By Deepal Jayasekera, 14 May 2010
Under pressure from Washington, India and Pakistan have agreed to resume a long-stalled peace dialogue. But the US’s efforts to harness Pakistan and India to its predatory geopolitical goals in Asia are themselves a major source of friction between Islamabad and New Delhi.
By Peter Symonds, 12 May 2010
The Obama administration has seized on the failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square on May 1 to insist that the Pakistani military step up its war on Islamic militants and extend its operations into North Waziristan.
By Bill Van Auken, 7 May 2010
The Obama administration has granted secret permission to the CIA to carry out more indiscriminate drone missile strikes in Pakistan, even as protests over civilian casualties caused by the attacks grow.
By W.A. Sunil, 22 April 2010
In a bid to quell public anger, Pakistan’s army chief was forced to issue a public apology last Saturday over the recent killing of more than 70 civilians near the Afghanistan border.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 April 2010
Eighteenth months after Pakistan was forced to seek emergency support from the IMF, the country remains mired in economic crisis.
By Sampath Perera, 25 March 2010
The enduring character of the US-Pakistan relationship is exemplified by the leading role that General Ashfaq Kiyani, the current head of Pakistan’s armed forces, is playing in the talks. Even the New York Times had to concede that Kiyani “has driven the agenda for the talks” and “will be the dominant Pakistani participant.”
By Sampath Perera, 6 March 2010
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and the country’s Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition government have suffered a further blow to their power and prestige as the result of a clash with the Supreme Court over judicial appointments.
By Shree Haran, 3 March 2010
The talks held between India and Pakistan last week ended with no more than a promise that the rival South Asian powers will “keep in touch.”
Under US pressure
By Deepal Jayasekera, 13 February 2010
India and Pakistan will soon hold high-level talks for the first time in fourteen months. But New Delhi is still balking at the resumption of the “composite dialogue” set in place after the two countries almost went to war in 2001-2002.
US jury convicts Aafia Siddiqui
By Bill Van Auken, 5 February 2010
Thousands of Pakistanis took to the streets in angry protests Thursday after a New York jury convicted Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a neuroscientist subjected to rendition and torture, on frame-up charges of shooting at US soldiers.
By Bill Van Auken, 3 February 2010
CIA drone missiles attacks claimed the lives of 123 civilians last month alone in Pakistan, while on the other side of the border, US Special Forces have launched an assassination campaign against alleged leaders of Afghanistan’s Taliban movement.
Pakistani victim of rendition and torture
By Ali Ismail, 1 February 2010
The case against Aafia Siddiqui, charged with the attempted murder of US personnel in Afghanistan, is rapidly unraveling. Her trial in New York is aimed at covering up the torture and rendition to which she and her children were subjected.
By James Cogan, 14 January 2010
A report published this month in Pakistan makes clear that the carnage from the fighting between the Pakistani military and anti-government militants more than matches that taking place in neighbouring Afghanistan.
By Bill Van Auken, 7 January 2010
In an apparent campaign of revenge, at least 20 people have died in drone missile attacks in Pakistan since the December 30 suicide bombing that killed seven CIA operatives and a Jordanian intelligence agent.
By Bill Van Auken, 5 January 2010
US drone missile attacks have claimed the lives of over 700 Pakistani civilians since Barack Obama took office a year ago, according to figures released this week by officials in Islamabad.
By James Cogan, 4 January 2010
The year 2009 ended as the bloodiest thus far of the US-led occupation of Afghanistan and the associated Pakistani operations in the tribal regions of North West Pakistan.
By Bill Van Auken, 24 December 2009
Amid a deepening political crisis in Pakistan, it has been revealed that over the past five years US special operations troops have conducted a number of secret cross-border raids into Pakistan.
By Keith Jones, 18 December 2009
Pakistan’s Supreme Court has unanimously struck down an ordinance that gave the current president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) boss Asif Ali Zardari immunity from prosecution, placing a question mark over his continued rule.
By Ali Ismail, 9 December 2009
A report commissioned by the British Council reveals widespread dissatisfaction and frustration among Pakistani youth due to bleak economic prospects, great and deepening social inequality, a grossly inadequate education system and the indifference and corruption of the ruling elite.
By James Cogan, 8 December 2009
The Obama administration is intent on pursuing the reckless and politically explosive course of escalating the AfPak War.
