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Pakistan

There is no such thing as a born dictator or a born extremist. Circumstances and reactions from the government and society create them.

 

Due to the accountability cases going on against some of the most prominent politicians, the post of the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was one that all mainstream parties were closely following – and hoping to influence.

 

Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has finally spoken on the memo associated in a section of the media with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in which 37 lawmakers — mostly from the ruling party — have been linked with banned sectarian groups.

 

Religious seminaries and their connection to extremism is a well-established fact in Pakistan. The National Action Plan (NAP) laid great emphasis on regulating these institutes.

 

Maryam Nawaz Sharif and her husband have come back to Pakistan to face the accountability music. Captain Safdar was taken into custody as soon as the couple touched down in Islamabad.

 

In the context of the current, arguably cynical and calculated backlash, the comments are perhaps appropriate.

 

Speaking in Washington DC last week, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif expressed Pakistan’s concerns about India’s role in the new US strategy on Afghanistan. He exhorted the US to recognise Pakistan’s legitimate concerns while shaping the new policy.

 

 

The illusion of comparative peace, however tenuous, has been shattered. On Thursday evening, at least 20 were killed and over 30 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to a Sufi saint’s shrine in Balochistan’s Jhal Magsi district.

 

The military is busy conducting operations against militants for quite a long time now; the menace of terrorism is yet to be solved.

 

The security of the larger subcontinent as defined by the United States secretary of defence, Jim Mattis, is a perspective that should give India some comfort. The question is whether his testimony before the US Senate will necessarily translate into policy on the ground in the coming years.

 


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