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Zia Sarhadi

Works

News & Analysis

Pakistan’s young parliamentarians focus on Kashmir

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 03, 14382017-01-01

The ongoing tragedy and suffering of the people of Kashmir will be the focus of a conference organized by Pakistan’s young parliamentarians in Islamabad on January 5 and 6. Parliamentarians, academics and activists from all over the world will attend the two-day event.

Special Reports

Triangle of resources: Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 01, 14382016-11-01

Three countries in South Asia—Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan—have between them enormous mineral and energy resources. This makes them the special target of predatory powers.

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News & Analysis

Afghan regime, a two-headed donkey, comes unhinged

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 29, 14372016-09-01

The US-crafted Afghan regime with two rulers—a president and a chief executive—had little chance of success. It is coming unhinged amid political squabbling as the Taliban make military gains across the country.

News & Analysis

Defying curfew, Kashmiris confront Indian occupiers

Zia Sarhadi

Shawwal 27, 14372016-08-01

Kashmiris are again being targeted by one of the most ruthless regimes in the world. The Indian occupation troops have introduced a new weapon this time: pellet guns that spray hundreds of steel-tipped bullets that have blinded hundreds of people.

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Special Reports

The gap between the rulers and ruled in Pakistan

Zia Sarhadi

Sha'ban 25, 14372016-06-01

As Ramadan begins, the gap between the rich and poor in Pakistan continues to widen. The top portion of the picture shows an Iftaar dinner arranged by former Pakistani President Asif Zardari while below Pakistani children scavenge for food at a garbage dump. Where is justice and the taqwa that Ramadan is supposed to build?

News & Analysis

Why peace eludes the Afghan people

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 23, 14372016-04-01

Life for the Afghan people has never been easy but having suffered war for nearly four decades, they want some peace and security. These are denied them because of the conflicting interests of external players.

News & Analysis

Breakaway faction may spell MQM’s doom

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 23, 14372016-04-01

The shenanigans of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a Karachi-based “political” party, have dominated news in Pakistan for several weeks now. With its leader, Altaf Husain in self-imposed exile in London, England, facing money laundering and murder charges, deep fissures have emerged in the party at home.

News & Analysis

VIP culture leading Pakistan to disaster

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 22, 14372016-02-01

The culture of entitlement that is so prevalent among the Pakistani elite is leading the country to disaster. Are the elite willing to give up their terrible ways?

News & Analysis

Afghan peace talks and gas pipelines

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Awwal 20, 14372016-01-01

Peace in Afghanistan is vital for the region but there are players that want to disrupt it, especially members of the Afghan Northern Alliance because they believe such an outcome would diminish their influence and clout in the country.

News & Analysis

Modi’s crimes follow him to London

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 19, 14372015-12-01

Even as British Prime Minister David Cameron thundered against the ISIS terrorists (aka takfiris, Da‘ish, or ISIL) that had caused mayhem, death, and destruction in Paris on November 13, he was happily consorting with another terrorist.

News & Analysis

Pakistan needs coherent policy to fight terrorism

Zia Sarhadi

Sha'ban 14, 14362015-06-01

If Pakistan is serious about confronting and eliminating terrorism, then it must adopt a coherent policy starting with the Sharif brothers withdrawing their support of terrorist outfits.

Special Reports

Strategic significance of Pak-China highway

Zia Sarhadi

Rajab 12, 14362015-05-01

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seems to have hit a jackpot. The Chinese plan to invest $46 billion in Pakistan’s infrastructure—roads, railways and power plants—to facilitate transport of Chinese goods to markets worldwide.

News & Analysis

Clarity of purpose can surmount Afghan problems

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 12, 14362015-04-01

There may be a faint light at the end of Afghanistan’s long dark tunnel. Two neighbours—China and Pakistan—have indicated they would like to help bring about peace in the war-torn country.

News & Analysis

Grief turns to anger over Peshawar school massacre

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 11, 14362015-02-01

Parents of slain school children in Peshawar are upset at the incompetence of the security agencies as well as the fact that the Pakistani establishment is hiding the true casualty figures believed to be more than 500, not 149.

Main Stories

The Peshawar massacre and its aftermath

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Awwal 10, 14362015-01-01

The horrific murder of nearly 140 school children in Peshawar has caused great anguish and anger in Pakistan. Unless there is a comprehensive approach to this problem, a reaction in anger will only escalate the cycle of violence.

News & Analysis

Ashraf Ghani: an Aghan in a hurry

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 08, 14362014-12-01

President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan has a small window of opportunity to set things on the right track and strike some kind of a deal with the Taliban. He is banking on China and Pakistan for help.

News & Analysis

British troops also flee Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 08, 14362014-11-01

Another batch of ‘Alexander the Great wannabes’ have slunk out of Afghanistan having been taught a lesson by the intrepid Afghans. History is repeating itself in the Hindu Kush Mountains.

News & Analysis

Former Bank executive new Afghan president

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Hijjah 06, 14352014-10-01

After months of political uncertainty, Afghanistan has new president, a former executive at the World Bank. There is also a new ‘chief executive,’ a post created courtesy of the Americans. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Opinion

Political theatre or major crisis in Islamabad?

