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Welcome to Himalayan Affairs

Himalayas, the greatest mountain range in the world, home to world’s highest peaks is situated in South Asia. They traverse Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal forming a boundary between the Tibetan plateau to the North and alluvial plains of the Indian subcontinent to the south and have had a profound significance on the mythologies, literature, religions and culture of South Asia. There are deep rooted differences and boundary disputes between most of the countries, a legacy owed to the common history of the entire region. Nuclear Capability of three nations within the region further lends to instability and the region is considered as a potential nuclear flashpoint. This site is dedicated to the Himalayan Region, its news, views and analysis.
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Poll
Q1.Do you believe that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is in need of serious reform?

Answers options :




Current Status

  A. Yes ( 89% )

  B. No ( 6% )

  C. Don't know ( 3% )

  

  
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Latest Articles
It’s such a horrific tragedy that no words of condemnation will sum up Taliban’s barbarism. Bloodshed, loss and despair in Peshawar left hundreds of parents in sobs, and made other thousands to shed their eyes when militants stormed a school on Warsak road morning..................   
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Afghanistan and Kazakhstan discussed boosting energy cooperation. The discussion took place during the visit of CEO Abduallah Abdullah to Kazakhstan where he met with Kazak Prime Minister Karim Massimov. Afghanistan’s energy crisis goes far beyond a shortage of su..................   
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Following the visits of Pakistan’s National Security Advisor, Chief of Army Staff and the ISI Chief to Kabul, and then of the new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Islamabad – all in space of last two months, there seems to be a positive movement in the relationshi..................   
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Time is tough for Afghans, no matter they live on this side of the Durand Line or the other. Their lives are at stake. They are killed on different pretexts but on daily basis. The valueless blood has become cheaper. Sometimes Afghans are killed in military operat..................   
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Since Afghanistan has been fighting terrorism tooth and nail, media reports that point at gradual inroad of ISIS is more than unnerving. Media reports say that ISIS has been making inroads in universities and garnering popularity among students. Even despite the f..................   
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The insurgent Taliban have mounted attacks and carried out several bombings in Kabul in recent weeks. They also have increased attacks in provinces. Their attacks have been raising questions about security. The militant group increased their attacks manifold parti..................   
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A senior Pakistani Taliban leader captured by Afghan forces and then taken over by American forces, last year, was clandestinely flown to Pakistan on December 05. This development has sent odd vibes in Kabul as when Pakistan’s security officials are confirming the..................   
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Anti-corruption day, was marked this year, just one week after the London Conference on Afghanistan. Corruption was the main theme that dominated the London Conference. International community hailed Afghanistan’s progress on fighting corruption. Other than clampi..................   
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. has carried out a series of airstrikes in recent days against some of Pakistan's most wanted militants hiding in a remote border area, the latest sign of improving relations between the two reluctant allies after years of recrimination follo..................   
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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — In the dusty badlands along its disputed border with Afghanistan, Pakistan is carving out a massive trench to keep out separatists, smugglers and militants in an attempt to bring order to a lawless, tribal region...................   
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The sacking of Pakistani Taliban (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid for supporting Islamic State is the latest sign of divisions in an already fragmented militant movement. Over the years Pakistan's insurgents have spawned a bewildering array of splinter groups an..................   
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On 4 November 2014, a young Christian couple was publically set on fire in Punjab, Pakistan. It was alleged by a mob of 1200 persons that the couple had desecrated verses from the Quran. According to source, the mob had apparently offered a waiving of severe retr..................   
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Iran and Pakistan have been facing issues on the border relating to terrorism and drug trafficking for some time now. This has raised tensions between Tehran and Islamabad, resulting in clashes. The recent clash in October resulted in casualties for both sides and..................   
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In November 2014, the new President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, made his maiden visit to Pakistan, one that is being projected as a “breakthrough” in the bilateral relations between the two countries. Only recently, the renowned international research organizati..................   
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In a strong reaction to Pakistan providing support to Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led JuD for the terror group’s two-day congregation in Lahore, India on Wednesday termed it as a “blatant disregard” of global norms against terrorism.“Supporting UN-sancti..................   
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Through three decades of war, waves of Afghans have fled their homes along the eastern border areas, many of them seeking shelter in the Pakistani tribal regions next door. Last summer another wave of refugees surged through the area. But in a reversal, it is Pak..................   
