July 22, 2017

Pakistan-Afghan Relations: Mistrust and Misinformation

The MI-17 helicopter that crash-landed in Afghanistan was identical to the one in the photo. (Photo by Faisal Akram, Creative Commons License)

The rumors that followed the crash-landing of a Pakistani helicopter in Afghanistan point to deeper problems. Read More »

Pak-Afghan Ties: Can CPEC be a CBM?

The US mission in Afghanistan is immeasurably more difficult without Pakistan’s cooperation in taking on terrorists that operate across the Afghan-Pakistani border at will.

It appears that a lack of conversation has led to Afghan misgivings on the CPEC. Pakistan probably should have been formally more articulate about how it wanted to help extend the CPEC to Central Asia via Afghanistan. Despite statistically proven marked progress against non-state actors of all hues, Pakistan has yet to prove much more. Read More »

Why are Afghans Wary of Pakistan?

Tensions have been rising on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Two tweets and a letter from a friend include key lessons for Pakistan, which has seen simmering tensions on its border with Afghanistan. Read More »

Chahbahar And Gwadar

Delaram–Zaranj Highway in Zaranj, in the Nimruz Province of Afghanistan, near the border between with Iran.

With free trade zones and only 72 kilometers to be inter-connected by road and rail, Chahbahar and Gwadar are complementary instead of being in competition. Read More »

Afghan Peace Process Hostage to Haqqanis?

Head of Afghan High Peace Council Hekmat Khalil Karzai (3rd from left) at a meeting in Kabul. (Photo via hpc.org)

Regardless of what Afghan leaders say the India-factor remains imposing in Kabul’s governance and security structures. It drives apprehensions — however misplaced — in Islamabad. Alleviating those apprehensions in a credible way would probably be the key to turn a leaf in Pak-Afghan relations. Read More »

Failing Afghanistan and the World

Packaging pomegranates in Afghanistan. (Photo by Canada in Afghanistan, Creative Commons License)

It's not too late for the United States to help get Afghanistan back on its feet. Read More »

Historical Baggage at Kabul Airport

A view of Kabul International AIrport. (Photo by k t, Creative Commons License)

A Pakistani parliamentarian’s experience at Kabul airport reveals the deep mistrust between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Read More »

Afghanistan: New Negotiator

Afghanistan's new point man for peace negotiations with Taliban. (Photo via video stream)

Being a pragmatic politician, the new head of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council Pir Syed Ahmad Gilani is fully conscious of popular aspirations for stability in the country. Under no circumstance can he afford to allow a recurrence of tactical failures that often lead to strategic defeat. Read More »

Afghan Reconciliation Moving Forward?

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier renders a salute to Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi, ANA Chief of Staff, as Mohammadi address ANA soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Jan. 4, 2010. Gen. Mohammadi invited Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, Commander, NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan (NTM-A) to meet with ANA and coalition forces at various ANA posts throughout the region. Both generals received mission updates and feedback from ANA and coalition forces on training, quality of life and combating terrorism.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released, Creative Commons License)

Will a failure of the reconciliation process in Afghanistan lead to fresh international fighting? Clearly, 15 years of insurgency has led the international community to conclude that force offers no solution. The vibes emerging out of the process appear to be positive and underscore that pragmatism is guiding the process. Read More »

A New Hotbed of Terror in Eastern Afghanistan

(Courtesy Google maps)

The ideological synergy among the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani terrorists in eastern Afghanistan represents a formidable threat, and demands extraordinary action by both Afghanistan and Pakistan to confront it. Read More »