Dr Farhan Hanif Siddiqi

The writer is an Associate Professor at School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad

Bringing Balochistan Back

Three important developments emanated out of Balochistan in August 2015. First, 400 Baloch nationalist-separatists surrendered and laid down their arms in a ceremony that was part of Pakistan’s Independence Day celebrations on August 14 in Quetta; second, news circulated in local dailies of the alleged death of perhaps the most hardened nationalist-separatist in Balochistan, Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, the leader …

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The 18th Amendment, that was hailed by all and sundry as a step in the right direction, has rather curiously contributed to the ethnic divide within the provinces. The devolution plan, designed to be administratively effective, has become a victim of political partisanship and nationalist politics. If this be the case then the devolution plan cuts at the heart of …

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Back-channel diplomacy is one of the oldest forms of diplomatic interactions and its antecedents can be traced back to the time immemorial. At the outset, it signifies negotiations between states that takes place in secrecy, is removed from public examination and sometimes can even occur in the presence of front-channel negotiations. Back-channel diplomacy, in essence, is a sort of official …

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Elections 2013 & Ethnicity

The historic 2013 General Elections in Pakistan, with an excellent 55% turnout, bode well for the fate of democracy in a country where military dictatorships have been the norm rather than an exception. The peaceful transition of power, where one government, after losing elections, makes way for another, is a celebratory political trend which one hopes is not halted. After …

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New Provinces in Pakistan: A Debate and Controversy

The debate on the creation of new provinces evokes a mixed response, pitting the emotionalists or alarmists against the rationalists. Pakistan is passing through an innovative phase of history, particularly due to its experimentation with a new form of federalism as enunciated in the 18th Amendment. While the model of centre-province relations in the 1956, 1962 and 1973 constitutions remained …

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Pakistan-China Relations: Political, Economic and Strategic Dimensions

The Chinese-Pakistani friendship was consolidated further throughout the cold war, in the post-cold war era and the war on terror but with important qualifications. China no longer supports Pakistan for its position on Kashmir but advocates and invokes the letter and spirit of the Simla Accords of 1972. China fears that if it favours the self-determination movement in Kashmir, such …

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National Integration, Identity Crisis and the Ruling Elite of Pakistan

The critical question still remains unanswered: is it the ruling elite or the sub-state elite responsible for the crisis of national integration and identity in Pakistan? As we celebrate 65 years of our independence as a state, the spectre of ‘national integration’, ‘identity crisis’, coupled with labels such as ‘failed state’, ‘failing state’ continue to haunt our polity. Each year …

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WHERE DOES THE PROBLEM LIE? After the PPP-led government announced its fifth and what was being bragged as “a historic budget’ (for reasons having less to do with economics), the finance minister was quick to retort that with a soaring current account and budget deficit, Pakistan, for resolving its financial crisis, may take the begging bowl to the IMF. In …

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Nuclear Security Summit, Seoul 2012

The nuclear summit includes both states and non-state actors and is designed as a collective effort to resolve issues of nuclear security and terrorism. At the heart of the Summit’s agenda is the concern relative to nuclear safety measures, its proliferation and illegal trafficking as well as efforts to reduce the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU).   According to …

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