May 30, 2017

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 »

Debt Will Choke Pakistan

An inside view of Pakistan's National Assembly, which has repeatedly been criticized by Pakistani public for serving no more than an elite debating club.

The Pakistani predicament…stuffed lions and pompous, chest-beating heroes aplenty but no real leadership. The one hope is that the pressure coming from the Panama Leaks keeps being applied so that by the time of the next elections something cracks and new forces come to the fore. Otherwise its present course, spending way beyond its means, will lead the country to disaster. Read More »

London Anti-Corruption Summit 2016

(Photo via Cabinet Office, Creative Commons License, Creative Commons License)

Unless more pressure is applied to embrace full transparency in adopting a public central register of companies, including tax havens, the corruption and tax dodging exposed by the Panama Leaks, representing only 2% of the offshore companies registered in Panama, will continue undisturbed. Read More »

Allies or Antagonists

(US ambassador to Pakistan during a meeting with Pakistan's army chief General Raheel Sharif in Rawalpindi. (Photo via News International)

Is the Pakistan-US relationship strained and checkered because of the frustrations in Afghanistan, or is it a façade for something else? Read More »

Pakistan: Neither Run Nor Hide

(Photo by Ken Teegardin, Creative Commons License)

Theoretical initiatives overwhelmed mostly the practical aspects of combatting corruption. But the “Panama Papers” has drastically changed the anti-corruption landscape, says one analyst. Read More »

Pakistan: Reforming the Justice System

Supreme Court of Pakistan's building in Islamabad. (Photo by ImposterVT, Creative Commons License)

Pakistan’s judicial system is crying out for justice, and for the prevention of abuse of law by the bar and the bench. What is needed is the killing of the propensity to abuse and exploit existing laws. 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

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 »

Pakistan: The ‘Kakar Model’

Nawaz Sharif is facing increasing pressure to come out clean after Panama Papers revealed his family's offshore accounts.

While Martial Law will certainly derail democracy and is not the answer to accountability “across the board”, is the “Kakar Model”, a Martial Law for a limited period without being a Martial Law, the answer for Pakistan? Read More »

Pakistan: A Complete Encirclement?

Security personal at Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Chaman in Pakistan's Balochistan province. (Photo via video stream)

Can an apologetic policy towards the Afghan Taliban really help Pakistan end its global isolation and put it on the path to development? Read More »

Corruption, Terrorism and Accountability

(Photo by Perspecsys Photos, Creative Commons License)

The Panama Papers are just one symptom of a deeper malaise. This is wherePakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Raheel Sharif need to intervene if they mean good for Pakistan. Read More »