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S. Azmat Hassan
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Ambassador S. Azmat Hassan (Ret.) is a senior faculty associate at the Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Ambassador S. Azmat Hassan brings to the classroom over three decades of practitioner experience as a career diplomat for Pakistan. His assignments have included ambassadorships in Malaysia, Syria (with responsibility for Lebanon) and Morocco. He has also served as Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York. At the Foreign Ministry Headquarters in Pakistan, Ambassador Hassan has served on the staff of the Prime Minister of Pakistan as Additional Secretary for foreign affairs and defense issues. At the Foreign Ministry his other assignments have included heading the Middle East desk as Additional Secretary and the Afghanistan Division as Director General.

Entries by S. Azmat Hassan

Tony Blair Under Attack Again

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 5:29 PM

Last month was not the first time that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has come under collective censure. In 2004, 50 former British diplomats, all experts on the Middle East, had sent him a letter which stated, inter alia, that they had "watched with deepening concern" as Britain followed...

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Electing Afghanistan's New President

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 2:21 PM

Afghanistan was a monarchy until 1973 when the king's brother-in-law and first cousin, ousted him in a coup. The latter then proceeded to dissolve the 200-year-old institution of the monarchy and installed himself as president. In 1978, a group of Soviet-trained Afghan army officers deposed him. The next president was...

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ISIS' Military Successes in Iraq

(2) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 6:50 PM

For a large part of the international community, the militants calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) appear to have emerged from left field to conquer sizeable territory in northern Iraq. ISIS has captured oil rich Mosul -- Iraq's second largest city -- Tikrit, the birthplace of...

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Attack on Karachi Airport by Violent Extremists

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 5:34 PM

One of the unpleasant byproducts of the so-called War on Terror launched by the Bush Administration in October 2001 following 9/11 to root out al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime supporting it, was its blow-back for neighboring Pakistan. Ever since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the Afghan and foreign...

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Release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban Custody

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 4:31 PM

The surprise visit of President Obama to the Bagram military base outside Kabul on May 25 was followed in quick succession by the release by the Taliban of the American soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on May 31. Observers are wondering whether the proximity of the two events is coincidental or...

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Thoughts on India's New Prime Minister Narendra Modi

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 12:46 PM

The fact that a tea-seller's son who sold cups of tea at a railway station has become India's Prime Minister with a thumping majority, is indicative of a sea change in Indian politics. Modi, through his triumph, has put paid to the dynastic dominance of the Nehru family, which had...

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Saudi Arabia Versus Iran

(14) Comments | Posted May 16, 2014 | 10:03 AM

The media has recently reported an overture by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal to his Iranian counterpart Jawad Zarif to visit Riyadh. While the gesture may represent a tentative thaw in the often frosty relationship between the two energy giants in the Middle East, it certainly implies a...

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The Politics of Judicial Repression in Egypt

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 2:15 PM

According to a recent op-ed in the New York Times, the government in Egypt was "out of control" when one of its judges sentenced more than 680 people to death in a mass trial that lasted only a few minutes! Last month, a court had delivered a similar...

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U.S. Pivot to Asia

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 3:19 PM

The term "Pivot to Asia", which has almost become a household word, was first used by then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in fall 2011. However, global events and the U.S. reaction to them have more or less determined that the so-called pivot currently remains more of an aspiration rather than...

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General Elections in Afghanistan - Possible Portents

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 5:56 PM

It seems to be the season for general elections. The one in Afghanistan has just concluded; the one in India will take nine days of polling to conclude, while the legislative elections in Indonesia have also been initiated. This blog will therefore focus on the presidential elections in Afghanistan and...

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Municipal Elections in Turkey - Victory for Erdogan's Party

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 6:52 PM

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, head of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has ruled Turkey for the past 12 years which makes him among the longest serving leaders since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923. However, his political fortunes had taken a significant downturn last year...

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Crisis in Ukraine

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 1:38 PM

The Sochi Winter Olympics, a magnificent obsession of the inscrutable Russian President Vladimir Putin ended on a high note for him and his countrymen. However, hardly had the Sochi glow faded that the many months long simmering crisis of governance in Ukraine boiled over. The allegedly kleptocratic Ukrainian President Viktor...

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Obama's Political Nominees for Ambassadorial Positions

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 5:21 PM

The United States is the only major country that still nominates non-career persons as its ambassadors to foreign countries. Despite the protestations of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), this practice has continued. In defense of this procedure, the administration states that the ratio of career to non-career appointees is...

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The United States' Stance on Sino-Japanese Maritime Dispute

(10) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 3:09 PM

The United States' stance which was largely neutral earlier over the disputed islets in the East China Sea between China and Japan seems to have morphed from ambiguous neutrality to a more pro-Japanese flavor. Earlier the U.S. had adopted a position of calculated ambiguity verging on neutrality on this fraught...

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Obama and Karzai Sparring in Afghanistan

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 5:03 PM

It is hardly a secret that U.S. relations with Afghanistan are at a low ebb, just when the U.S. needs the cooperation and support of the mercurial Afghan President Hamid Karzai to effect an orderly withdrawal scheduled at the end of this year. President Obama and his advisers are understandably...

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General Sisi of Egypt to Contest Presidential Elections

(4) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 2:43 PM

Egypt had been subject to considerable unrest following the narrow presidential victory of Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, in the summer of 2012. The Egyptian public became disenchanted with his policies and expressed their disapproval through continuing street demonstrations. Attempts by Morsi to put down the swelling protest movement...

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UN Conference on Syria

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 1:22 PM

The UN sponsored conference on Syria started on schedule at Montreux, Switzerland on January 23. Even a wild-eyed optimist would perhaps admit that it is highly unlikely that the meeting will produce an agreement on transitional arrangements (read: Assad agreeing to relinquish power) to end the Syrian civil war. The...

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The Iran-West Nuclear Impasse Continues...

(9) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 5:28 PM

In his play, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare makes Brutus declaim: "There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune..." This oft-quoted insight of Shakespeare applies with equal validity to the ongoing Iran-P5+1 talks, which came tantalizingly close to a resolution after a...

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Saudi Arabia Spurns Its UN Security Council Seat

(2) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 3:16 PM

The annual General Assembly at the UN received the unexpected news that the Saudis had decided not to join the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member. The two-year term of the non-permanent members, who had just been elected, begins on January 1, 2014. Only the day before, Saudi diplomats...

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President Obama and President Rouhani at the UN

(1) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 7:55 AM

It is quite understandable that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, ever since his election victory last June, has engendered considerable media comment and discussion among official circles globally. In contrast to his predecessor, he comes across as much more personable and reasonable. While former President Ahmadinejad's bellicose utterances created resentment and...

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