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Pakistan’s Boko Haram

Pakistan’s Boko Haram

By Malik Siraj Akbar While Pakistan’s federal government continues to give in to the Taliban pressure, women and school children in one small Pakistan-Iran border town in southwestern Balochistan province are offering unprecedented resistance against calls by Islamic extremists to shut down girls’ schools. Pakistan has featured in the recent times in the western media for attacks on girls’ [...]

Mounting Tensions Between Pakistan Media and Military

Mounting Tensions Between Pakistan Media and Military

By Malik Siraj Akbar When the U.S. government provided me political asylum in 2011, I knew I was leaving behind several courageous journalist colleagues in Pakistan who would have to report under death threats every single day. Pakistan has consistently rankedamong the world’s deadliest places for journalists where they routinely receive deadly warnings from non-state actors, such as [...]

Pakistan’s Post-2014 Chaos

Pakistan’s Post-2014 Chaos

By Malik Siraj Akbar The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (T.T.P.), in their deadliest attack on the Pakistani security forces so far in 2014, killed at least 20 personnel in a bomb blast on Sunday, January 19, in Bannu district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the country’s northwest. The bombing took place two days after the worst terrorist attack on foreigners in neighboring [...]

The General Pakistan Can’t Punish

The General Pakistan Can’t Punish

By Malik Siraj Akbar The Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal, during his recent visit to Islamabad, brushed aside suggestions that his country was planning a deal to provide a safe passage to Pakistan’s former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf. Prior to his visit, speculation was rife that Musharraf would flee the country under [...]

From Bangladesh to Balochistan: Pakistan Owes an Apology

From Bangladesh to Balochistan: Pakistan Owes an Apology

By Malik Siraj Akbar A few prominent Bangladeshi writers have also begun to publicly endorse theirgovernment’s demand that Pakistan should apologize for the war crimes of 1971 during the country’s freedom struggle. Tahmima Anam, a Bangladeshi novelist, sought a similar apology from Pakistan in an article in the New York Times on December 26, 2013. Interestingly, she hadn’t been born [...]

Deepening Pakistan-Bangladesh Tensions

Deepening Pakistan-Bangladesh Tensions

By Malik Siraj Akbar The execution of a top Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (BJI) leader on December 12 on war crime charges and the Pakistani parliament’s subsequent expression of “concern” over it have sparked an unprecedented diplomatic row between Dhaka and Islamabad. While the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiek Hasina “strongly condemned” Pakistan’s interference in her country’s domestic affairs, hundreds of Bengali veterans of the 1971 War [...]

Why Liberals Failed to Defend Malala

Why Liberals Failed to Defend Malala

By Malik Siraj Akbar During last year’s SAFMA [South Asian Free Media Association] conference, Imtiaz Alam, the organization’s secretary general, grumbled with the chief guest, the then president Asif Ali Zardari, about the government’s inaction against the Pakistani Taliban. Mr. Alam went on to warn the president that if Islamabad did not quash the Taliban, [...]

Pakistan Divided Over Slain Taliban Chief’s Legacy

Pakistan Divided Over Slain Taliban Chief’s Legacy

By Malik Siraj Akbar The killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (T.T.P.), an Al-Qaeda affiliate, in a drone strike in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region on Friday is a spectacular counter-insurgency gain for the United States. The State Department had enlisted the T.T.P. among the Foreign Terrorist Organizations while the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) had announced a reward of $5,000,000 [...]

Why Pakistanis Are Talking About Salman Rushdie Again

Why Pakistanis Are Talking About Salman Rushdie Again

By Malik Siraj Akbar Salman Rushdie and his controversial 1988 novel The Satanic Verses have ignited a series of fresh zealous discussions in Pakistan, a country known for its love for conspiracy theories and controversies. We vividly remember books, such as The Satanic Verses and movies likeThe Innocence of Muslims that sparked violent protests in Pakistan, as well as in [...]

A Trial That Pakistan Needs

A Trial That Pakistan Needs

By Malik Siraj Akbar General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s former military strongman and once Washington’s trusted ally in the war on terror, may soon be prosecuted, the first time in the country’s history that a former army chief will face legal action for violating the constitution and tampering with its democratic institutions. Nawaz Sharif, who [...]

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