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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 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 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 served as the Vice President Communications in the Student Government and the Online Editor of The Citizen, the campus newspaper of the Kennedy School.

Entries by Malik Siraj Akbar

Pakathon: Searching For Solutions Through Business and Technology

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 2:28 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 August 31, 2015 | 11:02 PM

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 | 6:41 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 | 12:08 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

(1) Comments | Posted July 18, 2015 | 9:48 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 | 3:53 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 | 4:29 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 | 2:19 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 | 3:46 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 | 6:23 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 | 2:45 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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Betrayal in Balochistan

(4) Comments | Posted May 17, 2015 | 11:58 PM

When the Taliban carry out a terrorist attack in Pakistan and claim responsibility for it, the government authorities tell them, "Shut up. You didn't do it. The Indians did it." When the country's security forces confirm that they have actually killed more than 20 people in Balochistan, the...

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How Pakistan Hurts Its People By Blaming India

(334) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 5:51 AM

On Wednesday, Jundullah, a Pakistan-based affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the killing of more than forty members of the Ismaili Shia community in Karachi. The underground Sunni extremist group has threatened to carry out more such attacks on Shias and other non-Muslim...

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Secularism Is Pakistan's Way Out to End Sectarian Violence

(15) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 2:33 PM

When armed gunmen stopped and shot dead 43 people from the Shia community in Pakistan's largest city of Karachi on Wednesday, it was certainly not the first time that the terrorists had carried out such an atrocious attack. Islamic extremists operate across Pakistan with absolute impunity. The Pakistani...

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A Brave Pakistani Activist Is Killed: But More Will Speak Up

(2) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 5:16 PM

The Pakistani activist Sabeen Mahmud's murder has shocked the nation's progressive circles. She was killed in Karachi Friday evening after The Second Floor (T2F), a social forum she directed, had organized an event to discuss forced disappearances in the country's largest province of Balochistan. The Pakistani...

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Pakistan's Yemen Gamble

(11) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 7:39 PM

Pakistan, the world's only Muslim nation with nuclear weapons, is also the sole non-Arab country that has officially indicated to support the Saudi-led strikes against the Houthi fighters in Yemen. Pakistan is not in the Middle East nor is the conflagrations of this conflict capable of...

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The Revival of Military Supremacy

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 3:25 PM

In the wake of the Peshawar massacre, legislators in Pakistan are contemplating a constitutional amendment to authorize army officers to administer courts. Military courts are contrary to the fundamental idea and the core principles of democracy. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took this desperate decision...

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The End of Pakistan's Baloch Insurgency?

(10) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 3:28 PM

Since its beginning in 2004, the Pakistan's Baloch insurgency is caught up in the worst infighting ever known to the general public. Different left-wing underground armed groups that had been fighting Islamabad for a free Baloch homeland have now started to attack each other's camps. If the infighting...

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The Mass Graves of Balochistan

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 1:33 PM

The state-sponsored inquiry committees formed in Pakistan in recent times to probe scandalous crimes have shockingly narrowed down their overall scope to one specific goal: Prove the government's innocence. Marred with a chronic lack of public trust, the government and the military intelligence agencies are often blamed for atrocious crimes...

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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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