Little Hope for India-Pakistan Détente

Little Hope for India-Pakistan DétenteThere is no prospect of India and Pakistan coming to terms and settling their border differences in the foreseeable future, certainly not in the lifetime of the two countries’ present governments and probably not for much longer. Efforts to improve the relationship in other ways will also be precarious and uncertain. That has been clear…

Pakistan’s Afghan Conundrum

Pakistan’s Afghan ConundrumWhat if what’s been called the world’s most unstable and dangerous country were to take over the destiny of one of the world’s most impoverished, insecure and fragmented ones? The 13-year Afghan war is expected to wind down this year with the departure of the bulk of NATO troops, with the likelihood that Pakistan will…

Democratic Transition in Pakistan

The national elections in Pakistan last month were surprisingly successful, with turnout of 55.02 percent, the largest since 1970 and a victory for democracy in that the voters refused to buckle under to the intimidation of radical Islamists who threatened violence. The election meant the first civilian transfer of power after the successful completion of…

China finds another route to the Indian Ocean

The Port of Singapore Authority’s* decision to pull out of a 40-year contract to operate the new Gwadar deep sea port in southwestern Pakistan, now to be taken over by the Chinese, is causing consternation in India and the United States. Located at the entrance of the Persian Gulf and about 460 km from Karachi,…

Pakistan’s Political Playing Field Shifting?

While media attention is riveted on potential implications of the recent NATO strike that claimed the lives of 24 Pakistani soldiers, there are significant political developments in the country which also merit attention. After decades of military rule and ineffective governance by Pakistan's two main political parties – the Pakistan Peoples' Party and the Pakistan…

The Future of US-Pakistan relations post-bin Laden

Scenes of rejoicing in Washington and New York accompanied the news that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been killed by US special forces on Sunday. But in Pakistan, many remained glued to their television sets, wondering what this event means for their nation's security and sovereignty. The killing of bin Laden signals to…

Pakistan and the Bomb

Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world. The arsenal is well protected, concealed and dispersed. The Pakistani army makes every effort to deny information about the locations of its weapons out of fear of any falling into enemy hands, especially American hands. The army is ready to use its nukes to defend…

For Pakistan’s stability, all roads lead through Karachi

On Nov. 11, militants demolished a police department used to detain terror suspects in Karachi, killing 18 people and wounding 130 others. Pakistan's Taliban swiftly claimed responsibility. It is an example that among the myriad problems confronting Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari, none strikes as close to home as the current instability in Karachi. The…

Child’s play in War-Torn Pakistan

As a young boy enters a circle of children sitting on the ground, a girl in the group welcomes him into their imagined guestroom and asks who he is. He replies that he is a guest and then suddenly lets off a firecracker. The other children fall to the ground crying out for help. One…

The Agony of Pakistan’s Ahmadiyya

Just a month ago, at least 95 members of the Ahmadiyya Islamic sect were killed and nearly 100 injured in attacks on their places of worship in Lahore, Pakistan’s Punjab province. The attack was part of a campaign against Ahmadis by Islamist groups openly sympathetic to terrorist groups including the Taliban. Ironically, most of the…
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