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 06, 14352014-09-01

Pakistan has been gripped political crisis since August 14. Does it pose a serious challenge to Nawaz Sharif who is accused his opponents of rigging the May 2013 elections to get into power?

News & Analysis

Impact on Pakistan of the West’s Afghan war

Zia Sarhadi

Rajab 02, 14352014-05-01

The 13-year US-led Western war on Afghanistan has not only devastated that poor country but also caused great damage to Pakistan. Neighboring Iran has also suffered greatly as a consequence.

News & Analysis

What future for Afghanistan after elections?

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 01, 14352014-04-01

The April 5 presidential elections are not likely to change conditions for the long-suffering Afghan people much as long as there is foreign manipulation through money and troops presence in the country.

News & Analysis

Karzai: no deal without peace talks with the Taliban

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 01, 14352014-02-01

President Hamid Karzai has added one more condition—start of peace talks with the Taliban—before he would agree to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US giving US officials serious heart burn.

News & Analysis

US drone strikes come on global radar screen

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Hijjah 27, 14342013-11-01

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have questioned US drone strikes and say those that authorize them may face war crimes charges. The UN has also condemned them.

News & Analysis

Running after the Taliban for peace

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 25, 14342013-10-01

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is a man in a hurry. He knows his time is running out and with it his chances of survival. He is desperate to make a deal with the Taliban but they are unwilling because they see him as an American puppet.

News & Analysis

Karzai wants a role in US-Taliban talks

Zia Sarhadi

Sha'ban 22, 14342013-07-01

With the opening of the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar, Hamid Karzai feels he will be left to hang high and dry if the Americans strike a deal with the resistance group. He has hit his now-familiar tantrum to be noticed. Will he get anywhere with it?

News & Analysis

Taliban: friend to foe to friend again?

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 19, 14342013-01-01

The December 20 and 21 meeting in a hotel outside Paris between representatives of the Taliban, the Karzai government and members of the Northern Alliance as well as Gulbuddin Hikmatyar’s Hizb-e Islami shows that the Taliban are now firmly in control of the future agenda in Afghanistan.

News & Analysis

US-NATO troops on the run in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 14, 14332012-10-01

Will American troops last until 2014 when attacks by Afghan soldiers and policemen on American trainers have escalated alarmingly?

News & Analysis

Obama’s double-faced game in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Rajab 11, 14332012-06-01

Before US President Barack Obama landed in Chicago to attend the NATO conference on Afghanistan (May 20–21), albeit to noisy protests from the anti-war and Occupy Wall Street movements, he already had two agreements tucked under his arm...

Main Stories

Americans slaughter women and children; desecrate copies of the Qur’an in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Ula' 09, 14332012-04-01

After the latest American rampage through three Afghan villages in the Pajway district of Qandahar on March 11, US President Barack Obama issued the following statement: “This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan.”

News & Analysis

Examining US claims of talks with the Taliban

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 08, 14332012-03-01

The self-proclaimed superpower is clutching at straws about “peace talks” following the Taliban’s convincing defeat of US-NATO armies in Afghanistan. While talk about talks has gone on for years with American officials — civilian and military — making bold pronouncements about commencement of “secret talks”, only to discover that some goat herder or a petty bicycle shop owner had taken the “smart” Americans for a long ride, the latter have not given up.

News & Analysis

US Afghan policy in shambles after failure at Bonn

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 07, 14332012-01-01

Pakistan’s boycott of the December 5 US-sponsored conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany reduced it to little more than a farce. It was like a wedding without the groom. Pakistan boycotted to protest the November 26 US-NATO attack.

Main Stories

Analyzing the US endgame in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 06, 14332011-12-01

Is the US endgame in Afghanistan real? If so, it appears to have entered a crucial phase under the cover of a series of international conferences to facilitate US troop withdrawal from the war-torn country. Some observers, however, believe America is playing a double game trying to give the impression of preparing to leave while working behind the scenes to establish permanent military bases in the country.

News & Analysis

Afghan resistance amid ongoing agony and suffering

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 03, 14322011-10-01

Since April 1978, the Afghans have experienced nothing but war. An entire generation has grown up with violence, murder and mayhem. First it was the Russians, followed by various Afghan factions fighting it out among themselves, then came the Taliban and now the Americans and their NATO allies.

News & Analysis

With K2 dead, what will Brother Karzai do now?

Zia Sarhadi

Ramadan 01, 14322011-08-01

Afghanistan’s most powerful warlord, Ahmed Wali Karzai, half brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was shot and killed by Sardar Mohammed, a trusted family friend and security commander, at his home in Qandahar on July 12.

News & Analysis

Obama’s moment of truth in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Rajab 29, 14322011-07-01

The removal — real or fake — of Osama bin Laden from the equation in the US war on terror has opened up new possibilities for what could be achieved in Afghanistan. While much attention is focussed on US moves, no doubt an important consideration, Washington is quickly losing control, thanks to its military defeat in Afghanistan.

Main Stories

Why is the US so desperate to talk to the Taliban?

