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Islamabad under siege

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

The fresh onslaught on Islamabad indicates aggressive mood of the putschists who are hell bent on dissolution of assemblies before the expiry of the constitutional term. Extraordinary prolongation of the simmering coup against the PML (N) government has been painful for the entire country but it has been particularly excruciating for the capital city Islamabad. Characters change in this live ...

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National question and the state

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

Europe is recognised to be the birth place of the modern national state. The processes of ethnic consolidation and socio political development triggered by industrial revolution and followed by democratic transformation between 15th and 19th centuries were supposed to have shaped the phenomenon. In some cases there were relatively more united national entities such as Dutch and Portuguese nations that gave birth to states ...

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AfPak in the eye of storm

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

The latest round of the so called Great Game which has started recently, like the previous ones played in 19th and 20th centuries, has brought new troubles for South Asia in general and for Afghan/Pashtuns in particular. The first round of the Great Game is supposed to have started between the British and Russian empires in 1830 when Britishers decided ...

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Contours of the endgame

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

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

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

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

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

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

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

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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Failure on NFC front

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

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

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

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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The militancy front

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

The biggest beneficiary of internal political and institutional polarisation and confrontation leading to chaos over the last few years in Pakistan has been extremist militancy. It is rather ironic that in a country where violent extremism is generally regarded a threat to the very existence of the state and society, it hasn’t been able to focus on this threat. Actually, ...

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