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In response to deeply unpopular drone strikes, a public rally in Karachi demands the blocking of NATO supplies from Pakistan to neighbouring Afghanistan. The banner reads, in Urdu ‘Rulers! Come out of the US war’. EPA/Rehan Khan

To defeat terrorists, we need a new game plan to unite all moderates

I learned a number of lessons about Islam in Peshawar, Pakistan. As a senior United Nations official, I arrived in the country within 24 hours of the massive earthquake that struck in October 2005. Pakistan…
Nabila Rehman, 9, shows her drawing of a drone attack on her Pakistani village that killed her grandmother. Jason Reed/Reuters

Drone strikes: are they Obama’s enhanced interrogation techniques?

On November 24, two weeks before the Senate Intelligence Committee released its “torture report,” Reprieve, a UK-based human rights NGO, published the results of its latest investigation into President…
A scene of devastation after the Taliban attack in Peshawar. EPA/Bilawal Arbab

Explainer: who are the Pakistani Taliban?

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on a school in Peshawar that killed more than 130 children. The militants planned the massacre to take revenge on the Pakistan army. They murdered…
The start of a beautiful friendship? The US’s John Kerry and Iran’s Javad Zarif. EPA/Carolyn Kaster/Pool

US must not miss another chance to mend fences with Iran

It’s a desperately sad historical irony: in 2003, the United States invaded Iraq because its secular dictator was allegedly about to supply Islamist terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. About three…
Hazaras have long been persecuted in Afghanistan, but those returned from countries like Australia are in particular danger of being tortured and murdered. Wikimedia Commons/ISAF Public Affairs Office

Australia’s folly returns Afghan Hazaras to torture and death

It has been a bad time lately for Afghan Hazaras with Australian connections. In late September, the shocking news came through that the Taliban had tortured and murdered an Australian of Afghan background…
Concerns about security of US-trained Afghan military. EPA/Jalil Rezayee

Killing of US general in Kabul raises fears of Taliban resurgence

The US major-general killed in an insider attack at a military academy near Kabul is the highest-ranked US casualty since 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another 15 officers were wounded, including…
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…
Bowe Bergdahl was released in a prisoner exchange on 31 May. Intelcenter Handout/EPA

Can Bowe Bergdahl really have forgotten how to speak English?

When US soldier Bowe Bergdahl was released after being held captive by the Afghan Taliban for five years, his father said his son was “having trouble speaking English”. Many will find this statement incredible…
Afghanistan’s Hazara minority has a huge stake in the future of democracy. EPA/Jawad Jalali

Afghanistan’s Hazara minority flexes its political muscles

Given that no census has been conducted in Afghanistan since 1979, it’s unclear whether the Hazara ethnic minority constitute 9% or near 20% of the country’s population. What is clear, however, is that…

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