......................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Perfidious America ................................................(Wall Street Jounral , Mar 17 ,2011)
Regardless of the circumstances that prompted Mr. Davis to kill two Pakistanis, the episode blew the lid off covert American operations in a country that was awash with rumors about the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency and its private contractors. For the majority of Pakistanis, particularly the religious-political right as well as hardliners within the security apparatus, the Davis case proved what they had long suspected: Americans are a rogue force within Pakistan...........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Arab Uprising Defies Al Qaeda's logic ...........................(Weekly Pulse , Mar 11 ,2011)
In a recent thought-provoking article, Drs. Peter Knoope and Eelco Kessels of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, the Hague, have questioned the reationale of al Qaeda's militant struggle and also taken on the dictators who have tried to invoke fears of Islamic fundamentalism by urging the West to stand by them. The Islamist radicals, on the other hand, have tried to use the presence of autocratic rulers as the legitimate excuse for their violent political struggle................................[ Read Full Story ]

Enemy inside the gates....................................................(Friday Times , Mar 11 ,2011)
" I have not mourned the killing of Salman Taseer because I never knew him. I mourn that enlightened Pakistan is being killed. I am leaving the country because it is close to becoming an unsuccessful state, full of extremism and Muslims are being killed, not by Hindus, by Muslims.” ...............................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

The Punjab saga: towards political uncertainty..............(Friday Times,Mar 04 ,2011)
Mutual recriminations between the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Musim League-Nawaz (PML-N) seem to have plunged Pakistan into yet another phase of political uncertainty. The uncertainty is not because of a strident and increasingly assertive Nawaz Sharif alone..................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Egypt, Libya, Tunisia... could Pakistan be next?.........(Published on Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Mar 01, 2010)
First it was Tunisia. Then Egypt. Then Bahrain, Libya, Oman. It seems that every day another Islamic Conference country is witness to widespread pro-democracy protests within its borders. In Pakistan, people are watching with bated breath...[ Read Full Story ]

Cobweb of spy network................................................(The News, February 27, 2010)
Let us first briefly recap the circumstances surrounding agent Raymond Davis to put things in perspective. The Guardian, London broke the story and leading American newspapers and tv networks, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, followed suit. They all broke their silence, and, quoting US officials, said Raymond Davis worked for the CIA as a security contractor.......................................[ Read Full Story ]

Survival made difficult?...........................................(Friday Times, February 25, 2010)
Is the PPP government a headless chicken or a drunk-with-power cock running amok, bent on steam-rolling all opposition to it? Is it committed to the interest of the country or biding time for its own interests? Before passing a judgment let us look at the three PPP stalwarts i.e. Dr Zufliqar Mirza, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Dr Babar Awan. If judged by their lofty and often inflammatory rhetoric, they come across much as an aberration to the democratic values and all reasonable norms of civility. These leaders constitute the core of a party that stands for liberal, secular and pluralistic values but their conduct betrays otherwise..............................................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Are CIA agents also immune?..................................(Weekly Pulse, February 25, 2010)
The cat is finally fully out of the bag. Raymond Davis, 36, U.S. officials in Washington have confirmed, is a contractor with CIA and was part of a secret agency team operating out of a safe house in Lahore. Will now the US and Pakistani governments be able to invoke the diplomatic immunity for him? It also raises the fundamental question as to whether agents of CIA or of similar foreign outfits really enjoy immunity? ..........[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan couldn't give Davis immunity even if it wanted to.................(Foreign Policy, February 23 ,2011)
The diplomatic and political saga surrounding the arrest of American intelligence contractor Raymond Davis last month demonstrates clearly the polarization within the Pakistani society. This divide became apparent following an extremely damaging press conference by former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Feb.16, when Qureshi declared in unequivocal terms that Davis had no diplomatic accreditation with the ministry of foreign affairs -- a primary requisite for entitlement to immunity..........[ Read Full Story ]

Anti-Americanism in Pakistan:  an inescapable reality.............................(Friday Times, February 18 ,2011)
Anti-Americanism in the Pakistani context is nothing new. It is rooted in the history of the American role in this country. The US refrain from support during Pakistan’s stand-off with India in 1971, the opposition to the Pakistani nuclear programme, their alleged involvement in the political elimination of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, sanctions on Pakistan for its nuclear pursuits, President Bill Clinton’s controversial under-five hour stay in Islamabad in March 2000, the famous threat of “bombing Pakistan to the stone age”, and now the US outrage over detention of Raymond Davis on murder charges ..............[ Read Full Story ]

In search of a counter-narrative..................(The Express Tribune, February 14 ,2011)
The West is seized with how to contain the spiral of terrorism. The Muslim East, led by the affluent Arabs, is still seized with the Palestinian issue and wants a differentiation between terrorism and freedom struggle. The West is looking for a counterterrorism narrative rooted in Democratic Values and the Universal Charter of Human Rights. The Muslims, Arabs in particular, are mostly ruled by undemocratic rulers in an extremely patriarchal social milieu, and thus take exception to the western love for democracy and human rights...............................[ Read Full Story ]

Raymond Davis, Moscow Attacks, Rule of Law.......(Weekly Pulse, February 11, 2010)
The American attempts to invoke diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention for Raymond Davis underscore an extremely partisan and selective approach. For the United States, every single citizen counts at the cost of rule of law and democratic principles, even if that citizen is a killer. Asking for protection of citizens is legitimate, but doing so at the cost of universally accepted principles of justice and democratic norms runs contrary to the very values that the United States claims to support and promote across the world..............................[ Read Full Story ]

Tunisia changed because of internet, will Egypt follow suit?...............(Friday Times , February 4, 2011)
I was lunching with a colonel of the Egyptian intelligence at the Holiday Inn, Riyadh on January 26th, as we watched on flashes of the unraveling anti-Hosni Mobarak crisis in Cairo and Alexandria......................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Countering Radicals through Internet and Electronic Media ..................(Weekly Pulse, January 28,2011)
Almost three decades ago, the United States and Saudi Arabia got together with finances and technology to mount the jihad against the Soviet Union. Pakistan volunteered to play as the host to this unholy jihad. It gave birth to a certain jihadist narrative........................[ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan's Festering Wound - Balochistan .................................(The Express Tribune, January 28,2011)
Balochistan, today, is a politically fragmented, socially isolated and economically backward society. Over the years, political divisions along tribal and ethnic lines have necessitated unholy alliances and compelled the central government and the security apparatus to please everyone — evident from the fact that, at least, 60 of the 65 members of the Balochistan Assembly are either ministers or hold posts with an equivalent status ............................. [ Read Full Story ]