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 28, 14322011-06-01

Talk about desperation; the Americans are falling over themselves to talk to the Taliban but the Afghans are in no hurry to meet, even if offered lamb kebab and rice as inducement. Carefully planted rumors in the media by American officials have been circulating for years. “Taliban representatives have secretly met US officials in Saudi Arabia;” according to one of such report. Others have claimed meetings have taken place in Turkey, Qatar or even Germany. The Taliban have vehemently denied all such reports. One is inclined to accept the Taliban version because past US claims have come to naught.

News & Analysis

The Taliban’s audacious jail-break in Qandahar

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Ula' 27, 14322011-05-01

It is a safe bet that the Taliban have never heard of much less read Barack Obama’s book, Audacity of Hope yet they have shown plenty of it in what they did in Qandahar on April 25. Digging a tunnel some 360 meters long (some reports have suggested it was 1,000 meters long) under the Qandahar-Herat highway, they reached the Sarpoza prison and rescued 487 prisoners, many of them Taliban fighters while the guards were asleep.

News & Analysis

US atrocities reach all time high in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 27, 14322011-04-01

This past winter, American troops murdered even more Afghan civilians than in previous years. And true to form, they routinely claim the attacks were aimed at militants and that no civilians were killed.

News & Analysis

US plans permanent bases in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Awwal 26, 14322011-03-01

Last December, an agreement for the pipeline from Turkmenistan to India, via Afghanistan and Pakistan was signed without fanfare or publicity despite its immense significance.

News & Analysis

Afghans consign another superpower to the dustbin of history

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 26, 14322011-01-01

A non-descript country like Afghanistan has become the epicenter of global change sending not one but two superpowers into the dustbin of history.

Main Stories

US looking for a way out of Afghanistan?

Zia Sarhadi

Shawwal 22, 14312010-10-01

True, there is no shortage of armchair warriors in Washington insisting that the US cannot cut and run, or that President Barack Obama does not have the spine for a fight.

News & Analysis

US clutching at straws in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Shawwal 22, 14312010-10-01

Nine years and tens of thousands of deaths later, it is the Americans that are begging the Taliban for talks

Special Reports

Pakistan: third-class US ally

Zia Sarhadi

Ramadan 22, 14312010-09-01

Now to the situation in Pakistan, and the inability of the government to properly address the crisis. Any subscriber of Crescent International knows that Pakistan has been the subject of numerous articles and opinion pieces, and thus this is not the place to go over a detailed history of the country and outside involvement in its internal affairs.

News & Analysis

WikiLeaks sends US officials into panic

Zia Sarhadi

Rajab 18, 14312010-07-01

Western policy-makers, especially in the US were in absolute panic for two days when tens of thousands of pages of leaked documents describing the grim situation in Afghanistan were released by WikiLeaks, a tiny but influential internet site.

News & Analysis

Kabul Conference confirms US defeat in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Rajab 18, 14312010-07-01

This was evident during the one-day conference when officials from 70 countries converged on Kabul to talk about Afghanistan’s future amid growing concern for intensified violence and the growing strength of the resistance.

News & Analysis

Minerals’ discovery may intensify Afghan misery

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 18, 14312010-06-01

Informed observers wonder about the timing of the announcement. The US Geological Survey had known about these deposits as early as 2004 although until now this was a closely guarded secret known only to a few in the US​...

Main Stories

Banking on a jirga and a prayer in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 18, 14312010-06-01

The Americans are caught, literally, between and a rock and a hard place in Afghanistan. The mountainous country has one of the toughest people on earth that have never allowed foreigners to dominate them.

News & Analysis

Grand moves on Afghanistan’s old chess board

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 16, 14312010-04-01

Events in Afghanistan are moving so fast that it is often difficult to keep pace. The two-day visit to Islamabad (March 9 and 10) by the Afghan President Hamid Karzai was preceded by two other events: a visit on March 9 to Kabul...

News & Analysis

Contours of the US-Taliban peace deal

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Awwal 15, 14312010-03-01

Regardless of US spin, the endgame in Afghanistan has begun. Aware that they cannot defeat the Taliban militarily, the Americans have changed tune...

News & Analysis

Gitmo thrives despite Obama’s much-trumpeted promise

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Awwal 15, 14312010-03-01

No less serious is the refusal of Congress to authorise funding for the prison or prisons on US mainland where detainees are to be transferred or even the authority to transfer those to be held indefinitely.

News & Analysis

CIA agents killed by Jordanian double agent in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 15, 14312010-01-01

The December 30 istishhadi operation at a remote base in Afghanistan’s Khost Province achieved two vital objectives: it demolished virtually the entire crop of CIA officers operating in the field, and it blew the cover off Jordan’s deep involvement with the Americans in Afghanistan causing it huge embarrassment at home...

Main Stories

Obama’s surge becomes scourge for Afghanistan and Pakistan

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Hijjah 14, 14302009-12-01

Dissenting voices against the surge and futility of war were heard from the antiwar movement but these are largely confined to the internet...

News & Analysis

Afghanistan: the kind of “free” elections endorsed by American-style democracy

Zia Sarhadi

Ramadan 11, 14302009-09-01

Afghanistan’s presidential elections held on August 20 may be over but the uncertainty continues; indeed it has deepened with no clear winner. The two front-runners represent opposite sides in Afghanistan’s ethnic divide — the incumbent Hamid Karzai is a Pashtun while his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah represents the Tajik-Uzbek bloc...

