Farhan Bokhari

  • Peace talks which finally got underway last week between the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan’s Taliban militants, could not have come at a more delicate time for Pakistan’s key internal interests and the strategic future of its surrounding region. The event has ...

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  • Pakistan’s human rights campaigners last week were quick to denounce the introduction of a new presidential decree that gave sweeping fresh powers to security forces for fighting terrorism. The new law empowers the country’s security forces to withhold information on the location of any ...

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  • Hope was renewed in Pakistan’s ability to continue fighting militancy in the past week following two especially bloody incidents. In the southern port city of Karachi, Chaudhary Aslam Khan, a senior police officer and an ardent law enforcer with a commitment to battling the Taliban, was ...

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  • Pakistan’s ruling politicians often claim to have overseen a new dawn in the past year — thanks to the milestone in the country’s journey towards democracy set by historic parliamentary elections.Yet, the disappointment over the failure in beginning to tackle overly pressing ...

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  • When Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan on Tuesday wrapped up his two-day high-profile journey to Pakistan, the country’s foreign ministry used words like “unique” and “unparalleled” to describe the visit, borrowing phrases which are rarely used ...

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  • The warmth surrounding the retirement of Pakistan’s top judge last Wednesday may have appeared to some as a moment of glory for the country’s evolving democracy. Yet, notwithstanding the orderly departure of Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary as chief justice of the Supreme Court and his ...

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  • When two of Pakistan’s mainstream politicians chose to play up the importance of a controversial victim of a recent US air attack, they may not have predicted the storm that was set to be unleashed.For Munawar Hasan who leads the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) political party, Hakimullah Mehsud, the ...

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  • Nawaz Sharif’s preference for negotiating with Taliban militants gathered momentum in July this year, when a gathering of key politicians from Pakistan’s main political parties gathered in Islamabad, formally supported the move. Yet, this initiative is riddled with multiple challenges. ...

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  • Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has left Islamabad on his latest overseas tour, which will climax with a meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Wednesday.For Pakistan’s ruling elite, Sharif’s meeting with Obama may open new avenues in terms of economic ...

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  • When Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week walked out of their meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s annual gathering in New York, neither could claim much by way of significant success.For Sharif, emerging from ...

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  • The first 100 days of any new government is typically a time to take stock. In the case of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the 100-day mark has passed largely unnoticed and without consequence. The third-time prime minister took office on a celebratory note. For the first time in ...

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  • Mamnoon Hussain’s arrival as Pakistan’s new president last week was surrounded in Islamabad by the usual pomp and fervour that marks the entry of a new head of state to the palatial top political residence along the city’s Constitution Avenue. Notwithstanding the many crises ...

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  • The past week has seen Pakistan’s ruling authorities order an army-led crackdown to tackle lawlessness in the southern port city of Karachi, in a move that says much about the South Asian country’s outlook.It is a choice that may not only drive the political fate of Pakistan’s ...

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  • The country's complacency-driven ruling elite has to learn some lessons from across the border. The crisis unleashed by anti-corruption protests targeting India's graft-tainted government offers many lessons for Pakistan. While public rallies in India have lifted the credentials of the 74-year-old ...

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  • The political gains made by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the recently held by-elections may have prompted celebrations among members of the ruling PML-N. But, perhaps, the gains driven by an expansion of PML-N’s already proven majority in Parliament are simply ...

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  • The likely success of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s nominee as Pakistan’s next President in the elections due on Tuesday (today) may have helped solidify the Pakistani leadership’s credentials under different circumstances. Yet, neither the choice of Sharif’s candidate - ...

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  • It has been yet another uneasy week for Pakistan’s security establishment, adding to the bouts of embarrassment surrounding prior accounts of the country’s failure in dealing with notorious militants.In the latest episode, the failure of Pakistan’s intelligence services in ...

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  • The ironies of the past weeks in Pakistan are a telling example of the country’s two-faced future. On one hand, an assembly of US and Pakistani businessmen gathered in Dubai to discuss prospects for future investments in the South Asian country and their audience heard impressive accounts of ...

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  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may have cobbled together a comfortable coalition to run Pakistan’s newly-elected government for the next five years, but he has made a potentially turbulent beginning in ties with the US. This is in the wake of Pakistan’s historic election on May 11 that ...

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  • When Pakistan’s newly-elected members of the federal Parliament took oath in Islamabad, they were not just leading the country into a new era of democracy. Notwithstanding the much celebrated, first-ever peaceful transition in Pakistan’s history from one democratic government to ...

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  • Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf prays after arriving at the Karachi International Airport from Dubai on March 24, 2013. It has been another week of high drama in Islamabad. That, of course, is an oft repeated statement coming from Pakistan’s capital city.In the latest episode ...

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  • With just days before the tenure of his elected government ends, President Asif Zardari has chosen to portray himself as the ultimate nationalist by choosing to defy US pressure on the pipeline deal with Iran. The tail end of the regime led by Zardari’s PPP makes it difficult to know if the ...

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  • The carnage unleashed in Pakistan’s south-western city of Quetta, following a recent devastating terrorist attack that killed at least 89 people, has not only raised fresh questions over the country’s security environment, it has also prompted more critical questions on ways in which ...

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  • Recently, a high-profile gathering in London, to debate a route to peace in Afghanistan, was quickly followed by a cause for disappointment.While Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and their British host, Prime Minister David Cameron, resolved to redouble ...

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  • The dysfunctional state of Pakistan’s democracy has many obvious aspects. As the country prepares for what members of Pakistan’s ruling political structure consider a historical transition from one elected regime to another through popular vote later this year, the gaps in the ruling ...

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  • As Pakistan burns under the increasing stress of challenges, ranging from terrorist violence to the threat of an onslaught on Islamabad by a rapidly emerging challenger to the established order, President Asif Zardari remains absent from the scene.For more than three weeks, Pakistan’s top ...

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  • Two images of Pakistan’s politics from the past week vividly illustrate the country’s consistent decline.On the one hand, President Asif Ali Zardari presided over the fifth death anniversary commemoration of his late wife Benazir Bhutto, in the family’s ancestral homeland of ...

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  • The killings of up to seven polio workers in Pakistan in just the past week of course spells a major catastrophe for the South Asian country’s increasingly dysfunctional healthcare system. But equally so, the events leading up to the killings and thereafter have exposed a continuing crisis of ...

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  • To say that corruption is endemic across Pakistan is neither new nor an understatement. But last week, a statement by President Asif Ali Zardari’s handpicked head of the main anti-corruption body stunned even those Pakistanis, who have become relatively immune to graft.According to an ...

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  • An international gathering expected in Europe this week to celebrate Malala Yousufzai’s bravery in standing against unprecedented odds may provide Pakistan’s ruling elite a chance to grab fresh global spotlight. If, indeed, media reports are an indication, President Asif Zardari may ...

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