Foreign Affairs

D.C. must do more to protect its youth.By Colbert I. King April 26, 2019 (The Washington Post)

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Breon Austin’s death hit home. At 16 , he was close in age to two of my grandchildren. A young person’s death always hits hard. To learn, however, that he lost his life after multiple bullets were fired into his body by a masked assailant in the hallway of Breon’s own home is enraging. The shooter brazenly opened fire in …

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Pakistan relying less and less on US, turning to China, Saudi Arabia & UAEDarius Shahtahmasebi (Feb 1, 2019) RT


Pakistan is making important strides in its military and naval capacities with the help of China, relying less on US-made weaponry. Despite accepting money from all sides, Pakistan’s relationship with China continues to be strong. After the Trump administration decided to suspend $3 billion in security assistance to Pakistan, complaining that Islamabad fails to do enough to combat terrorism, Washington …

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About half of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to be withdrawn within weeks. Report comes a day after Trump announced troops leaving Syria By Gordon Lubold and Jessica Donati The Wall Street Journal Dec 20, 2018


WASHINGTON — A day after a contested decision to pull American military forces from Syria, officials said Thursday that President Donald Trump has ordered the start of a reduction of American forces in Afghanistan. More than 7,000 American troops will begin to return home from Afghanistan in the coming weeks, a U.S. official said. The move will come as the …

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Taliban confirms meeting with US in the UAEBY THOMAS JOSCELYN | December 16, 2018 | Long War Journal


The Taliban released a short statement today confirming that representatives of its “political office” are set to meet with an American delegation tomorrow (Dec. 17). The face-to-face is to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). And according to the Taliban, “[r]epresentatives of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and [the] United Arab Emirates will also attend the meeting.” Notably absent from …

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US Report Highlights Murky World of “Contractors” in PakistanDawn Newspaper (Dec 8, 2018)


WASHINGTON Dec 8: “The contractor must maintain a constant capability to surge to any location within Afghanistan or Pakistan” within a 30-day period, says an official US announcement released in 2010. The announcement — highlighted by The Nation, the oldest US weekly, in May 2010 — solicits bids from private war contractors to secure and ship US military equipment through …

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`Gwadar Port May Be Gateway to Landlocked Central Asian States’ – Balochistan CMStaff Correspondent (Dec 5, 2018)


QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has said that Gwadar Port can serve as the gateway for the landlocked Central Asian states by providing them access to maritime routes and a trade corridor for doing business with all countries of the world. According to a statement issued by the Balochistan government, the chief minister was speaking at a meeting …

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Donald Trump writes to Pakistan’s Imran Khan in Afghanistan peace move (The Independent UK Dec 3, 2018)The initiative comes after anger in Islamabad over recent remarks by the US president


President Donald Trump has reached out to Pakistan’s prime minister, sending Imran Khan a letter seeking Islamabad’s co-operation in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table to end the 17-year war in neighbouring Afghanistan, officials have said. The development could help ease tension between Washington and Islamabad. Relations soured after Mr Trump last month alleged that Pakistan harboured al Qaida …

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Saudi prosecutor seeks death penalty in Khashoggi murder Kingdom is seeking death penalty for five people accused of carrying out journalist's killing, Shaalan al-Shaalan says. (Al Jazeera Nov 15)


Saudi Arabia’s deputy public prosecutor has said the kingdom is seeking the death penalty for five people who have been accused of carrying out the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Shaalan al-Shaalan told a news conference in Riyadh on Thursday that Ahmed al-Assiri, the kingdom’s former deputy head of intelligence, dispatched a team to Turkey to persuade Khashoggi …

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Strapped for cash, Pakistan looks to China and the Middle East for helpCNBC (Nov 6, 2018)


Strapped for cash, Pakistan looks to China and the Middle East for help Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan recently traveled to China in hopes of securing funds for his troubled country — but he left without any tangible guarantees. The South Asian state, which recently received a $6 billion aid package from Saudi Arabia, is hunting for more external financing …

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Sindh TV News interview with author in Washington DCOct 24, 2018


In a wide-ranging interview with Sindh TV News, Washington based journalist and author Nafisa Hoodbhoy says that the US and Pakistan are still not on the same page, despite diplomatic efforts to bridge the divide from both sides. Interviewed by Sindh TV anchor Fayyaz Naiych in front of the US Capitol, the author says that the Trump administration has kept …

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Imran Khan: Pakistan cannot afford to snub Saudis over Khashoggi killingJonathan Steele & Peter Oborne (Middle East Eye) Oct 22, 2018

