The Week: Most Recent Middle East:The Pakistan Dilemma recent posts.en-usMon, 15 Oct 2012 16:40:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Middle East:The Pakistan Dilemma from THE WEEKMon, 15 Oct 2012 16:40:00 -0400Malala Yousafzai: Will her shooting end Islamic extremism in Pakistan?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">On Monday, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot and severely wounded by Taliban gunmen, arrived in England for medical treatment. Malala, only 14 years old, had been targeted for demanding equal education opportunities for girls, which the Taliban claimed was a violation of Islamic law. Malala's shooting has sparked near-universal outrage in Pakistan, and even politicians, most of whom are afraid to cross Pakistan's powerful extremist groups, have openly condemned the Taliban. The Pakistani state, whose most powerful organ is the army, has long quietly tolerated extremist groups, many...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Mon, 15 Oct 2012 16:40:00 -0400America's apology to Pakistan: Bad idea?<img src="" /></P><p>Pakistan has promised to reopen NATO supply routes into Afghanistan now that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the U.S. is sorry for the killing of two dozen Pakistani troops by U.S. airstrikes during a November border flare-up. Pakistan's concession ends a stand-off that had threatened to hamper the U.S. war effort, but Clinton's apology is also fodder for Mitt Romney and other Republicans who have accused President Obama of dimishing America's power by apologizing for U.S. policies abroad. Was this a smart diplomatic move, or a sign of weakness that Obama will regret?<br /><br /><strong>Apologizing...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 05 Jul 2012 10:44:00 -0400Pakistan ousts its prime minister: 3 repercussions<img src="" /></P><p>Pakistan was thrust into political turmoil on Tuesday, when the country's Supreme Court dismissed Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani over a contempt charge stemming from Gilani's refusal to ask Swiss authorities to reopen money laundering cases against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari. Pakistan's National Assembly, the lower house of its Parliament, will elect a new prime minister on Friday, but the country's political crisis is expected to continue as the government heads toward elections scheduled for next spring. Here, three consequences of the Supreme Court's power play:</p><p><strong>1. Pakistan will...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 20 Jun 2012 10:16:00 -0400Pakistan's escalating 'honor killing' problem<img src="" /></P><p>The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) released its annual report on Thursday, and tucked in among the stories of murdered journalists and liberal anti&ndash;blasphemy law activists, general intimidation, and overcrowded jails was this horrifying statistic: At least 943 women were murdered in familial "honor killings," an increase from the 791 the year before. And 943 is widely believed to be a significant undercounting, since most honor killings are covered up or not reported. Here's what you should know:</p><p><strong>What are honor killings?<br /></strong>The murder of women, and occasionally men, for besmirching...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 23 Mar 2012 15:45:00 -0400Can Pakistan help America salvage its Afghan mission?<img src="" /></P><p>The violent reaction to the U.S. military's recent Koran burnings in Afghanistan is threatening to undermine American&nbsp;plans to withdraw from the war-ravaged country in 2014. And with relations frayed between the U.S. and Afghan governments, Washington is looking for all the help it can get from neighboring Pakistan, which could, at least theoretically, promote reconciliation in Afghanistan and get Taliban fighters, who have found refuge in Pakistan's remote border region, to put down their guns. Is there any chance the U.S. can count on help from its on-again, off-again ally?</p><p><strong>Pakistan just...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 29 Feb 2012 11:51:00 -05004 reasons Pakistan demolished bin Laden's compound<img src="" /></P><p>Pakistani security forces have torn down the house in Abbottabad where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden lived in hiding from 2005 until he was killed by a U.S. Navy SEAL commando team last May. Heavy equipment operators demolished the three-story house and other structures in the compound over the weekend, and by Monday, only portions of the compound's exterior wall remained standing. Government officials did not say why they destroyed the house. Here, four theories:<br /><br /><strong>1. The house was a symbol of weakness for Pakistan's military</strong><br />"Islamabad was outraged by the covert American raid" that took out bin...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 27 Feb 2012 14:33:00 -0500Pakistan's war on hip-hop: A 'lesson in tolerance'?<img src="" /></P><p>In Pakistan, a country increasingly under the influence of Islamic fundamentalism, a recent attempt by the government to ban hip-hop in schools seemed like just another concession to extremists. In a twist, however, a fierce backlash ensued: Liberal critics accused lawmakers of trampling free speech rights and the ban was overturned. Here, a concise guide to what could amount to a "lesson in tolerance":</p><p class="p1"><strong>Did the ban target hip-hop specifically?</strong>&nbsp;<br />Not exactly. The law outlawed "objectionable" music concerts at private and public schools. It also called for "intense scrutiny" of those listening...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 14 Feb 2012 15:37:00 -0500Should Obama apologize to Pakistan?<img src="" /></P><p>President Obama won't be formally apologizing to Pakistan for air strikes that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers last weekend, at least not until a formal investigation is complete. The U.S. ambassador in Islamabad, Cameron Munter, urged Obama to issue a video apology to keep U.S.-Pakistan relations from collapsing, but the Defense Department overruled him, saying the remorse shown by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials will suffice for now. Is declining to say "we're sorry" a solid strategy?<br /><br /><strong>Yes, this is a time to stand up for the U.S. military:</strong> "An apology would be an...