Preparing for peace in Pakistan

Criticism has been levelled against the Pakistani government's efforts to hold talks with militant groups. While concerns about the Taliban regrouping remain valid, it is in the United States’ long-term security interest not only to support the multidimensional peace plans being formulated, but also to refrain from words and actions which could jeopardize the process.…

US Interests Face a Challenge in Pakistan

Although the ascendancy of Yousuf Razaf Gilani to power as prime minister may have reduced, however temporarily, Pakistan’s capacity for political chaos, it throws the future of Washington’s global war on terror into uncertainty, making the job of NATO forces and their allies far more difficult. Certainly, while the February 18 election has managed to…

Keeping Pakistan’s Military Out of Politics

In addition to uprooting President Pervez Mursharraf’s Muslim League-Q Party by opposition parties in Pakistan’s February national elections, the election has not only created a new alliance between opposition parties and but raises the possibility of reorienting the country’s political future. Asif Zardari, leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Nawaz Sharif, leader of…

A Nest of Potential Assassins Eye Each Other in Pakistan

 General Mushtaq Baig, was killed along with eight others by a suicide attack in the garrison town of Rawalpindi Although the western powers are breathing a sigh of relief over what appears to have been a relatively free and clean election in Pakistan last week, which delivered a decisive drubbing for the strongman Pervez Musharraf,…

A “Peaceful” Poll in Pakistan

{mosloadposition pakvid} In this video shot by local Pakistani activists, bazaaris were taking what appeared to be purloined ballot boxes to the market the day before the polls  after strongman Pervez Musharraf solemnly pledged the sanctity of the vote. Confidence in one’s ability to stay alive ebbs dramatically when the first thing you see on…

Viewing Pakistan from India

The extent of the political vacuum created by the murder of Benazir Bhutto has yet to be gauged, leaving India groping for a strategy to deal with the crisis. Indeed, the stakes for India in Pakistan’s predicament are higher than they are for any other nation. India, whose relationship with Pakistan has been hostile ever…

Pakistan and Feudalism

The appointment of Benazir Bhutto’s son and husband to the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the aftermath of her assassination may seem unexceptional given the dynastic tendencies of most south Asian democracies. But in Pakistan’s case, hereditary succession does more than confirm that name recognition is often more valuable than either personality…

Pakistan’s Northeastern India Agenda

Lt. General Nadeem Taj, the current head of the ISI Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, already accused of ongoing support for Islamist terrorism in Kashmir and Afghanistan, has been snagged in allegations that it is meddling in India’s troubled northeastern region. Indian officials have long accused the ISI, as it is known, of fueling separatist…

Pakistan’s Opposition Parties Look to Each Other

On November 19, Pakistan's Supreme Court — now stacked with government appointed judges — dismissed most of the legal challenges to President Pervez Musharraf's continued hold on power. The actions are close to providing Musharraf with the opportunity to step down as head of the army and instead serve as the country's president for another…

The Pakistan Army’s First Victory

The first-ever victory of the Pakistan Army in early July will be remembered as a landmark in the history of the country’s armed forces. Since the creation of Pakistan 60 years ago, on at least 10 occasions when the Pakistani army has taken action against its own citizens, it has had to either surrender or…