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Malik Siraj Akbar
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Malik Siraj Akbar is an Edward Mason Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is an exiled Pakistani journalist, South Asia analyst, blogger and newspaper editor. He is the editor-in-chief of The Baloch Hal, the first online English newspaper of Balochistan. He was a 2012 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and a 2010-11 Hubert. H. Humphrey Fellow at Arizona State University, Akbar is the author of the Redefined Dimensions of Baloch Nationalist Movement. In 2006-2010, Akbar served as the Bureau Chief of Pakistan's respected English language newspaper, Daily Times, in the country's largest province of Balochistan.
He is a young member of the National Press Club, Washington DC. where he serves as a member on the Press Freedom Committee.
Akbar's struggle for press freedom in his native Balochistan has been profiled by CNN, BBC World and the Washington Post.

Entries by Malik Siraj Akbar

The Call for Transnational Jihad by Arif Jamal

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 9:46 PM

The American government and the public had very limited understanding of Islamist extremist groups and their global jihadist ambitions before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Afterwards, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama strictly limited the war on terror to extremist groups like al-Qaeda that had openly waged...

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The Taliban Revival

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 6:30 PM

The Taliban have never enjoyed popular public support in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. For more than a decade, they, along with their foreign mentors, such as al Qaeda, have come under consistent military operations, drone strikes, arrests and frequent negotiation offers. None of these military and political tactics have managed...

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By Changing India Policy, Nawaz Sharif Can Change Pakistan

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 6:34 PM

The recent Indian elections were keenly observed in neighboring Pakistan. In May 2013, Pakistan had overwhelmingly voted for Nawaz Sharif, the head of the right-wing Pakistan Muslim League (P.M.L.) to become the country's prime minister for a third term while the Indians also voted for a controversial Hindu nationalist leader,...

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Pakistan: The "Last Chance" for Girls' Education

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 3:03 PM

A religious extremist group that is determined to prevent girls from going to school in Pakistan's Balochistan province left a bizarre warning on Tuesday outside a private school: "This is your last chance," read a hand-written threatening letter that had been affixed outside the main entrance of the...

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The War Against Education in Pakistan

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 3:52 PM

Throughout the years of turmoil and instability in Pakistan, the education sector has remained a central target of all parties engaged in armed conflicts. Enraged over the threats from an underground Islamic extremist organization that led to the forceful closure of girls' schools in Pakistan's largest province of...

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Pakistan's Boko Haram

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 7:33 PM

While Pakistan's federal government continues to give in to the Taliban pressure, women and school children in one small Pakistan-Iran border town in southwestern Balochistan province are offering unprecedented resistance against calls by Islamic extremists to shut down girls' schools. Pakistan has featured in the recent...

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The Rise and Fall of Pakistan's Independent News Media

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 1:50 PM

A week after the shocking assassination attempt on Pakistan's prominent television talk-show host, Hamid Mir, Islamabad has failed to locate and arrest the perpetrators. The Pakistani government has deflected attention from the whole issue of the attack on the senior journalist by instead recommending...

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Mounting Tensions Between Pakistan Media and Military

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 1:12 PM

When the U.S. government provided me political asylum in 2011, I knew I was leaving behind several courageous journalist colleagues in Pakistan who would have to report under death threats every single day. Pakistan has consistently ranked among the world's deadliest places for journalists where they...

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Why Pakistan Is Embarrassed to Talk About Balochistan

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 8:30 PM

Roshan Ghimire, a contributor to Story South Asia, a website dedicated to all things South Asia, interviewed me about the conflict in Balochistan. Renowned Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid recently described the battle in Balochistan as "Pakistan's other war." The interview focused on the left-wing...

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America and Balochistan

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 6:16 AM

Rep. Louie Gohmert made a passionate speech in the U.S. House of Representatives about the recently found mass graves in Balochistan. While reading from an article published in the Toronto Sun, Mr. Gohmert criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for welcoming a...

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Pakistan's Post-2014 Chaos

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 9:33 AM

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (T.T.P.), in their deadliest attack on the Pakistani security forces so far in 2014, killed at least 20 personnel in a bomb blast on Sunday, January 19, in Bannu district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the country's northwest. The bombing took place...

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The Media and the Taliban

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2014 | 3:54 PM

In Pakistan's most populated city of Karachi, a deadly battle waged by the Taliban against the country's independent news media is alarmingly getting out of the control of government authorities. The Muslim extremist group is the newest but the most lethal among many actors that unleash brute force to gain...

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The General Pakistan Can't Punish

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 4:25 PM

Speculations are rife that Pakistan's former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf will flee the country based on a covert deal between the country's civil and military leadership and the usual mediator, Saudi Arabia. The Saudis exercise remarkable influence on Pakistan's domestic politics....

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From Bangladesh to Balochistan: Pakistan Owes an Apology

(10) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 11:04 AM

A few prominent Bangladeshi writers have also begun to publicly endorse their government's demand that Pakistan should apologize for the war crimes of 1971 during the country's freedom struggle.

Tahmima Anam, a Bangladeshi novelist, sought a similar apology from Pakistan in an article...

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Causes and Implications of Deepening Pakistan-Bangladesh Tensions

(1) Comments | Posted December 28, 2013 | 5:39 PM

The execution of a top Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (BJI) leader on December 12 on war crime charges and the Pakistani parliament's subsequent expression of "concern" over it have sparked an unprecedented diplomatic row between Dhaka and Islamabad. While the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiek Hasina

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Pakistan Divided Over Slain Taliban Chief's Legacy

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 8:29 AM

The killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (T.T.P.), an Al-Qaeda affiliate, in a drone strike in Pakistan's lawless tribal region on Friday is a spectacular counter-insurgency gain for the United States. The State Department had enlisted the T.T.P. among the

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Why Pakistanis Are Talking About Salman Rushdie Again

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 5:32 PM

Salman Rushdie and his controversial 1988 novel The Satanic Verses have ignited a series of fresh zealous discussions in Pakistan, a country known for its love for conspiracy theories and controversies. We vividly remember books, such as The Satanic Verses and movies like The Innocence of...

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A Trial That Pakistan Needs

(1) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 5:19 PM

General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's former military strongman and once Washington's trusted ally in the war on terror, may soon be prosecuted, the first time in the country's history that a former army chief will face legal action for violating the constitution and tampering with its...

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No Hopes For Minority Ahmadis in Pakistan

(17) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 9:48 AM

Two weeks before Pakistan's general elections on May 11, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended that Washington designate Islamabad as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) with regard to the freedom of religion enjoyed by all citizens. The USCIRF says, among the countries...

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Pakistan's Unfair Elections

(2) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 3:06 PM

On May 1, 2013, a full-page ad in Pakistan's Dawn newspaper read: "My Dear Pakistanis, have you thought why PPP, ANP and MQM are targeted?"

The ad was referring to three secular political parties, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), the Awami National Party (

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