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 02 Dec 2011 10:03:00 -05004 reasons the U.S.-Pakistan alliance will survive<img src="" /></P><p>Pakistan, outraged over cross-border NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers over the weekend,&nbsp;reportedly plans to&nbsp;boycott next week's talks&nbsp;in Germany on the future of Afghanistan.&nbsp;Pakistan has also shut down a crucial route used to get supplies to U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan, and has given the U.S. 15 days to vacate a shadowy base used in America's drone war against Taliban insurgents.&nbsp;U.S. officials have apologized for the incident, calling it "a tragedy," and NATO has promised an investigation. Despite the increasingly tense atmosphere, once the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 29 Nov 2011 11:54:00 -0500NATO's deadly attack on Pakistan's soldiers: The fallout<img src="" /></P><p>U.S.-Pakistan relations have gone from bad to worse. Over the weekend, U.S. special forces and Afghan commandos were conducting a mission along the "poorly defined, mountainous border" with Pakistan when they reportedly took incoming fire from two Pakistani outposts. NATO retaliated with air strikes that killed approximately two dozen Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan claims that NATO's two-hour assault was unprovoked, and that NATO ignored Pakistani pleas to stop the attack. Though high-ranking U.S. officials apologized and NATO promised to investigate, thousands of Pakistanis protested in several...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 28 Nov 2011 11:37:00 -0500Pakistan, China, and the secret helicopter: Can U.S.-Pakistan relations recover?<img src="" /></P><p>In the latest sign of fraying relations between the U.S. and Pakistan, Islamabad allegedly allowed China to examine the top-secret stealth helicopter that was downed in the U.S. Navy SEALs' mission to kill Osama bin Laden, the Financial Times reports. U.S. intelligence officials even believe Chinese military engineers took home samples of the modified Black Hawk's radar-evading skin. Is this a sign the alliance between the U.S. and Pakistan is damaged beyond repair?<br /><br /><strong>Yes. It is over between us:</strong> "Despite brave words on both sides, the US-Pakist<em></em>an alliance is dying a slow and painful death," says Walter...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 16 Aug 2011 10:07:00 -0400Is it strategic to cut aid to Pakistan?<img src="" /></P><p>The Obama administration is suspending or canceling hundreds of millions in military aid to Pakistan, hoping to get better cooperation in the fight against Islamist extremists. The decision came after Pakistan canceled visas for more than 100 U.S. Special Operations trainers working with the Frontier Corps, which helps police Pakistan's terrorist-infested tribal areas near the Afghan border. Will cutting off aid bring Pakistan in line, or just further aggravate tense U.S.-Pakistan relations?<br /><br /><strong>This will only poison the relationship further: </strong>Yanking Pakistan's aid certainly won't "compel the military...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 11 Jul 2011 11:50:00 -0400Pakistan's arrest of CIA informants: The last straw for U.S.-Pakistan relations?<img src="" /></P><p>Pakistan has arrested five informants &mdash; one of them a Pakistani Army major &mdash; who fed information to CIA spies before the raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed last month. The informants' detention could further damage the troubled relationship between Washington and Islamabad, just as the Obama administration is trying to secure Pakistan's help in preparing for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from neighboring Afghanistan. Is this a sign that U.S.-Pakistan relations are broken beyond repair?<br /><br /><strong>Yes. Pakistan is acting like our enemy:</strong> We've been asking for Pakistan's help fighting terrorists...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 15 Jun 2011 16:06:00 -0400The strained U.S.-Pakistan relationship: 4 predictions<img src="" /></P><p>The raid that killed Osama bin Laden has strained the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan. The Obama administration wants to know how the world's most wanted terrorist could have hidden, apparently for years, in a town crawling with members of Pakistan's military. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is trying to get Washington to accept part of the blame, saying that the intelligence failure was made by "the whole world, not Pakistan alone." But what do the circumstances of bin Laden's demise mean for the already troubled relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan? Here, four theories...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 04 May 2011 16:20:00 -0400How America is destabilizing Pakistan<img src="" /></P><p>U.S.-Pakistan relations have reached a new low this year, and Washington bears a&nbsp;significant amount of the blame. The American use of drone strikes in western Pakistan has&nbsp;always been unpopular with the Pakistani public, but these strikes are now being done in&nbsp;defiance of the formal demands of the Pakistani government. While effective in taking out targeted&nbsp;individuals, drone strikes are the embodiment of the short-sighted nature of U.S. policy toward&nbsp;Pakistan, which privileges short-term gains and assistance in the Afghanistan war over the&nbsp;strategic relationship with...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/daniel-larison" ><span class="byline">Daniel Larison</span></a>Fri, 22 Apr 2011 16:48:00 -0400Pakistan's diplomatic 'hardball': What should the U.S. do?<img src="" /></P><p>Pakistan is a central battleground in the war against al Qaeda, and it's now playing "hardball" with the Obama Administration, says Bruce Riedel in <em>Newsweek</em>. Pakistan is feeding off anger over CIA contractor Raymond Davis' shooting of two Pakistanis in January, and capitalizing on its power over a key supply route for NATO forces in Afghanistan, not to mention its growing nuclear strength. It's insisting that the U.S. withdraw hundreds of its CIA workers and special-ops troops, and sharply limit Predator drone attacks on Islamist militants. How should the U.S. respond to these demands from its...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 19 Apr 2011 13:55:00 -0400