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Analysis and Comment (27)

People celebrate Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in her home town Mingora in Pakistan’s Swat valley. But history suggests the prize, shared with Kailash Satyarthi of India, is unlikely to reconcile their nations. People celebrate Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in her home town Mingora in Pakistan’s Swat valley. But history suggests the prize, shared with Kailash Satyarthi of India, is unlikely to reconcile their nations. EPA/Bilawal Arbab

Admirable Nobel decision unlikely to spur India-Pakistan peace

The awarding of a shared Nobel Peace Prize award to a 17-year-old Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, and a 60-year-old Indian man, Kailash Satyarthi, is historic and aimed at conveying multiple messages…
Hoping for a comeback: al-Zawahiri. Hoping for a comeback: al-Zawahiri. EPA/SITE

Al-Zawahiri hopes an Indian franchise will revive al-Qaeda

With Islamic State’s advance in Iraq and Syria gripping the world’s attention, al-Qaeda has been left on the sidelines. That all changed on September 4, as al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri released a 55-minute…
Pakistani paramilitary soldiers secure the parliament building in Islamabad. Pakistani paramilitary soldiers secure the parliament building in Islamabad. EPA/T. Mughal

Pakistan protests have set an ominous anti-democratic precedent

The protests that have rocked Islamabad for weeks seem to be soothing somewhat, with opposition leaders Imran Khan and Tahir ul-Qadri reportedly agreeing to begin negotiations for a political solution…
An Imran Khan supporter in Multan. An Imran Khan supporter in Multan. EPA/Faisal Kareem

Shadow of military looms large over Pakistan street protests

Though they have only just garnered international attention, the current protests on the streets of Islamabad started on Pakistan’s independence day, August 14. Ostensibly fomented by Imran Khan, former…
Cry, the beloved country. Pakistan mourns the victims of Karachi airport attacks. Cry, the beloved country. Pakistan mourns the victims of Karachi airport attacks. EPA/Shahzaib Akber

Pakistan’s failing state is too weak to tackle the Taliban

Reports that Pakistan has launched an offensive against militants in North Waziristan come after years of pressure from the West for Islamabad to deal with the wild border region which has for many years…
Drone strikes may be slowing in Pakistan, but the damage has already been done. Drone strikes may be slowing in Pakistan, but the damage has already been done. EPA/Nadeem Khawer

New data shows drones killed hundreds of Pakistani civilians

The US’s program of drone strikes in Pakistan has, according to recent reports, slowed down considerably. But while this will encourage various observers, and while the Obama administration earned some…
A child is vaccinated against polio during a three-day nationwide campaign to eradicate polio, in Karachi, Pakistan, May 2014. A child is vaccinated against polio during a three-day nationwide campaign to eradicate polio, in Karachi, Pakistan, May 2014. EPA/SHAHZAIB AKBER

CIA stops fake vaccination programs, but will it matter?

The US government has told a group of local health educators that it will no longer use immunisation programs as a cover for espionage. But the damage from previous such programs is difficult to undo…
Kashmiris protest against the arrest of 67 students for supporting Pakistan at cricket. Kashmiris protest against the arrest of 67 students for supporting Pakistan at cricket. Farooq Khan/EPA

Expelling Kashmiri students for supporting Pakistan at cricket won’t help them feel Indian

The seven million people living in the Kashmir Valley have a distinctive regional identity. Now the Valley’s continuing estrangement from the rest of India has sparked a peculiar incident on the campus…
Can the smiles last? Irfan Siddiqui, special assistant to Pakistan’s prime minister, and Taliban representative Maulana Sami-ul-Haq chat after their meeting. Can the smiles last? Irfan Siddiqui, special assistant to Pakistan’s prime minister, and Taliban representative Maulana Sami-ul-Haq chat after their meeting. EPA/T. Mughal

Talking with Taliban won’t end Pakistan’s ‘existential threat’

Talks between the government of Pakistan and the Pakistani Taliban, known as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), were initiated last week in a secret location in the country’s north-west. These talks…
Cambodian garment workers fight with police in protests that saw four killed. Cambodian garment workers fight with police in protests that saw four killed. Heng Sinith/AP

Cambodian sweatshop protests reveal the blood on our clothes

In the past week, violence has hit several industrial areas in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where hundreds of thousands garment workers started protesting against unfair working conditions. They are demanding…
This Russian-built nuclear power plant in India may be one of many soon appearing in developing countries. This Russian-built nuclear power plant in India may be one of many soon appearing in developing countries. Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Nations' nuclear ambitions not discouraged by few suppliers

