September 20, 2017

Change of Guard in Pakistan’s Army

Kayani and Raheel

  After a long hiatus the PML-N government (of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif) is suddenly in a decision-making mode. On Wednesday (November 27) Lt. General Raheel Sharif was named the new army chief and his senior Lt General Rashad Mehmood as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). What by tradition should have been decided a couple of weeks ... Read More »

Insecurity and Red Tape Hinder Pakistan Aid Work

Entire villages in and near Awaran district have been reduced to piles of debris after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan's Balochistan Province on 24 September 2013.  (Photo by Islamic Relief via IRIN)

The September earthquakes in Balochistan offered a microcosm of aid work in Pakistan: Humanitarian needs were high – nearly 400 died and thousands lost their homes – but to respond, aid workers had to brave gunmen taking pot-shots at their vehicles and government restrictions on their work. The country’s humanitarian situation is dire, with 1.6 million Afghan refugees living in the country, 1.5 ... Read More »

Smart Power in a World of Soft and Hard Power

(Photo by by kendura99, Creative Commons License)

Power is nothing more than the ability to get others to do what you want. For doing that you require tools of coercion or payment, or “hard power”, and tools of attraction, or “soft power”. Soft power is when a state, an organization or even an individual exercises power with means other than violence and force, being able to convince ... Read More »

Who was Maulvi Ahmad Jan, the Droned Haqqani Network Leader?

(Photo via Afghanistan Times)

Maulvi Ahmad Jan Akhund, a key commander of the Haqqani Network who was droned to death by the American CIA on Nov 21 in Hangu, had been arrested and then released by the Pakistani authorities in 2010 along with several other senior members of the Quetta Shura led by Mullah Mohammad Omar. Maulvi Ahmad Jan was a key financier and ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Wildlife Protection: A Clarion Call

The birds have a special fly zone that leads to Pakistan commonly known as Indus Flyway Zone. (Photo via

When death and destruction pervade incessantly in a region, its cost is not limited to human beings alone. Environment has to pay equal share. This phenomenon partly defines ecological cascade in the hilly-forested belt along Pakistan-Afghan borders, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and some parts of Balochistan (provinces in northeastern and southwestern Pakistan), where rich stock of wildlife is increasingly exposed to ... Read More »

Who is on Trial in Pakistan?

Will General Pervez Musharraf  be convicted in a high treason trial, which carries possible death penalty?

According to both legal opinion and mass public perception, prima facie the case against General Pervez Musharraf for treason is legally a “slam dunk”, he is guilty as charged. According to Article 6 (of Pakistan’s constitution) the extra-constitutional measures Musharraf used on November 3, 2009 to remove the Supreme Court judges is “treason”.  Will the trial court have the audacity ... Read More »

Countering the Terror Threat in Pakistan

(Photo by Helmand Blog, Creative Commons License)

Consider the theatrics of the absurd by some political clerics at the killing of the terrorist responsible for slaughtering thousands of innocent Pakistanis. Indeed pathetic that the fundamentally moderate Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) should label Tehrik-e-Taliban-i-Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud a “Shaheed” (martyr)!  To safeguard their fiefdoms, politicians and clerics often turn to appeasement of militants.  The Army did well by immediately ... Read More »

Fire and Forget

A view of Pakistan Army's just concluded military exercise Azam-e-Nau. (Photo via ISPR)

                  The term “fire and forget” denotes a missile which after launching and acquiring a target does not require further guidance, it can destroy the target without the launcher being in the line-of-sight.  Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) hit a specified target minimizing “collateral damage”, military for soft targets e.g. civilian casualties.  The subject ... Read More »

What Next After Pakistan’s Most Wanted Man is Dead?

Hakeemullah 1

  The death of Hakimullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s most wanted man, in a US drone strike on Friday, November 1, in the country’s restive North Waziristan region in semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas, has changed the security environment in the South Asian nation.   The United States had set a 5 million dollar head money on the slain leader while Pakistan ... Read More »

Pakistan to Begin Exporting JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets

Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter. (Photo by RA.AZ, Creative Commons License)

Pakistan will begin exporting the JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter jet next year Pakistani media outlets reported on Friday, citing unnamed officials from the Ministry of Defense Production. According to a report that appeared in multiple Pakistani newspapers, “The Pakistan Air Force has been assigned [a] target of exporting 5 to 7 JF-17 Thunder planes next year and discussions in this regard are under ... Read More »