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Why My Father Hated India. What's Wrong with Pakistan? - By Robert D. Kaplan. Perversity characterizes Pakistan.

What's Wrong with Pakistan? - By Robert D. Kaplan

Only the worst African hellholes, Afghanistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Iraq rank higher on this year's Failed States Index. The country is run by a military obsessed with -- and, for decades, invested in -- the conflict with India, and by a civilian elite that steals all it can and pays almost no taxes. But despite an overbearing military, tribes "defined by a near-universal male participation in organized violence," as the late European anthropologist Ernest Gellner put it, dominate massive swaths of territory. The absence of the state makes for 20-hour daily electricity blackouts and an almost nonexistent education system in many areas. "An India-Pakistan Thaw?" by Shashi Tharoor. Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space NEW DELHI – India and Pakistan are enjoying one of the better periods in their turbulent relationship. Recent months have witnessed no terrorist incidents, no escalating rhetoric, and no diplomatic flashpoints.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari just made a successful, if brief, personal visit to India (mainly to visit a famous shrine, but with a lunch with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thrown in). Sixteen years after India granted Pakistan most-favored-nation (MFN) trading status, Pakistan is on the verge of reciprocating. And yet it is important to understand that the problems that have long beset the bilateral relationship will not be resolved overnight. Pakistan's Middle Class Extremists. Since al Qaeda bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and then attacked the World Trade Center three years later, the United States has dedicated billions of dollars and thousands of lives to addressing the threat of terrorism. Over time, policymakers converged on economic development as a key to ending terrorism, in the belief that poorer people are more susceptible to the appeals of violent groups or more likely to perpetrate violence themselves.

If economic development aid raised incomes, the thinking went, support for militant groups would diminish. This logic has taken hold at the highest levels of American policymaking. In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama argued in favor of sending more development aid to poor countries, because “extremely poor societies” are “optimal breeding grounds for disease, terrorism, and conflict.” To continue reading, please log in. The Battle over Pakistan’s Schools. Can a small group of reformers modernize Pakistan’s schools?

The Battle over Pakistan’s Schools

Photograph courtesy of the Citizens Archive of Pakistan 2011, Karachi. I find myself looking at an illustration of an airplane colliding with the World Trade Center. Fire and smoke plume from the buildings. Pakistan IJT influence: Pakistan Islamist student group IJT said to terrorize campuses. Reporting from Lahore, Pakistan — After philosophy students and faculty members rallied to denounce heavy-handed efforts to separate male and female students, Islamists on campus struck back: In the dead of night, witnesses say, the radicals showed up at a men's dormitory armed with wooden sticks and bicycle chains.

Pakistan IJT influence: Pakistan Islamist student group IJT said to terrorize campuses

They burst into dorm rooms, attacking philosophy students. One was pistol-whipped and hit on the head with a brick. Gunfire rang out, although no one was injured. Mullen Takes on the ISI. The killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the former Afghan president who led the High Peace Council, illustrates all too well the tremendous obstacles to a meaningful reconciliation among Afghanistan's various factions.

Mullen Takes on the ISI

Before his death on September 20 at the hands of a man who claimed to be an emissary of the Quetta Shura, Rabbani, an ethnic Tajik, had been in charge of reconciliation efforts with Taliban insurgents. His appointment had apparently been meant as a way to pull the Tajik-dominated Northern Alliance into the peace process. The jury is still out on exactly who ordered the killing -- the Taliban first claimed and then denied involvement -- but its implications are clear.

Hearts and Minds. On : Tuesday, 26 Jul, 2011 Egypt Victorious?

Hearts and Minds

Just days after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, the International Crisis Group released an insightful report on the events passed, as well as an analysis on what they felt would become the country’s greatest challenges in transitioning towards democracy. As they predicted in Egypt Victorious? A number of obstacles have arisen including the military’s stranglehold on reforms as a means of protecting their extensive political and business interests, as well as a lack of organization on the part of the opposition. Together, these two trends may lead to a post-Mubarak Egypt that is not different from the previous regime at all. This post has already been read 24 times! Why They Get Pakistan Wrong by Mohsin Hamid. Pakistan Gets Tough. Between You and Me In 14 points, the Pakistani parliament has reinforced its stance against US violations of its sovereignty.

Pakistan Gets Tough

With the failing war in Afghanistan and an ever sputtering relationship with Pakistan, the US is looking weaker and weaker. What are the implications for regional security? Between You and Me. Between You and Me Why has the US allied itself so closely with a government that “exports violence,” and worse, provides support, however little, to extremist groups that count the US as one of their primary targets?

Between You and Me

A US soldier checks the fingerprints of an Afghan man in the border town of Turkham in the Nangarhar province Recent statements made by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, that the Haqqani network is a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, has prompted a stark warning from the Pakistani government that if the accusations continue, the US will lose an ally. Admiral Mullen’s remarks were made in a US Armed Services Committee hearing on 22 September, during which he also alleged that the ISI provided support to the Haqqani network in its attack against the US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul a week prior. Assuming that Adm. Pakistan on the Precipice - Shahid Javed Burki. Exit from comment view mode.

