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Multilateralism: Hostage to geo-politics...........................(Daily Times May 08,2017)
At a May 2015 global forum in Beijing, former President Hamid Karzai had talked of high time to "recommit ourselves to peaceful conflict resolution, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of individual countries and non-interference...........[ Read Full Story ]

Pak-Afghan Relations Are Moving Towards Rapprochement.......(Daily Times April 08,2017)
Ahead of the multi-nation Moscow peace initiative centred on Afghanistan, behind-the-scenes activity between Islamabad and Kabul seems to be picking up. The mid-March London meeting between Sartaj Aziz and Hanif Atmar........................[ Read Full Story ]

Bordering on insanity..........................................(Friday Times March 17,2017)
Top businessmen from Afghanistan and Pakistan went into a huddle this past week to raise a collective voice about the consequences of closing the border on Feb 17. The consensus that emerged from the meeting,.................................[ Read Full Story ]

Common interests, common enemy................................(Friday Times Feb 24,2017)
Can both Pakistan and Afghanistan step back from their positions and find a middle ground on which to get back to formal talks on issues that they both face? This proposition may seem like a distant possibility........................[ Read Full Story ]

Pak-Afghan stand-off: the way forward..................(Expressn Tribune Feb 21,2017)
The unilateral border closure by Pakistan on February 15 once again exposed the current extremely brittle and acrimonious nature of its current relations with Afghanistan. Slogans such as “Death to Pakistan, Down with Pakistan,” not only resonated at rallies in Kabul and Jalalabad but also made super-leads of the newspapers ............[ Read Full Story ]

Geo-Politics and Afghanistan.....................................(Expressn Tribune Dec 29 ,2016)
A new regional dynamism on peace and conflict led by Russia and China has emerged. With the presence of armed groups and the emergence of new terrorists bands such as Daesh there, Afghanistan remains at the.........................................[ Read Full Story ]

Russia, Daesh and Afghanistan..................................(Express Tribune Dec 14 ,2016)
Statements by the Russian ambassador in Kabul, Alexander Mantytskiy, over the weekend caused quite an uproar in the Afghan capital, first by holding a press conference on Thursday, and then by appearing before ...................................[ Read Full Story ]

Sharbat case: from across border........................(Express Tribune Nov 15 ,2016)
For most Afghans Sharbat Gula symbolises the sufferings and hardships that this nation has gone through ever since the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979.  The CIA-ISI-led insurgency then made global headlines then................[ Read Full Story ]

Pak-Afghan relations and reprisals..........................(Express Tribune Oct 26 ,2016)
“Gradual squeeze” is the new phrase Pakistani officials are invoking when responding to questions on what they are doing to blunt the Taliban ability to plan and organise operations inside Afghanistan. Taliban leaders are being told to move families and businesses elsewhere and refrain......................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Afghans should be treated with dignity......................(Express Tribune, Aug 17,2016)
“Welcome to this gathering in nice weather but heated environment.” This is how Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the embattled Afghan Chief Executive, welcomed his supporters in Kabul on Monday. With this he encapsulated the heightened...............[ Read Full Story ]

Pak-Afghan ties: can CPEC be a CBM?.....................(Express Tribune, Aug 03,2016)
Negatives continue to dominate the Pakistan-Afghanistan conversation. The Afghan government remains unhappy with Pakistan over the Haqqani network. On August 1, it officially “regretted” the installation of a new gate at Torkham,.......[ Read Full Story ]

Pie in the Kabul sky.................................................(Friday Times, July 22,2016)
It is ping-pong season in Afghanistan. Within 48 hours of an assertion on the status of hostilities by US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford, Taliban delivered a snub through coordinated attacks in several districts in..................[ Read Full Story ]

Playing the Victim.......................................................(Friday Times June 17,2016)
A Pakistan Army major and an Afghan soldier lost their lives during overnight clashes at the Torkham border that began late on May 12. At least 22 others were wounded on both sides, ten of them civilians. Pakistan had closed the days............[ Read Full Story ]

Historical baggage at Kabul airport.......................(Friday Times, March 04,2016)
Parliamentarian Shazia Marri’s recent experience at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul shows how Pakistan and Afghanistan have a heavy baggage of historical acrimony and mutual suspicion to deal with...................................[ Read Full Story ]

