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Convergence of the strongest and the largest

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By K.N. Pandita

The US high power delegation led by the Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and including the US Army Chief, has just concluded its visit to India. The two countries are moving towards closer cooperation in their efforts for regional and global peace and development. The US lately recognizes that the strongest and the largest democracy in the world should have convergence on approach to many regional and global problems with terrorism at the top of them all. Continue Reading…

The US-Pakistan relations at crossroads

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By K.N. Pandita

A fracas over a telephonic message from the Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to Imran Khan on 23 August only added to the already strained relations between the US and its former South Asian ally. Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi contradicted the content of the call. The State Department had said in readout that during the call “Pompeo raised the importance of Pakistan taking decisive action against all terrorists operating in Pakistan”. Islamabad refuted the US readout as incorrect, saying that this “issue of terrorism” was not discussed. However, when questioned by a reporter, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said there would be no correction in response to Pakistan’s complaint. “I can only say we stand by our readout,” Continue Reading…

Imran is bidding for “New Pakistan”

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By K.N. Pandita

We cannot help looking somewhat askance when we are told that Imran Khan wants to make a “New Pakistan”. There is mystery in the term “New Pakistan” about what it actually means? In his first speech after he was sworn in, Prime Minister Imran Khan focussed on very disquieting current financial situation of his country. The narrative is superscripted by what stance IMF will adopt once Pakistan approaches it for a massive bank loan to retrieve its collapsing economy. Continue Reading…

Is PM Modi going to Islamabad?

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By K.N. Pandita

Observers are speculating Modi’s participation in the oath-taking ceremony of Pakistan Prime Minister-designate on 11 August in Islamabad. Will Imran Khan invite SAARC leaders? Will he invite Modi also? Will Modi agree to go to Islamabad if invited? These questions are widely debated in political circles. Continue Reading…

Some Reflections on Pak General Election

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By K.N. Pandita

On 25 July, Pakistan completed the third general election to the National Assembly. In the run-up to election campaigning, brutal unleashing of violence in Baluchistan and KP leading to hundreds of deaths and wounded marred the sanctity of election. Continue Reading…

Bloody beginning of Pak elections

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By K.N. Pandita

Writing sadly about the bloodshed of the previous week in Baluchistan and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, the widely circulated Dawn of Pakistan made a meaningful comment. It wrote, ”If there were any doubts that Pakistan still remains vulnerable to terrorism, the past week has put an end to them.” It is polite but irrefutable admission that willy-nilly terrorism is allowed to remain entrenched in Pakistan. Three separate attacks in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Baluchistan have claimed 150 lives and over 200 persons are wounded. Among the dead are Awami National Party leader Haroon Bilour and Baluchistan Awami Party candidate Siraj Raisani. Continue Reading…

Indo-French bilateral partnership: New approach

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By K.N. Pandita

Prime Minister Modi visited France soon after Emmanuel Macron’s election in May 2016. Prior to him three Indian Prime Ministers had visited France since 1980. Not all formal visits of the heads of government move beyond the established protocol and patent rhetoric. Continue Reading…

Politics of vandalizing statues

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By K.N. Pandta

Installing statues of distinguished persons is an old practice beginning with the ancient Greeks. From there it spread to Europe. There is no desk-book criterion for identifying a person whose statue is raised. Continue Reading…

The US and Pak-based terrorists

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By K.N. Pandita

The US is showing no relent in its reproach of Pakistan for allowing safe haven to terrorists – individuals as well as organizations – operating in Afghanistan. There are many individuals involved in raising and transferring funds, and providing logistic support to terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda, Taliban and LeT that are either based or have their hideouts in Pakistani. Pakistan army and intelligence circles including some senior bureaucrats are well aware of these antics. At the end of the day elusive Osama bin Laden was captured in a house just few kilometres away from the GHQ in Rawalpindi. Continue Reading…

Ghazavatu’l-Hind: A Matter of Faith

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By K.N. Pandita

These days, top leadership of Pakistani religious extremist organizations like Jaysh-i-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Tahiru’l Qadiri and others has become vociferous about Ghazavatu’l-Hind meaning the Indian crusade. They whip up anti-India hysteria while addressing huge crowds. The common theme of their claptrap is that the way of liberating Kashmir is through an armed crusade of India. Destruction of India is their war cry. Continue Reading…

The roots of Afghan war

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By K.N. Pandita

A US official spokesman said that the Saturday devastating attack in the centre of Kabul city was planned and executed by Taliban and the Huqqani Network. 103 people were killed and hundreds wounded. A UN observer called it” massacre”. Taliban and Haqqani Network have intensified attacks and bomb blasts in recent weeks and months in Afghanistan. Continue Reading…

South Asia: Re-alignments on the anvil

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By K.N. Pandita

In bilateral relations, there are no permanent friends or foes: there are only permanent interests. US-Pakistan relations almost reached nadir when President Trump; twitted “lies and deceit”. Nobody had anticipated that relations between Pakistan – a country once more aligned than allies – with the US would sink to such depths. Continue Reading…

Trump–Pakistan jihad love

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By K.N. Pandita

The news has come that Pakistan has imposed a ban on Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation from collecting donations. Pakistani media have given wide publicity to this news in print and in electronic media. Since some years the organization and its chief have been actively collecting donations in the name of ‘crush India.’ Continue Reading…

Trump’s new security strategy

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By K.N. Pandita

Addressing his nation from the Ronald Reagan building in Washington, President Donald Trump has enunciated his administration’s new national security strategy. The strategy paper identifies four vital national interests, or “four pillars” namely (a) Protect the homeland, the American people, and American way of life; (b) Promote American prosperity; (c) Preserve peace through strength; and (d) Advance American influence. Continue Reading…

Cannibal of Mumbai carnage walks free

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By K.N. Pandita

Acquittal of Hafiz Saeed by Lahore High Court is a slap on the face of the US and the UN. They have classified Saeed’s organization JuD as a terrorist group and forefront organization for terrorist outfit LeT responsible for 26/11 Mumbai attack in which 166 innocent persons including six American nationals were killed. Continue Reading…

How much neutral is Switzerland?

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By K.N. Pandita

Around the year 2000, I was in Switzerland working with an African NGO at the Human Rights Council (then it was called Commission). A story was making rounds in the town that some WW II German Jewish refugees had claimed that their close relatives had deposited certain amounts of money in Swiss banks which should be returned to them. Continue Reading…

Iran-US relations: the nuclear spat

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By K.N. Pandita

The US and North Korea are on the verge of nuclear clash. By implication, Iran also figures in the imbroglio. But why and how, let us see. Continue Reading…

Pakistan: Compulsions for Realigning Regional Strategy

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By K.N. Pandita

Pak watchers have noted a flurry of events taking place in succession during a couple of weeks in recent past at GHQ with drop scene in Washington. While GHQ is mulling realignment in Trump era, Pakistan foreign office is in hectic activity at Washington to do some damage controlling exercise. These events need to be examined along with their hindsight. Continue Reading…

Change of guard on subcontinent

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By K.N. Pandita

US Defence Secretary James Mattis recently met with his Indian counterpart, Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi. Two subjects took precedence over a variety of items on their agenda for talks. These were (a) meeting the challenge of global terror and (b) strategic defence partnership. Continue Reading…

PM reshuffles his ministerial team

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By K.N. Pandita

For the first time ever since Narendra Modi formed NDA government in 2014, a major reshuffle has been made in the ministerial team. Continue Reading…