Fixing Afghanistan via Pakistan? ..................(The Express Tribune, January 14,2011)
Following US Vice-President Joseph Biden’s hard talk with Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders on January 13, both countries seem headed into another phase of tension and mutual apprehensions because of conflicting recipes for Afghanistan and Pakistan’s border regions. While Biden reassured his hosts against “foreign boots on the ground”, Pakistani leaders cautioned against any “new great game” in neighbouring Afghanistan. ........................[ Read Full Story ]

Facing tough questions ...............................(The Express Tribune, December 22,2010)
An economically and politically fragile Pakistan faces very tough but fundamental questions, the most important of them being the quandary as to whether it can afford to hang on to a policy it had embraced in the late 1970s as a “guarantee to national security.”............................. [ Read Full Story ]

When will we disband our two-faced US policy? ..........................(The Express Tribune, December 06,2010)
Islamabad-Last Wednesday, the Pentagon announced it would soon built a new facility in southwestern Pakistan to house U.S. military officials. It was meant to be a bilateral "confidence-building measure" in the ongoing war on terror, according to U.S. officials -- but it has instead produced a furious backlash in Pakistan..................... [ Read Full Story ]

Mischievous leaks ......................................................(The News, December 05 , 2010)
Should we call it a historic treasure trove or the "mischievous" side of the US private and public diplomacy? Or perhaps a Tsunami that has swept in a good part of what US civilian and military leaders say in public about countries such as Pakistan and their leaders?............... [ Read Full Story ]

The Pakistani backlash you haven't heard about .................(Foreign Policy, December 02 , 2010)
Islamabad-Last Wednesday, the Pentagon announced it would soon built a new facility in southwestern Pakistan to house U.S. military officials. It was meant to be a bilateral "confidence-building measure" in the ongoing war on terror, according to U.S. officials -- but it has instead produced a furious backlash in Pakistan..................... [ Read Full Story ]

Karachi's newest threat ....................................(Friday Times, November 12 , 2010)
Thursday's combined arms attack on the criminal investigation department (CID) in Karachi, which has so far killed 18 people and injured over 100, underlines a new reality; Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) is now Pakistan's sworn enemy .................... [ Read Full Story ]

Is There Any Way to Fix Pakistan ? .......................(Foreign Policy, October 21 , 2010)
This week's high-level talks between the United States and Pakistan will formally be led on the Pakistani end by the country's foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi. But the success of the dialogue will hinge less on whether the two countries' civilian leaders can see eye to eye, and more on whether their military leaders can. As such, most attention will be focused on another Pakistani official: Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, the chief of Pakistan's army........ [ Read Full Story ]

The Long War in Pakistan ...................(Wall Street Journal, Asia, October 07 , 2010)
It took the destruction of almost 100 oil tankers and more than a week of suspended supplies before U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson apologized for a Sept. 30 NATO helicopter incursion which killed three Pakistani soldiers. A U.S. Embassy statement late Wednesday said a joint investigation showed American pilots had mistaken the soldiers for Afghan insurgents they had been pursuing......... [ Read Full Story ]

India and Pakistan’s dilemma..............................(Friday Times , September 24, 2010)
Terrorism sits deep at the centre of Indo-Pak relations. India remains focused on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which it believes is the prime source of terrorism on Indian soil and in Kashmir. The terror attack on the Indian parliament (Dec 13, 2001) and the Mumbai carnage (26 Nov, 2008) not only reinforced Indian certainty that LeT was behind the attacks, but they also stand out as stumbling blocks in the path of the resumption of formal talks between the two countries........ [ Read Full Story ]

A Failed Afghan Strategy...................(Wall Street Journal, Asia, September 21, 2010)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Gen. David Petraeus and AfPak special envoy Richard Holbrook met in Islamabad late last week to figure out how to fix the mess in Afghanistan. Officials portray these meetings as routine brainstorming sessions. Yet there is no denying the effort to stabilize the country is in crisis, given the surge in violence and an extremely low turnout in the parliamentary election Saturday. ....... [ Read Full Story ]

The Most Dangerous Place ........................(The Huffington Post, September 20, 2010)
As far back as in 2005, when he was serving as US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ronald Neumann warned that if the US did not address al Qaeda's new sanctuary in Pakistan it would "lead to the re-emergence of the same strategic threat to the United States that prompted our intervention in 2001 ........ [ Read Full Story ]

New attacks stun Pakistan ...............................(Foreign Policy, September 10, 2010)
While August in Pakistan was dominated by the incredible turmoil of flooding and related destruction, September began with its own nightmare; nearly 120 casualties from several acts of terrorism in the two largest cities Karachi and Lahore on the 1st, followed by deadly suicide bombings in Quetta and in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa........ [ Read Full Story ]

Imtiaz Gul “The Most Dangerous Place” (Viking) By AARON HOWARD .............(Herald Voice, September 02, 2010)
Following recent floods that left up to three million people homeless, Reuters and British television news reported that charity organizations tied to the Pakistani Taliban have set up at least 13 camps for displaced Pakistanis. Where was the Pakistani government? Obviously not providing food and shelter where and when the Pakistani people needed them......... [ Read Full Story ]

A State in Perennial Crisis .......................(Wall Street Journal, Asia, August 19, 2010)
The Indus River flooding has displaced 20 million Pakistanis and continues to maroon hundreds of villages in the south of the country. This represents a crisis bigger than the one Pakistan faced last year after the army moved against radical Taliban militants, displacing more than two million in the Swat region. ....... [ Read Full Story ]

Kayani holds the cards ................................(Friday Times, July 30, 2010)
Has the Obama administration succeeded in managing all the key players in Pakistan's ruling matrix? Are Asif Zardari, Premier Gilani, Gen Kayani are all happy because they all can coexist until 2013 under international guarantees?....... [ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan's special relationships...................(Foreign Policy, July 29, 2010)
Understanding the negative ratings that Pakistanis surveyed by a poll released today by Pew gave to the United States requires a careful study of the very recent history of Pakistan's relations with two leading NATO members --...... [Read Full Story]

What next in Swat?........................................(Express Tribune, July 23, 2010)
In July 2010 Kalam looks different. Instead of the intimidating bands of Mullah Fazlullah, it is tourists and the army that roam this picturesque windswept valley................................. [ Read Full Story ]

Buying a fake degree and its consequences.......(Express Tribune, July 16, 2010)
It is a moment of shame for Pakistan; the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has informed parliament that the University of Monticello, US, ....... [ Read Full Story ]

McChrystal was doomed anyway ................................(Friday Times, July 05, 2010)
McChrystal's announcement of the delay of the Kandahar military operation was a serious blow to his earlier chest-thumping statements in which his staff had touted the Kandahar operation as the "pivotal campaign of the war" ....... [ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan's dueling drones debate.....................(Foreign Policy, July 02, 2010)
While Pakistan's security forces battle al Qaeda-inspired Pakistani Taliban militants in the volatile tribal regions of Bajaur and Orakzai, CIA-operated drones continue chasing foreign al-Qaeda operatives hiding in the wild Waziristan region...... [Read Full Story]