By James Cogan, 23 November 2009
Islamists and tribal militants now consider themselves in a fight to the death with the pro-US government of President Zardari.
By James Cogan, 20 November 2009
According to veteran journalist Seymour Hersh, US officials have pushed for an “understanding” that American forces can enter Pakistan to secure its nuclear arsenal in the event of a direct threat, particularly a mutiny by anti-American Islamist tendencies inside the Pakistani armed forces.
By James Cogan, 17 November 2009
The Pakistani Taliban is carrying out an intense campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations in retaliation for the military offensive in the tribal agency of South Waziristan.
By Keith Jones, 2 November 2009
During a visit to Pakistan last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton encountered widespread popular anger over the US’s treatment of Pakistan—its support for a succession of military dictatorships and readiness to push Pakistan toward civil war in pursuit of victory in Afghanistan.
By James Cogan, 28 October 2009
The military offensive into South Waziristan is having a devastating impact on the entire civilian population. Villages and towns are literally being bombed into rubble and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee for their lives.
By Keith Jones, 23 October 2009
Under heavy pressure from the Obama administration, Pakistan is now waging all-out war in South Waziristan.
By James Cogan, 21 October 2009
Civilians seeking to escape are being forced to walk out of the war zone under constant threat of attack.
By James Cogan, 19 October 2009
The Waziristan offensive under pressure from Washington is the latest chapter in the history of mercenary relations between the US and Pakistani governments.
By Peter Symonds, 16 October 2009
As the Pakistani military is poised to launch a major offensive into the tribal agency of South Waziristan, Islamist militants carried out coordinated, high-profile attacks yesterday on police facilities in the city of Lahore.
Following attack on army headquarters
By Keith Jones, 12 October 2009
Pakistan’s army was forced to storm a section of its own national headquarters complex to put an end to a day-long assault and hostage-taking by unidentified anti-government insurgents.
By James Cogan, 9 October 2009
A Pakistani Taliban militant carried out a suicide bombing against the UN World Food Program headquarters in Islamabad on Monday, killing five UN workers.
By James Cogan, 3 October 2009
The anti-occupation insurgency has spread from the southern provinces that border Pakistan to the capital Kabul and northern provinces.
By Ali Ismail, 1 October 2009
Pakistan’s draconian “blasphemy” laws have come under renewed criticism since several Christians were killed this summer by a mob of Muslim fundamentalists in a pogrom-style attack.
Washington’s “good war”
By Bill Van Auken, 16 September 2009
Reports from Pakistan’s Swat valley of the disappearance, torture and execution of civilians at the hands of the military death squads expose the reality of the so-called “good war” prosecuted by the Obama administration.
By James Cogan, 29 August 2009
The number of US and NATO occupation troops killed in Afghanistan during 2009 reached 301 yesterday—already the highest annual toll of the eight-year war.
By K. Ratnayake, 22 August 2009
Washington sent its special envoy Richard Holbrook to Islamabad this week to pressure Pakistan into launching a major offensive in South Waziristan.
By James Cogan, 15 August 2009
The civil war between the US-backed government of President Asif Ali Zardari and Islamist and tribal militants is escalating in the wake of the assassination of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.
By James Cogan, 8 August 2009
The American political establishment and the US media, along with Washington’s client government in Islamabad, are reveling in the reports that missiles launched from an unmanned US Predator drone on Wednesday killed Pakistani tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud.
By Barry Grey, 9 July 2009
The United States fired multiple missiles from pilotless drones on Wednesday in two separate attacks on insurgents in Pakistan’s South Waziristan district, killing up to 60 people.
By Tom Eley, 25 June 2009
A US drone on Tuesday fired missiles into a funeral gathering in the Pakistani region of South Waziristan, killing as many as 80 people and maiming dozens more.
By James Cogan, 23 June 2009
The Waziristan offensive follows bloody fighting and mass civilian displacement in the Swat Valley and other districts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
By James Cogan, 1 June 2009
The Pakistani military claims to have largely shattered the Islamist militant movement in the Swat Valley, Lower Dir and Buner districts.
By James Cogan, 28 May 2009
The Pakistani military is deepening its assault against Islamist militants in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) district of the Swat Valley and beginning to extend its campaign into other ethnic Pashtun-populated areas.
