Authors Posts by Salman Rafi Sheikh

Salman Rafi Sheikh

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Afghanistan: The big story of massive aid waste

There are ghost soldiers; ghost police officers; ghost clinics and even ghost patients in Afghanistan. There are billions of dollars spent on papers, but...

Taliban-US talks: There is more to it than meets the eye

After meeting US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, the Afghan Taliban are said to have agreed to hold a second round of talks on paving the...

India’s limited life-line in Afghanistan

While India continues to plan to expand its foothold in Afghanistan, using its alliance with the United States as its main source of support,...

China’s discreet headway into Afghanistan

While China continues officially to deny playing a leading role in managing conflict in Afghanistan, there is also no gainsaying that China continues to...

Taliban are talking from a position of strength

While the US-Taliban talks are of paramount importance in terms of bringing the 17 years old war to an end, there remains little to...

As Taliban influence grows, dialogue without regional consensus won’t do much...

The importance of the US-Taliban direct dialogue notwithstanding, it remains unclear as to what substantial outcome this will produce without a political and geo-political...

What the Afghan war looks like after 17 years?

Afghanistan’s geopolitics has changed; the ‘war on terror’ narrative is absolutely dead given that the US is now talking to the Taliban (the erstwhile...

Pompeo claims to “reset” ties with Pakistan but makes India “strategic...

Just few days before the arrival of the US Secretary of the State, Mike Pompeo, in Pakistan, the US officially cancelled US$300 million aid...

Why Zalmay Khalilzad might be a bad choice for Taliban negotiations

The appointment of Zalmay Khalilzad as special adviser on Afghanistan has caused consternation in the region for obvious reasons: he is among several veterans...

Taliban seeks legitimacy by reforming itself as prospects of returning to...

While the war in Afghanistan has changed many things over the past 17 years, the most noticeable transformation has been the return of the...

Saudi investment in CPEC will deepen Pak ties with Riyadh and...

Pakistan has officially invited Saudi Arabia to not only invest in the geo-economically celebrated China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but also be a strategic partner,...

Divergence with the US brings Pakistan & Iran closer, but not...

Notwithstanding the not-so-warm past, the fact that Iran’s foreign minister is the first foreign dignitary to visit the newly established government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf...

New regional configurations taking lead in Afghanistan war

About two weeks ago Pakistan reportedly hosted spy-chiefs of Russia, China and Iran to formulate a joint policy and a platform for extended co-operation...

The learned and not learned lessons from Afghanistan

While the most regular and most reported feature of life in Afghanistan remains the US ‘war on terror’ and the way this war continues...

To forge their peace, Afghan Taliban wage their war

While the latest Taliban attack on the city of Ghazni in Afghanistan has led many in the West, especially the mainstream media, to conclude...

India faces tough choices as the US sanctions Iran

For the Indian policy makers, one of the crucial questions today is of how to walk a balancing act between the US, their prime...

Why is the US switching sides in Afghanistan?

In a recent twist of events, the Afghan war seems to have turned away from a ‘war on terror’ on the Taliban to a...

India’s lingering BRICS dilemma

With the world’s almost two-third of the total wealth to be concentrated in Asia in coming decades, any multilateral grouping, such as BRICS, which...

Pakistan’s general election brings the opposition to power, only to find...

As we write this piece, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehree-i-Insaaf (PTI) (Pakistan Justice Party) is the leading party, only a bat’s swing away from forming...

Afghanistan: Is the Trump administration turning the tide to better?

With the Afghan Taliban claiming indirect talks currently going on with the US, the hope for an eventual emergence of a long-term truce, if...

Emphasis on dialogue is back in Afghanistan

Last few months have seen Afghanistan moving from the Taliban’s direct offer of talks with the US to the Ghani administration responding with a...