Pakistan's New Networks of Terror.....................(Foreign Policy, June 10, 2010)
It's not just about Waziristan anymore. How the country's various militias are joining forces -- and what it could mean for attacks within the United States........... [Read Full Story]

Media games and the evil hand ................................(Friday Times, May 28, 2010)
The propagation of pro-militant views amounts to betrayal, if not treason when one talks about the interests of this country and its residents. Apologists of this worldview must be exposed and taken to task ....... [ Read Full Story ]

AJK and Pakistan’s security doctrine.........................(Friday Times, May 14, 2010)
Recently, a former Musharraf aide admitted that incessant US pressure resulted in a scaling down of cross-border Jihadi operations ....... [ Read Full Story ]

Security State's perils for citizenry.............................(Weekly Pulse, Apr 23, 2010)
Most of the states in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa that emerged in the aftermath of the post World War 11 went on to become either security states (controlled by a mighty intelligence-security apparatus), ....... [Read Full Story]

Pakistan's Top Challenge........................................(Weekly Pulse, Apr 16, 2010)
The 18th amendment, coupled with the unusual surge in Pakistan’s crackdown against militants in the Kurram, ....... [ Read Full Story ]

Tackling terrorism .....................................................(Friday Times, Apr 16, 2010)
While the short-term counter-insurgency measures are bearing fruit, the medium to long term success would greatly hinge on Pakistani civilian leadership’ s will to address pressing daily life issues of the ‘common man’ ....... [ Read Full Story ]

Motives behind the attack on U.S. consulate in Peshawar.....................(Foreign Policy, Apr 05, 2010)
The Monday attack on the U.S. consulate in Peshawar marked the first most-coordinated and well-planned direct strike on a U.S. interest in Pakistan.......... [Read Full Story]

The strategic hug .....................................................(Friday Times, Apr 02, 2010)
There seems no way around a firm expression of commitment, and demonstration of it, against the lethal trans-boundary fusion of radical militant groups....... [ Read Full Story ]

Window of opportunity for Pakistan?............ (Weekly Pulse, Apr 02, 2010)
After a very long time, Pakistan has got an opportunity that is called the Strategic Dialogue, something the US had began with India in early 2000, immediately after the Kandahar Hijacking episode, that had ended on Dec 31st, 1999. ......[Read Full Story]

Search for reconciliation........................................... (DAWN, Mar 30, 2010)
The idea of reconciliation is gradually picking up steam. President Hamid Karzai’s ‘preliminary talks’ with a delegation of the Hizb-i-Islami in Kabul recently threw some light on the efforts that have been going on behind the scenes for translating the idea into reality.......[Read Full Story]

Al-Qaeda, Anthrax and Afghan Narcotics............. (Weekly Pulse, Mar 26, 2010)
Afghanistan produces between 70-90 % of world’s drugs including heroin, worth at least 65 billion dollars. While human beings consume most of these narcotics, some of them do find use in sedatives medicines, chemicals, ......[Read Full Story]

Karzai courts Hizb-i-Islami............. (Weekly Pulse, Mar 26, 2010)
The news on President Hamid Karzai’s “preliminary talks” with a delegation of the Hizb-i-Islami (March 22nd) , should be a welcome development. The Hezb in fact represents an erst-while radical Islamist force, ......[Read Full Story]

Countering Afghani perceptions of Pakistan............. (Weekly Pulse, Mar 12, 2010)
Irrespective of how Afghan and Pakistani leaders – including Presidents Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari – characterise their relations, it is a pretty complicated relationship, heavily tainted by suspicion, misgivings,......[Read Full Story]

Challenges in Afghanistan........................................... (DAWN, Mar 06, 2010)
The well-planned assaults around the City Centre shopping complex and the Safi Landmark hotel in Kabul on Feb 26 delivered yet another blow to the Pakistan-Afghanistan-India confidence-building process.......[Read Full Story]

Peshawar and Swat.................................................... (Weekly Pulse, Mar 05, 2010)
Peshawar, spread over 2257 sq kms, and the 5337 sq km Swat valley epitomize the cost that the Northwestern Frontier Province (NWFP) has paid as a consequence of the war that had originated in the early 1980s,......[Read Full Story]

Is North Waziristan next?........................................... (Foreign Policy, Mar 04, 2010)
A day after the Pakistani Army showed off the newly militant-free mountainous Bajaur to journalists, a regiment of tanks rumbled into Miram Shah, the administrative headquarters of North Waziristan.......... [Read Full Story]

Mulla Baradar arrested will it dent insurgency?........ (Weekly Pulse, Feb 26, 2010)
For quite some time the US-led international community expected Pakistan to demonstrate its sincerity in the war against al Qaeda and Taliban being fought on the Afghan soil since October 7, 2001,......[Read Full Story]

Fighting terror Securing Marjah for Obama or Afghans? (Friday Times, Feb 26, 2010)
Some diplomats in Kabul have likened the Marjah operation to the Pakistan Army's Malakand offensive, launched in the first week of May 2009, suggesting that McChrystal was perhaps drawing on the Pakistani counter-insurgency experience....... [ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan Plays Ball...................................................... (Foreign Policy, Feb 24, 2010)
The U.S. intelligence community has long viewed Pakistan's military with suspicion, due to its ties to the Afghan Taliban. Following the arrest of Mullah Baradar, the Taliban's second in command, that may finally change. ......... [Read Full Story]

Does the US understand Pakistan Strategic Framework better?................................... (Weekly Pulse, Feb 19, 2010)
When, in mid December, 2009, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen told US journalists accompanying him he "couldn’t give the Pakistani Army anything but an 'A'" for how they’ve conducted their battle so far (in Swat and Waziristan),” there was a context to it; ......[Read Full Story]

Will the Talks Option succeed? .................................. (Weekly Pulse, Feb 12, 2010)
The message flowing from the London Conference on Jan 28 to pursue talks with “good Taliban” (by driving division within the Mullah Omar-led insurgency through a multi-million dollar Trust)......[Read Full Story]

Hoping to separate Afghan Taliban and Qaida...(THE TIMES OF INDIA , Feb 06, 2010)
The vibes after the London Afghanistan Conference on January 28 are getting clearer by the day. The international community wants to pursue dialogue with the Afghan Taliban to break the cycle of spiraling violence........ [ Read Full Story ]

