The Pakistani Spectator

A Candid Blog


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Conundrums of Nawaz Obama Summit

By Air Cmdre (r) Khalid Iqbal • Oct 23rd, 2013 • Category: Politics

The two leaders would meet under a strategic environment that embodies both areas of convergence as well as divergences. For example: in the context of Afghanistan, problem would be almost over for America by end 2014; whereas it may just begin for Pakistan. Hence, the two sides are poise to have different, yet reconcilable, perspectives [...]



Peaceful Afghanistan; A Far Cry

By Air Cmdre (r) Khalid Iqbal • Jul 25th, 2013 • Category: Politics

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Mr Sartaj Aziz visited Kabul on Sunday to hold talks with Afghan leadership and assured that Pakistan would extend its full support and cooperation in holding intra-Afghan talks for peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan has been trying to help jumpstart the peace process [...]



Egypt’s Pangs for Democracy

By Air Cmdre (r) Khalid Iqbal • Jul 18th, 2013 • Category: Politics

Egypt’s newly designated Prime Minister Hazem al Beblawi has formed a mini cabinet. The Brotherhood has refused to join the new government. Another party Al-Nur also confirmed that it will not join the interim government.  The US Under Secretary of State Bill Burns flew into Cairo, within hours after Egypt’s prosecutor ordered the freezing of [...]



Afghanistan : Competing Hope and Despair

By Air Cmdre (r) Khalid Iqbal • Jul 6th, 2013 • Category: Politics

As John Kerry circumvented Islamabad, Special Representative James Dobbins and Prime Minster David Cameron strived to wear his shoes. After a pro-India statement in New Delhi asking India to play a central role in Afghanistan, and with no tangible proposals with regard to Drone attacks, Kerry hardly had a chance of meaningful engagement with the [...]



Soothing Baluchistan

By Air Cmdre (r) Khalid Iqbal • Jun 27th, 2013 • Category: Politics

Participation of overwhelming majority of the people of Baluchistan in the electoral process indicates that the province is back to the flock of Pakistani nation-hood. Now it’s a matter of consolidating these political gains and converting them into a viable plan of action; indeed a task easier said than done. Political gains achieved through the [...]



Pak-US Relations Poised For Another Dip

By Air Cmdre (r) Khalid Iqbal • Jun 20th, 2013 • Category: Politics

Bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States can best be defined as a roller coaster affair. Now, this relationship is poised for another dip, this time on the issue of drone attacks. Over the years, this issue has incrementally been shifting position from periphery to spotlight. More anti-drone voices are being raised from within [...]



Let’s Close Fronts and Make Peace

By Air Cmdre (r) Khalid Iqbal • May 20th, 2013 • Category: Politics

The elections have gone well, and the electoral frenzy is declining fast. Turnout was high, young people voted in large numbers and the idea of democracy seems more strongly rooted than ever before. People have pronounced their mandate. Yes, accusations of rigging are there. In Karachi it was obvious; there are reservations about some other [...]



HULLO! MR PRIME MINISTER

By Air Cmdre (r) Khalid Iqbal • May 13th, 2013 • Category: Politics

Congratulation! People have reposed trust in you, for the third time. Welcome to the political wonderland— “Pakistan 2013”, it is far different from what it was in the late nineties. Kindly remember your manifesto; those who voted for you have certainly committed it to memory. During this era of media and judicial activism, days of [...]



Elections and Thereafter

By Air Cmdre (r) Khalid Iqbal • May 6th, 2013 • Category: Politics

Campaign for the upcoming general elections is characterised by violence, victimhood and rumours. Decision to go for elections in high militancy environment implied that pre-electoral violence would remain at a more than usual high pitch. The ongoing violence has two formats, electoral type and terrorist style. Former can be identified by low intensity explosions, and [...]



The Brussels Rendezvous

By Air Cmdre (r) Khalid Iqbal • Apr 30th, 2013 • Category: Politics

Pak-Afghan relations have an interesting dynamics; just when there is a feeler of improvement, they nosedive into another crisis. Nonetheless, it is encouraging that soon after each crisis, both Islamabad and Kabul resume taking measured steps to bring the ties back on track. Latest rupture came last month when Afghanistan’s presidential spokesperson Aimal Faizi said [...]