Columns

The merger question

Any delay in Fata reforms prolongs its people’s misery IT is heartening to note that the National Implementation Committee on Fata Reforms has directed the finance minister to pursue the allocation of Fata’s share from the divisible pool with the National Finance Commission over the next 10 years. The committee has outlined four interdependent aspects of mainstreaming: political, legal, economic ...

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Contours of the endgame

The creeping coup has taken quite a long time to reach the endgame. It all started soon after the newly elected government of Muslim League led by Nawaz Sharif assumed power after winning the general election in 2013. The fault lines between the elected civilian government and the so-called permanent state (security establishment) appeared quite soon. The first issue that ...

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The AfPak tangle

The bloody summer this year in Afghanistan wouldn’t have been different from the last two years that saw a similar bloodshed had it not been for important political developments at the tail end of the fighting season. On August 21 US President  Donald Trump declared a fresh strategy towards AfPak which underlined the regional nature of the armed conflict in ...

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Rules of the game

The events taking place in Islamabad over the last few days leave no doubt about the aggravation of the crises in the state system of the country. The said crisis has reached a stage where it is too big to be swept under the carpet. Refusing ministers including the Minister Interior during a hearing of a case against Nawaz Sharif, ...

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The gathering clouds

Uncertainty about the future of constitutional system is growing as the current civilian setup appears to be losing control over both the external and internal dimensions of the governance in Pakistan. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the newly installed Prime Minister who seemed to be quite serious in doing not only the basics in institutional functioning but was also quick in reaching ...

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Life in London

I was asked what a visitor might expect to find in London and write about it. The following is a purely subjective, and as such limited, view in which I will probably (almost certainly) upset particular groups/sections/parties by mentioning them and equally upset others by not mentioning them. Their measure of anger/distress/affront is of no concern to me. It is ...

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Failure on NFC front

The 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) Award announced in 2009 came to an end after its five years term in 2014 and the new Award was due in 2015 but so far the government has failed to create consensus on resource distribution formula between the federation and the provinces. It doesn’t seem to be high on the priority list of ...

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New tidings For AfPak

The new US Afghan policy declared in a speech by President Donald Trump on August 22 is impressive for its clarity, comprehensiveness and nuance. US seems to have learnt from its past mistakes and the deep, rigorous and long process of consultation involving all stakeholders in the US state system must have also contributed in producing a substantial policy. Surge ...

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Trump fires up US war machine condemning Afghanistan to endless war

A strategy solely focused on “killing terrorists” without including plans for peace building and nation building is going to fail terribly, and deplorably. President Trump’s long-awaited strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia has finally been announced. But it has grave implications for Afghanistan. While there is some clarity on the US stance vis-a-vis Pakistan and its safe havens for the ...

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Why Trump is right to get tough with Pakistan

President Trump deserves high marks for his new Afghanistan strategy. It is bold, reasoned and offers the prospect of success against the violent Islamist groups of the region. But it will also face opposition in the region. The president will have to show an unflagging commitment to the cause and be prepared to respond to moves by adversaries to disrupt ...

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