The Plight of Afghan Women Under the Taliban
With Afghanistan having already become the victim of immense sanctions imposed upon it by the West, the Taliban’s recent ban on women’s education will only continue to disrupt the lives of the people of Afghanistan. Myra Imran Rafiq recommends intervention and engagement by international actors to minimize the cost of human suffering.
How a Bloody & Battered TTP Made a Comeback in Pakistan
It is difficult to understate the deadly threat of the TTP’s resurgence in Pakistan. With the country already in economic distress as it is, the growing militancy has further enfeebled the state. Sarmad Ishfaq deems three primary reasons for the TTP’s revival: the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, the peace negotiations with the TTP, and Imran Khan’s ouster.
The Global Refugee Crisis, State Sovereignty, & the Politics Behind it All
The dynamic relationship between refugee flow, rebel groups, and civil wars are often used by states to justify the rejection and expulsion of refugees. While respecting the principle of state sovereignty, Shazeen Waseem discusses how it is necessary to establish a depoliticised and law-based framework to properly address the situation of the millions of refugees worldwide.
No Peace for Afghan Women
Hamra Tariq is unsettled by the way Afghan women have been exploited, both by the US and the Taliban. She believes that a deeper look into colonialism and the feminist ideology of the Global South has to be considered. This is needed in order to reframe the opinion about Afghan women and to unveil the stakes of larger geopolitical feminist epistemology.
Pakistan-US Relations: As Fickle as the Weather
The US has had a turbulent relationship with Pakistan since the country’s independence in 1947. Over the course of 75 years, minor changes have occurred in the way bilateral exchanges are conducted between the two nations. Despite the rollercoaster relationship, the US has assisted Pakistan by providing necessary loans, humanitarian aid, and military equipment during exigent situations. Moreover, the US is a major foreign direct investor in Pakistan’s economy, and its largest export partner. However, bilateral relations between the two have been deteriorating because of scathing remarks and underhanded activities.
The Military Operations in Swat
Pakistan has a troubled history of dealing with insurgencies and terrorism. Pakistan assumed the role of a frontline state following the 9/11 tragedy and enacted both military and non-military counterterrorism strategies. The Pakistani army has been tasked with maintaining internal peace by combating militancy and insurgency in the country’s difficult tribal regions such as the area of Swat. Given the occupation by TTP, TNSM, and other fundamental religious organisations, the Pakistan Army designed and carried out two major military operations: Operation Rah-e-Haq and Operation Rah-e-Rast.
The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House, My Journey Through a Turbulent World
Zalmay Khalilzad contributed to the reconstruction and peace-building of Afghanistan after the USSR invaded the country – and in the post-Taliban era. In “The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House, My Journey from a Turbulent World,” Khalilzad details his turbulent journey from a traditional country like Afghanistan to a modern and developed country like the US. Khalilzad also argues that the world has already moved toward disorder and chaos because of several factors including terrorism, mistrust among allies, unrest in the Middle East, the rise of China, and Russian aggression.
2022 SCO Summit in Samarkand
The 22nd annual summit of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was held on September 15 and 16 against the backdrop of a geopolitical upheaval challenging the world order. The leaders discussed regional and global challenges and resolved to achieve common goals of climate resilience, connectivity, digital sovereignty, peace, security, and economic development, notwithstanding the conflicts among member countries. Prospects of multilateral cooperation were discussed at the Samarkand meeting, but of greater interest were the side-line meetings between heads of states, especially between Xi and Putin.
Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’
Edited by Maleeha Lodhi and several other contributors, Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’ was published in 2011. The book effectively embarks beyond terrorism and natural disasters. Instead, it addresses the country’s contemporary security dynamics, demographic pressures, energy shortages, and lack of political will.
The US Drone That Killed Ayman Al-Zawahiri: Was Pakistan Involved?
Since the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri in a US-authorized drone strike on July 31st, there has been speculation about Pakistan’s alleged participation in the attack. Hamra Tariq assesses the allegations which continue to persist regardless of Pakistan’s continuous denial of its involvement. She argues that, instead of Pakistan, there might be other actors entangled in Al-Zawahiri’s death.
The US Assassinates Ayman Al-Zawahiri of Al-Qaeda
On 31st July, the CIA was successful in assassinating al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri at his residential house in Kabul. Huda Raza details the life of the notorious Egyptian terrorist and his association with Osama bin Laden. She also muses on the advantages that Joe Biden could possibly obtain from this counterterrorism operation.
Girls’ Education under Taliban
In this opinion piece, Shuraim Ahmad Malik stresses the need for girls’ education in Afghanistan. He discusses the reasons that have led to Afghan girls and women being deprived of this fundamental right, before concluding with possible solutions that the Taliban and the international community can take.
The Myth of Secularism
While President Erdogan’s decision to change Hagia Sophia to a mosque has been criticised for being religiously motivated, one must also take note of the West’s use of religion in various political endeavours. Mir Adnan Aziz reveals that even in the most ‘secular’ Western democracies, several major decisions (such as the Iraq war) were based on the religious beliefs of those in power.
A War of Attrition: The Taliban vs ISIS-K
What is the relationship between the Taliban and ISIS? Are they allies or dissimilar enemies? Hania Amaad details the formation and outlook of the ISIS-K and its interactions with the Taliban.
The Unbalanced Foreign Policy of Pakistan
Lacking a judicious and effective foreign policy, Pakistan has always struggled against an unprecedented combination of challenges related to external relations. M. Shaheer Khattak walks us through Pakistan’s foreign relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, India, Afghanistan, and the United States.
The Instability in Pakistan & Afghanistan: How the US & India Benefit the Most
Since the Taliban takeover, the situation in Afghanistan has continued to deteriorate to the point where the country is not only facing a humanitarian crisis but also an insurgency in the shape of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP). Moreover, Afghanistan’s neighbor – Pakistan – has experienced an increase in terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Amid the political crisis in Pakistan, these attacks have soured Pak-Afghan relations. The author, Sarmad Ishfaq, notes that the continued instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and their strained relations, are benefitting India and the United States the most.
The Critical Security Issues of Pakistan: Terrorism, Blasphemy & Sectarian Violence
Despite several years of relative calm and stability, the spectre of terrorism is rearing its head in Pakistan again. With dozens killed and several more wounded in just the past few months, many fear that Pakistan is going down a dark path back to its past, a past riddled with too many bullet holes. The Declaration of the United States’ War on Terror in the aftermath of the 9/11 bombings has resulted in untold carnage and death, most particularly in the countries of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.