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A Wish Fulfilled

A wish fulfilled

When I met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, in 1996, he told me his greatest ambition was to die a martyr`s death and join those who had gone before him…

Green-on-blue Incidents

Green-on-blue incidents

The most recent instances of ‘green-on blue’ attacks in Afghanistan came in rapid succession last week on Tuesday (one US soldier killed in eastern Afghanistan), Thursday (three US soldiers killed…

Of Good And Bad Taliban

Of good and bad Taliban

Two widely reported events in recent days struck hard at Pakistan’s strategic depth policy in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The first event occurred when the Swat Taliban and Afghan Taliban…

Courting The Taliban

Courting the Taliban

As parties to the conflict in Afghanistan plot their next move following the international conference in London, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have come under focus as the two countries best…

Talk To The Taliban

Talk to the Taliban

The fresh US warning to European nations leaving Afghanistan without, as Defence Secretary Robert Gates said, “getting the job done right” signals increasing nervousness about the Taliban insurgency that is…

Viewpoint

Viewpoint

Remember General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of US forces in Afghanistan? President Obama fired him a little over a year ago because his "conduct, represented in the recently published article,…

Way Out Of The Quagmire

Way out of the quagmire

All three heads of state should have been pleased with the outcome of the recent Pakistan-Iran-Afghanistan summit. For a beleaguered Iran, which is reeling under layers of UN sanctions and…

Meeting Mullah Omar

Meeting Mullah Omar

The day I was reassigned to the Afghanistan Desk at the foreign office in November 1996,I had my first,and somewhat comical,encounter with the Taliban. President Farooq Leghari had just dismissed…

The Pakhtun Disconnect

The Pakhtun disconnect

Barely a week ago, a young girl was brutally attacked by extremists, but her name was not Malala Yousafzai. This nameless victim was an 11-year-old who had acid thrown on…

A Diabolical Ideology

A diabolical ideology

Few other societies have faced the menace of religious extremism in a bloodier fashion than ours. Yet few other societies have seen such a sharp split on this critical issue than ours. What irony!