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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Pakistan rupee hits record low against US dollarPakistan struggles with chronic inflation as it burns through its dwindling foreign currency reserves (Al Jazeera)


Islamabad, Nov 30 – Pakistan’s rupee has plunged almost five percent to a record low after what appeared to be a sixth devaluation by the central bank in the past year as the country struggles with an acute balance of payment crisis. The unit sank to 143 rupees against the dollar on Friday, just a day after Prime Minister Imran …

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Why Balochs Are Targeting China (Akbar Notezai – The Diplomat)CPEC, Balochistan, and unresolved political issues are a potent mix.


Over the years, China-Pakistan relations have evolved positively. The mainstream media of the two countries always features the mantra of friendship and brotherly ties. Despite that, however, from day one China has been concerned about one thing in Pakistan: security. Both religious extremists and Baloch separatists have reportedly killed Chinese citizens inside Pakistan in the past. The most recent incident …

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Pakistani woman police commander led defense of Chinese missionSyed Raza Hassan (Nov 25, 2018) Reuters


ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani policewoman Suhai Aziz Talpur heard of the attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi while driving to work. She rushed to the scene to find two of her colleagues dead, and a trio of insurgents attempting to blow their way into the building. Her fast response and actions during the nearly two-hour assault on the diplomatic …

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Fahmida Riaz passes away in LahoreThe News International (Nov 21, 2018)


LAHORE: Well-known progressive Urdu writer, poet, human rights activist and feminist Fahmida Riaz has passed away on Wednesday night. She was 73 years of age. She passed away after a prolonged illness in Lahore where she was with her daughter Fahmida Riaz was born on July 28, 1945 in a literary family of Meerat, UP, India. Her family settled in …

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The ascent of Sindhis in ChattisgarhSuvojit Bagchi The Hindu (Nov 17, 2018)


“No, no I’m told not to discuss any money issues here. Central offices will directly deal with it,” with these words, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate in Raipur North nearly whisked himself away to give an interview to a television channel. It took a while to explain it to Shrichand Sundrani, the candidate, that it was not money but …

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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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Interview Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai: ‘I became a person who hates all injustice’ – Alex Clark (Guardian UK)The activist and former teacher on returning to Pakistan for the first time since his daughter Malala was shot, and his new book, Let Her Fly

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Ziauddin Yousafzai: ‘I will fight for women’s rights, for girls’ education, for women’s empowerment.’ Ziauddin Yousafzai founded a school in the Swat valley, Pakistan, where girls and boys were educated together. When his eldest child, Malala, was shot at point-blank range by the Taliban in 2012 in retaliation for her activism, the family relocated to Birmingham. In 2014, Malala was …

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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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Pakistan works to stop Asia Bibi leaving after blasphemy protests Administration accused of signing Bibi’s ‘death warrant’ in deal with hardliners Memphis Barker in Islamabad (Sat 3 Nov 2018) The Guardian UK


Pakistan’s government has been accused of signing the “death warrant” of Asia Bibi after it said it would begin the process of preventing her leaving the country. Bibi, a Christian farm labourer, was acquitted of blasphemy on Wednesday. She had spent eight years on death row after she drank from the same cup as a Muslim, prompting false allegations that …

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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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Rupee Tumbles After Pakistan Requests IMF Bailout Islamabad needs some $12 billion to ward off economic meltdown from mushrooming trade deficit and dwindling foreign-exchange reservesBy Saeed Shah Oct. 9, 2018 The Wall Street Journal


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The Pakistani rupee dropped steeply against the dollar Tuesday after the government said it was seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, which will likely lead to tough economic policies and slow the nation’s economic growth. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s new administration was forced to turn to the lender of last resort after its planned alternatives to the …

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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

k murdered

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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Pompeo, meeting Pakistan, calls on Taliban to negotiateFrance 24 (Oct 3, 2018)


WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed Afghanistan’s Taliban to come to the table to end the long-running war as he called on Pakistan to play a supportive role, the State Department said Wednesday. Pompeo met in Washington with Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in the latest US outreach to the government of new Prime Minister …

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“If They Can, They Will”: The Ford-Kavanaugh Hearing and the Angry Politics of Now There are two Americas, growing more enraged by the minute, and they are not listening to each otherSusan B. Glasser The New Yorker (Sept 28, 2018)


How could we have expected anything from Trump’s Washington other than the circus that unfolded on Capitol Hill on Thursday over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh? In the course of eight agonizing hours in a wood-panelled hearing room, tears were shed, tweets were sent, fists were pounded. At the end of the day, as at the beginning, 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...

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