Quadrilateral Coordination Group: Roadmap to Reconciliation............(Friday Times,, Jan 22,2016)
Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US met in Kabul on January 18 for the 2nd Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) meeting to devise a roadmap for peace in Afghanistan. The meeting can be seen as a step forward, because its primary objective was to build on the work done in the first meeting at................[ Read Full Story ]

What Ails Afghanistan?..................................................(Friday Times, Nov 27,2015)
The 10th meeting of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) on November 23 ended in an expected drab draw. Kabul once again sought access to New Delhi for its trucks via the Wagah-Attari border crossing....................[ Read Full Story ]

Will narratives change?................................................(Friday Times, July 24 ,2015)
The July 12 suicide car bombing near a military base in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Khost killed 20 people and drew instant flak from all those critical of President Ashraf Ghani’s reconciliation moves. The lethal attack provided an............[ Read Full Story ]

Taxpayers’ money & media publicity of fraud........(Express Tribune, Oct 01 ,2014)
People, companies, and agencies need to be held seriously accountable for stupid decisions, dereliction of duty, corrupt behaviour, and subpar performance. Otherwise, we simply foster the expectation that additional waste, fraud, and abuse will be..............[ Read Full Story ]

A new Afghan policy.......................................................(Friday Times, July 18 ,2014)
In June 2014, a Pakistani delegation consisting of a senior foreign office official and veteran Pashtun leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai met President Hamid Karzai. The objective was to take the Afghan leader on board for...........................[ Read Full Story ]

A new Afghanistan?..............................................(The Friday Times,, April18 ,2014)
he vote count in Afghanistan is still on. Initial official but partial results by its Independent Election Commission (IEC) appear to put Dr Abdullah Abdullah ahead of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, with Zalmay Rassoul, the Karzai favourite, .........................[ Read Full Story ]

Afghan Quagmire: Multi-Decade Conflict..................(Weekly Pulse,August 19 ,2011)
Former British ambassador and Special Representative to Afghanistan Sherard Cowper Coles offers a revealing first-hand account of the present day Afghanistan in his memoires Cables from Kabul. His critical comments............................[ Read Full Story ]

Is agreement on Afghanistan possible? ........................(Friday Times, July 22 ,2011)
The recent spat between Pakistan and the US over "security assistance" was brinkmanship at best. Whoever advised the Obama administration to suspend payments to Pakistan most probably lacked knowledge..............................[ Read Full Story ]

A royal mess ................................................................(Friday Times, July 08 ,2011)
As the US troop drawdown in Afghanistan begins amid news of a mini-surge of 'special troops' being relocated from Iraq to Afghanistan, negotiations over Kabul's future appear to be headed nowhere..........................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Why fear US Presence in Afghanistan?..........................(Weekly Pulse , Mar 18 ,2011)
In and outside Pakistan, we often come across the apprehension that the Americans are here to stay. They will not leave Afghanistan and that is why we may have to hedge our bets. These apprehensions primarily stem from the alleged American quest for permanent basis in Afghanistan, a subject that President Hamid Karzai has cleverly deferred to the Parliament – Woolasi Jirga......................................................................[ Read Full Story ]

Fixing Afghanistan via Pakistan? ..................(The Express Tribune, January 14,2011)
Following US Vice-President Joseph Biden’s hard talk with Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders on January 13, both countries seem headed into another phase of tension and mutual apprehensions because of conflicting recipes for Afghanistan and Pakistan’s border regions. While Biden reassured his hosts against “foreign boots on the ground”, Pakistani leaders cautioned against any “new great game” in neighbouring Afghanistan. ........................[ Read Full Story ]

The Long War in Pakistan ...................(Wall Street Journal, Asia, October 07 , 2010)
It took the destruction of almost 100 oil tankers and more than a week of suspended supplies before U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson apologized for a Sept. 30 NATO helicopter incursion which killed three Pakistani soldiers. A U.S. Embassy statement late Wednesday said a joint investigation showed American pilots had mistaken the soldiers for Afghan insurgents they had been pursuing......... [ Read Full Story ]

