Saba Mahmood

Saba Mahmood

The author is a law student in the UK. She recently completed an internship with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in International Relations. At Oxford, her research focus was on the foreign policies of the US, Russia and the Soviet Union.

Given the recent spat and strained relations, how will the Imran-Trump meet unfold?

Hoping to assuage strained bilateral relations between the United States (US) and Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Washington later this month has been met with enthusiasm from both sides. Despite the initial confusion regarding the visit, the official White House statement highlighted that the focus of Imran’s maiden visit will be on ‘strengthening cooperation’ in pursuit of regional security and peace; its vagueness unsurprisingly echoing previous visits by Pakistan’s premiers. What will undoubtedly be of interest is the sight of Imran and President Donald Trump finally coming face to face after their tense exchange on Twitter last ...

Read Full Post

Calling Iran’s bluff: Who are the real winners in the Gulf tanker crisis?

Iran has shot down what it claims to be a United States (US) spy drone in the Strait of Hormuz, accusing Washington of violating its airspace amidst escalating tensions between the two nations. Two days earlier, the US announced that it will deploy 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East in response to Iran’s “hostile behaviour”. The attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week marked a tipping point in their steadily deteriorating relationship, and although both countries insist that they want to avoid war, there are fears that recent developments could inevitably result in military confrontation. ...

Read Full Post

Questioning Obama and Trump’s policies, Ilhan Omar is bringing accountability to America’s doorstep

Ilhan Omar’s election to the United States House of Representatives earlier this year symbolises the complex nature of the American polity. As the first Somali-American to have entered Congress, her campaign victory is deemed a historic feat against the backdrop of the increasingly polarised and nationalistic political culture that has crystallised under the Trump Presidency. What’s more, Omar’s position in the House Foreign Affairs Committee has propelled her to engage in difficult debates that dominate her country’s political discourse and keeps her from shying away from a number of controversial issues, including the influence of the pro-Israel lobby American ...

Read Full Post

How the Kashmir crisis threatens Russia’s interests in Pakistan and India

The world watched with bated breath as Pakistan and India narrowly escaped full-blown military conflict last week. But the Kashmir crisis demonstrates more than a bitter dispute between two nations. This volatile frontier provides a springboard from which a historic rivalry between two nuclear states could culminate, with potentially seismic consequences for its surrounding neighbours. Moscow’s readiness to mediate the tensions therefore comes as no surprise, with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi welcoming Russian Foreign Minister Viktorovich Lavrov’s offers to host talks. As an ally of both countries, pressure mounts on Russia in particular, to abate tensions in ...

Read Full Post

What did Pakistan achieve by boycotting the OIC?

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held its 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), in which it criticised India’s role in the Kashmir crisis. Making references to “intensified Indian barbarities” in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), persistent violation of Pakistani airspace and illegal detentions in the state of IoK, the OIC’s resolution was met with a sharp response from the Indian spokesperson, who stated that the issue remains internal to India. Despite inviting Sushma Swaraj as the guest of honour to the summit, the resolution leaned more in favour of Pakistan by praising Imran Khan’s decision to return Indian Air ...

Read Full Post

Caught in the middle: Pakistan’s position in the US-China power shift

China’s rise has triggered a myriad of debates among political and academic commentators alike. Will it be peaceful and rely solely on America’s decline? Or will the changing structure of the international arena inevitably be riddled with war and violence? As the aforementioned thoughts become the subject of repeated discussions, another problem closer to home becomes more and more pressing: can Pakistan ride the ever-turbulent wave of great power rivalry, or is it playing dangerously close to the fire?  Developing trends in regional governance suggest that although American hegemony endures on the international scale, it is undoubtedly being subverted, as China’s global influence ...

Read Full Post