For the second year in a row, the world is spending a little less on the military. Asia, however, has failed to get the memo. The region is spending more at a time when many others are spending less.
Mushfiq Wali, a 22-year-old shoemaker in northern Pakistan, loves watching films in the local Pashto language. But he says the Taliban are a killjoy: their bomb attacks have led to the closure of movie theatres, again. “They don’t spare anything that brings happiness.”
Following scattered defiance of the Taliban earlier, a new wave of students is now heading for education in schools and colleges across the troubled north of Pakistan.
Pakistan is in the midst of a heated debate on continuing military operations against the Taliban in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), especially after the brutal killing of 23 army soldiers last month.
Pakistan may have low prevalence of HIV/AIDS, with only about 9,000 officially confirmed cases, but the country is at high risk, particularly due to a growing number of injecting drug users (IDUs), say experts.
On one of her many visits to Pakistan recently, Sarah Peck, director of the US-Pakistan Women’s Council, spent some time talking to young women medical students in Pakistan. She was struck by their passion and commitment -- and by the hurdles they face.
They are contraband, yet a large number of Pakistanis have come to depend on drugs made in India and smuggled into Pakistan. Patients as well as doctors say these are cheap and effective, even as law enforcers look the other way.
Disturbed by civilian casualties and moved by the plight of people living like refugees in their own country, students from Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are demanding an end to army operations against militants on their native soil.
Whether to make war or peace with the Taliban has become a dilemma for the Pakistani government.
As the temperature dips to zero degrees Celsius, a chill has set into the lives of people like 44-year-old Rasool Khan at the Jalozai camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Pakistan. Huddled in tiny tents, with just a plastic sheet over their heads and no heat, they pass sleepless nights in the bitter cold.
With the 2014 deadline for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in sight, analysts here are urging Washington policymakers to drop the term ‘Af-Pak’ and recognise the importance of Pakistan beyond its implications for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is rediscovering the joy of cricket. It is seen as a tool of progress, a means of entertainment, and a way to wean youth away from violence in a country that has been ravaged by conflict for more than 30 years.
For many years they could not sing, dance or play their favourite instruments. The performing artists of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of northern Pakistan lost their voice as the Taliban carried out terror attacks and banned music, calling it un-Islamic. But after tentative advances in recent months, the Pakistani province is alive with the sound of music once again.
Criticism in the memoirs of former secretary of defence Robert M. Gates of President Barack Obama’s lack of commitment to the Afghan War strategy of his administration has generated a Washington debate about whether Obama was sufficiently supportive of the war.
The Taliban are proving to be a huge stumbling block for Pakistan as the South Asian nation - one of only three remaining polio endemic countries in the world – tries to fight the crippling disease.