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Phiran-clad, ruddy-complexioned students, wage earners and shopkeepers gather at the central market square here to discuss politics and the assembly polls...................   
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Condemning the Pakistani cleric-cum politician Fazalur Rahman for his pro-militants statement, the Afghanistan Ulema Council (AUC) on Monday urged the government of Pakistan to take serious notice of the statement as it was an act of aggression against Afghans...................   
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There is an international focus on the phenomenon of foreign fighters today; thanks to the unprecedented attraction that the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq possess, there are foreign fighters expanding the size of the Islamic State from Central Asia, Europe and t..................   
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The approval of security accords with US and NATO by overwhelming majority of lawmakers is considered to be a fruitful step aimed at development of Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani also welcomed the approval of BSA with US. BSA with the US and SOFA with NATO c..................   
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A theatre of the absurd is on display in Islamabad with the street-fighters of Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri breaching the barricades to storm the Parliament and lay siege to the Prime Minister’s House. The denouement of this clear collapse of state authority in th..................   
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Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is planning to recruit gullible Punjab youths keen to venture abroad as part of its strategy to carry out terror activities in India. The interrogation of two Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) terrorists has also thrown ..................   
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Christine Fair, a security affairs professor at Washington's Georgetown University, has written extensively on Pakistan's powerful army. Her new book, "Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War," analyzes the ideological culture of the country’s security..................   
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India remained severely affected by and vulnerable to terrorism from Pakistan-based groups and their affiliates as well as left-wing violent extremists, last year, according to a new US report...................   
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India’s diplomatic coup d’état by making the US President agree to become the Guest of Honor for the Republic Day celebrations for 2015 needs applause. However, even as India’s growing stature in the global geopolitical and diplomatic arena is commendable, few inc..................   
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Condemning the Paktika suicide blast in strongest possible terms, Chairman of the Senate Fazil Hadi Muslimyar alleged that Pakistan was responsible for the terror attack which claimed over 60 lives and left more than 70 injured during a volleyball match in Paktika..................   
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Following the deadly attack in eastern Paktika province that killed and wounded dozens of civilians, head of Senate said Monday that Pakistan's army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are enemies of the Afghan people and the Afghan government, and instability a..................   
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The arrest of a Burmese Rohingya Muslim by NIA in connection with the Bardhaman blasts case is turning out to be perhaps the first attempt by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to set up base in India. Intelligence agencies have found that the accused, identified as ..................   
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The lingering saga of Pakistan’s rocket attacks into Kunar is getting worse with each passing day. Sporadic rocket attacks from Pakistan’s security forces have made life in this eastern province miserable...................   
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Afghanistan and Pakistan, the two neighboring and Muslim states have almost all the times remained locked in tensions. It doesn’t mean the two sides have never attempted to heal the situation and improve their ties, but hostilities have overpowered the efforts aim..................   
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Former president Hamid Karzai on Wednesday said his country would not allow itself to become the battleground for a proxy war between India and Pakistan after the imminent departure of US-led troops...................   
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Officials in Regional Studies Center of Afghanistan (RSCA) have said instability in Afghanistan poses threat to Pakistan more than any other time, particularly when political rivalry between India and Pakistan is considered...................   
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On 4 November 2014, a young Christian couple was publically set on fire in Punjab, Pakistan. It was alleged by a mob of 1200 persons that the couple had desecrated verses from the Quran. According to source, the mob had apparently offered a waiving of severe retr..................   
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Defence expert Lieutenant General (retd.) Raj Kadyan on Thursday said that terrorism becomes a real threat to India when Pakistan is frustrated...................   
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For over six decades, the Pakistani elite have pursued a `hyper-national security state’ geopolitical approach, stemming from an almost continuous and obsessive `search for power symmetry with India’, which has laid a “geo-strategic curse” on the country at the ex..................   
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The greatest challenge that the new Pakistan government faces is on the national security front. The inability of the Pakistan army to meet internal security challenges effectively is a particularly worrying factor. Fissiparous tendencies in Balochistan and the re..................   
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It is both tragic and funny how the poor Pakistanis take anyone and everyone for the political messiah. All this proverbial messiah needs to do is say the right things with passion and fervour...................   
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In recent weeks, there has been a lot of activity taking place in various parts of Pakistan in the name of the abominable, but also ineluctable, Islamic State (IS). Apart from some senior commanders of the Mullah Fazlullah-led Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) facti..................   