Pakistan on the Precipice - Shahid Javed Burki

Click to hide this space ISLAMABAD – Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari abruptly returned to Karachi on the morning of December 19, following a 13-day absence for medical treatment in Dubai, where he lived while in exile. Pakistan's Slow-Motion Coup - by C. Christine Fair. Pakistan's civilian government, led by the Pakistan People's Party, has long been an irritant to the country's generals.

Pakistan's Slow-Motion Coup - by C. Christine Fair

President Asif Ali Zardari runs a corrupt and inept administration and has been far too willing to cozy up to Washington. Husain Haqqani, until November 2011, was Pakistan's controversial envoy to the United States. He has been a thorn in the side of General Headquarters since publishing his book Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military in 2005 while at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Why Pakistan's Zardari Will Not Fall to a Military Coup. (Athar Hussain / Courtesy Reuters)

Why Pakistan's Zardari Will Not Fall to a Military Coup

Steady As Islamabad Goes. The standoff between the governing Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan's top court ended this week -- at least for now. On Thursday, the Supreme Court found Pakistan's prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, guilty of contempt of court. He was given a nominal sentence, which lasted only until the court adjourned. It was an imprisonment, those in the courtroom estimated, of around 30 seconds, after which he left the building a free man. Gilani had found himself on trial for disobeying court orders to write to the Swiss authorities requesting them to reopen corruption cases against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari. What is Imran’s game? Imran Khan is winning support, but can he avoid corruption? Imran Khan: surging in popularity, but winning power involves unsavoury compromises “Oh God, he’s chewing gum,” a party operative whispers. “That’s not good.” We’re squatting barefoot in a mosque in rural Punjab, craning over a sea of heads as local dignitaries make speeches.

In the centre, settled on cushions flanked by party officials, sits Imran Khan: freshly showered, wearing an impeccable shalwar kameez and a look of concentration. For 15 years, Pakistan’s greatest living sporting legend languished on the sidelines of Pakistani politics: his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), holds just one seat in parliament, its leader written off by Islamabad’s commentariat as arrogant and naïve.

The change came in late 2011. After a rally in Lahore on 31st October drew more than 100,000 people, the media began to take him seriously. So what does he stand for? "Healing the Sick Man of South Asia" by Shahid Javed Burki. Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space LAHORE – Pakistan is undergoing three transitions simultaneously. To Be a Woman in Pakistan: Six Stories of Abuse, Shame, and Survival - Zara Jamal - International. Interviews with a handful of the country's 88 million women and girls Brides-to-be wait during a mass wedding ceremony in Karachi. Fighting the Great Firewall of Pakistan - By Rebecca MacKinnon.

It takes a strong stomach and a thick skin to be a female activist fighting online censorship in Pakistan. Sana Saleem has both. Why the Haqqani Network is Not on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations List. Pakistan's $10 Million Terrorist Talks. Hafiz Mohamed Saeed, the founder of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and the suspected organizer of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, attracted some surprising international attention this week when the U.S. government announced a $10 million reward for information leading to his capture.

The reward was unusual because Saeed is hardly in hiding -- he lives in a well-known compound outside Lahore and frequently speaks in public. Pakistan: bombs, spies and wild parties. Even before you reach Pakistan there's reason to fret. US-Pakistan Relations: Common and Clashing Interests. Shotgun Divorce - By David Kenner. DOHA, Qatar – Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar wants an apology. The Pakistanis Have a Point. Pakistan is the enemy: When is President Obama going to do something about it? In Joseph Heller's Catch-22, Lt. Milo Minderbinder transforms the mess accounts of the American airbase under his care into a "syndicate" under whose terms all servicemen are potential stakeholders. But this prince of entrepreneurs and middlemen eventually becomes overexposed, especially after some incautious forays into Egyptian cotton futures, and is forced to resort to some amoral subterfuges.

The climactic one of these is his plan to arrange for himself to bomb the American base at Pianosa (for cost plus 6 percent, if my memory serves) with the contract going to the highest bidder. It's only at this point that he is deemed to have gone a shade too far. "Peace in Kashmir?" by Shashi Tharoor. Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space LAHORE/NEW DELHI – A subtle shift may be occurring in one of the world’s longest-standing and most intractable conflicts – the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Increasingly, it seems, Pakistanis are questioning what the Kashmir dispute has done to their own state and society. Is Pakistan Preparing for War? What Engagement With Pakistan Can. The Ally From Hell - Magazine. China's Pakistan Conundrum. A Hot Flash in the Cold War With Pakistan - Marc Ambinder - International. Talking Tough to Pakistan. How Obama Can Fix U.S.-Pakistani Relations. Pakistan jails doctor who helped find al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

Five people who are not in jail in Pakistan. Judges Behaving Badly.