Pakistan

Jihadi Commuters: How the Taleban cross the Durand Line

The Taleban use Pakistan as a sanctuary: most of the movement’s leaders are settled there and it is the movement’s preferred place for training, meeting and as a rear base. It is also the prime destination for ‘rest and recuperation’ (R&R) and the rehabilitation of wounded fighters. But how do the Taleban move between the […]

The Crowded-Out Conflict: Pakistan’s Balochistan in its fifth round of insurgency

In the international discussion on Pakistan´s many problems, the low-level conflict in its Balochistan province does not get much attention. The issue of nuclear arms, for instance, is considered more immediately frightening; Balochistan is just the area where these arms are tested. But the province is also the arena for a long-standing, complex and multi-faceted […]

A “Pending Issue”: Pakistani Balochs seeking shelter in Afghanistan

While millions of Afghans have fled to Pakistan over the past four decades, now, Pakistanis are flocking to Afghanistan. There are not only those who flee Pakistani military operations in Waziristan, though, but also Pakistani Balochs who say that they flee from repression by the Pakistani government, linked to latest Baloch insurgency activities. In Afghanistan, […]

Trouble at the Goshta Gate: New tensions and old wounds along the Durand Line

For almost two weeks now, tensions have been running high again at the Durand Line, the Afghan-Pakistani border not recognised by Kabul officials. Afghan troops have removed Pakistani border installations they perceived to be on their territory, security forces from both sides have exchanged fire and both governments have filed protests. Among Afghans, the issue […]

Return of the Muslim League: Pakistan after the Election

Pakistan elected its new parliament on 11 May 2013. The tiger – as many in the media have titled – has roared again: according to preliminary results, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that used the tiger as its election symbol is way ahead of all its rivals but still short of an absolute majority. As […]

Before Pakistan’s Election: “The democratic process needs more time”

Simultaneous with the publication of our new briefing paper about the Pakistani parliamentary election next week, we publish a blog based on an email interview with its author, Ann Wilkens, a former Swedish Ambassador to Pakistan and Afghanistan. She says that the election may result in a shift from centre-left to centre-right although its outcome […]

Afghanistan’s vain attempts at wooing Pakistani Islamists for peace

The recent assertion by Pakistan’s chief cleric, Tahir Ashrafi, about the permissibility of Taleban’s suicide attacks was completely the opposite of what Afghanistan had been looking for. Indeed, Kabul has had difficulties in mobilising religious leaders to speak against suicide attacks. A long sought conference of ulama from Afghanistan and Pakistan aimed at delegitimising militancy […]

Qatar, Islamabad, Chantilly, Ashgabad: Taleban Talks Season Again? (amended)

There has again been movement in the positions marking the landscape of ‘reconciliation’ or, more precisely, of contacts and possible negotiations with the Taleban seem to be moving again. A track II meeting, labelled as ‘intra-Afghan’ talks, was held in France and, before that, the so-called ‘HPC roadmap’ leaked, indicating a more active role of […]

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