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S. Azmat Hassan
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

P5 Plus 1 -- Iran Nuclear Accord

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 12:33 PM

Until the very last minute, the outcome of one of the most tortuous diplomatic negotiations of recent times -- the P5 plus 1 - Iran nuclear accord -- was far from certain. Still, it is an important but interim step. The framework agreement has now to be put on paper...

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Tremors in the Middle East

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 5:37 PM

It's been a while now since some analysts had started referring to the Arab Spring as the Arab Winter. The latter expression implies that hopes of a major transformation in the politics and economics of the greater Middle East stand dashed. Instead, the region appears increasingly riven by sectarian and...

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Some Current Events in Egypt

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 11:27 AM

The New York Times recently carried an interesting report stating that well-known American scholar Michele Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was recently denied entry into Egypt. Ms. Dunne had travelled to Cairo to attend a foreign affairs conference, apparently endorsed by the Egyptian government and...

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Carnage in Peshawar

(2) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 11:47 AM

The Pakistani public has never before experienced a terrorist attack on a school in the northern city of Peshawar such as that which happened on Tuesday, December 16. According to the news reports, seven terrorists dressed in military garb and wearing suicide vests burst into the school in...

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Nuclear Negotiations Between the West and Iran

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 4:28 PM

November 24 this year is an important date on the calendar for diplomats between the P5+1 (the Permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, ie. The U.S., Britain, France, China, and Russia, plus Germany) and Iran, because it represents the deadline for the conclusion of the negotiations regarding a comprehensive...

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ISIS and U.S.-Iran Relations

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 3:21 PM

It is often said that politics makes for strange bedfellows. The truth of this aphorism has been illustrated by the ostensible warming of U.S. relations with Iran. The two countries have been at daggers drawn with each other for more than four decades. The Iranian nuclear program was another toxic...

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Cracking the ISIS Conundrum -- Obama and the Arab World Part II

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 4:27 PM

As has been already reported, a month has passed since the U.S. president laid out the strategy for tackling the ISIS insurgents rampaging through northern Syria and northern and western Iraq. He made it clear that unlike the past U.S. misadventure in Iraq, no soldiers would be dispatched. What is...

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Cracking the ISIS Conundrum - Obama and the Arab World

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 3:14 PM

One year is a short time in politics. In the summer of 2013 Obama reportedly seriously considered launching air strikes against the Assad regime for using chemical weapons against its civilians. Earlier, Obama had publicly drawn a line in the sand, a red line saying that there would be consequences...

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Tony Blair Under Attack Again

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 6:29 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 | 3:21 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 | 7:50 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 | 6:34 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 | 5:31 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 | 1:46 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 | 11:03 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 | 3:15 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 | 4:19 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 | 6:56 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 | 7:52 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 | 2:38 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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