Special Reports

The enduring enigma of Osama bin Laden

Zia Sarhadi

Ramadan 11, 14302009-09-01

In the early eighties, Peshawar was the hub of activity for anti-Soviet fighters.

Main Stories

Elections: an unfamiliar exercise in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Sha'ban 10, 14302009-08-01

When Americans are not winning hearts and minds by dropping 1,000-pound bombs on wedding parties or mud-hut dwelling women and children as they did in Farah province on May 4 killing 147 civilians, 93 of them children, they are busy delivering democracy through cruise missiles...

Main Stories

Obama seeks ‘US-friendly’ Taliban in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 05, 14302009-04-01

This year’s spring has arrived with the Americans singing a new tune about Afghanistan: the Taliban cannot be defeated militarily. While this was obvious for quite some time to most observers familiar with the Afghan scene, the Americans being slow learners needed extra time to grasp this reality. From US PresidentBarack Obama down, most Americans are now singing from the same page.

World

Karzai loses master’s favor

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Awwal 04, 14302009-03-01

Long before Barack Obama was sworn in as president, the Americans had started to mutter darkly that Hamid Karzai was not only ineffective, he presided over a government that was corrupt and harbored drug and warlords in Afghanistan. While not all charges are false, Karzai alone cannot be blamed for all of them; it appears like another desperate attempt to shift blame for America's own disastrous policies.

World

America’s “good war” turns into quicksand

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 04, 14302009-01-01

On a secret visit to Kabul on December 20, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that the US would increase its troop level by 60,000. At the same time, he warned that this had to be coupled with development programs and better governance otherwise no number of troops will do the job.

Main Stories

US, West hope to strike peace deal with Taliban using Saudi mediators

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 02, 14292008-11-01

Is it the beginning of the end for foreign occupation in Afghanistan? Seven years after driving the Taliban from power, Western bravado about defeating them militarily has evaporated. Several Western commanders and diplomats have at different times admitted that defeating the Taliban militarily was not possible and that a negotiated settlement to contain the insurgency was the only possible option.

World

Hundreds of Afghan civilians still dying in the US’s “good war”

Zia Sarhadi

Shawwal 01, 14292008-10-01

Barack Obama, Democratic party presidential nominee, calls it the “good war”; his Republican rival, John McCain, insists that he will “chase Osama to the gates of hell.” Americans are being told that Afghanistan is the “right war” and that it is “winnable”, in contrast to Iraq.

Main Stories

Afghanistan’s occupiers hope for “grand reconciliation” as resistance increases

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 27, 14292008-07-01

Their situation being precarious at the best of times, last month was even worse than usual for President Hamid Karzai and the foreign occupation forces in Afghanistan. A day after Kabulreceived pledges of $20 billion in aid from donors at the Paris conference, the Taliban carried out a spectacular raid on the Sarposa prison in Qandahar, releasing nearly 1,200 prisoners, among them 400 Taliban fighters, on June 13.

World

Western coalition unravelling under pressure from resistance in Afghanistan - II

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Awwal 24, 14292008-04-01

As NATO heads of state converge on Bucharest, the Romanian capital, in the first week of April, the question uppermost on everyone's mind will be the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. Despite the presence of more than 50,000 NATO troops, the security situation has worsened and the insurgency has escalated.

World

Western coalition unravelling under pressure from resistance in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 23, 14292008-03-01

The US and its allies are not only losing the war in Afghanistan, but their military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), is also on the verge of unravelling as a result of this failure. Several Western officials, including US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, defence secretary Robert Gates, British foreign secretary David Miliband and Lord Paddy Ashdown, a British peer, have in recent days given dire warnings about NATO’s impending collapse.

Main Stories

Pakistan’s election discredited already, while US plans further interventions in the country

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 23, 14292008-02-01

The political situation is Pakistan so precarious that few people, including the country’s president, general (retired) Pervez Musharraf, can say with certainty that the parliamentary elections scheduled for February 18 will indeed be held on time. Even if they are, there is little prospect of change unless Musharraf resigns and allows genuine civilian rule. There are widespread allegations of bogus voters’ lists, illegal use of government machinery and vehicles to support candidates allied to Musharraf, and of course of voter intimidation.

World

US report highlights problems in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Hijjah 22, 14282008-01-01

With the surge in Iraq to establish security an utter failure and the British having fled Basra, Washington’s propagandists are in no mood to set another trap for themselves by making bold policy pronouncements about Afghanistan. A detailed review, forced by the failure of America and NATO to subdue the resistance in Afghanistan, has been launched without fanfare.

World

Increasing strength of Taliban makes nonsense of Western claims of success in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 20, 14282007-12-01

The year 2007 has turned out to be one of the costliest in blood and lives since the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by the US in October 2001. On November 19 a bomb-explosion killed seven people but missed Ghulam Dastagir Azad, governor of Nimroz province, the intended target in the town of Zaranj. On the same day an attack on a military bus in Kabul was thwarted when the bomber was prevented from boarding. Two days earlier a roadside bomb near Qandahar had killed two Canadian soldiers and wounded three others, bringing the Canadian death toll to 73.