By Vilani Peiris, 25 May 2009
The Pakistan military offensive against pro-Taliban militia in the country’s North-West Frontier Province has produced a massive humanitarian crisis. More than one-and-a-half million people have fled their homes. The fighting and resulting exodus of Pashtuns from the NWFP is also exacerbating national-ethnic tensions in Pakistan.
By James Cogan, 23 May 2009
The Pakistani military assault into Buner, Lower Dir and the Swat Valley has rapidly degenerated into the savage collective punishment of entire Pashtun communities.
By Peter Symonds, 14 May 2009
Refugees continue to flood out of embattled areas of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP) as the military extends its offensive in the Swat, Buner and Lower Dir districts against Taliban militants.
By Peter Symonds, 11 May 2009
Comments by China’s ambassador in Islamabad last Thursday highlight the reckless path on which the Obama administration has embarked in Pakistan.
By Bill Van Auken, 8 May 2009
The Pentagon is attempting to cover up its responsibility for the massacre of at least 120 civilians in western Afghanistan—the worst atrocity since the war began—as the Obama administration prepares to escalate the US intervention.
By Keith Jones, 8 May 2009
Amid a mounting, war-induced humanitarian crisis, Pakistan’s armed forces have intensified their offensive against Pakistani Taliban insurgents in Swat and two adjacent districts in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province.
By Peter Symonds, 7 May 2009
The US summit with Afghanistan and Pakistan currently underway in Washington marks the onset of a major escalation of military violence in both countries.
By Keith Jones, 5 May 2009
The US political and military establishment and the American media have been mounting an increasingly shrill campaign to bully Islamabad into fully complying with US diktats in what Washington has redefined as the AfPak war theater.
By Bill Van Auken, 2 May 2009
The Obama administration is demanding that the military be given a free hand in directing the escalating US intervention in Pakistan, rejecting congressional conditions or civilian control over billions of dollars in military aid to Islamabad.
By Keith Jones, 30 April 2009
Tens of thousands of Pashtun-speaking villagers have been forced to flee from their homes in recent days as the result of the punishing offensive the Pakistani military has mounted, at Washington’s urging, against pro-Taliban militants in the country’s North-West Frontier Province.
By Keith Jones, 25 April 2009
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has warned Pakistani authorities that US-Pakistan relations will be imperiled unless they heed Washington’s admonitions and bloodily suppresses a growing Islamacist insurgency fueled by the US occupation of Afghanistan.
Missile strikes to be intensified
By Keith Jones, 8 April 2009
The head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan visited Islamabad this week to press Pakistani authorities to intensify their efforts to staunch the anti-American insurgency in the country’s Pashtun-speaking Afghan borderlands.
By Keith Jones, 17 March 2009
Under intense pressure from Washington and the military, Pakistan’s government conceded one of its key demands, lifting a draconian ban on all political meetings and protests.
By Bill Van Auken, 14 March 2009
US missiles killed at least 24 people in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of Kurram Thursday evening. The American military attack came in the midst of an intense political crisis that is calling into question the Pakistani government’s stability.
By Keith Jones, 13 March 2009
Pakistan’s government is using antidemocratic measures akin to those employed by the former US-backed dictator General Pervez Musharraf to suppress an agitation mounted by the principal opposition party and lawyer groups.
By Keith Jones, 4 March 2009
Eight people were killed and more than a dozen injured when unidentified terrorists mounted a commando-style raid Tuesday morning on a convoy of vehicles carrying players and umpires to a Pakistani-Sri Lankan cricket match in Lahore.
By Keith Jones, 28 February 2009
There have been demonstrations in cities across Pakistan for the past three days protesting against a Supreme Court ruling that the two principal leaders of the country’s main opposition party are ineligible to stand for election or hold any public office.
By Barry Grey, 23 February 2009
The Obama administration is significantly expanding the US military role in Pakistan beyond that pursued by the Bush administration, according to a front-page article published February 21 by the New York Times.
By Barry Grey, 17 February 2009
The two missile strikes, bringing the number since Obama took office to four, were a clear signal that the new administration intends to escalate the US military intervention in Pakistan.
By Peter Symonds, 9 January 2009
The Indian government launched a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan this week, with a dossier linking the Pakistan-based Islamist organisation Lashkar-i-Taiba (LeT) to the Mumbai terrorist attacks. While none of the evidence links the Pakistani government or its agencies to the operation, Indian leaders accused Islamabad of involvement.
