• Flogging a dead horse

    THE recent closure and subsequent reopening of the Torkham border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan must be seen in the wider of context of the two neighbours’ historical tensions over the Durand Line, the international boundary between the two countries. The Durand Line stretches over some 2,250 kilometres of mountainous and flat terrain. In the northwest it divides Pakistan’s tribal..

  • Return of TDPs

    THE global handling of security challenges is causing immense secondary problems related to the mass migration of populations from war zones to countries at peace such as those in the European Union. According to the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, about 70 million war-displaced persons are seeking entry to the EU. Out of the additional 700,000 who joined the ranks..

  • The approaching offensive

    ACROSS the world, spring is associated with rejuvenation and rebirth after a burdensome winter. Yet this logic skips Afghanistan. Here spring has been associated with death since 2003. One of the unintended consequences of the long military operation in Afghanistan has been its emulative nature; the adversary, in this instance the Taliban, has learnt the techniques normally used by states...

  • Pak-Afghan relations: Hanging by a thread

    // “O Motherland! Why are all our tributaries Of love in tumult Our rivers of life In revolt?” — Ejaz Rahim I WAS recently in Afghanistan to attend the academic forum meeting in connection with the sixth gathering of the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference for Afghanistan. It gave me an opportunity for discussion with the Afghan leadership, officials from the..

  • Drivers of extremism in fata and kp

    // Fata, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karachi, Balochistan and Afghanistan have remained in the forefront of violence since 2001. It has at times spilled over into Punjab but violence has remained mainly fixated to the above regions. Violence and conflict can be a result of many factors and studies have shown that it is hardly ever related to a single factor as..

  • Turmoil in the Muslim world‏

    I WAS fortunate enough to participate in a meeting of experts organised by the West Asia-North Africa (Wana) forum in Jordan earlier this month to study the situation in this critical region. The initiative was begun in 2009 by Prince Hassan bin Talal, regarded as one of the foremost progressive thinkers of the region. The Wana region has large energy..

  • Pakistan’s security and the NWFP peace plan

    // The government of NWFP proposes to place before the next session of the provincial assembly a comprehensive peace plan. This plan has been prepared by the ANP Task Force and is now under discussion at the national and provincial level. The plan favours a multi dimensional approach instead of focusing only on a military solution. However, the success of..


    // The passage of the 9/11 bill by U.S. Congress on 28 July, is a clear sign of the Democratic Party's legislative dominance. This bill was passed by a majority of 371 - 40 and 85 - 8 in the House of Representative and Senate respectively. It is my conjecture that this legislation will cause difficulties in Pakistan  U.S relations..


    // It is certain that when key institutions are manipulated whimsically, state failure is a natural consequence.  Such a result is eminent when a country is also facing a severe legitimacy crisis; Pakistan today is in the grip of both.  Unless our leaders see reality and give up their attitude of denial in the face of facts, we may then..

  • US Bombing of Bajaur Agency in Pakistan

    // The bombardment of houses in Bajaur agency of Pakistani tribal areas by US has opened a new dangerous chapter between the two countries and will further fuel the Afghan resistence against foreign occupation of their country. First the brief facts; on the night of 13th Jan a complex of tribal homes in Bajaur agency was targeted by US forces operating..

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