Dealing with Afghanistan...........................................(Friday Times, Feb 05, 2010)
In the post-London scenario, caution becomes even more necessary; if the international community wants to try the dialogue option, it shall have to lower the temperature by scaling down combat operations....... [ Read Full Story ]

Hakeemullah Mehsud Dead....................................... (Weekly Pulse, Feb 05, 2010)
If Hakeemullah Mehsud is dead, it is good news for Pakistan. If his deputy Qari Hussein Mehsud is also no more, it is even better. This would mean fatal a triple blow to the vicious, al-Qaeda affiliated Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).......[Read Full Story]

Death by drone?...................................................... (Foreign Policy, Jan 31, 2010)
If Hakimullah Mehsud is dead, it is good news for Pakistan. If his deputy Qari Hussain Mehsud is also no more, so much the better. This would mean a potentially fatal double blow to the vicious, ......... [Read Full Story]

Matters of trust Why not Pakistan? ..............................(Friday Times, Jan 29, 2010)
Private military contractors constitute an essential element of conflict-resolution and counter-insurgency ........ [ Read Full Story ]

Osama to Obama........................................................ (Weekly Pulse, Jan 29, 2010)
Islamabad - Osama bin Laden’s latest message to President Barack. H. Obama coincided with the British foreign secretary David Miliband stating in.[Read Full Story]

Osama to Obama: Palestine matters....................... (Foreign Policy, Jan 24, 2010)
Osama bin Laden's latest message to President Barack Obama loosely coincided with the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's visit to Washington, as he stated last week before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that al Qaeda's central command is still present on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, ......... [Read Full Story]

Violence: no end in sight........................................... (DAWN, Jan 05, 2010)
The US and its allies need to review the level of their military engagement in a conflict that is primarily political.[Read Full Story]

Suicide Bombers Sow Terror................................ (Weekly Pulse, Jan 01, 2010)
The year 2009 ended with the deadly suicide strike on the Muharram procession in Karachi. Regardless of who did it, the incident underscored that unscrupulous death merchants continued their demolition and destruction mission in Pakistan[Read Full Story]

How US subverted minds in Af-Pak....................... (Weekly Pulse, Dec 18, 2009)
Clinton’s candid “admission of guilt” largely went unnoticed in the flood of information revolving around America’s current involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. This also merits a look-back in to how the US empire has kept expanding its influence, imposing its will on nations and countries it considers crucial to its own interests.…......... [Read Full Story]

US strategy in Afghanistan Tough times for Pakistan... (Foreign Policy, Dec 11, 2009)
Unless the politicians lead the country from the front, coordinate with the armed forces, forge a consensus response to the Obama Plan and convey it with one voice, Pakistan’s perilous journey, compounded by the ever changing tactics of the invisible enemy, will continue......... [Read Full Story]

Obama spells more trouble for Pakistan.................. (Weekly Pulse, Dec 11, 2009)
We are in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country. But this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of Pakistan…......... [Read Full Story]

Getting a handle on No Man's Land......................... (Weekly Pulse, Nov 25, 2009)
Until the Pakistan army swept into this small valley, Sararogha, surrounded by hills on November 3, it had served as the headquarter of the terrorist outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the South Waziristan region......... [Read Full Story]

The Al Qaeda Diaries.......................................... (Foreign Policy, Nov 20, 2009)
Until the Pakistani Army swept into this small, hill-flocked valley on Nov. 3, Sararogha had served as the South Waziristan headquarters of the powerful terrorist group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan-----..... [Read Full Story]

Pakistan under siege.......................................... (Foreign Policy, Oct 16, 2009)
In terror-stricken Pakistan, October 15 broke the record for the number of attacks in a day;.. [Read Full Story]

The South Punjabi Godzillas hit GHQ...................(Weekly Pulse, Oct 15, 2009)
The stunning attack on the General Head Quarters (GHQ) on October 10, and the ensuing 20 hours full of high tension brought home a clear message;.......... [Read Full Story]

The Mess Called Afghanistan...............................(Weekly Pulse, Oct 09, 2009)
The October 4 daring Taliban attack on two American outposts in the Nuristan province,.......... [Read Full Story]

Dynamics of aid Kerry-Lugar aimed at dispiriting the army?(Friday Times,Oct 02, 09)
The conditions laid down in the Kerry-Lugar Bill reflect the US desire to rein in what it considers the source of tension and violence on Pakistan's eastern and western borders: the military establishment........ [ Read Full Story ]

Waziristan`s Wild Card under Siege?..................(Weekly Pulse, Oct 02, 2009)
Pakistan’s embattled army appears set to move into what it calls a “black hole” for security and intelligence forces i.e. South Waziristan.......... [Read Full Story]

The Waziristan wild card...................................... (Foreign Policy, Oct 01, 2009)
Pakistan's embattled army appears set to move into what it calls a "black hole" for security and intelligence forces:.. [Read Full Story]

New Optimism accompanying army actions in Pakistan(Weekly Pulse, Sep 18,2009)
“When the pet develops rabies and starts biting its own mentors, it must be put to sleep, no way around it.”......... [Read Full Story]

US Power,Occupation and Morality..... (Weekly Pulse, Sep 10, 2009)
As the US and British forces battle the hardened Taliban militants and the politico-military surge continues, an independent watchdog group,......... [Read Full Story]

Farce of India's secularism....... (The News, Sep 05, 2009)
Following the summary dismissal of Jaswant Singh from the BJP for praising Jinnah, several questions keep coming to mind as far as the Indian claim to secularism, democracy and socio-economic justice is concerned............ [Read Full Story]

Will Hakimullah fit Baitullah's shoes?..... (Weekly Pulse, Sep 03, 2009)
Two deadly attacks within a space of 24 hours – one in the Khyber agency on Aug 28 and and the other in Mingora/Swat next day took over 40 lives......... [Read Full Story]

Jaswnat's expulsion exposes Indian paradoxes..... (Weekly Pulse, Aug 27, 2009)
A brief visit recently to the bustling Indian capital –New Delhi brought me face to face with some of the contradictions that flow from the attitudes of several right wing Indians, particularly the followers of the embattled (BJP),........ [Read Full Story]

After Baitullah............................. (Foreign Policy, Aug 17, 2009)
As the contest for a successor to Baitullah Mehsud, the maverick warlord from South Waziristan who was reportedly killed by a drone strike in early August,.. [Read Full Story]

Under the Af-Pak club knife....... (The News, Aug 15, 2009)
Almost 15 countries, including the US, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Spain, France, Australia, Japan and Italy, have appointed special envoys to advise on how to help Pakistan sail out of rough waters........... [Read Full Story]

Baitullah Mehsud Pakistan's Prabhakaran?....... (Weekly Pulse, Aug 13, 2009)
Was Baitullah Mehsud – Pakistan’s Prabhakaran (the founder of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam) seeking an independent Islamic Emirate, or a ruthless greedy mercenary to inflict damage on, and destabilize the state of Pakistan?........... [Read Full Story]