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A CURSORY analysis of the START Global Terrorism Database reveals that over the past decade, Pakistan has had the highest number of terrorism-related deaths in the world...................   
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Canada and its allies must take a united front against Pakistan because it is a state sponsor of terrorism that threatens world security, says Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander...................   
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Terrorism is the biggest threat to Pakistan’s progress. It roots can be traced back from 1979, when there was an effort to kick out Russia from Afghanistan. But the problem became severe after 9/11. And now in 2011, it’s become a menace for our motherland. I do no..................   
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At present, our country and security forces are facing suicide attacks, bomb blasts, sectarian violence and targeted-killings coupled with intermittent battles with the militants...................   
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Since the entire region is being plagued by militancy, particularly AfPak region therefore the two neighboring countries—Afghanistan and Pakistan need joint mechanism against the common threat—terrorism and extremism. However, unfortunately the two stand poles apa..................   
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The Islamic State (IS), also known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is just reported to have increased its presence on Pakistan in a big way and recruited up to 12,000 people from Pakistans restive province Balochistan. Does it mean that the already tind..................   
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The ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) an army of the Sunni Muslim Jihadists comprising some 4000 warriors has overwhelmed the militarily powerful Shia regimes in Iraq and Syria in a relatively short span of time. Correspondingly they pose a dire threat to..................   
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In a recent spate of bloodshed, militants ruthlessly massacred nearly a dozen government officials in the Zurmat district of southern Paktia province. Militancy in this country, through all the decade, has drenched entire Afghanistan with blood. There is hardly a ..................   
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The recent International Crisis Group (ICG) report on the Af-Pak region, following its excellent previous reports on the same subject, now addresses a crucial question: Can Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan be reset?..................   
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WE’RE already in the middle of it, so why not try and figure out the likely small print. Here’s an idea for the draft agreement: “The Federal Government shall be under an obligation to take steps to enforce the Shariah, to establish salat, to administer zakat, ..................   
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Ayman al Zawahiri’s declaration that al-Qaeda was opening an office in the Indian subcontinent poses a significant threat to India and other countries of the region. India needs to reassess the likely modus operandi of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) an..................   
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For several months, senior operatives of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) quietly slipped into India to visit seven madrasas across three West Bengal border districts to build a robust network before the October 2 Burdwan blast exposed a growing terror plot...................   
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The recent International Crisis Group (ICG) report on the Af-Pak region, following its excellent previous reports on the same subject, now addresses a crucial question: Can Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan be reset?..................   
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Terrorism is a crime against humanity. It threatens most the lives and rights of ordinary citizens, whom every modern state must serve best to justify its legitimacy. Given this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy of “zero tolerance” against terrorism is only n..................   
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The recent attempt by the Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the new wing of the Al Qaeda, to take control of PNS Zulfiqar, a Pakistan Navy frigate berthed in Karachi harbour and use it to attack US Navy warships has showcased the continued vulnerability ..................   
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The Establishment in Pakistan may have worried about a two-front war bordering India and Afghanistan for a long time, but it never would have imagined a two-front war within the country itself, vis-à-vis the elected political leadership and the media. After enjoyi..................   
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It is a troubled world that we live in today and there are many reasons for this. Draw a straight line from Pakistan to Turkey, swing down to the Gaza Strip and from there to Yemen, and we have an area embroiled in all sorts of conflicts, some recent and some that..................   
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The video message circulated by al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in early September 2014 announcing his intention to raise the flag of jihad in the Indian subcontinent raised several questions regarding the capacity of the organisation, independently as well as th..................   
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Ideally, Pakistani efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue should draw big yawns, not just from India but also the international community. After all this is a script that has played out before, and except for a short period in the early 1990s, it hardly dra..................   
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Terrorism, like almost every other human activity that involves production and creation of goods and services, needs money. Collecting funds initially through donations, borrowing or robbing banks and the rich are the first stage when terrorism/insurgency is inter..................   
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As violent jihadist activities in Syria and Iraq intensify, the number of foreign nationals enrolling to fight for the Islamic State (IS) is witnessing an exponential growth. The case of Central Asian jihadists - fighters who are nationals of Tajikstan, Uzbekistan..................   
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This is not about Musharraf who wasted his life trying to mate radical organizations in the vain hope of getting eulogized as Zia-ul-Haq II, killing more Pakistanis than Indians in the process hallucinating annexation of J&K and under trial for treason in his own ..................   
