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Malik Siraj Akbar
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Malik Siraj Akbar, based in Washington DC, is a journalist, South Asia analyst, blogger and communications specialist. He was a 2012 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and, a 2010-11 Fulbright Hubert. H. Humphrey Fellow at Arizona State University. Akbar is the author of Pakistan: A Broken Democracy (2015) and the Redefined Dimensions of Baloch Nationalist Movement. In 2006-2010, Akbar served as the Bureau Chief of Pakistan's liberal English language publications, Daily Times, and The Friday Times in the country's largest province of Balochistan.
Akbar's struggle for press freedom in his native Balochistan has been profiled by CNN, BBC World and the Washington Post.
Newsweek Pakistan called Akbar "the star Baloch reporter of his generation" while Huffington Post Live termed him a "real mouthpiece for the oppressed."
Akbar has a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was elected as the Vice President Communications in the Student Government and the Online Editor of The Citizen, the campus newspaper of the Kennedy School. As the first Pakistani recipient of the South Asia Foundation Media Scholarship, Akbar earned a Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism in India in 2006. Email:

Entries by Malik Siraj Akbar

Pakistan's Army Chief Is in Washington -- Embarrassing His Prime Minister

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2015 | 3:29 AM

Photo Source: Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan

Why is General Raheel Sharif, Pakistan's army chief, visiting Washington right now? Wasn't his Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, in the nation's capital less than a month ago? I know...

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Is Mark Zuckerberg Chasing the Wrong India?

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2015 | 11:51 PM

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and India's populist Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, have become new buddies. Zuckerberg hosted Modi at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, C.A., for a townhall in September. Weeks later, it was followed by another event at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi...

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Bangladesh: Please Stop It

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2015 | 11:55 PM

The horrific cycle of killing of secular bloggers in Bangladesh, which has already claimed at least four lives this year, and the fresh murder of publisher Faisal Arefin Dipon, in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, on October 31, is deeply disconcerting. The Ansar al-Islam, an...

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The Man Who Heckled Pakistan's Prime Minister

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 11:49 PM

(Photo Source: The Hindustan Times)

"Don't touch me. Don't touch me," warned Ahmar Masti Khan, Washington's Baloch activist journalist, "don't touch me. I am American." He had just flabbergasted Pakistan's visiting Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, by heckling...

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Who Is Killing Pakistan's Shias?

(4) Comments | Posted October 27, 2015 | 2:02 AM

In a statement issued on October 23, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Pakistani government to bring to justice the perpetrators of recent terrorist attacks on Shia Muslims that killed over 40 people, including several children. The attacks took place in the provinces of...

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Sharif's Futile Trip to Washington

(4) Comments | Posted October 25, 2015 | 5:08 PM

There is a joke in Washington D.C. about the Pakistani politicians and lobbyists: If you ask them how their country is doing, they will tell you how India is doing. If you ask them what is wrong with their country, they will tell you what is wrong with Afghanistan. If...

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Is India the New Pakistan?

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2015 | 2:22 AM

Forget about the tireless efforts the military and the mullahs in Pakistan make to manufacture and promote a state-sponsored anti-India narrative. There has always existed a parallel "people's narrative" in Pakistan about India that has historically remained popular among the country's young aspiring musicians and artists....

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10 Issues Obama Should Raise With Pakistan's PM Nawaz Sharif

(38) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 2:49 AM

President Obama would be meeting with Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, on Thursday just days after his staggering announcement to extend the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. The resurgence of the Taliban and some of their disconcerting advancements have compelled the President to review...

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Advocates Demand an End to Sequestration in a Rally Outside the Capitol

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2015 | 8:23 PM


Advocates from across the nation seeking more funding for affordable housing, education, healthcare and many critical nondefense sectors staged a rally outside the Capitol Hill on Wednesday urging Congress to end budget cuts. Using the hashtag #raisethecaps, which was trending Wednesday...

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Pakathon: Searching for Solutions Through Business and Technology

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 3:28 AM

While weekend rains confined many Washingtonians to their homes, a hackathon, also described as Pakathon by its organizers, brought together several young professionals to create new entrepreneurial platforms to highlight some of Pakistan's hardest challenges by applying modern technology. Several...

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How Pakistan Negotiates With Balochistan

(32) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 12:02 AM

Disclaimer: The title of this article has been inspired by the remarkable book How Pakistan Negotiates With the United States by Ambassadors Teresita C. Schaffer and Howard B. Schaffer. Pakistan has a distinct way of dealing with different countries and it also applies divergent methods while tackling internal...

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Challenges of Reconciliation in Balochistan

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 7:41 PM

The government of Balochistan has welcomed the exiled Baloch nationalist leader Brahamdagh Bugti's unanticipated reconciliatory gesture. Dr. Malik Baloch, the head of the provincial government, has announced that his government would constitute a delegation of tribal elders, locally known as a Jirga,...

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What is Brahamdagh Bugti Thinking?

(14) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 1:08 AM

Brahamdagh Bugti, an exiled Baloch separatist leader based in Switzerland, has demonstrated his willingness, for the first time in almost a decade, to negotiate with Pakistan to peacefully end the prolonged insurgency in the southwestern province of Balochistan. This is a significant change of attitude from...

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Breakthrough in Balochistan

(2) Comments | Posted July 18, 2015 | 10:48 PM

For the firs time in nine years, the Pakistani government has managed to hold direct talks with one prominent secessionist tribal chief from Balochistan in a fresh attempt to end the ongoing violent insurgency in the gas-rich province. Suleman Daud, who holds the historically prestigious, yet...

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How the Axact Scandal Changed Pakistan's Media

(4) Comments | Posted May 23, 2015 | 4:53 PM

Nobody resigns in Pakistan. People generally blame others for their failures. When reporters asked a former railway minister after a big train accident if he would resign from his job, "Why should I resign?" he asked, "I was not the train driver." Resignations from people in the position of authority...

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The Pakistani Friends and the Foes of the New York Times

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2015 | 5:29 AM

There are rare occasions when the launching of a new media company makes top headlines on other news organizations. For example, in 2013 when Al-Jazeera announced the launching of a channel from the United States after purchasing Al Gore's Current TV for $500 million, big U.S. newspapers and...

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A Bad Af-Pak Deal

(21) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 3:19 AM

The former Afghan president Hamid Karzai seems mad at his successor and ex-chief advisor, President Ashraf Ghani, for brokering a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency. Karazi believes that...

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Pakistan's Educated Jihadis

(15) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 4:46 AM

Can you imagine how Mamnoon Hussain, Pakistan's current president, Shaukat Aziz, the former prime minister or Dr. Ishrat Hussain, the ex-governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, had reacted to the startling news on Wednesday that a young graduate of their alma mater, the prestigious Karachi-based Institute of...

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The Rogue Networks of Pakistan

(8) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 7:23 PM

Three things have come out in Pakistan since The New York Times reported on the explosive Axact scandal. First, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has sealed the Karachi and Rawalpindi offices of the software company that had reportedly made millions of dollars by selling fake degrees....

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The "Revenge" of Declan Walsh

(9) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 3:45 AM

A New York Times story that has exposed the alleged involvement of a Pakistani IT company, which is planning to launch "Pakistan's largest media infrastructure", in a multimillion fake degree scam, has caused an earthquake in the country's media. On May 17th, the New York Times...

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