World

Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga convened by the US for its own purposes

Zia Sarhadi

Sha'ban 19, 14282007-09-01

The Loya Jirga, or grand assembly of tribal elders, is the traditional Afghan way of discussing and resolving differences, but there was something very odd about the one held in Kabul from August 9-12. True, large amounts of food that (including rice, lamb kebabs and other Afghan delicacies) were served with typical Afghan hospitality, but the jirga was not entirely an Afghan affair. This was partly because it brought together tribal elders from both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border, which is something of a novelty with potentially grave consequences for the future of Pakistan if it is not handled carefully.

World

Afghans still dying as US tries to defeat popular Taliban

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 16, 14282007-07-01

After another particularly bloody week in which the Americans and their Western allies killed more than 100 Afghan civilians, President Hamid Karzai stood on the lawn of the presidential palace on June 23 to denounce the air strikes and artillery fire as “careless”. He asserted: “Afghan life is not cheap and should not be treated as such.” These sound like brave words, but they carry little weight with the Americans or anyone else. They, as well as Karzai, know that Afghans’ lives are indeed cheap.

World

Karzai powerless as US gets increasingly brutal in fighting Afghan resistance

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Ula' 15, 14282007-06-01

The expression “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” may have to be extended to include the modest Afghan karakol cap that has, together with the Dracula gown, become President Hamid Karzai’s trademark. Obviously, such theatrics impress few in a land whose people are famed for their independent spirit, where Karzai is regarded as an American puppet. This is the kiss of death, because America’s atrocious behaviour has alienated most Afghans.

World

Karzai faces a bleak welcome on his visit to Pakistan

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 13, 14282007-02-01

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is to visit Pakistan this month, ostensibly to help increasing tensions between the two countries. He has his work cut out for him. Last month, Karzai had rubbished such “high profile” visits while Pakistani prime minister Shaukat Aziz was in Kabul for talks on January 6. Despite Karzai’s outburst, Aziz announced that Islamabad would increase its development aid to Afghanistan to US$350 million. He politely sidestepped Karzai’s tantrum by pointing out that both Pakistanand Afghanistan need to address their own internal problems.

World

Musharraf’s increasingly desperate attempts to appease the West

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 10, 14272006-12-01

Pakistan appears headed for more turbulent times as General Pervez Musharraf runs out of policy options in his desperate attempts to appease his foreign masters. Internally, bush fires are burning in three of the four provinces; in the fourth—the Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province—Musharraf is fighting a rearguard action to outflank supporters of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, whom he replaced in a coup in October 1999. At the international level, foreign leaders are no longer as polite as they were immediately after September 2001, when Musharraf hitched his fortunes to America’s “war on terrorism”

World

Afghan resistance causing political unrest in Canada

Zia Sarhadi

Ramadan 08, 14272006-10-01

Afghanistan is sinking into a black hole, but this is not what the rulers of the West, whose forces are busy killing Afghans, will admit. They continue to talk as if all is well and that the Afghans are happy to be "liberated" by gun-toting foreigners who shoot first and ask questions later, if at all.

World

Killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti threatens to further destabilise Pakistan

Zia Sarhadi

Sha'ban 08, 14272006-09-01

The killing on August 26 of Nawab Akbar Bugti (pic, right) by the Pakistan army has sunk the already troublesome Balochistan province into chaos, with violence among Balochis in neighbouring Sind province as well as in the commercial city of Karachi.

World

Karzai desperate for support, foreign and domestic, as resistance threatens to overwhelm his regime

Zia Sarhadi

Rajab 07, 14272006-08-01

While ignoring Palestine and Lebanon reeling under the barbaric onslaught of the zionists, the UN Security Council still found the time to talk about Afghanistan. Tom Koenigs, the UN envoy for Afghanistan, warned on July 27 that the Taliban were rediscovering their strength and that the fighting in Afghanistan now had to be called an insurgency, rather than just “isolated acts of terrorism”.

World

US and Europe offer new nuclear proposals after Iran refuses to cave in to threats

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 05, 14272006-07-01

After making a grand retreat from the deliberately contrived nuclear standoff with Iran that even its close allies had found distasteful, US officials still continue to behave as if everyone must snap to attention whenever they click their fingers. This was again seen on June 21, when US president Bush was in Vienna for talks with European rulers.

World

US rhetoric dangerously out of step with realities on the ground in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Ula' 05, 14272006-06-01

The announcement by US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld during a brief visit to Kabul on May 1, to the effect that the military phase of the campaign in Afghanistan is over, took American soldiers in the country by surprise.

World

Increasing panic in Kabul as resistance steps up operations against US and its allies

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Ula' 05, 14272006-06-01

It has become routine for the regime in Kabul to blame Pakistan for allowing “cross-border infiltration” whenever there is any increase in resistance activity inside Afghanistan. Some infiltration is definitely taking place, because the mountainous terrain makes the border virtually impossible to seal completely, but the volleys of rhetoric being hurled at Pakistan betray the Afghan government’s own incompetence.

World

The reality behind Musharraf’s apparent economic miracle in Pakistan

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 03, 14272006-05-01

According to official pronouncements from Islamabad, Pakistan has never had it so good economically under the present dispensation. Officials point to the booming real estate and stock markets as well as rising sale of commodities such as cars, particularly the number of Mercedes Benzes on the road, to support their case.

