• Pakistan’s Reform Moment

    Pakistan is once again in the news with the dismissal of its prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, by the supreme court over a corruption case. This development is not unusual in a country with a history of democratically-elected governments being hobbled by incompetence and corruption. Pakistan has also seen three military coups and has been under military rule for several decades since gaining independence in 1947.  

    Why do democratically-elected governments fail in Pakistan? Part of the answer lies in the fact that Pakistan’s political parties are dominated by dynasties and lack adequate internal processes, management, and the capacity to develop policy.

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  • The Disqualification of Nawaz Sharif: Will Pakistan’s Courts Drain the Swamp?

    Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ouster by the supreme court is a rare example of a country’s leader being held accountable for corruption, but it has also created the possibility of instability in this South Asian nation that is a vital partner in the United States’ counterterrorism efforts.

    On July 28, Pakistan’s supreme court disqualified Sharif ruling that he had been dishonest by not disclosing earnings from a Dubai-based company in his nomination papers filed at the time of the 2013 general election. The court recommended corruption cases be filed against Sharif, his daughter, Maryam Nawaz; his son-in-law, Capt. Muhammad Safdar; his two sons Hassan and Hussain; and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

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  • Ahmad in National Interest: America Must Confront Pakistan's Support of Afghan-Based Terrorism

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  • Kampani and Gopalaswamy: How to Normalize Pakistan's Nuclear Program

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  • Trump Will Need to Deepen US Engagement in Afghanistan

    US President Donald J. Trump’s America First approach will have to take a back seat when it comes to Afghanistan.

    As the Trump administration wrestles with a decision on whether to send several thousand additional US troops to Afghanistan in an effort to end a fifteen-year-old war and make peace with the Taliban, there is a firm belief in policy circles that there is a critical need for the United States to deepen its engagement in that country.

    Yet, with Trump there is a “real possibility that the United States, if it is not successful within some acceptable period of time, could choose to reduce its commitment to Afghanistan and ultimately withdraw,” said Ashley Tellis, Tata chair for strategic affairs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “If that outcome occurs the door will be open to internecine regional competition in Afghanistan, which will only make circumstances in Afghanistan worse,” he added.

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  • Regional Perspectives on US Strategy in Afghanistan

    On June 7, 2017, the South Asia Center hosted a discussion on the regional perspectives of the United States strategy in Afghanistan. Former Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, India’s Former Minister of Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari, and the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Dr. Ashley J. Tellis discussed the role of regional players and the United States in stabilizing the security environment in Afghanistan.

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  • Pintak in Daily Beast: Nuclear Pakistan Sees the Saudi Game Against Qatar and Iran and Says, ‘No, Thanks’

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  • Saudi-Led Coalition Setting Up Mobile Force to Fight Terrorism

    A Saudi-led coalition force of 41 countries is now taking shape and has found a focus: protecting member nations against the threat from Islamic State
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  • Russia’s Support for the Taliban Leaves Kabul Feeling Uneasy

    Afghan foreign minister sees threat to peace process

    Russia’s support for the Taliban—a terrorist group with which the United States has been at war for more than fifteen years and that is dedicated to overthrowing Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government—is causing considerable unease in Afghanistan where officials worry it will undermine efforts to make peace in their war-torn country.

    “[E]stablishing contacts with these terrorist groups will give them a wrong message and they will think that the international community is recognizing them,” said Salahuddin Rabbani, Afghanistan’s foreign minister and a former head of the country’s High Peace Council. This, in turn, would undercut a peace and reconciliation process because the Taliban “will not be encouraged to come to the negotiating table,” he added.

    The peace process has had scant success in part because, as Rabbani noted, Afghanistan’s eastern neighbor, Pakistan, continues to provide material support and sanctuary for the terrorists.

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  • Ahmad in the Wall Street Journal: To Save Afghanistan, Put Pressure on Pakistan

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