What the Death of Pakistan's Public Enemy No. 1 Means....................................(Foreign Policy, Aug 07, 2009)
If Baitullah Mehsud is really dead, it's great news for Pakistan and the United States, and bad news for the militants............ [Read Full Story]

Pakistan and the Af-Pak Club....... (Weekly Pulse, Aug 06, 2009)
The New America Foundation and the Foreign Policy magazine jointly launched a new “Af-Pak Channel” on ForeignPolicy.com on August 4. ........... [Read Full Story]

Insurgency is not invincible....... (Weekly Pulse, July 29, 2009)
Although the army claims considerable victories in the Malakand region, paving way for tens of thousands of families’ ........... [Read Full Story]

Pakistan's insurgency dilemma....... (THE NEWS, July 26, 2009)
One of the major questions facing Pakistan, and intriguing the world, is whether it will be able to overcome the Al-Qaeda-led insurgency soon............ [Read Full Story]

Implications for Pakistan....... (Weekly Pulse, July 23, 2009)
Within two weeks of successfully negotiating with the Central Asian republic Kyrgyzstan, the retention of the Manas air base,........... [Read Full Story]

The sorry tale of Peshawar....... (THE NEWS, July 19, 2009)
Consider this: Shakespeare’s tragic romance Romeo Juliet is on. The auditorium of Peshawar University is the venue, and the university’s English literary society is the organiser. ........... [Read Full Story]

FATA Insurgency and relations with China....... (Weekly Pulse, July 02, 2009)
China is currently quietly pursuing a new role for itself in the Indian Ocean by gradually expanding its maritime capacity........... [Read Full Story]

The year 1979 and its impact......... (Daily DAWN, June 30, 2009)
The current situation is rooted in the events of 1979 but the remedy will have to come from within.................. [ Read Full Story ]

Great China taking great leaps....... (Weekly Pulse, June 18, 2009)
The 8,851-km stretch of the Great Wall perhaps reflects the enormity of China. Once you limb up to the 1,000 meter vintage point of the Great Wall and the guide explains the history and features of this serpent running through the mountains of northern China, .......... [Read Full Story]

Shanghai and Beijing:China's power symbols....... (Weekly Pulse, June 04, 2009)
The post-1949 revolution China was about a ruthless enforcement of Chairman Mao Ze Tung’s Communist ideology....... [Read Full Story]

Pakistan's Hitmen............................. (Weekly Pulse, May 21, 2009)
The moment you begin surfing John Perkins’ “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” (New York Times Best Seller) images of scores of Pakistani rulers start flashing through the mind;...... [ Read Full Story ]

Correcting the focus......... (Daily DAWN, May 18, 2009)
ALMOST a dozen countries, the US, Canada, Great Britain and Italy among them — have appointed special envoys to advise on how to steer Pakistan out of the woods................. [ Read Full Story ]

Showdown in Swat Striking back at the Taliban ... (The Friday Times, May 15, 2009)
It seems that this time around, the unity of command – army, intelligence, paramilitary and the civilian leadership – guarantees durable and credible success. Failure is not an option........ [ Read Full Story ]

Karzai gains US confidence,becomes a front runner.. (Weekly Pulse, May 14, 2009)
After his Washington visit May 07 – May 09, Hamid Karzai seems to be the strongest candidate again...... [ Read Full Story ]

Troops, militants battle it out as Swati's suffer......... (Weekly Pulse, May 14, 2009)
The story is typical. It is a good, but tragic, illustration of Pakistan's gradual decline from a country that once provided safe haven to more than 3.5 million Afghan refugees into a nation forced to stand back and watch as hundreds of thousands of its own citizens have been turned into internally-displaced people and forced to flee militant gunmen and state forces...... [ Read Full Story ]

Will Pakistan Army look from East to West?......... (Weekly Pulse, May 07, 2009)
More than a week before President Asif Ali Zardari landed in Washington,
President Barack Obama and his associates began upping the ante..... [ Read Full Story ]

Surge alone will not work ......... (The Friday Times, May 8-14, 2009)
The surge in Afghanistan is likely to bring more strain on Pakistan, as militants would begin escaping across the border to recuperate, reorganise and network with like-minded groups........ [ Read Full Story ]

Myth or Reality......... (Weekly Pulse, April 30, 2009)
Beginning with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement before a Congressional House Committee on April 23, a string of statements – besides Clinton’s – by the US secretaries of state and defence,........ [ Read Full Story ]

Downside of denial......... (The Friday Times, April 24, 2009)
The surrender of Swat is the latest addition to the areas characterised as "ungovernable" by the state of Pakistan itself........ [ Read Full Story ]

Drones are here to operate......... (Weekly Pulse, April 23, 2009)
The US Army is building nearly $4 billion worth of military bases and other facilities in Afghanistan and is planning to start projects costing an additional $1.3 billion in projects this year........ [ Read Full Story ]

Bulldozer diplomacy......... (Daily DAWN, April 20, 2009)
President Asif Ali Zardari, right, meets US Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke in Islamabad....... [ Read Full Story ]

Obama's Af-Pak: Bulldozer Diplomacy:......... (Weekly Pulse, April 16, 2009)
Pak-US relations are once again strained. The issue of drone strikes is
driving them away from each other. On 2nd April a bill named the Pakistan
Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement...... [ Read Full Story ]

US wants ISI reforms ......... (Weekly Pulse, April 15, 2009)
During their Pakistan stay, Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman Joints Chiefs of Staff and Richard Holbrook, once again reiterated their commitment to Pakistan’s stability and promised all they can to protect the country against radical forces...... [ Read Full Story ]

Can the Region Take a Lead? ......... (Weekly Pulse, April 15, 2009)
Afghanistan continues to burn under violence. So does Pakistan. And the entire region is feeling the heat, with serious repercussions for the neighbouring countries such as Iran, India and China. The US-led NATO forces, the statistics shows, have thus far failed in achieving the objectives they had set themselves in October 2001..... [ Read Full Story ]

Taliban leader stokes fear of fresh attack on US after owning up to police siege......... (Sunday Herland, Scotland, April 05, 2009)
A FEW months before Time magazine listed Baitullah Mehsud among its 100 most influential individuals on earth, the Taliban mastermind declared jihad on the west. "Our main aim is to finish Britain and the United States and to crush the pride of the non-Muslims. We pray to God to give us the ability to destroy the White House, New York and London. Very soon, we will be witnessing Jihad's miracles," the diminutive, stocky militant told the Doha-based Al Jazeera TV in January 2008........... [ Read Full Story ]