By K. Ratnayake, 29 December 2008
Tensions between India and Pakistan intensified last Friday after the Pakistani military began shifting troops from its western border with Afghanistan to bolster positions along the border with India.
By James Cogan, 24 December 2008
US supplies into Afghanistan are under threat due to the expansion of the Taliban insurgency and the growth of Islamist activity inside Pakistan.
By Vilani Peiris, 16 December 2008
A representative of the Royal Bank of Scotland has said that the “stabilization” program the IMF has imposed on Pakistan will result in up to three million job cuts and a further 5.6 million to 7.5 million Pakistanis being pushed into poverty over the next two years.
By K. Ratnayake, 11 December 2008
Under intense pressure from the US and India, the Pakistani government has initiated a crackdown on Islamist groups allegedly involved in the terrorist attacks on Mumbai.
10 December 2008
Washington’s targetting of Gul raises an inconvenient fact: that the nexus between the Pakistani military establishment and Islamist militias has its roots in the CIA-backed jihad in the 1980s against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
By Barry Grey, 9 December 2008
A series of attacks on US and NATO military equipment depots in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar have underscored the increasingly dire security situation facing American and allied forces conducting the counterinsurgency war in neighboring Afghanistan.
By Peter Symonds, 8 December 2008
The Bush administration is exerting intense pressure on Pakistan to take action against Islamist groups allegedly responsible for last month’s terrorist attacks on Mumbai. Rather than easing tensions between Pakistan and India, Washington’s backing for New Delhi threatens to further destabilise Pakistan and trigger an escalating confrontation between the regional rivals.
By K. Ratnayake and Peter Symonds, 5 December 2008
Far from damping down tensions between India and Pakistan, the visit by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the two countries in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attacks has only added more fuel to the fire.
By Peter Symonds, 2 December 2008
The political fallout from last week’s terrorist siege of Mumbai is beginning to emerge in India and neighbouring Pakistan with tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals on the rise.
By Keith Jones, 28 November 2008
Whoever were the authors of this week’s terrorist attack in Mumbai, it was a vile act that will only serve reaction in India and internationally.
By Peter Symonds, 21 November 2008
Missiles launched from an unmanned US drone killed at least five people on Wednesday in the Pakistani village of Indi Khel. The attack is the first outside the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) that border Afghanistan.
By James Cogan, 17 November 2008
A Pakistani military offensive against Islamist militants is now being extended into the tribal agency of Mohmand.
By Keith Jones, 13 November 2008
Fearing political repercussions and social unrest, the Pakistani government continues to prevaricate on a request to the IMF for a multi-billion dollar emergency bailout. But the Pakistan People’s Party led-coalition government has already begun to impose IMF-dictated restructuring measures, including the elimination of energy-price subsidies.
By James Cogan, 3 November 2008
In open contempt of the repeated protests by the Pakistani government, the US military carried out another two air strikes on October 31 inside Pakistan, killing at least 27 people.
By Vilani Peiris, 1 November 2008
An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale followed by numerous after-shocks struck the south-western Balochistan area of Pakistan early Wednesday morning.
By Keith Jones, 28 October 2008
The US military is now routinely violating Pakistani sovereignty, extending the Afghan War to its southern neighbor.
By Vilani Peiris, 27 October 2008
Pakistan has turned to the IMF for the emergency loans to stave off state bankruptcy.
By Vilani Peiris, 20 October 2008
Wracked by political instability and hard hit by the global economic crisis, Pakistan is teetering on the brink of default.
By James Cogan, 9 October 2008
US aircraft are attacking alleged militant targets inside Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (FATA) at a growing rate.
By Keith Jones, 30 September 2008
Washington and Islamabad are seeking to downplay the significance of last Thursday’s military clash between US and Pakistani armed forces on the Afghan-Pakistani border.
By Peter Symonds, 22 September 2008
The massive bomb blast that devastated the luxury Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday evening is one more sign of the deepening political crisis in Pakistan produced by the Bush administration’s spreading “war on terrorism”.
A new understanding?
By Keith Jones, 20 September 2008
Only hours after giving military assurances that US forces would respect Pakistan’s sovereignty, the US staged another predator-drone attack inside Pakistan, killing at least six people in a South Waziristan village.
