Golden Oldie: Pakistan Needs U

Just over three years ago, National Review Online published an article I wrote urging the U.S. to rush aid to Pakistan in response to a cyclone that had devastated Pakistan’s coastal regions. Much of it appears all too relevant now. July 6, 2007 7:30 A.M.Pakistan Needs UAnd we need Pakistan.Hopefully the United States is preparing […]

Pakistan Fissures II: Ethnic Cleavages

In the Washington Post yesterday Selig Harrison, wrote an op-ed arguing that the Punjabi-Pashtun ethnic conflict underpins the rise of the Taliban. The Punjab is Pakistan’s most powerful province. Home to about half of the country’s population, the Punjab dominates Pakistan politically and is the primary source of manpower for the army. Harrison argues that […]

Kashmir Peace: Another Mumbai Casualty?

“It is too early to say.” Zhou Enlai’s response when asked for his assessment of the 1789 French Revolution In the last week’s issue of the New Yorker Steve Coll reported that in 2007 India and Pakistan where, through diplomatic back-channels, engaged in talks “so advanced that we’d come to semi-colons” on a deal over […]

Islamabad Bombing I: Brute Force Tactics

In the span of week, there were two attacks against hard targets, the September 17 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, and Saturday’s strike on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. Al-Qaeda and its affiliates still face difficulties launching attacks in Western countries, due to the difficulty of transporting the necessary experienced operatives to the […]

Madrassas Extending into Pakistani Heartlands

This short analysis from the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute is well worth a read. It discusses the controversy Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader, Asif Zardari set off when, while delivering the keynote address at the 23rd Internationalist Socialist Congress, he described madrassas as propagating Islamist extremism. Unsurprisingly, Pakistan’s religious leaders condemned him. But […]

Trouble for Pakistan’s Possible Next President?

Reports have surfaced that PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari “was suffering from severe psychiatric problems as recently as last year…” Zardari (husband of the late Benazir Bhutto) is the defacto head of Pakistan’s largest political party. His alliance with the other major political party PML-N fell apart shortly after Musharraf resigned. Knowing Pakistani politics this […]

If Musharraf Goes: Assessments and Opportunities

There are reports that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will be stepping down in the next few days in order to avoid impeachment. Musharraf has denied these reports, but the prominence of the rumors indicates strongly that the political balance of power has shifting against Musharraf – he will almost certainly be reduced to a figurehead. […]

Pakistani Intelligence Sponsoring Terror

This morning, The New York Times has a front page story stating that U.S. intelligence has determined that Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, aided the July 7, 2008 attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul. The conclusion was “based on intercepted communications between Pakistani intelligence officers and militants who carried out the attack…” This is […]

Pakistan & A Bomb Too Far

Less than a week before the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, there had been another bloody assassination attempt in Pakistan – both could represent turning points in Pakistan’s ongoing struggle with Islamist violence. In northwest Pakistan a suicide bomber detonated his bomb inside a crowded mosque on Eid al-Adha (the Islamic Feast […]