Creeping monster and state of denial ......... (Weekly Pulse, April 02, 2009)
The statistics is mind-boggling; 19 suicide strikes, at least 16 bomb attacks, as many as nine drone attacks between January and March 30. By end of March casualties off these incidents crossed 750. .............. [ Read Full Story ]

Expansion of war theatre......... (DAWN Newspaper, March 27, 2009)
“PAKISTAN has 173 million people, 100 nuclear weapons, an army bigger than the US Army, and Al Qaeda headquarters sitting right there in the two-thirds of the country the government doesn’t control.”.......... [ Read Full Story ]

The new US policy & expanding war theatre......... (Weekly Pulse, March 26, 2009)
Days before he formally unveils his report to President Barack Obama, and shares it with NATO members, Richard Holbrook, the special envoy for the region, has made it clear what awaits Pakistan in the months.......... [ Read Full Story ]

An epoch-making struggle................................ (Weekly Pulse, March 19, 2009)
Regardless of the political knit-picking for the proposed 18th Amendment that is likely to take centre stage in and on the fringes of the parliament in the weeks and months ahead, the lawyers’ movement,.......... [ Read Full Story ]

The Hall of Shame................................ (Weekly Pulse, March 12, 2009)
“What a drama going on in Pakistan; no one bothers about Pakistan. Here when people of different countries ask us about what is going on in Pakistan, we feel ashamed and  frustrated.”.......... [ Read Full Story ]

Limping back to peace............................ (Weekly Pulse, March 05, 2009)
In September 2008, Maj-GenTariq Khan, the stocky Inspector General of the Frontier Corpse, had declared the military-FC assault on the militants as the test of the security forces’ ability to regain lost territories.......... [ Read Full Story ]

The state fails again................................. (Weekly Pulse, March 05, 2009)
If the attack on the Sri Lankan team convoy in Lahore on March 3, and the suicide strike at a madressah in Pishin, Balochistan, were any indicators to go by, the recent claims of successes in the tribal areas at best offer.......... [ Read Full Story ]

Peace in Swat:Move in Isolation or a New Strategy?(Weekly Pulse, Feb 26, 2009)
The military has stopped firing “miscreants’ positions” in Swat. The miscreants, on their part declared ceasefire – not only in Swat, but also in the neighbouring Bajaur Agency. Almost coinciding with the Maulana Sufi Mohammad-Fazlullah.......... [ Read Full Story ]

Sharia law: Surrender or Survival gimmick?(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Feb 20, 2009)
Is it a step in the right direction, or much ado about nothing? Is it a survival gimmick or surrender to maverick mullas? Is it a deal to secure Swat and FATA from Taliban or a shot in despair using the shoulders of a politically toothless.......... [ Read Full Story ]

Will army and ISI escape the Indo-US gaze?(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Feb 12, 2009)
The Pakistani response to the Indian Dossier on the November 26 Mumbai Terror attacks is out. While Pakistani civilian and military authorities struck a note of unity through the Cabinet Committee on Defense, also attended by the Army Chief, General Ashfaq Kayani.......... [ Read Full Story ]

Pressure or Fatigue.....................(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Feb 05, 2009)
Recently, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer issued a stinging public indictment of the situation in Afghanistan. The basic problem in Afghanistan is not too much Taliban;......... [ Read Full Story ]

Can we regain the "Paradise Lost"?........(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Jan 29, 2009)
The demolition of schools in Swat continues (over 180 destroyed sofar). The police and the civilian administration is practically dysfunctional, the army and the Frontier Corps are holding on to some of the strategic territories with......... [ Read Full Story ]

Swat the'Zibahkhana Chowk'of Pakis........(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Jan 22, 2009)
Pakistan’s mountainous and picturesque Swat Region in the northwest  continues to seethe in violence. Famed as "Pakistan’s  Switzerland” for its meadows, majestic mountain peaks, lakes and the ski resort at Malam Jabba......... [ Read Full Story ]

Peshawar under Siege?........(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Jan 16, 2009)
The Taliban rampage in Mohmand and Kurram agencies in recent days as well as the scare the militants sowed in the hearts and minds of people in cities such as Peshawar and Swat gives way to the question whether......... [ Read Full Story ]

Difficult year behind,challenging one ahead..(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Jan 06, 2009)
Religiously-toned violence, political uncertainty, financial crisis, power shortages, extremely poor law and order situation and deficient governance
marked 2008 as yet another turbulent and hopeless......... [ Read Full Story ]

Can Obama engineer a change in Afghan.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Jan 02, 2009)
Despite massive international goodwill, backed up by billions of dollars worth of aid and over 70,000 foreign troops scouring every nook and corner, Afghanistan remained volatile and violent during 2008.  ......... [ Read Full Story ]

US-NATO in the eye of Taliban storm.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Dec 18, 2008)
Within first two weeks of December, militants carried out multiple strikes, most of them in and around Peshawar, to convey they can hit targets at will. More than 300 humwees and armoured personnel carriers, ......... [ Read Full Story ]

Allegations vs Indian Intelligence Failure.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Dec 04, 2008)
Many among the Indian political leadership and the media continue to cry foul as pampered children. Within a couple of hours of the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan's name was all over. ......... [ Read Full Story ]

Foreign Junkets at Tax Payers's Cost.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Nov 20, 2008)
The stories that are gradually surfacing about the years under General Musharraf, or the course of events that we have seen since February 18 elections, clearly demonstrate that the malaise Pakistan suffers from is absence of moral scruples within the ruling elite,......... [ Read Full Story ]

The Obama'Petraeus strategy for Pakistan.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Nov 13,08)
The euphoria following Barack Obama's victory is now gradually giving way to the formation of teams which will get together to realize the promises made during the long campaign and assess new problems facing the United States in the aftermath of the financial crisis......... [ Read Full Story ]

More trouble for Afghanistan and Wazir.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Nov 06, 2008)
The day General David Petraeus assumed leadership of the US Central Command i.e. Oct 31st, US drones fired missiles on targets in North and South Waziristan agencies, killing 32 mainly Al Qaeda terrorists and injuring a key Taliban commander. Two missiles hit a pick-up truck and a house west of Mir Ali in North Waziristan......... [ Read Full Story ]

Tribute to history:The Swedish way.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Oct 23, 2008)
What drives the high-tech Sweden? Passion, Patriotism, and hard work. Ericsson, SAAB, Volvo, SAS. All these brands are synonymous with Sweden, a beautiful country with less than ten million inhabitants, who live in a welfare state which is part of the European Union, but not of the Currency Union......... [ Read Full Story ]

Balochistan next after FATA?...(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Oct 16, 2008)
What is Balochistan: Security threat in Balochistan has been purely political with Baloch nationalists waging war against the federation in their bid to claim more rights on the natural resources that are reportedly in abundance........ [ Read Full Story ]