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The Director General of the Inter Services Public Relations of the Pakistani military establishment, Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, visited China from 14-18 October 2014. A statement made by this Pakistani officer that was reported by the Chinese media is of sig..................   
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China seems to believe it can follow a dual-track policy of benefiting from economic and diplomatic engagement while continuing to remind the other nation that it has territorial issues to settle...................   
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Will the new political arrangement (President and a Chief Executive Officer) in Afghanistan work, and more importantly, deliver? Though it looks simple in paper, given the recent history between the two contenders – Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah – will the po..................   
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Months of deadlock followed a hard fought election in Afghanistan after which both principal contenders - Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah - claimed victory, and a uniquely Afghan solution was found. Ghani will be President with Abdullah being the de facto Prime..................   
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Pakistan is at it again. Five soldiers have lost their lives. Indian leadership appears unfazed and wants to continue dialogue with Pakistan. One of the greatest misfortunes for India is the fact that no political leader or bureaucrat sends his progeny to the arme..................   
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Afghanistan today inaugurated a new president after months of election wrangling that threatened to trigger nationwide unrest and complicate the US withdrawal. Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official, succeeded Hamid Karzai as the country’s newly elected leader..................   
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FOREIGN policy covers interactions and relations between nation states and with international and regional institutions. The globalisation of information, projection of power, business and finance, media and communications, etc. envisages a future global order in ..................   
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This country has been insecure for the past three decades, but with slightest differences in phases. The tale of our woes and troubles started back in 1980s or a slightly pre-80s. Since then many leaders appeared on the political pulpit of the country and fell dow..................   
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Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, once again, brought up the issue of Kashmir in the United National General Assembly (UNGA). He said that the “veil cannot be drawn over the core issue of Kashmir.” He called upon the UN to stand by its promise thereby hinting..................   
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Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, is a very lonely man today; undoubtedly he would also be sad, dejected and depressed by the manner in which he has been let down by the generals of his own country’s army that is sworn to serve his democratically elected g..................   
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ISIS is the only extremist movement which is unanimously accepted as a threatening menace by all. This is rather a unique case because general public’s irrational sentimentalism towards Islam and Islamic movements always played its part to provide them with some p..................   
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Recent skirmishes between the Pakistani government forces and the Taliban fighters have been driving endangered civilians to seek shelter in the neighboring country. The new immigration that Afghanistan is facing from Pakistan is rather unusual, given the movement..................   
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THE signs of unrest and despair among the people displaced from North Waziristan Agency, on account of the military operation there, must begin to be addressed before the situation takes an ugly turn. While a group of IDPs from Mohmand Agency have been protesti..................   
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Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf might himself be mired in a slew of legal cases in Islamabad, but this doesn’t stop him from commenting on India and Kashmir. Just a day after a Pakistani court threatened to issue an arrest warrant against Musharraf in ..................   
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America is changing. The impression of ‘changing America’ is widely traveling these days in Southern Pakistan, the culturally Sufi-secular belt of the ancient Indus civilization. Tens of millions Sindhi, Baloch and Siraiki receive this changing America notion ausp..................   
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The brutal Taliban insurgents have upped their terror activities once again. At least 22 civilians were wounded in a powerful explosion in Qarabagh district of Kabul on Monday. The blast took place in a crowded market. The bomb was planted in the vicinity of a mas..................   
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Pakistan had written to U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-moon on the security situation along the Line of Control and the International Border, and sought the world body’s intervention. Pakistan’s latest efforts seeking U.N. intervention on the Kashmir issue have ..................   
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The recent breach of ceasefire by Pakistan was aimed at infiltrating LeT cadres into Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the polls and to bring Kashmir issue back into limelight, as the neighbouring country was feeling isolated with the growing clout of India in the intern..................   
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Pakistan might not be a failed state, but it is certainly trying its best to get there. An interesting book launch session at the Islamabad Literature Festival for Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi’s “Pakistan: Not A Failed State” and Babar Ayaz “What’s Wrong With Pakis..................   
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WASHINGTON: India remained severely affected by and vulnerable to terrorism from Pakistan-based groups and their affiliates as well as left-wing violent extremists, last year, according to a new US report...................   
