This week's guest editors

Pakistan’s authoritarian move

The government in Islamabad will face opposition in the coming week to its Protection of Pakistan Ordinance. Is it about protecting the citizen—or the state?

India: jostling for geopolitical control in Afghanistan

Forecasts past the withdrawal of US and British forces in Afghanistan tend to prize fears of violence and instability spilling over into Pakistan, obscuring the country's vital importance to both India and China. 

No sex, some lies and a video: Pakistan's Taliban impasse

It was not an act of violence against women but a macabre video that led to the abortion of this round of peace talks with the Taliban in Pakistan

India and Pakistan: time to call time on proxy wars

India and Pakistan’s zero-sum game is hindering development and the proxy wars in which the two states have indulged need to come to an end. If they do, big dividends would follow.

Pakistan: prospects poor for Taliban talks

The announcement of talks between Islamabad and representatives of the Pakistan Taliban surprised many. Few will however be surprised if they fail.

Suffering happens, but Pakistan's Afghan refugees are more than just victims

The word 'refugee' conjures up images of rows of tents, barefoot children and saddened faces. The reality is more complex. My research shows that Afghan refugees have developed lives alongside Pakistani nationals in Karachi's poor katchi abadi areas: marrying, working, loving and learning together. 

Is slavery invincible?

The right not to be enslaved is one of the two absolute human rights that cannot be violated on any ground whatsoever. However, 65 years after its denunciation, slavery continues to resist the corpus of human rights. Why the asymmetry ?

Pakistan: drones and duplicity

US drone attacks on Pakistan attract populist political protests. But official Pakistan is being less than honest, with public and private attitudes at variance.

Soon, finally, a new leader of Pakistan's military

Why is it taking so long for Pakistan to choose a new Chief of Army Staff - and who will it be? An insight into the politics and personalities of the brass in the running, and how the US and other allies will react. 

Muslims, Australian cricket and high politics: the case of Fawad Ahmed

From the outset Fawaz Ahmed insisted that as a Muslim he (unlike Usman Khawaja) would not wear the team shirt with the sponsor’s logo, that of Victoria Bitter.

Pakistan, drones and politics

American drones are shattering Pakistani lives. But behind moral obscenity is political reality, says Maruf Khwaja.

R2P - perspectives from India

Using the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to justify decisions to intervene militarily abroad is often self-serving. Countries like India are ambiguous about the right to intervene because the practice is deeply inequitable. 

A way out of the Afghanistan conundrum

%22Bordering"A comprehensive peace will clearly not be achieved militarily, but how can the warring factions engaged with the complex conflict in Afghanistan be brought into negotiations? Engagement with Alternative Dispute Resolution practices at the regional level offers potential.

Pakistan: of peace talks and peace prizes

Pakistan has been locked in two key debates on the issue of peace recently. The first is whether there should be ‘peace talks’ with the Tehreeq e Taliban Pakistan. The second concerns Malala, the school-girl who survived the Taliban murder attack and was a nominee for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

Pakistani portraits

Pakistan is a country standing at the crossroads. From Karachi to Peshawar, a series of snapshots provides a glimpse into the dangerous inequalities and snatches of hope that fill Pakistani life.

Don’t blame the military alone: women’s rights in Pakistan

While religious parties in Pakistan have seldom secured big vote shares, all political parties tow their line. Why? And what is the way out?

Why the solution to Afghan state building post-2014 lies in regional diplomacy

Until 2012, there was no comprehensive U.S. strategy on Afghanistan. Additionally, a number of systemic issues hampered the development of the Afghan state and economic gains. After the withdrawal of most U.S. troops in 2014, the only viable option for Afghanistan's development lies in consolidating regional diplomacy.

Bangladesh, in the ruins of the future

Bangladesh's modern experience of industrial disaster highlights the fragile conditions in which many of its urban workforce toil. But the country has an earlier history of large-scale developmental ambition, far from the metropolis, which equally defined the lives of those involved. The trajectory of these "ruins of progress", says Delwar Hussain, can illuminate the challenges of the present.

Sharif, the army and the Taliban

Not only Pakistan’s army, but the foreign interests that come with aid-dependency have defined Pakistan’s security policies during the past decade. A new course for Pakistan, where long-term economic policies are prioritized over short-term military operations will clash with US interests.

Pakistan elections 2013: will policy win over patrimony?

The real reason for celebration is not that Pakistan has had a potentially corrupt, but highly resilient government that managed to stay glued to their chairs for five years without the military interfering. Far more important is whether this election can bring a change in political culture in its wake.

The end of Cold Start?

India's development of an offensive military doctrine after the 2001 attack on the Parliament was meant to create a strategic advantage over Pakistan. Has it worked?

Fear of escalation at the LOC

More than 65 years after partition, a mediated resolution to the Kashmir conflict remains illusory. Fear of escalation between nuclear rivals has prevented all-out war - but what will finally lead to peace?

Aesthetics in cartography: a more democratic access to information?

Can atlases serve to empower those at the bottom of the pyramid, permitting an understanding of historical change, social developments and a more critical awareness of regional, national traditions and resources?

Quetta’s enduring savagery: ethnic cleansing or sectarian violence?

Ethnic cleansing is a crime under international law. In the case of Pakistan, we see a cold-hearted and detached response by the federal government. Who then should be held accountable for these ruthless killings? 

Resisting the other of the ‘war on terror’: lessons from Japanese internment camps?

Though intended to be temporary in nature, Agamben argues that the ‘state of exception’ has become a permanent fixture of democratic governance. This ‘war’, declared by the US and its allies against a tactic, and therefore unbound by time or space, is ongoing.

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