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World Digest

Pakistan School Closings Stir Confusion, and Fears of More Attacks

New York Times SABA IMTIAZ Fears about potential follow-up attacks on Pakistani schools by Taliban militants created widespread confusion and school closings this week, even as officials urged calm. The closing of the Pakistani military’s network of colleges and schools around Karachi, a little over a week after the Taliban …

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Iran and its neighbours

Al Jazeera John Bell Iran’s ascent during a period of severe weakness for many Arab states is a large problem The sanctions have ended, and Iran can pick up where it left off in its Middle East strategy, but with more money, and much more international legitimacy. The great bogeyman …

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Embracing the Enemies We Know in Afghanistan

Foreign Policy Magazine FAHD HUMAYUN Despite mutual distrust, Washington must include both the Taliban and the Haqqani Network in negotiations to achieve peace in Afghanistan Last November, the Pentagon announced that the United States now considered the Afghan Taliban an important partner in the Afghan-led reconciliation process, and as a …

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China’s New Grand Strategy for the Middle East

Foreign Policy Magazine GAL LUFT After decades of distance, China is moving closer to the region’s sectarian feuds and its vital oil reserves At the start of 2016, prospects weren’t good for what would later become one of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s most consequential international tours. The January execution of …

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Debatable Implementation: Putting NAP (and criticism) in perspective

Newsweek Pakistan EJAZ HAIDER Since the Jan. 20 attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, there’s been debate on the National Action Plan and whether it has been—or is being—effectively implemented. Much of this debate unfortunately is on TV, not the best platform for nuanced analysis, especially when guests sit …

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Pakistani general’s exit may be good for democracy but bad for stability

Washington Post Tim Craig The most powerful and popular man in Pakistan, Gen. Raheel Sharif, announced Monday that he will step down as army chief when his term expires in November, a positive step for the country’s historically unstable democracy but one that creates new uncertainty about the battle against …

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American View: Pakistan’s Perpetual Militant Feedback Loop

Foreign Policy Magazine SABA IMTIAZ In the wake of a recent attack in India, Islamabad is again pledging to get tough on militants. Why should this time be any different? In a speech last November, Maulana Masood Azhar, the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistan-based anti-India militant group, railed against men who didn’t …

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