Stories about america

Is a peace deal in Afghanistan possible?

After a month-long thaw starting from last September, the Afghan peace process has now started to gain some momentum. United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul yesterday to discuss the future of peace talks with the Taliban. On Friday, Moscow hosted Khalilzad, along with Chinese and Pakistani representatives, to find a way for the resumption of the negotiations with the Taliban. Last week, Khalilzad and European Union envoy Roland Kobia, issued a comprehensive communique acknowledging that “sustainable peace can only be achieved through a negotiated political settlement.” However, these intra-Afghan negotiations between the ...

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Can Imran Khan help ease tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran?

Acting upon a request from the United States to calm ongoing regional tensions, Imran Khan’s mission to engage in shuttle diplomacy with Saudi Arabia and Iran has presented a respectable image of neutrality, but this image alone is unlikely to facilitate peace. One would be forgiven for conflating Imran Khan’s impressive international image with productive foreign policy. A maiden visit to the United States this year, last month’s emotional United Nations General Assembly speech on Kashmir, and meetings with two of the world’s most bitter rivals – broken up only by a brief stop in Islamabad to welcome two ...

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Why should Pakistan change its export policy?

In the current inhospitable economic climate prevailing in Pakistan, leading to rising inflation alongside a worsening trade and fiscal deficit, the nation desperately needs a solution to these growing list of problems. While it is fairly simple to understand that an increase in exports will benefit the economy, the method through which this can be achieved is a slightly more tricky question to answer. Exports will help pave the way towards economic prosperity by improving Pakistan’s Balance of Payment (BoP), but policies which try to lead Pakistan in this direction can only be implemented once we address the question: why does Pakistan have ...

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Who will emerge on top after Afghanistan’s elections?

Amidst growing fears of violence during the elections, the people of Afghanistan will head to the polls September 28th to decide their future president. A country which has been riddled with war, tenuous stalemates, and terror since the Soviet invasion, finds itself having to now contend with an uncertain future because of the resurgence of the Taliban. The knife’s edge on which Afghanistan is precariously balancing at the moment received another shock recently when talks between the United States (US) and the Taliban collapsed. Donald Trump’s pledge to pull US troops out of Afghanistan seems to have fallen by ...

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With impromptu statements, Imran offers ammo to critics

For Imran Khan, one of the greatest drawbacks of being granted endless screen time is that it only ends up providing ample proof of his unending claims and circular statements. For every U-turn that Imran takes, there is substantial evidence to suggest he may well also have a contrary stance, so much so that he has acceded to not just accepting his flip flop behaviour but has also justified it by terming it as a trait which all great leaders possess. In this context, the prime minister’s trip to the United States, for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting, ...

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Where does Imran stand in the Trump-Modi bromance?

“Houston, we have a problem.” Well, not really. It’s more like, “Pakistan, you have a Modi problem.” The ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event, touted as a celebration of the culture and unity of America and India, was nothing less than a grand advertisement and exhibition of the Donald Trump-Narendra Modi bromance – the likes of which one has hardly ever seen before. The gathering that managed to bring almost 50,000 people to the NRG Football Stadium in Houston, Texas was a radical development on so many different levels. The attendance of luminaries from all sides of the political spectrum – Ted Cruz, ...

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Bernie Sanders spoke up about Kashmir, but does it really matter?

We are a nation that rejoices at semantics, not action. You need only look towards the reaction to Bernie Sanders’ statement regarding Kashmir to get a sense of that. Sanders, who is currently one of the candidates vying to become the Democratic presidential nominee, recently spoke at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in Houston and made some remarks which led to a whole host of reactions. He called India’s actions in occupied Kashmir “unacceptable,” and went onto state, “The communications blockade must be lifted immediately, and the United States government must speak out boldly in support of international ...

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What happened to Trump’s Kashmir mediation offer?

As Pakistan roils with anger at India’s brazen dismantling of Article 370, the US has remained impassive, disengaged, and has failed to truly recognise, let alone show an active interest, towards the regional gravity and international implications of this tectonic disruption. Understanding that media wars now mobilise international political opinion, (consider both the gilet jaune movement in France, and the weeks-long protests in Hong Kong) India’s absolute isolation of the people of Kashmir is an emphatic prelude to Narendra Modi’s intentions. But it seems that the American top brass is willing to turn a blind eye towards Modi’s antics in ...

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292 mass shootings in 220 days – is gun violence the new normal in the US?

Given the frequency at which mass shootings take place in the United States (US), one might think that it is a normal phenomenon. But there is nothing normal about a person opening fire in a crowded location. If there is ever a scenario that most closely resembles judgement day, this is probably it, evidenced by the gut-wrenching videos of these shootings that emerge online. Such incidents wreak havoc on a nation’s psyche, making individuals fearful of going to public places, including schools, malls and places of worship. This past week saw two shooting incidents, yet again, in the US. A shooter ...

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India and Pakistan need to win peace, not arguments

Following the scrapping of Article 370 of the Indian constitution by the Indian government on Monday, there is a sense of déjà vu among the ruling party, a strong section of the majoritarian community and a section of the media. They are rejoicing that the ‘Kashmir problem,’ a legacy of history, has been ‘resolved’ once and for all by discarding the legislature since it was a hindrance in the final integration of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK). The problem with this argument is that it disregards history, ignores the larger reality of geo-politics and completely discards the political aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Can ...

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