Pakistan

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  • Should India Continue Its Present Course in Afghanistan?

    The July 7 gruesome attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul, which resulted in the loss of over 40 lives including those of two senior diplomats, is clearly a high value symbolic attack directed at coercing India into scaling down its growing presence in rebuilding war ravaged Afghanistan. It is a clear reminder, following as it does a series of low and small scale attacks on Indians in previous months and years, that the Indian presence is continuing to hamper the interests of Pakistan which is bent upon regaining its lost ‘strategic depth’ in that country.

    July 09, 2008

    Karzai Raises the Anti-Taliban Rhetoric

    Kabul has for long been wary of Pakistan’s idea of negotiating ‘peace’ deals with Taliban militants operating out of its north-western tribal areas. Pakistan’s earlier peace deals in 2004 and in 2006 were short-lived and had helped the Taliban emerge stronger. Moreover, the 2006 North Waziristan Pact had led to a notable surge in Taliban attacks west of the Durand Line.

    June 30, 2008

    Implications of Peace Deals in Pakistan’s Wild West

    As the new political dispensation in Pakistan negotiates new deals with militants in the country’s Pakhtoon belt, it is causing consternation among its neighbours. The deals have been signed in Swat Valley, Mardan, Mohmand and Bajour Agency, and in all probability with Baitullah Mehsud the leader of ‘Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’ in Waziristan. However, the Pakistan government would like to retain deniability vis-à-vis the last of these deals, so as not to ruffle too many feathers in the United States or Afghanistan.

    June 13, 2008

    Terrorist Attack on the Danish Embassy in Islamabad

    On June 2, terrorists exploded a car-bomb outside the Embassy of Denmark in the high-security diplomatic area of Islamabad. The explosion instantaneously killed eight people, injured more than twenty five and damaged properties in the vicinity. People killed in the attack were mainly Pakistanis, including the local staff at the embassy and a Danish citizen of Pakistani origin. It is not clear how an explosive-laden car was able to enter such a highly-guarded area without detection.

    June 09, 2008

    The India-Pakistan Bonhomie Continues

    The review of the composite bilateral dialogue process by the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan on May 22 at Islamabad was significant in many ways. This was the first ever review, that too during the course of the first ever high level visit by an Indian minister after the new government took power in Pakistan. Both countries have accepted a gradual process of resolving the outstanding issues between them. Pakistan has said that it is important to raise awareness among the people about their stake in the peace process.

    May 30, 2008

    The Need to Regulate Pakistan’s Use of Covert Action

    Ever since the new democratically elected government assumed office in Pakistan, analysts have drawn up exhaustive priority lists of tasks before it. These range from restoring civilian pre-eminence over the military, countering terrorism, building democratic institutions, freedom of the media, and restoration of the judiciary. The new government, however, will do well to also order a review of the use of covert action as an instrument of state policy, which has been a major factor for the ills that afflict Pakistan and undermines its credibility in the international community.

    May 28, 2008

    Pakistan’s Peace Deals with Islamic militants: Lull before the Storm

    The new ANP-led provincial government in NWFP signed a peace deal with the Islamic militants of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) led by Maulana Fazlullah, on May 21, 2008. The deal is the most significant initiative taken by the provincial government to end endemic violence that has engulfed the scenic Swat valley since last year and follows another peace deal with Maulana Sufi Mohammad, the father in law of Fazlullah and the founder of TNSM on April 20. Sufi Mohammad had founded TNSM after leaving Jamaat-e-Islami in 1992.

    May 28, 2008

    War on Terror and its Impact on Pakistan's Kashmir Policy

    The terrorist act of September 11, 2001, brought a revolutionary change in the international security paradigm. As the countries tried to adjust to the new security environment, the war against terror brought war closer to south Asia. Pakistan emerged as the frontline state in this war yet again and its foreign policy towards its two important neighbours, India and Afghanistan, underwent a strategic shift. It was quick to disown the Taliban. Its dilemmas were perceptible when it was confronted with the issue of dealing with terrorism in Kashmir.

    May 2008

    Musharraf in China: Economic benefits of an “all weather friendship”

    Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s recent visit to China from April 10-16 revealed the depth and confidence that highlight Pakistan-China relations. The much repeated refrain of an “all-weather friendship” between the two countries is now transforming itself from the erstwhile “purely defensive and strategic” in nature to one of deep economic engagement.

    April 22, 2008

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