World

Pressure mounts on Musharraf as cartoon protests turn against government

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 01, 14272006-03-01

All is not well in the "land of the pure": the "stans"—Baluchistan and Waziristan (both North and South)—are on fire; the dams' controversy has subsided somewhat, but has been replacedby the fury surrounding Europe's cartoons. The anger of the protests is also fuelled by the exorbitant prices of essential commodities, and Pakistan's opposition parties, sensing blood, are going for the jugular.

Main Stories

Anger in Pakistan as government proves unable to respond to US attacks on villages

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 02, 14272006-02-01

The subservience of Pakistan’s rulers was again displayed on January 13: the US bombed a border village in Pakistan's Bajaur Agency, killing 18 civilians, six of them children. Far from confronting America's state terrorism, Pakistani officials from general Pervez Musharraf down proffered lame excuses: "foreign terrorists" were the intended target, for instance. In particular, they claimed that Ayman al-Zawahiri was a guest at one of the houses for an Eid al-Adha celebration in Damadola village.

World

Afghanistan’s new Parliament designed to create an illusion of peace and normality

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Hijjah 01, 14262006-01-01

The inauguration of Afghanistan's new assembly on December 19 was a fairly accurate reflection of the country's present plight: Dick Cheney, dubbed vice president for torture in his own country, came all the way from Washington to preside over the bizarre event that nearly did not happen because three days earlier a bomb had exploded outside the building.

World

Iran’s firm stance on nuclear issue forces the US and West to think again

Zia Sarhadi

Shawwal 28, 14262005-12-01

By taking a firm and principled stand over its right to enrich uranium under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has forced the US to blink. The meeting on November 24 of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna was a far more civilized affair than the bellicose threats issued by the same body two months earlier.

World

Few fooled as US insists on going ahead with Afghanistan’s farcical elections

Zia Sarhadi

Sha'ban 27, 14262005-10-01

Afghanistan’s thrice-postponed presidential election, due to be held on October 9, is turning into a grand farce. Far more people are registered than are eligible to vote, though that hardly cramps the American installed-puppet Hamid Karzai’s style...

World

Afghanis continue to suffer human rights abuses under American rule

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 25, 14262005-08-01

The plight of the Afghan people under the American occupation is no better, and in many instances much worse, than it was under the Russian occupation in the nineteen-eighties, despite US drum-beating about bringing democracy to the country, a recent report concludes.

World

Musharraf’s plans cause confusion as Kashmiri leaders visit Pakistan

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Ula' 24, 14262005-07-01

General Pervez Musharraf's insistence on calling his surrender to India a "peace process" has left not only the people of Kashmir but also some of his closest advisors completely bewildered. His U-turn on Afghanistan, and his abandonment of Pakistan's principled stand on Kashmir, as well as the nuclear programme to appease the US, have left Pakistandangerously exposed.

World

Rape cases expose Pakistan’s brutal feudal injustice

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 22, 14262005-04-01

Pakistan's deep social divisions are on display yet again in the case of two women, Mukhtar Mai and Dr Shazia Khalid, who have been raped but are finding it difficult to secure justice. The feudal system demands that they commit suicide so that the crimes can be hushed up and the criminals let off the hook.

World

Musharraf talking big despite being hated for being under America’s thumb

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 20, 14262005-03-01

Despite his rhetorical claim that he is “not scared of anyone”, general Pervez Musharraf is a worried man. The “not scared” boast flies in the face of the facts: he is in effect a prisoner in the presidential compound. Meetings and conferences are organized inside the compound so that he does not have to go out, for fear of being assassinated.

World

Little interest in Afghanistan as Karzai is sworn in as the US’s main man

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 20, 14252005-01-01

Hamid Karzai was sworn in as president of Afghanistan on December 7 amid unprecedented security: foreign troops protected him from the very people who are supposed to have elected him to his office. In attendance were not only US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld but also vice president Dick Cheney, with an entire hospital in tow, just in case his pacemaker should stop during the ceremony.

World

Little interest as Karzai is sworn in as the US’s main man

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 20, 14252005-01-01

Hamid Karzai was sworn in as president of Afghanistan on December 7 amid unprecedented security: foreign troops protected him from the very people who are supposed to have elected him to his office. In attendance were not only USdefence secretary Donald Rumsfeld but also vice president Dick Cheney, with an entire hospital in tow, just in case his pacemaker should stop during the ceremony.

World

Pakistan continuing its war against its own people in Waziristan

Zia Sarhadi

Ramadan 18, 14252004-11-01

What fate awaits a government that wages war on its own people as the regime of general Pervez Musharraf is doing in Pakistan? Having experienced the tragedy of East Pakistan, most Pakistanis know the answer, but appear not to have grasped the gravity of the current crisis...

World

Islamic Iran warns US against pre-emptive strike against it in run-up to US elections

Zia Sarhadi

Rajab 16, 14252004-09-01

After months of virulent anti-Iran propaganda by zionists and Americans, becoming more strident daily as the US presidential elections draw near, the Islamic Republic hit back with a warning of its own...