The Battle for Bajaur...(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Oct 09, 2008)
The battle for Bajaur is raging. It is a test case for Pakistan's capability to regain control of the embattled agency, as put by Maj-Gen Tariq Khan, the inspector general of the Frontier Corps........ [ Read Full Story ]

The Mayhem that I experienced...(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Sep 24, 2008)
September 20 was my third experience as part of a story, rather than being on the spot for the story after the event; in May 1994, while heading a TV crew near Pule Khumri north of Kabul, we got caught up in an intense cross fire....... [ Read Full Story ]

US endangering regional stability....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Sep 18, 2008)
The fears of so-called encirclement of Pakistan by Afghan-Indo-US alliance might force the ISI into reviving its old cold-war approach that had traditionally relied on a proxy war through "strategic assets". ....... [ Read Full Story ]

Carte Blanche for US in Afghanistan.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Sep 11, 2008)
Seven years after terrorists struck at the symbol of American might – the World Trade Centre and Pentagon – and the questionable war against terrorism began, Afghanistan remains in the grip of ever mounting violence ....... [ Read Full Story ]

Georgian crisis:Russia challenges.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Sep 04, 2008)
Kremlin hawks are thankful to President George W. Bush for inventing the doctrine of preemptive strikes in the conduct of foreign policy. Bush also set a dangerous precedent by invading Iraq, toppling the regime,....... [ Read Full Story ]

The Zardari,Nawaz Battle.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Aug 28, 2008)
Is Pakistan heading for the bad old days of a fractious political landscape – witnessed in the late 1980s and 1990s - following the walkout of one of the main partners of the coalition government?....... [ Read Full Story ]

ISI-In the eye of the storm.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Aug 21, 2008)
Following the exit of Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s ascendant ruling coalition faces numerous daunting challenges, arresting the economic downslide being the most pressing because it is affecting the dominant majority of Pakistanis. Fuel and food inflation coupled with severe power outages....... [ Read Full Story ]

Ex-spymasters regret helping Musharraf.....(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad Aug 15, 2008)
FLASHBACK: Nov 3, 1999. Camp Office, Rawalpindi. General Pervez Musharraf, the chief executive, had just concluded an interview with the CNN. Exuding confidence, Musharraf promised he would turn every thing upside down – for the better of the country. “You will see how our monitoring teams will fix problems and rid the country of corruption,” he had boasted. He also regurgitated his pet theme of “accountability and replacing sham democracy with real democracy.”....... [ Read Full Story ]

Who is funding FATA militancy?.......(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad August 07, 2008)
Early August, Pakistani Establishment came out with its “own assessment” of the situation in the region, particularly in the context of the July 7 suicide bombing outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul. A story in a mass circulation daily (Aug 5, 2008) quoted “impeccable official sources” as saying that the military leadership provided “strong circumstantial evidence of American acquiescence to terrorism....... [ Read Full Story ]

Who is winning:state or Taliban?.......(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad July 31, 2008)
If a recent analytical report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) (Taliban Propaganda: Winning the War of Words?) were any indicator, the Taliban managed to stage the same – at least in Peshawar also; instilling fear of advancing Taliban and creating an impression they are....... [ Read Full Story ]

Reviewing the PPP and PML in Pak.......(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad July 18, 2008)
The PPP has been out of power for 12 years. For a decade, the PPP's leadership has either been in exile or in jail. It now seems that the PPP is having difficulty grasping the emergence of at least two new centers of power — the electronic media and the lawyers' community both as parts of the new, reawakened civil society....... [ Read Full Story ]

Military storm hovering over Pakistan? (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad July 18, 2008)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s July 14 tirade against Pakistan's intelligence agencies and the army has certainly triggered speculation as to whether the US-led international forces based in Afghanistan have finalised their case for direct strikes into Pakistani tribal territories?...... [ Read Full Story ]

Failure of US policy in Pak-Afghan ... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad July 10, 2008)
The failure of American policy of waging a mindless war in Afghanistan has a silver lining, provided the decision makers particularly in Washington and generally in Islamabad, are willing to pay attention to the calling of the time. Nearly seven years of continuous military action in Afghanistan has killed less "terrorists"...... [ Read Full Story ]

War on Terror eroding rule of law... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad July 10, 2008)
On July 4, another 22 civilians, including women and children, fell to an air strike by U.S.-led forces on Friday in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nuristan. International wire services reported that the attack happened on a road in Want district while the noncombatants were traveling in two vehicles....... [ Read Full Story ]

Talibanisation of Khyber Agency... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad July 03, 2008)
Following the unleashing of military power on the militants in Khyber Agency on June 28, the government banned the Lashkar-i-Islam (LI)  led by Mangal Bagh, Ansarul Islam (AI), headed by  Mehbubul Haq and Amar Bil Maroof Wa Nahi Analmunkir (Promotion of virtue and prevention of vice) led by Haji Naamdar...... [ Read Full Story ]

Peace jirga and Afghan hospitality... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad June 26, 2008)
Militant groups based in the Fata region that separates Pakistan and Afghanistan remain a source of attrition in relations between the two countries. The tensions and misgivings reverberate at all levels;..... [ Read Full Story ]

Baitullah and Fazlullah are enemies... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad June 19, 2008)
A day after his return from the Paris Conference of Donors to Afghanistan on June 14, where he secured over $20 billion worth of economic and military assistance commitments, President Hamid Karzai..... [ Read Full Story ]

Saving Musharraf important than Pakistan (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad June 12, 2008)
While Pakistan continues to reel under the consequences of Shaukat Aziz’s short-sighted and self-promoting finance management policies and financial, energy and politico-judicial crisis is giving way to alarm and uncertainty..... [ Read Full Story ]

Confessions of a spymaster (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad May 26, 2008)
Here is a shocking but sad account of an encounter with a senior officer of one of the army intelligence agencies. While it shows the deep involvement of the intelligence agencies in national politics..... [ Read Full Story ]

Foreign Fingers in Afghan Pie (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad May 08, 2008)
As about 47,000 Nato-led international troops and another 31,000 US forces battle Taliban-led insurgency to help President Hamid Karzai establish his writ out of Kabul, the country remains in the of violence and lawlessness..... [ Read Full Story ]

Pak-Afghan prosperity lies in... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad May 01, 2008)
An interview with Hamayun Hameed Zada (Afghan presidential spokesperson) ................ [ Read Full Story ]

Canada and the troubled Pak-Afghan...(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad April 25, 2008)
Canada currently maintains 2,500 soldiers in the embattled Afghanistan’s Kandahar region, many of whom are running one of the 26 Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) as well. Besides, Canada emerged as the third largest donor in 2007,..... [ Read Full Story ]

