US and Pakistan: A Bumpy Ride

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by Alia Ahmed Pakistan-US relations, buffeted and bruised by the periodic bluster of Donald Trump and his cabinet colleagues throughout 2017, witnessed a first, albeit hazy, sign of abatement when Acting Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Alice Wells visited Islamabad… Continue Reading  

Pakistan: Loud and Ineffectual Fundamentalism

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by Alia Ahmed The religious protesters who blocked the Faizabad Interchange—connecting the twin cities of Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, and the garrison town of Rawalpindi—last month had important things to discuss. For instance, could one have really drunk the urine… Continue Reading  

Blasphemy: The Unpardonable Offense

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by Alia Ahmed When, this past April, a mob of his fellow students lynched and shot dead 23-year-old Mashal Khan on a university campus in northern Pakistan for allegedly posting “blasphemous” content to Facebook, a divided society came together in… Continue Reading  

Pakistan and the Gulf: Feathered Diplomacy

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by Alia P. Ahmed Every winter the ordeal resumes. Arab royals and their entourages arrive in the deserts of Pakistan, and set themselves upon a small and unassuming migratory bird. Releasing their falcons into the sky, the sheikhs tear through… Continue Reading  

The Contested Center of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

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by Alia Ahmed By a strange quirk of history, a small, quiet fishing town lies at the heart of one of the most ambitious development projects for regional integration in Asia: the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Gwadar, located in Pakistan’s… Continue Reading