A Failed Afghan Strategy...................(Wall Street Journal, Asia, September 21, 2010)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Gen. David Petraeus and AfPak special envoy Richard Holbrook met in Islamabad late last week to figure out how to fix the mess in Afghanistan. Officials portray these meetings as routine brainstorming sessions. Yet there is no denying the effort to stabilize the country is in crisis, given the surge in violence and an extremely low turnout in the parliamentary election Saturday. ....... [ Read Full Story ]

Who is funding FATA militancy?..............................(Weekly Pulse, Aug 07, 2008)
Early August, Pakistani Establishment came out with its “own assessment” of the situation in the region, particularly in the context of the July 7 suicide bombing outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul. A story in a mass circulation daily (Aug 5, 2008) quoted “impeccable official sources” as saying that the military leadership provided “strong circumstantial evidence of American acquiescence to terrorism....... [ Read Full Story ]

Military storm hovering over Pakistan?................... (Weekly Pulse, July 18, 2008)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s July 14 tirade against Pakistan's intelligence agencies and the army has certainly triggered speculation as to whether the US-led international forces based in Afghanistan have finalised their case for direct strikes into Pakistani tribal territories?...... [ Read Full Story ]

Failure of US policy in Pak-Afghan .......................... (Weekly Pulse, July 10, 2008)
The failure of American policy of waging a mindless war in Afghanistan has a silver lining, provided the decision makers particularly in Washington and generally in Islamabad, are willing to pay attention to the calling of the time. Nearly seven years of continuous military action in Afghanistan has killed less "terrorists"...... [ Read Full Story ]

Peace jirga and Afghan hospitality........................ (Weekly Pulse, June 26, 2008)
Militant groups based in the Fata region that separates Pakistan and Afghanistan remain a source of attrition in relations between the two countries. The tensions and misgivings reverberate at all levels;..... [ Read Full Story ]

Foreign Fingers in Afghan Pie ................................(Weekly Pulse, May 08, 2008)
As about 47,000 Nato-led international troops and another 31,000 US forces battle Taliban-led insurgency to help President Hamid Karzai establish his writ out of Kabul, the country remains in the of violence and lawlessness..... [ Read Full Story ]

Pak-Afghan prosperity lies in.................................... (Weekly Pulse, May 01, 2008)
An interview with Hamayun Hameed Zada (Afghan presidential spokesperson) ................ [ Read Full Story ]

Kabul Thrives at What Price?................... ................(Weekly Pulse, April 19, 2008)
Kabul is throbbing with life; over five million people rubbing shoulders, half a million vehicles plying the roads, booming construction with a few splendid glass-walled private plazas, cellular phone revolution, media explosion............ [ Read Full Story ]

Pakistan-bashing and Afghan chaos................................ (Mar 12, 2007, The News)
On March 3, Afghanistan’ s Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta once again accused Pakistan of using terror as its foreign policy. “I wish that the international community wouldn’t give rewards to countries that are supporting the Taliban,” Spanta told lawmakers in Kabul. [Read Full Article]

Pakistan's Achilles' heel....................................................... (Jan 28, 2007)
One after the other -- John Negroponte (director national intelligence), Richard Boucher (President Bush's pointman for South and Central Asia), Major General Benjamin Freakley (based in Afghanistan), Robert Gates (US defence minister) -- together with the Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai have been singing their favourite chorus in unison; Pakistan's tribal badlands are the.. [Read Full Article]

Afghanistan: doomed by history?............................................ (Jan 19-25, 2007)
It couldn’t have been a worse New Year for Pakistan. Within the first two weeks of 2007, it looked as if the Afghan government, led by President Hamid Karzai and America’s 16 civilian and military intelligence outfits, had managed to get the US on its side against Pakistan for “not doing enough”. [Read Full Article]

Manmohan Singh's Kabul visit: Some lessons for Pakistan.......... (Sep 01, 2005)
Prime minister Manmohan Singh's August 28-29 visit to Kabul marked yet another diplomatic stride in spheres ranging from mutual vows to fight terrorism to India's promise to continue its assistance for the reconstruction in Afghanistan. [Read Full Article]