July 22, 2011: It has been almost three months since a U.S. SEAL task force killed Osama bin Laden at his Abbottabad hideaway, gravely aggravating the worst crisis in U.S.-Pakistan relations since 9/11. Since the raid, there has been a continuing flurry of diplomatic activity as officials of the two countries sought to deal with immediate issues and to establish the “operating rules” for fruitful bilateral relations.Leave a reply
June 12, 2011: For over a month, Bangladesh’s always contentious political scene has been dominated by partisan controversy sparked by a May 11 Supreme Court that declared illegal the country’s constitutional provision for holding parliamentary elections. Adopted in 1996, this mandates that on the completion of its normal five-year term in office, the government of the day must transfer power to a caretaker administration responsible for overseeing a fresh parliamentary election.
May 15, 2011: Pakistan-watchers like ourselves were hardly surprised last week when Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told the Pakistan parliament that the government’s investigation of the May 1 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad would be conducted by a military commission headed by a three-star army general, not, as some had hoped, by a more broadly based body that would include civilians. The Pakistan military has always been zealous in securing its own professional interests. It does not countenance interference by civilian officials in a matter of such importance Read moreLeave a reply
May 3, 2011: In our recent study, How Pakistan Negotiates with the United States: Riding the Roller Coaster, we described U.S.-Pakistan relations over the years as “three marriages and two divorces.” The raid that killed Osama bin Laden has intensified decade-long Pakistani fears that the United States would lose interest once the Al Qaeda leader was gone, just as it had lost interest in Pakistan at other crucial turning points. In the United States, it has heightened skepticism about Pakistan’s role in combatting terrorism. The much-discussed “trust-deficit” is probably at an all-time high. But both countries need to work together to head off the prospect of a “third divorce.” They should view the bin Laden raid as an opportunity to recalibrate their relationship to make it more straightforward and effective. It is not at all clear, however, whether their ideas of how to do this are compatible.
Marc Grossman Returns to Pakistan
March 7, 2011 – Press reports today that Marc Grossman was holding top level talks in Pakistan with Prime Minister Yusuf Gilani and other senior leaders recalled for us his earlier incarnation in Islamabad in the late 1970s. In those distant days the seasoned diplomat who is now Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan was a lowly first-tour officer on a rotating assignment at the U.S. embassy there. He worked successively for both of us, first with Tezi in the economic section, then with Howie in the political. We wrote his first efficiency reports. As we remember, we gave him high marks and predicted that he would go far in the Foreign Service. We were right on target. Read moreLeave a reply
March 3, 2011: If an annual prize was given to the government that most effectively shoots itself in the foot, Bangladesh would be the odds-on favorite to win the award for 2011 for its sacking of Mohammed Yunus as managing director of the Grameen Bank.
Read full article at Bangladesh’s Grameen Saga.Leave a reply