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Shuja Nawaz
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Blog Entries by Shuja Nawaz

Obama Needs to Look to the Future

Posted June 2, 2009 | 06:57:06 (EST)

As President Barack Obama prepares to address the Muslim World from Cairo on Thursday this week, he would do well not to dwell on the past but to look to the future. His speech should be the first salvo in a battle to meet the expectations of a world dominated...

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A Grand Opportunity for a Global President

Posted January 14, 2009 | 21:56:05 (EST)

Charles Dickens called Washington a "city of magnificent intentions." When Barack Obama takes over on January 20th as the 44th President of the United States, he will need to translate his own lofty ideas into realities. What makes the challenge bigger for him is that he may also be carrying...

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Back to the Future in Pakistan

Posted January 9, 2009 | 17:23:47 (EST)

As 2007 was lurching toward a messy end in Pakistan, a documentary film suddenly caught much attention inside the country and abroad, especially among the diaspora Pakistanis. Sabiha Sumar and Sachithanandam Sathananthan's Dinner with the President: A Nation's Journey tried to shine a light on Pakistan's future by showing conflicting...

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Brinksmanship in South Asia: A Dangerous Scenario

Posted December 26, 2008 | 21:28:15 (EST)

Reports of military movement to the India-Pakistan border must raise alarms in Washington DC. The last thing that the incoming Obama administration wants is a firestorm in South Asia. There cannot be a limited war in the subcontinent, given the imbalance of forces between India and Pakistan. Any Indian attack...

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Maximum Terror in Mumbai: Confusion Reigns

Posted November 27, 2008 | 13:08:22 (EST)

24 hours after they began, the coordinated terror attacks in Mumbai have produced scores of deaths and wounded and, potentially could end with even more deaths of innocent hostages. What is scarier though is the possibility that this incident may spell danger for India-Pakistan relations at a time when a...

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Focusing the Spy Glass on Pakistan's ISI

Posted October 2, 2008 | 10:04:32 (EST)

Only in Pakistan does the appointment of a new spy chief elicit more commentary than say a Prime Minister under today's political system, where the presidency holds the power strings. The appointment of Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha as the new head of the Inter Services Intelligence earlier this week...

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A Perfect Storm Brewing in Pakistan

Posted September 13, 2008 | 19:48:29 (EST)

Within a matter of days, events on the Afghan border seem to be creating a perfect storm of mistrust and conflict between the United States and Pakistan: The recent US heliborne attack with troops inside Pakistan's tribal area; the report that President George W. Bush had signed off on such...

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The Possibility of Peace in South Asia

Posted June 10, 2008 | 11:50:57 (EST)

New Delhi

Even as two civilian governments struggle to maintain their political hold in both India and Pakistan, recent developments indicate that both recognize that the Possibility of Peace trumps confrontation. This change of mood between two formerly hostile neighbors is a reflection of economic necessity in both countries and...

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Pakistan: on the Perilous Path to Democracy

Posted May 7, 2008 | 12:14:06 (EST)

Pakistan today is taking baby steps back to becoming a democracy again, after nearly eight years of the rule by fiat of General Pervez Musharraf, the "liberal autocrat". The Nigerian author Chinua Achebe put it very well: "Democracy is not something you put away for ten years, and then in...

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As Democracy Dawns in Pakistan, Challenges Remain

1 Comments | Posted March 24, 2008 | 13:23:52 (EST)

"Democracy is the best revenge." These words of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto must have reverberated in the minds of millions of Pakistanis today, as Pakistan took its first steps toward the true democracy that General Pervez Musharraf promised over eight years ago but could not deliver. The National...

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Rethinking the War in Pakistan's Borderlands

Posted March 13, 2008 | 16:22:55 (EST)

It took the United States government over six years after 9/11 to concentrate on designing a strategy for the war against the militants in the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan's border region with Afghanistan. It was not alone. Pakistan, too, managed to ignore the deeper issues at stake and...

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Who Will Be Calling the Shots in Pakistan?

Posted February 25, 2008 | 22:56:36 (EST)

As the newly-elected representatives of the opposition parties and their unelected leaders, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, position themselves to take over power in Pakistan's National Assembly. They face the dwindling power of President Pervez Musharraf, weakened by the loss of his supporting party, the Pakistan Muslim League Q,...

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Democratic Pakistan: an American Conundrum

Posted February 22, 2008 | 18:45:12 (EST)

The euphoria over the successful democratic elections in Pakistan on February 18 has unleashed a torrent of commentary on what next for the US "War on Terror"? The biggest question that seems to be leading to sleepless nights in Foggy Bottom and parts of even academia it seems is...

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Musharraf Loses a "Referendum"; Pakistan Wins Big

Posted February 18, 2008 | 21:32:21 (EST)

Early results from the Pakistan elections indicate a routing of the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League (Q Group) that supported President Pervez Musharraf for the past five years and allowed him free reign effectively to convert Pakistan from a parliamentary to a presidential system. It appears that the Pakistani...

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Will Musharraf "Lose" These Elections?

Posted February 15, 2008 | 16:55:00 (EST)

As the days wind down to the national and provincial assemblies elections in Pakistan on February 18, the one man on the political scene who is not, in fact, running faces the serious prospect that he may end up in the losing column. President Pervez Musharraf, sans his general's uniform...

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Questions That Need an Answer in Pakistan

Posted February 13, 2008 | 14:37:26 (EST)

In an election campaign marred by charges of pre-rigging and legal irregularities by President Pervez Musharraf in the dismissal of the Chief Justice and other judges and his own re-election, and the horrific death of a resurgent and popular former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as a result of terrorist action,...

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Saving Pakistan in Another Year of Tumult

Posted February 7, 2008 | 12:52:43 (EST)

As the elections of February 18 for the national and provincial assemblies near in Pakistan, three scenarios are being discussed:

  • fears are rising that the elections may not be held, following a secret deal between President Pervez Musharraf and one of the major political opposition parties,
  • or that they will be heavily...

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Beyond Elections: Searching for Leadership in Pakistan

Posted January 16, 2008 | 18:36:11 (EST)

As election fever grips Pakistan in the wake of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and amidst President Pervez Musharraf's continuing slide in popularity, the emergence of centrifugal forces do not portend well for Pakistan's future. Pakistan is desperately searching for a new leadership that could set...

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Profound Issues Remain as Pakistan Fights its Wars Within

Posted January 7, 2008 | 12:39:06 (EST)

With former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto assassinated on the campaign trail, her Pakistan People's Party quickly regrouped and named her 19-year old son and political naif Bilawal as the head of the party, to be aided by his father, Asif Ali Zardari. Despite all the talk of fostering democracy, Pakistan's...

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Will We Ever Know Who Killed Benazir Bhutto?

Posted January 4, 2008 | 14:24:33 (EST)

If Pakistani history is any guide: probably not.

As the latest video report from Channel 4 of the United Kingdom now streaming across the internet and numerous eyewitness accounts attest, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was shot by a seemingly professional, cool, clean-shaven young assassin in dark glasses standing...

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