By Peter Symonds, 12 September 2008
In a reckless and criminal attempt to suppress the growing insurgency in Afghanistan, President Bush has secretly authorised the use of US Special Forces against targets inside the border areas of Pakistan.
By Peter Symonds, 10 September 2008
A third US missile strike in less than a week inside Pakistan again underscores the danger that the escalating war in Afghanistan will spread into its neighbour. At least 20 people died on Monday when up to five missiles fired from US unmanned Predator drones hit a madrassa and a compound in North Waziristan.
By K. Ratnayake, 9 September 2008
Asif Al Zardari, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman and widower of former PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, will be sworn in today as Pakistani president after being elected to the post on Saturday.
Today’s presidential election
By Keith Jones, 6 September 2008
Both houses of Pakistan’s parliament voted unanimously Thursday in favor of a motion calling on the government to take military action to thwart armed incursions into Pakistan like Wednesday’s US Special Operations forces raid in South Waziristan.
An expanded war
By Peter Symonds, 5 September 2008
A ground assault by US Special Forces troops on a Pakistani village on Wednesday threatens to expand the escalating Afghanistan war into its neighbour.
By K. Ratnayake, 27 August 2008
Pakistan’s governing coalition split on Monday when its second largest partner, the Pakistan Muslim League-Narwas (PML-N), withdrew its support, citing the failure of the leading party, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), to honour its promises. The rupture will deepen the country’s political instability after former military strongman Pervez Musharraf resigned his post on August 18 rather than face impeachment.
By Vilani Peiris, 25 August 2008
Just one week after the resignation of military strongman Pervez Musharraf as president, Pakistan’s ruling coalition is on the point of breaking down. The Pakistan Muslim League-Narwas (PML-N) of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is threatening to quit the alliance today unless the government reinstates 57 high court judges sacked last year by Musharraf.
By James Cogan, 23 August 2008
A major offensive by the Pakistani military against Islamist militants in the country’s Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) has effectively become a campaign of collective punishment against the fiercely independent Pashtun tribes that live in the region. As tens of thousands of refugees pour out of the remote Bajaur agency, they are reporting indiscriminate air strikes and helicopter gunship attacks, devastated villages and farmlands, and hundreds of dead and wounded civilians.
By Peter Symonds, 19 August 2008
Effectively abandoned by his domestic allies and international backers, Pakistan’s military strongman Pervez Musharraf formally resigned yesterday as the country’s president rather than face impeachment proceedings that were due to commence this week.
By James Cogan, 16 August 2008
Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (FATA) and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) have been plunged into the heaviest fighting between government troops and Islamist and Pashtun tribal militants in more than two years. Fierce battles have taken place this week in Bajaur, the northern-most tribal agency, which borders Afghanistan’s Konar province. Dozens of fighters on both sides have been killed and tens of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes.
By Vilani Peiris, 14 August 2008
Amid an ongoing political crisis, Pakistan’s ruling coalition this week initiated a formal impeachment process against President Pervez Musharraf, the country’s former military strongman.
By James Cogan, 9 August 2008
The Pakistani government has ordered major military offensives against the Islamist groups in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA), which are allegedly assisting the insurgency against US and NATO forces over the border in Afghanistan. The operations follow the visit to Washington by Prime Minister Yousuf Rusa Gilani last month, during which the Bush administration demanded a crackdown.
By James Cogan, 1 August 2008
The three-day visit to Washington this week by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Rusa Gilani has set the stage for a violent escalation of the Afghanistan war into ethnic Pashtun Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. Gilani was beset with accusations that the FATA were harbouring terrorists and anti-US Islamists fighting American and NATO troops over the border and demands that his government launch a crackdown. If it does not, the Pakistani leader was reminded that the US would unilaterally attack alleged insurgent safe havens inside his country.
By K. Ratnayake, 25 July 2008
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is due in Washington next week for top-level discussions, including with President Bush, in which the escalating war in Afghanistan will certainly be a central focus. The Pakistani government has come under mounting pressure from Washington to take action against anti-US insurgents operating from bases inside the tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan.
By K. Ratnayake, 1 July 2008
A Pakistani high court ruling last week, barring former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from contesting a by-election, has widened the rift inside the ruling coalition, which is teetering on the brink of collapse.