Is Pakistan Being Dragged Into A Regional Sectarian War?

Army chief General Raheel Sharif meets with Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Military operations against Taliban militants in North Waziristan give some hope for a much welcome change in direction in national security policy. Support for jihadi groups in Afghanistan, whether active or passive, resulted in blow back that has killed tens of thousands of Pakistanis. America learned the lesson on 9/11 of how the jihadi monster will turn on its patron, and now we too have suffered even more from the terrorists, but have we actually learned the lesson? While there may finally be action against Taliban militants in North Waziristan, there remains the question of support for jihadi groups in Kashmir. And now, there is increasing worry that the military is getting involved with a new regional war – one that threatens to be even more disastrous than we have ever witnessed.

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The other plot against peace talks

Syed SalahuddinThe immediate reaction of Taliban sympathisers to Sunday’s church bombing was to term it as a ‘plot against peace talks‘. Such obvious excuse making and covering up has received a much deserved response of mockery and disgust from both liberals and conservatives in the country as it is yet another conspiracy theory. But since the jihadis and their media representatives have brought up the topic, let us take a moment to discuss the other plot against peace talks. You know, the one that really exists.

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Taliban’s Punjab Army

Militants Preparing For War

In avoiding any responsibility for dealing with the growing threat of militants within our borders, many analysts both amateur and professional turn to the excuse that militant groups are not aligned and different groups fight for different causes. They point to LeT’s focus on Kashmir, LeJ’s focus on ethnic cleansing of Shia, etc etc etc. The supposedly ‘unrelated’ existence of domestic militant groups is proven a lie, however, by their common cause in supporting the Taliban’s fight to take over Afghanistan.

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The Price of Surrender

Pakistan Taliban

Peace talks with TTP has been a key component of Nawaz Sharif’s policy. Almost immediately after being elected, the PML-N chief extended a hand to the jihadi faction, and though the hand has been slapped back repeatedly by the extremist militants, it remains extended for the time being. Whether or not peace talks are likely to result in a sustainable peace is a matter for debate, but one major media group is pushing not for peace talks but for premature surrender.

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Is Iraq a glimpse of our future?

Iraq sectarian violence 2013With 2014 less than six months away and the American withdrawal from Afghanistan along with it, many are wondering what is in store. One place we might find a clue is Iraq. After all, this is the location of the most recent American invasion, occupation, and withdrawal and, as with Afghanistan many blamed the violence on the American occupation. It has been two years since President Obama withdrew American forces from Iraq, so what does the country look like now?

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