Foreign Affairs

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

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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)

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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

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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)

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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)

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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 Dawn.com surfaced on social media on Thursday,” Dawn News said in a report. The …

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ISIL blast kills 36 as Afghanistan extends Taliban ceasefireAl Jazeera (June 17, 2018)

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The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least 36 people and wounded 65 others in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar. The group’s Amaq website said the attack on Saturday targeted “a gathering of Afghan forces” in Nangarhar, but gave no details. According …

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American embassy shiftNafisa Hoodbhoy Dawn Newspaper (June 12, 2018) https://www.dawn.com/news/1413574/american-embassy-shift

Nafisa Hoodbhoy

THE Trump administration’s decision to shift the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last month could not have come at a worse time for the Arab-Israeli conflict. In retrospect, even some Israeli politicians have said that the US should not have shifted their embassy on the anniversary of the ‘Nakba’ — the period the Palestinians allege their land was …

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History beckons for Trump and KimStephen Collinson, CNN Analysis Mon June 11, 2018

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Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are the unlikeliest of statesmen, but fate has thrown the US President and the North Korean tyrant an opportunity granted to few historic figures — together they can change the world. Their summit in Singapore on Tuesday — which will begin with a one-on-one meeting, alongside translators — represents an opening awaited for 70 …

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Bomber attacks meeting of Islamic scholars in AfghanistanBy Ehsan Popalzai and Hilary Clarke, CNN (June 4, 2018)

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At least seven people were Monday killed by a suicide attack on a meeting of several thousand Islamic scholars in Afghanistan who were discussing issuing a fatwa, or religious ruling, against such attacks. The bomber, who was on foot, detonated the explosives at around 11:30 a.m. local time near the Loya Jorga hall at the Kabul Polytechnic University, Interior Ministry …

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Plane returns from Rawalpindi leaving US diplomat in lurchThe Express Tribune May 12, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: An aircraft that arrived at the PAF’s Nur Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi to reportedly fly out Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall of the United States’ embassy has returned after the diplomat failed to obtain clearance from pertinent authorities. Sources told The Express Tribune that officials at the airbase reached the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to determine if the diplomat was …

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Iranians fear the future after Trump exits Iran nuclear dealby Ali Arouzi and Saphora Smith (May 10, 2018) NBC News

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TEHRAN, Iran — President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many people here in the Islamic republic. Many Iranians hoped the Obama-era pact would lead to prosperity and closer ties with the West. But with the agreement now on the rocks, some Iranians feel double-crossed by America and say …

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Another $1 billion loan makes its way from ChinaBy Shahbaz Rana (April 29, 2018) The Express Tribune

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ISLAMABAD: Desperate to boost foreign exchange reserves over the $11-billion mark, Pakistan has received another loan of $1 billion from the China Development Bank as authorities remain adamant, at least in public, not to read the writing on the wall. Pakistan secured on Saturday financing of $1 billion, said Dr Miftah Ismail, the newly-appointed finance minister, while addressing a post-budget …

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Chinese workers thrash policemen in KhanewalSajjad Akbar Shah (Dawn Newspaper) April 4, 2018

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Chinese engineers and other staffers, engaged in the construction of M4 Motorway from Bahawalpur to Faisalabad, attacked policemen deployed for their security after the foreign workers were barred from leaving their camp’s premises without a security squad, DawnNewsTV reported on Wednesday. Several mobile phone clips doing rounds on social media show Chinese nationals approaching the police officials in a provocative …

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The Taliban Have Gone High-Tech. That Poses a Dilemma for the U.S.By THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF and JAWAD SUKHANYAR (The New York Times)

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WASHINGTON — Once described as an ill-equipped band of insurgents, the Taliban are increasingly attacking security forces across Afghanistan using night-vision goggles and lasers that United States military officials said were either stolen from Afghan and international troops or bought on the black market. The devices allow the Taliban to maneuver on forces under the cover of darkness as they …

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U.S. sanctions Pakistani companies over nuclear tradeDrazen Jorgic

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The United States has imposed sanctions on seven Pakistani companies over suspicion they have links to the nuclear trade, potentially hurting Pakistan’s ambitions to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Pakistani government spokesmen could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday. Relations between the United States and Pakistan have been strained in recent years over Pakistan’s …

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Trump ousts Tillerson, will replace him as secretary of state with CIA chief PompeoThe Washington Post

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President Trump has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him as the nation’s top diplomat, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate outreach such as possible talks with North Korea, White House officials said Tuesday. Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled …

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In Peace Overture, Afghan President Offers Passports to TalibanBy ANDREW E. KRAMER (FEB. 28, 2018) The New York Times

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KABUL, Afghanistan — President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan renewed a call on Wednesday for the Taliban to join peace talks, offering to treat the insurgent group as a legitimate political party, though it has repeatedly rejected similar proposals. In the latest overture, Mr. Ghani said his government would provide the Taliban with an office in the capital, Kabul; passports for …

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Pakistan given three-month reprieve over terrorist financing watchlist: ministerAsif Shahzad REUTERS (Feb 20, 2018)

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan has been given a three-month reprieve by a global watchdog over a U.S.-led motion to put the South Asian country on a terrorist financing watchlist, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said late on Tuesday. Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and …

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Battle for Kabul Has Begun By Nafisa Hoodbhoy VOA (Extremism Watch Desk) January 28, 2018 https://www.voanews.com/a/analysts-say-battle-for-kabul-has-begun/4228724.html

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WASHINGTON — Taliban attacks on two consecutive weekends in Kabul, which have killed hundreds of people, including Americans, have occurred in the midst of stepped-up efforts by the Trump administration to find a way out of the 16-year-old Afghan imbroglio. While the Trump administration has doubled its troop level in Afghanistan to 16,000, the U.S. Central Command led by Gen. …

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U.S. Drone Strike Kills Militants in Pakistan but Angers Its GovernmentBy SALMAN MASOOD JAN. 24, 2018 The New York Times

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A leader of the militant Haqqani network and two of his aides were killed Wednesday in an American drone strike in northwestern Pakistan, an attack that was denounced by the Pakistani government. The attack took place on Wednesday morning in the Speen Thal Dapa Mamozai area of the Kurram tribal region and was directed at a house …

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  • Cover Reviews

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

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

    "Nafisa Hoodbhoy’s detailed reporting helped me look at the complex world of Pakistani politics differently. Hoodbhoy’s proximity to key players...

    Karen Frillmann
    Managing Editor - Newsroom, New York Public Radio

    "A powerful and courageous voice that represents the best of Pakistan’s emerging journalism… The first insider view of developments in...

    Shuja Nawaz
    Author and Director South Asia Center

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    Author and Quaid-i-Azam Chair Professor

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