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  • The Rise of Pakistani Taliban and the Response of the State

    The rise of a militant Islamist group calling itself Pakistani Taliban has drawn wider international attention in recent years. It has appeared as a serious internal security threat for the Pakistani state and as an external challenge for the Afghan government facing a resurgent Taliban in southern Afghanistan. This article seeks to trace the evolution of 'Pakistani Taliban' and to isolate and analyse its ideological moorings and its political aspirations.

    September 2007

    Musharraf in a Mess of His Own Making: Autumn of the Patriarch?

    A commentator of Pakistani origin in the US, writing in The Wall Street Journal in September 2006, coined a new name for Pakistan, i.e., Musharrafistan. He fell short of saying ‘Musharraf is Pakistan and Pakistan is Musharraf’. At one level, Musharraf had until now established his reputation as the best bet for the US and the West, as a liberal dictator and better-than-the-rest leader within Pakistan, who pulled Pakistan successfully away from the brink.

    June 19, 2007

    Afghanistan: Galloping Backward

    That the Taliban power stands resurrected is a fact now. At the same time, the 'war on terror' is also showing signs of fatigue. It has already come to a halt in the north-western tribal expanse of Pakistan, the cradle of the Taliban's resurrection. Dubbed as 'remnants' until recently, the Taliban today are a power to reckon with, effectively redrawing the power equations within Afghanistan.

    December 27, 2006

    Taliban Successes: A Matter of Concern

    Condoleeza Rice's visit to Pakistan on June 27-28, 2006 before she proceeded to Kabul indicated abundant concern on the part of the US government about the increasing strength of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the expectation that Pakistan would pull its weight to ensure better results in combating terrorism. This was made apparent in her clearly enunciated statement which emphasised the need for increased cooperation between Pakistan and the Afghan government on the one hand, and among the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan on the other.

    July 10, 2006

    US-Pakistan Counter-Terrorism Cooperation: Dynamics and Challenges

    Pakistan is a frontline ally of the US in its Global War on Terrorism. After the 9/11 terrorist attack, the military regime was compelled by Washington to join the US effort to dismantle the Taliban-Al Qaida terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan and Pakistan that successive regimes had nurtured. While the Pakistani military regime’s cooperation is deemed to be crucial for the success of the US counter-terrorism strategy, there appear to be growing strains and challenges that give rise to fundamental questions about the outcomes of such cooperation.

    July 2006

    Million Mutinies in Pakistan's Tribal Areas

    The tribal terrain in Pakistan is in a state of turmoil. As the Pakistani Taliban gradually emerge, many analysts have pointed out that the terrain has traditionally been home to orthodoxy over the centuries and nourished rebels like Sayiid Ahmad, Faqir of Ippi, Nek Muhammad, Abdul Mehsud and now Mullah Dadullah.

    June 27, 2006

    India's Role in Afghanistan: Need for Greater Engagement

    The killing of Kasula Suryanarayana, an Indian telecommunications engineer working for a Bahrain based firm in the Zabul Province of Afghanistan raises important questions on the emerging challenges to India's efforts at reconstruction and stabilization of a "nascent democracy". Suryanarayana was reportedly abducted by the Taliban on April 28 and his abductors linked his safe release to the withdrawal of all Indians working in Afghanistan.

    May 04, 2006

    Politics in Post-Taliban Afghanistan: An Assessment

    The Afghan war is far from over. With the political process that began in December 2001 having completed three years, it is pertinent to revisit and examine the course of the post-Taliban Afghan politics. Afghanistan’s attempt to move towards peace and democracy has been perilous and remains so. The ouster of the Taliban and subsequent signing of the Bonn Agreement at the end of 2001 marked yet another turning point in the long-drawn Afghan conundrum.

    April 2005

    Warlords and Karzai’s Balancing Act

    On March 1, 2005, Afghan President Hamid Karzai appointed Uzbek militia commander Abdul Rashid Dostum as Chief-of-Staff to the Commander-in-Chief of the Afghan armed forces – a post which he holds.1

    January 2005

    Post-War Afghanistan: Reconstructing a Failed State

    Afghanistan once represented a fragmented and failed socio-economic and political entity. Operation Enduring Freedom, while targeting the Taliban and Al Qaida as part of the global war on terrorism helped create the structure of a new Afghan State. This article analyses the challenges faced by Afghanistan and how the new Afghan elite and its foreign supporters seek to address them through constitutional means. The New Constitution provides the framework of how Afghanistan wishes to reconstruct the new State.

    October 2004

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