• Insight into the Fata mind

    // RECENTLY, the Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme (CAMP) issued its annual survey of the perceptions held by the tribesmen of Fata. Understanding FATA — Volume 5 provides a comprehensive insight into the minds of Fata’s population. The credit for creating awareness in this regard about Fata goes to the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) for funding the initiative..

  • A question of motive

    // ONE wonders when the agony of Balochistan — and the rest of Pakistan — will end. This country of ours seems to have attracted the evil eye. The recent resolution in the US Congress on the question of freedom for Balochistan is construed by Pakistanis as an unfriendly act. On Feb 16, the subcommittee on oversight and investigations —..

  • Political economy of state failure

    // IT is becoming apparent that Pakistan is failing not because of the lack of capacity to do things related to the management of the country but largely due to what some scholars of state collapse have identified as ‘wickedness’. When a government is weak but willing to administer and accept the challenges of state-building, it is in such a..

  • The Afghan quagmire

    // RECENTLY, Peshawar hosted a seminar organised under the auspices of the Centre for Discussions and Solutions, an advocacy organisation created by Qazi Hussain Ahmed of the Jamaat-i-Islami. The seminar was attended by a cross-section of Pakistanis including politicians, technocrats, analysts and two former DGs of the ISI, Gen Hamid Gul and Gen Asad Durrani. The seminar was also attended..

  • US-Pakistan divergences

    // THE US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, has disclosed that Dr Shakil Afridi who ran an anti-polio campaign in Abbottabad succeeded in obtaining DNA samples that led to the discovery of Osama bin Laden and his subsequent death at the hands of US Special Forces during the May 2 raid last year. This statement places in perspective the reasons behind..

  • Factors that hinder peace

    // AS Pakistan slips deeper into an economic, fiscal and governance mess many analysts conclude simplistically that Pakistan’s overall situation will improve by reviewing Pakistan’s engagement with the US. Secondly, they declare that once foreign policy is revised, it will be easy to make peace with the Pakistani Taliban in Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They also believe that after concluding..

  • A troubled country

    // PAKISTAN is in the midst of several crises. The picture at this stage appears dismal. However, even in this period of despair there are exceptions that inspire confidence in the future of our country. The other day I was fortunate to witness such an instance, during a PIA flight from Islamabad to Lahore. I was struck by wonderment when..

  • Implications of Nato attack

    // THE unprovoked attack on two Pakistani Army check posts in Salala, Mohmand Agency by multiple Nato aircraft and ground troops on Nov 26, is likely to prove one of the lowest points in deteriorating US-Pakistan relations. The incident has occurred at a time when a heated debate is under way in Pakistan regarding the contents of a memo sent..

  • The power of narrative

    // IS the greatest threat facing Pakistan coming from Al Qaeda as President Obama has said or is it the opening script from the US narrative aimed at prioritising the primacy of the latter and thus hiding what Pakistan’s real threats are? Yes, the insurgency remains a nuisance and eats into Pakistan’s limited resources; it adds to the public debt..

  • Unsatisfactory endgame

    // THE received wisdom on invading Afghanistan has been that you may enter the country at will, but you cannot exit from it according to your wishes. This was true in the times of antiquity when Alexander the Great invaded Bactria (near modern-day Balkh in Afghanistan) in 329 BC to capture Bessus, the satrap of Darius’s III who had killed..

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