In February 2018, leaders from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India inaugurated the 1700 km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. Functions were held in Serhetabat and Herat with the leaders expressing hope that trade and mutual economic benefit could overcome old conflicts. (more…)
The civil-military tug of war in Pakistan has masked what could be an even more dangerous divide in the polity. This is the growing alienation among Pakhtuns in Pakistan during the last few years, culminating in the recent racial profiling of the community in Punjab. (more…)
A broad sweep of the history of Pak-Afghan relations since 1947 reveals that at its core, Pakistan’s policy is dictated by its insecurity vis-à-vis the Durand Line. Right from 1947, Pakistan was faced with a western border that was disputed by its neighbour just as, in its perceptions, India in the east too was seeking to undo Partition. (more…)
Despite its myriad preoccupations – Panama leaks, Nawaz Sharif’s health, the killing of Taliban Amir Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike and so on – the 23 May, 2016 trilateral Chabahar agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan, has raised a lot of concern in Pakistan. Basking in the glow of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which Pakistan hopes would transform its economy, the possible development of another port, in close proximity to Gwadar, the lynchpin of the CPEC, has jarred its reverie and raised fears of encirclement.
The dominant reaction in Pakistan is that of the military, articulated by retired generals and TV anchors known to be close to it. They see the development of Chabahar Port as posing a threat to the development of Gwadar and CPEC.
Seeing security primarily, if not exclusively, in military terms, (more…)
The killing of the Taliban Amir Mullah Akhtar Mansoor in a US drone strike on 21 May in the Dalbandin area of Balochistan in Pakistan, has significant implications for US policy towards the Af-Pak region. It will also affect Pak-US relations, the Taliban, the Afghan peace process and Pakistan.
The drone strike signals a probable shift in US policy towards the Af-Pak region since this was the first American drone strike in Balochistan. The previous strikes were against (more…)