UN inspectors descend on Iran this week to visit the Arak heavy water plant, and engineers at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plants in Japan attempt one of the most challenging nuclear salvage operations…
Martin E Dempsey warns the fallout of the Arab Spring will take a long time to clear. Martin E Dempsey warns the fallout of the Arab Spring will take a long time to clear. Glenn Fawcett

Recovery from the Arab Spring will take a generation or more

At a meeting at the Wall Street Journal this week, Martin E Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that the United States' ability to exercise influence in the Middle East had significantly…
Rose out of thin water. Rose out of thin water. Sana Baloch

Devastating earthquake in Pakistan creates a new island

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit south-central Pakistan on Tuesday this week. Reports of hundreds of casualties highlight the awful scale of the tragedy, made more difficult for rescuers by the remote location…
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN headquarters in New York to call for freedom for education for children globally. Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN headquarters in New York to call for freedom for education for children globally. EPA/Justin Lane

Malala’s dreams are up against a rough terrain

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, now recovered from serious injuries after the Taliban shot her last year, delivered a defiant speech to the United Nations General Assembly over the weekend. She called…
Nawaz Sharif has been elected for his third non-consecutive term as Pakistan’s prime minister. Nawaz Sharif has been elected for his third non-consecutive term as Pakistan’s prime minister. EPA/T. Mughal

Talking to the Taliban: Pakistan’s historic election promises fundamental change

The newly-elected Pakistani government of Nawaz Sharif is set to enact policies – most notably negotiating with the Pakistani wing of the Taliban – that will forever alter the dynamics of this strategically…
Imran Khan has been accused by political opponents of having links to the “Jewish lobby”. Imran Khan has been accused by political opponents of having links to the “Jewish lobby”. EPA

‘Imran Khan, Jewish agent’: welcome to the wonderful world of Pakistani politics

This piece was originally published on May 8 but has since been updated to reflect overnight developments. Imran Khan sustained head and back injuries due to a fall as he was preparing to address a rally…
Pakistani citizens showed their opposition to the reopening of supply routes at a protest in Karachi this week. Pakistani citizens showed their opposition to the reopening of supply routes at a protest in Karachi this week. EPA/Rehan Khan

Pakistan blockade: US convoys are not going anywhere soon

For the past six weeks a high-level US team has been in Pakistan trying to negotiate a resumption of the convoys which travel through the country and provide Coalition forces in Afghanistan with about…
Al-Qaeda deputy Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed by a drone strike last week. Al-Qaeda deputy Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed by a drone strike last week. EPA/IntelCentre

Game of drones: how UAVs changed the terms of war in the Middle East

With boots on the ground being costly politically, economically and diplomatically, it seems that week after week, drones are the most important front line weapon against Washington’s opponents in the…
A Pakistani missile launches during a 2008 test-firing. The country has a poor record on nuclear weapons. A Pakistani missile launches during a 2008 test-firing. The country has a poor record on nuclear weapons. AAP

Why Australia must not sell uranium to Pakistan

Predictably, Pakistan is seeking equal treatment with India on uranium sales from Australia. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Australia Abdul Malik Abdullah has argued that if Australia changes its policy…
Some groups in Karachi have demanded the army takes to the streets to restore law and order. Some groups in Karachi have demanded the army takes to the streets to restore law and order. EPA/Rehan Khan

Karachi violence putting NATO troops in Afghanistan at risk

There is a threat to Nato forces in Afghanistan which the world is ignoring. Violent gangs have been killing indiscriminately in Karachi, the Pakistani city vital to the supply chain which sustains ISAF…
Anti-US feelings run high after drone attacks in north-western Pakistan EPA. Anti-US feelings run high after drone attacks in north-western Pakistan EPA.

US aid cuts won’t hit Pakistan where it hurts

Washington’s decision last week to suspend $800 million in military aid to Pakistan should not have come as a surprise to anyone who has been following recent developments in the US-Pakistan relationship…
The Pakistani military will be decisive in the nations' direction. The Pakistani military will be decisive in the nations' direction. AAP

The five questions that will determine Pakistan’s future

The American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s angst-ridden visit to Islamabad exemplifies the global concern about Pakistan, and its future. Indeed, the country has witnessed a new escalation in terrorist…

Research Briefs (2)