World

Afghan elections postponed as Karzai and US face increasing problems

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 14, 14252004-08-01

Hamid Karzai, the US-appointed president of Afghanistan, is used to saying one thing and doing the opposite because he has little authority to make decisions; such is the plight of all puppets...

World

Post-Jirga politicking in Afghanistan confirms problems facing the US

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 14, 14252004-08-01

If getting agreement on Afghanistan’s new constitution at the Loya Jirga was a tortuous process, what lies ahead may well be worse. Implementing its articles, especially those on disarmament and demobilisation of the armed militias (whose survival depends not on what is written on a piece of paper but on guns), will be the most difficult task...

World

Afghan elections in doubt as US launches new offensive

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 11, 14252004-04-01

Two-and-a-half years after occupying Afghanistan, ostensibly to bring peace to the warn-torn country, the Americans are no closer to achieving their objectives than they were when they attacked in October 2001...

World

US hunting Bin Ladin in Pakistan as Bush hopes for political boost

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 10, 14252004-03-01

Whatever one’s view of Osama bin Ladin, his understanding of issues and his methods, one thing is indisputable: he has carved a niche for himself in world politics, thanks to US president Bush’s obsession with him...

World

Assassination attempts reflect growing anger with Musharraf in Pakistan

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 08, 14242004-01-01

As this issue of Crescent International goes to press, general Pervez Musharraf remains president of Pakistan, despite two attempts on his life within a few days...

World

Pakistan paying a high price for Musharraf’s urge to please the US

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 18, 14242003-08-16

In his eagerness to appease the US, Pakistani president general Pervez Musharraf has uncorked the very demons policy-makers in Islamabad have struggled for 50 years to banish...

World

Opposition forces put US on the defensive in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Ula' 01, 14242003-07-01

Thirty-one months after removing the Taliban from power, the Americans are being forced to consider the unthinkable: strike a deal with the Taliban for power-sharing in return for a face-saving exit for US forces from Afghanistan. This remarkable turn-around has occurred primarily because the Afghans have refused to be cowed by US firepower...

World

NWFP Shari’ah Bill causes consternation in Pakistan

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 16, 14242003-06-16

That the unanimous approval of the Shari’ah Bill by the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) assembly on June 2 should send the secular elites into a frenzy is a telling sign of the true state of affairs in the "Islamic Republic" of Pakistan.

World

American losses mounting as Afghans maintain resistance

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 14, 14242003-04-16

Hamid Karzai, the American-installed puppet in Afghanistan, was dealt another blow when Haji Gilani, one of his close allies, was gunned down outside his home in Deh Rawood, Uruzgan province, during the night of April 3. His nephew was also shot dead by six armed men, who then managed to escape.

World

Conditions in Afghanistan act as warning to Iraqis of what awaits them under American rule

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 29, 14242003-04-01

Citing security concerns, Hamid Karzai, the US-installed and protected president of Afghanistan, cancelled his visit to Pakistan only an hour before he was supposed to leave Kabul on March 22. His Pakistani hosts were taken aback...

World

Mujahideen increasing pressure on the US and its puppets in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 13, 14242003-03-16

Despite eighteen months of relentless bombing, the US has failed to turn Afghanistan into a democratic paradise with groceries in every shopping plaza and a McDonald’s at every street corner. This is frustrating for US president Bush...

World

American losses as Afghans maintain resistance

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Hijjah 14, 14232003-02-16

After claiming for months that everything in Afghanistan is under their control, the Americans got a rude shock at the end of January; it has forced them to concede that several of their soldiers have been killed. But even this admission came with a fantastic amount of ‘spin’...

World

US occupation forces finding Afghanistan a hard pill to swallow

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 29, 14232003-02-01

The American occupation forces are not finding their self-appointed task easy going in Afghanistan, despite a news blackout by the pliant western media. Not a day passes without some attack on American troops or a bomb exploding somewhere...

World

US behaviour provoking angry demonstrations in Pakistan

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 13, 14232003-01-16

Given president George Bush’s limited grasp of international affairs, it would be unrealistic to expect him to understand why America is hated so much worldwide, but his advisors should be better equipped to deal with the reality of global politics.

World

US, India and Israel working together in Afghanistan

Zia Sarhadi

Shawwal 11, 14232002-12-16

While attention is focused on the US-engineered Iraq crisis, the world’s real axis of evil, comprised of the US, Israel and India, is getting more involved in Afghanistan. Although the Americans have in effect occupied Afghanistan, they have failed to subdue the Afghans...

World

Stark choice facing Pakistan: resist or surrender to US-Indian hegemony

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 20, 14232002-07-01

Pakistani president general Pervez Musharraf has made a grand retreat on Kashmir while pretending to be safeguarding his country’s interests. The unkindest cut is that this has happened under American pressure despite Musharraf’s abandoning a 25-year policy on Afghanistan in order to appease Washington.

World

Musharraf under pressure as India prepares for war against Pakistan

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Awwal 19, 14232002-06-01

Pakistani president general Perwez Musharraf walked a fine line in his televised address to the nation on May 27, defiantly asserting Pakistan’s willingness to defend itself against India for popular consumption while also asserting his commitment to prevent ‘terrorists’...

