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Minorities Minister Assassinated: Another Assassination Charged to Blasphemy Laws

Tehrik-e-Taliban, Pakistan’s contagion across the Kush, is bent on taking down the government in Islamabad by destroying the foundational liberal and multicultural bases that it had long promised to cherish.  Militants have shot and killed the minorities minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, a man who had for some time challenged the fundamentally intolerant and morally insecure and […]

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Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak Interviewed on Charlie Rose

Defense Minister of Afghanistan Abdul Rahim Wardak had an hour long conversation with noted interviewer Charlie Rose this past Friday evening. The conversation touched on everything that you might want to know about Afghanistan; how the Karzai administration intends to go work with President Obama impending draw down; what the interested reader and analyst concerned […]

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Strategic Draw Down or Cutting U.S. Losses in Afghanistan?

Is the U.S. scaling back its military and political ambitions before the start of the July 2011 drawdown?  The New York Times reported that the U.S military is withdrawing from its outpost in the Pech Valley, a post that it had previously thought crucial in its strategy to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda.  So, […]

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Bangladesh's Mutual Advantage Relationship With Int'l Powers Continues

The government of Bangladesh is working with its counterparts in Russia to put in a 2000 megawatt power plant in the district of Pabna.  The joint move was put into play yesterday after having been accepted as a feasible policy last May. The final deal will be signed by Sheikh Hasina during a state visit to […]

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International Crisis Group Condemns Afghan Parliamentary Election Crisis

Afghanistan’s democratic gamble seems to have paid off handsomely for Hamid Karzai and all those who play private politics with him.  For he must think politics in Afghanistan is a game; why else would he and his friends take the money and run? In the past year President Karzai has threatened to leave the safety […]

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Ekushay February: An Opportunity to Reflect on Shared National Values

Bangladeshis nationwide are commemorating the men who died on this day in 1952, a day that is now seeped in political and cultural significance.  Now, nearly all Bangladeshis know and accept the conventionally shared meaning of the day. It is important, however, to remind oneself and each other that some share of the significance of […]

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NY Times Op-Ed: "Pakistan's Nuclear Folly"

The New York Times published  an op-ed  this past Sunday on Pakistan’s insistence on a nuclear arsenal that assures it a minimally credible deterrence at a time when tens of millions of her people are going uneducated and ill-fed.  Now, of course, there are many in Pakistan who think otherwise– for instance the hardline military […]

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Ruling Party PPP Reeling From Opposition's Strong Moves

Politics in Pakistan has been roiling and bubbling over the pot.  First, there was the recent emergency cabinet reshuffle, a move to appease a strong and ever stronger opposition– an opposition that despite its strength little desires to take control of a weak civilian government; better beggar its enemies.  Then, two major opposition parties, the […]

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While Banking Sector Drowns, IMF Has "Plans" For Kabul Bank

The International Monetary Fund is worried about Afghanistan‘s economy .  The under-reported, though devastating charges of fraud and malfeasance that surround the September 2010 run on Kabul Bank threaten to bring down the nascent Afghan banking sector.  However, the fiasco has also had wide-ranging political effects in Afghanistan and within U.S. and NATO diplomatic circles—even if […]

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Ambassador Marc Grossman Picked as New Af/Pak Envoy

Former Ambassador to Turkey, Marc Grossman, is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s pick to replace the late Richard Holbrooke. Grossman, the new special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan brings with him decades of foreign policy expertise and a real hand feel for the politics of Islam and Islamist moderation–a real salutary capability that will surely […]

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A Sketch of Opinions of Journalists in Pakistan

The Obama administration has long sought to change the Muslim world’s opinions on American foreign policy in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  From President Obama’s much hailed speech and somewhat prescient speech on democracy in the Middle East that he offered at the University of Cairo, to his under-appreciated attempts to correctly pronunciation the name of Muslim […]

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At Least 900 Taliban Defect to Government: Reintegration Policy a Qualified Success

On the heels of an Afghan Islamic Press piece that 40 Taliban soldiers have defected to the Kabul government, the Associated Press reports that at least 900 Taliban footsoldiers and leaders have defected from the Taliban. Lured, by a new integration program that promises jobs and educational training, insurgents have laid down their weapons to join […]

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Amidst Local Government Absence, Taliban Develops A Shadow Government

The New York Times published an excellent expose on how the resurgent Taliban has resurfaced and consolidated power in parts of Afghanistan from which the government had turned away.  In the absence of a local consensus goverment the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the proper banner name of teh Taliban has established a shadow government that […]

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PM Blames BNP for Price Hikes and Stock Market Woes

Now this can’t be right.  While trying to downplay the day’s ongoing protests, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina blamed the opposition BNP for the skyrocketing price of food and for the stock price scandal overwhelming the Dhaka Stock Exchange. According to a Daily Star report, she said: “The BNP has created issues for calling hartal by […]

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40 Taliban Switch Allegiance to Local Government

The Frontier Post is reporting a bit of good news from an Afghan Islamic Press newswire piece.   At least 40 Taliban insurgents have switched allegiances in favor of their local government.  Here, from Herat: “As many as 40 Taliban including their three commanders joined the government in Pasaband district of Ghor province, officials said […]

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About the Author

Faheem Haider
Faheem Haider

Faheem Haider is a political analyst, writer and artist. He holds advanced research degrees in political economy, political theory and the political economy of development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and New York University. He also studied political psychology at Columbia University. During long stints away from his beloved Washington Square Park, he studied peace and conflict resolution and French history and European politics at the American University in Washington DC and the University of Paris, respectively.

Faheem has research expertise in democratic theory and the political economy of democracy in South Asia. In whatever time he has to spare, Faheem paints, writes, and edits his own blog on the photographic image and its relationship to the political narrative of fascist, liberal and progressivist art.

That work and associated writing can be found at the following link: http://blackandwhiteandthings.wordpress.com

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