IK in Jeddah

ISLAMABAD – Newly installed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has told Middle East Eye that his country must continue to prioritise good relations with Saudi Arabia despite the killing of Jamal Khashoggi because of its dire economic crisis. Khan is due to travel to Riyadh on Tuesday to attend an investment summit that has been boycotted by many western officials …

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Jamal Khashoggi: Trump says US asked for audio ‘if it exists’ • Audio reportedly proves Khashoggi was tortured then killed • Trump points to Saudi role as important strategic partnersJulian Borger in Washington and Bethan McKernan in Istanbul (Guardian UK)

US Turkey

Donald Trump says the US has asked Turkey for an audio recording of Jamal Khashoggi’s death which reportedly proves he was brutally tortured before his premeditated murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials said the audio recording had been handed over to the US and Saudi Arabia. But on Wednesday, Trump told reporters: “We’ve asked for it … …

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Jamal Khashoggi Disappears, a Mystery Rattling the MiddleBy David D. Kirkpatrick and Ben Hubbard (Oct. 7, 2018) The New York Times

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LONDON — Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident, met two friends for lunch last Monday in London to discuss a newspaper column he had drafted lamenting the lack of free speech in the Arab world. “Everyone is fearful,” he wrote. But Mr. Khashoggi appeared to have little fear about his plans for the next day: to pick up a document …

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At the UN, World Laughs at AmericaJeet Heer The New Republic (Sept 25, 2018)


At the United Nations, Trump proves the world is indeed laughing at America. On Tuesday, the president addressed the UN and made a familiar boast that his administration “has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” Trump has self-praised in this way on many occasions, at rallies, when speaking to fellow Republicans, and even in …

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Saudi Arabia likely to invest in mega oil city in Gwadar under CPEC: sourcesARY News (Sept 20, 2018)


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has invited Saudi Arabia to become a strategic third partner in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the decision is expected to bring huge investments in the country. Pakistan is expected to receive an economic package worth $8 billion from Saudi Arabia which includes investment in the port city of Gwadar under CPEC. The deal was reported agreed …

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US Pakistan talks prompt vow to reset ties after prolonged spat – By Asad Hashim Al Jazeera (Sept 5, 2018)US said the talks covered cooperation over war in Afghanistan and Pakistan's role in regional stability


Pompeo has held talks with Pakistan’s prime minister and foreign minister, as the two erstwhile strategic allies seek to mend ties that Pakistan has said have become “almost non-existent” in recent months. Pompeo met Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Wednesday, in a set of talks both sides described as …

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Why the Taliban’s Assault on Ghazni MattersBy Mujib Mashal The New York Times (Aug 15, 2018)

KABUL, Afghanistan — The American-led invasion of Afghanistan routed Taliban extremists from power after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Nearly 17 years later, after tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of billions of dollars spent and two White House administrations come and gone, those extremists are not only undefeated but seem as strong as ever. Since Friday, Taliban …

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Imran Khan’s election in Pakistan presents a global dilemmaBY BLOOMBERG | UPDATED: JUL 31, 2018


The cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has finally been accepted as Pakistan’s next prime minister. I say “finally” because the election commission managed to add to widespread concerns about the elections by inexplicably delaying its announcement of the outcome. Almost all of Pakistan’s parties, other than Khan’s, have contested the results; Shehbaz Sharif, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which won …

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White House Orders Direct Taliban Talks to Jump-Start Afghan NegotiationsThe New York Times (July 16, 2018)


KABUL, Afghanistan — The Trump administration has told its top diplomats to seek direct talks with the Taliban, a significant shift in American policy in Afghanistan, done in the hope of jump-starting negotiations to end the 17-year war. The Taliban have long said they will first discuss peace only with the Americans, who toppled their regime in Afghanistan in 2001. …

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Rumors and reactions regarding the recognition of Durand LineKhaama Press (June 22, 2018)


The Dawn News in Pakistan has rejected a report attributed to the news outlet suggesting that the Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar has recognized Durand Line as the official international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “A fake Facebook post screenshot doctored to pose as surfaced on social media on Thursday,” Dawn News said in a report. The …

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    "A story of a courageous journalist who defied conventional norms during times when very few other women were in this...

    Hassan Abbas
    Author and Quaid-i-Azam Chair Professor

    "It was her fierce independence and commitment to her country that inspired [Hoodbhoy’s] decision to become a newspaper reporter –...

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    Deputy National Editor, Health, Science and the Environment, The Washington Post

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