World

Pakistan continues to lurch from one difficulty to another

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Awwal 03, 14232002-05-16

The war in Afghanistan had spilled over into Pakistan long before the car/bus bomb explosion in Karachi on May 8 that killed 16 people, 11 of them French technicians working on Pakistan’s submarine project.

World

Chaos, disorder and internal power struggles in Afghanistan threaten American plans for the region

Zia Sarhadi

Ramadan 11, 14232002-04-16

War is a grim business, the more so in Afghanistan, but occasionally nuggets of humour emerge even from that harsh landscape. The latest is the Americans’ announcement that they will train Afghans to fight...

World

American propaganda about war in Afghanistan exposed by continuing resistance

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 18, 14232002-04-01

Despite making tall claims about wiping out Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in the Shahi Kot mountains, reports from the area reveal a very different picture. Figures given out by the US for its latest operation, codenamed Operation Anaconda, after the snake that squeezes its prey to death, mention an estimated 1,000 Taliban...

World

US takes losses in Afghanistan, as fighting shows the war is far from over

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 01, 14232002-03-15

As the fighting on March 2 in the Arma mountains showed, the war in Afghanistan is far from over. On March 4th, the Pentagon admitted that eight American soldiers had been killed and 50 injured in the latest US offensive.

World

Afghanistan power politics threaten Western plans for the region

Zia Sarhadi

Sha'ban 25, 14232002-03-01

Deep divisions in the interim Afghan government, papered over and ignored under American pressure, erupted last month when Abdul Rahman, the minister of aviation and tourism, was beaten to death on the tarmac of Kabul airport on February 14.

World

Realities emerging of US war in Afghanistan, despite intense propaganda

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Hijjah 03, 14222002-02-16

The US went into Afghanistan to get rid of the wicked Taliban, capture Usama bin Ladin, destroy al-Qaeda, restore law and order, and bring peace to the war-torn country. Amid much fanfare the Taliban were vanquished, thanks to massive aerial bombardment using 15,000-pound bombs fancifully described as “daisy cutters”...

World

Chaos and disorder dominate Afghanistan as US and allies try to assert their control

Zia Sarhadi

Shawwal 17, 14222002-01-01

Afghanistan’s American-installed puppet, Hamid Karzai is feeling puffed up because he was promised US$2.6 billion at an international conference in Tokyo on January 21-22. It was attended by representatives from Western countries, the World Bank/IMF and the UN.

World

Realities of Indian policy in Kashmir expose the hypocrisy of their politics

Zia Sarhadi

Jumada' al-Akhirah 13, 14222001-09-01

Following in the footsteps of the occupiers of Palestine, L. K. Advani, the Indian home affairs minister, announced on August 20 in Srinagar, capital of Indian-occupied Kashmir, that Indian soldiers accused of torture, extrajudicial executions or rape of women would be immune to prosecution under a new law.

Islamic Movement

Scourge of decadent secularism spreading fast in Pakistani educational institutions

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 24, 14222001-07-16

The scourge of secularization is spreading so rapidly in Pakistan that Islam, the Qur’an and hadith are now openly ridiculed in educational institutions, in open disregard of the feelings of Pakistan’s overwhelming majority or the consequences of such actions.

World

‘President’ Musharraf: a chief martial law administrator by any other name...

Zia Sarhadi

Rabi' al-Thani 09, 14222001-07-01

Commentators in Pakistan as well as abroad expressed surprise when general Pervez Musharraf assumed the title of president on June 20. It is a step in the opposite direction “to the restoration of democracy”, lamented a US state department spokesman after hearing the news.

Special Reports

Elusive truth of genocide in Srebrenica

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 07, 14222001-05-01

The arrest last month in Serbia of Slobodan Milosevic on corruption charges has aroused hopes that he might one day be brought to the Hague to face war crimes charges. He has already been indicted as a war criminal.

Special Reports

Pakistani government still trying to exploit expatriate resources

Zia Sarhadi

Safar 07, 14222001-05-01

Aware that its finances are in shambles and need a large handout just to survive, the government of Pakistan has decided to tap the one resource — overseas Pakistanis — which it feels can be mobilised to see it through the present crisis. While the assumption is correct, the plan may not work as planned.

World

Taliban present their case to Muslims in the US

Zia Sarhadi

Muharram 07, 14222001-04-01

A 24-year-old roving ambassador of the Taliban, making his rounds of the US, has made quite a stir among Muslims even if his pleas have fallen on deaf ears in the US government.

World

Few concerned about Afghan refugees

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Hijjah 05, 14212001-03-01

Tens of thousands of Afghani refugees are at risk of starvation as a result of a three-year drought compunded by US-led Western sanctions. More than 100,000 have been forced to seek shelter in makeshift refugee-camps in Pakistan...

World

Pakistan’s inability to face the simple truths of the Kashmir conflict

Zia Sarhadi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 07, 14212001-02-01

One of the oft-repeated cliches about Kashmir is that the issue is complicated and cannot be resolved quickly. The premise is false, although the conclusion may be correct.

World

Nawaz Sharif fiasco exemplifies trends in Pakistani politics

Zia Sarhadi

Shawwal 06, 14212001-01-01

The military regime in Pakistan has enough egg on its face over the Nawaz Sharif episode to feed a battalion. But those who expected it to behave differently should have known better.

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