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KARACHI: A rally organised by the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) on Friday condemned what it described as unprovoked Indian firing along the working boundary and the Line of Control and called upon the Pakistan government to declare jihad against India...................   
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This spring the U.S. State Department reported that South Asia has replaced the Middle East as the leading locus of terrorism in the world. Although much has been written about religious militants in the Middle East and Afghanistan, little is known in the West abo..................   
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The ongoing sit-ins in Islamabad Pakistan staged by Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf and another by a cleric Tahirul Qadri. Their followers have caused a severe political crisis and a direct threat to democracy. They are pushing the country to the verge of de..................   
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DERA ISMAIL KHAN/ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Taliban declared allegiance to Islamic State on Saturday and ordered militants across the region to help the Middle Eastern jihadist group in its campaign to set up a global Islamic caliphate. Islamic State, which contr..................   
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The Pakistani Taliban has declared it is backing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and ordered fighters across the region to help the group in its campaign to set up an Islamic caliphate. In a message on Saturday marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adh..................   
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Recent news about the increasing influence of ISIS in a number of Muslim countries of the region has emerged as a matter of concern for the public and governments of these countries. Indian government banned the foreign travel of a number of young Muslim citizens ..................   
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Canada and its allies must take a united front against Pakistan because it is a state sponsor of terrorism that threatens world security, says Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander...................   
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Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, addresses a rally in Quetta on April 26, 2012. A new study of 917 fallen Lashkar-e-Taiba fighters documents the group's extensive integration in Pakistani society and helps explain its impunity for the 2008 Mumbai terro..................   
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For the last 67 years Pakistan is indulging in the worst kind of terrorism across the world in general and is spreading its terrorist activities in India, in particular. Terrorist outfits based in Pakistan, especially Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), had been responsible fo..................   
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Here is a shortlist of recent horror stories from Pakistan, for which there is no government accountability or action and little public protest out of fear generated by an ever-widening range of Islamic extremists, who carry out acts of terror with impunity...................   
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The recent murder of a brave human rights lawyer Rashid Rehman reminds us of the society we have shaped. It is now an unregulated space where even defending the rights of an accused is a crime. Rehman had made all the threats, including those in the courtroom, pub..................   
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The electoral deadlock emerged in the first week of April has not only vitiated the national economy but also put the security situation at risk. The impasse has made achievements of the past decade vulnerable to fall because of power-game played by politicians fo..................   
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Afghanistan, finally, has a new president. Ghani will serve as the president of Afghanistan after signing a power-sharing agreement with Abdullah Abdullah, who will become Afghanistan’s chief executive—a newly created slot. The country, which was sliding gradually..................   
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Earlier this week, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a video message, launched an al Qaeda wing in the Indian sub-continent to “raise the flag of jihad.” What does the Al Qaeda in South Asia (AQSA) mean to South Asian security? What are the significances of this branch and th..................   
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It appears that the biggest threat to democracy in Pakistan is its democratic leadership, that too the elected ones. Ongoing developments in Islamabad clearly highlight the problem – all in the name of democracy and revolution, but through un-constitutional and vi..................   
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Is there a coup imminent in Pakistan? Or has it already taken place behind the scenes and the military is well embedded? Javed Hashmi, the President of the PTI who has now distanced from Imran Khan has made few important statements hinting a script authored by ..................   
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Now-a-days, revolutions, like popular reality shows, have begun to appear in all fonts and colors. From the once classic connotation of Mao’s Long March, bloody revolutions such as the Bolshevik or Iranian that left deep imprints on global politics to the modern s..................   
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It appears Nawaz Sharif has managed to survive the first major attempt to oust him from office. A series of fortuitous developments – the whistle-blowing by Javed Hashmi about Imran Khan’s links with the Pakistan Army stands at the top of the list – coupled with n..................   
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In comparison to the hectic activities at the LoC in 2013, this year has been a quiet one. About four months into what is referred as the campaigning season in Jammu & Kashmir’s strategic landscape there have been a few events involving infiltration, encounters an..................   
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The eastern Kunar province has been undergoing harsh times, with militants terrorizing civilians and Pakistani military rockets landing there in hundreds. What is quite eccentric is that no military – repulsive and retaliatory – action has been in place since the ..................   
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A majority of Constituent Assembly members stressed that the constitution-making process should be finished before the January 22, 2014 deadline during on Wednesday's session as discussions continued on a report on agreed on and contentious issues prepared Constit..................   
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