ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Aasim Sajjad Akhtar

The Antinomies behind the Peshawar Killings

The ruthless attack on schoolchildren in Peshawar has precipitated a clamour for stronger military action against the "terrorists", and the Pakistani army and government have responded by stepping up the Zarb-e-Azb operation and hanging a handful of incarcerated convicts. This article uncovers the tangled yet well-known roots of violence in Pakistan today to illustrate how the military-dominated State's designated ideology and political machinations have brought the country to this pass. The strengthening of democracy is the only way to prevent such incidents from recurring, but the Peshawar attacks have been used precisely to weaken democratic institutions vis-á-vis the military establishment.

21st Century Socialism in Pakistan?

Three Marxist political parties in Pakistan are coming together to merge into one party of the left. In retreat for many decades, this is an important fi rst step for the revival of left-wing politics in Pakistan and strengthening the democratic politics of the country.A participant in this unity move explains the context and the challenges for the new united party of the left in Pakistan.

Deeply Implicated in Pakistan

The overwhelming emphasis on Pakistan in the "war on terror" is disingenuous. What is called "global terrorism" is not a phenomenon that exists in thin air, it is fuelled by the imperial hubris of Washington and its allies; it cannot be defeated by the use of unbridled force. It is an exercise in deception to suggest that the spread of the Taliban (or Al Qaida, for that matter) has nothing to do with the "war on terror".

The New Great Game in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The Pakistani establishment's engagement and covert alliance with the jihadis and imperialist intervention led by the United States guided by the so-called "war on terror" have resulted in the present quagmire in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. An anti-imperialist response that does not reduce itself to mere anti-Americanism, as articulated by Islamist forces, is necessary to halt the rapid unravelling of the crisis engulfing these two countries.

Balochistan versus Pakistan

The conflict between Balochistan and the federal government of Pakistan has been amongst the most persistent of the many centre-province contradictions that have persisted in the country. The four-year insurgency of the 1970s was suppressed by army action. With the federal government attempting to reassert its authority by building new military cantonments and mega development projects across the province, militancy in Balochistan has resurfaced. This paper argues that the present stand-off, while still broadly informed by the traditional concerns of Baloch nationalism, must be considered a response to the state's commitment to intensive neoliberal accumulation. The purely reactionary nature of the insurgency explains its fragmentation.