Kabul Thrives at What Price? (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad April 19, 2008)
Kabul is throbbing with life; over five million people rubbing shoulders,  half a million vehicles plying the roads, booming  construction with a few splendid glass-walled private plazas,  cellular phone revolution, media explosion............ [ Read Full Story ]

Tribal areas craving for FCR abolition (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad April 10, 2008)
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s promise to change the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) on March 29 has sparked a countrywide debate as to whether at all the new government would be able to secure a consensus............ [ Read Full Story ]

FATA: Gillani wants peace, US.... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad April 03, 2008)
The last week of March has been tumultuous for Pakistan. Two trouble-shooters from Washington – Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, and the Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher stayed put in Islamabad for a few days............ [ Read Full Story ]

American recipe, Pakistani ingredients (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad March 27, 2008)
Long before the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) decided to distance itself from the King's Party – the beleagured Q-League – and throw its weight behind the Asif Zardari-driven coalition government, US power brokers............ [ Read Full Story ]

New Turn in Violence (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad March 13, 2008)
Two terror strikes in Lahore on March 11 – one on the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) building - raise more questions than answers to possible preemptive remedies. They also underscore a definite new turn in violence for the worse;............ [ Read Full Story ]

Post-election scenario and Pakistan's(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad March 06, 2008)
Much before the February 18 elections, many world capitals, had been pondering as to which direction Pakistan will take in the post election days and weeks. Many also wondered as to whether the polls,............ [ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan's reality defies Musharraf's...(Weekly Pulse, Islamabad February 07, 2008)
President Musharraf's European visit came at a time when Pakistan is facing a bitter uncertainty on a majority of its domestic and international fronts. At home the nation faces political and administrative mismanagement on wheat flour.......... [ Read Full Story ]

Bloody 2007: Pakistan bears.... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad January 17, 2008)
The war on terror began with the bombing of Taliban strategic positions on Oct 7, 2001. Over six years on, Taliban and their ideological partners - al-Qaeda operatives – continue to challenge the US-led 43,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan............ [ Read Full Story ]

FATA again under fire (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad January 11, 2008)
Prescript: Local Taliban are gradually converging on the Peshawar valley from Darra Adam Khel, Mohmand, Khyber agency as well as the Malakand region. The ultimate objective: lay a Taliban siege around the city........... [ Read Full Story ]

Charsadda Attack: Crime Foretold (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad January 03, 2008)
Was the December 21, 2007 Charsadda attack part of a strategy by the surging Pakistani Taliban to surround Peshawar with a ring of destabilisation, rather than an attempt to take out Aftab Ahmad Sherpao, the former interior minister............ [ Read Full Story ]

Crisis of Conscience vs Skewed... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad December 21, 2007)
Let us consider the following as a starting point before we speak of conscience and accountability, as our leaders pontificate: ............ [ Read Full Story ]

Siachin and Commitment to Envi... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad December 14, 2007)
Unusual melting of snow in the northern mountains is already triggering climate changes -- floods, irregular snow and rains etc. Policy makers in India and Pakistan need to move swiftly and jointly to protect their precious ecological heritage............ [ Read Full Story ]

Musharraf-led dispensation (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad December 06, 2007)
The South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) conference on Media Freedom and Security in Islamabad (Nov 30 – Dec 1) offered a forum to some of stakeholders of the current day Pakistan -- media persons, intellectuals, ........... [ Read Full Story ]

Don doffs skin -- What next? (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad November 29, 2007)
General Pervez Musharraf created history when he finally doffed his “second skin” after heading the mighty military establishment for little over 9 years and opted to move into the Presidential Palace in Islamabad;........... [ Read Full Story ]

Musharraf's self-defeating ... (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad November 08, 2007)
“For more than five months the United States has been trying to orchestrate a political transition in Pakistan that would manage to somehow keep Gen. Pervez Musharraf in power without making a mockery of ........... [ Read Full Story ]

After FATA, it is Malakand (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad November 01, 2007)
The scary events in the Swat valley have left a long trail of death and destruction. But if we consider an incident that befell two couples from Lahore a few weeks ago, the resistance by the Taliban and their vows for Jihad appear ........... [ Read Full Story ]

Militant future staring Pakistan in face (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad October 24, 2007)
All the developments of the past few days underscore one bitter reality; Pakistan is in for a protracted phase of militancy – a conflict between pro and anti-Musharraf forces. By implication a collision of interests and perceptions ........... [ Read Full Story ]

Taliban on the move? (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad October 18, 2007)
Swat – When scores of Mulla Sufi Mohammad’s volunteers were either mauled or caught by the US-led coalition forces in December 2001, and the cleric himself was thrown into the Dera Ismail Khan jail “for having instigated” ........... [ Read Full Story ]

Sovereignty versus Sinister politics (Weekly Pulse, 06 October 2007)
The vibes are crystal clear meanwhile. Benazir Bhutto is set to return to Pakistan next month. The Bush administration  firmly stands behind President Pervez Musharraf as well as his "deal with Bhutto". On the face of it, the administration considers Musharraf's continuity on top of the Pakistani government as critical..... [ Read Full Story ]

Parliaments in Ottawa, Budapest (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad September 28, 2007)
Canada is about multi-culturalism. The government loves to invoke the jargon of multi-culturalism wherever possible. Non-governmental players – social organizations or the media – also love to brag about and display their penchant for cultural diversity. And the faces on road, too, reflect the diversity of ethnicity ........... [ Read Full Story ]

Parliaments in Ottawa, Budapest (Weekly Pulse, Islamabad September 21, 2007)
A tour of the Parliament Hill - The Canadian Parliament or the grand parliament building in Budapest or the Hungarian capital for a Pakistani, invariably works as a trigger for drawing comparisons; perched on a hill that overlooks Ottawa as well as the picturesque city of Hull in the Quebec province..... [ Read Full Story ]

Inhumanity of organ trade (The News, 13 August 2007)
Looking at the cases the Supreme Court is dealing with, one could comfortably say that the government as such has failed to address issues vital to the nation — health, environment, historical heritage —and every body is looking up to the apex court for relief. Claims of good governance, local government and service delivery appear to pale in the face of some harsh realities. ... [ Read Full Story ]

Wave of suicide attacks (24-July-2007, The News)
"The vibes are not promising at all; in the first 19 days of July, ideologically driven, anti-US Islamic militants have put down about 200 people in 14 suicide and sniper attacks in the violence ridden Waziristan region, Swat, Hub, Peshawar and Islamabad. A day after the Red Mosque operation, ... [ Read Full Story ]