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Soldiers drive toward North Waziristan during a 2014 military offensive against the Pakistani Taliban.

REUTERS/Ihsan Khattak

As Pakistan confronts the Taliban, Washington backs Islamabad — kind of

Afghanistan and Pakistan are on the brink of direct conflict.

Terror attacks from the Pakistani Taliban — aka the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or the TTP, who are ideologically affiliated with and politically backed by the Afghan Taliban — are increasing across Pakistan. In the last two weeks, Pakistani intelligence operatives have been gunned down in the country’s biggest province, and a detention facility has been overtaken and officials held hostage.

To defend itself, Islamabad has hinted that it might attack TTP hideouts in Afghanistan … with Washington’s blessing.

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar hold a news conference in Washington, DC.

Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

US warns India on dealing with Russia: “Pakistan is Plan B”

After years of favoring New Delhi, the US is now back to balancing between India and Pakistan.

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A shopkeeper tunes a television screen to watch the speech of Pakistani PM Imran Khan in Islamabad.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Captain vs. America: Pakistan’s Khan drags US into regime change

Pakistan’s flamboyant cricketer-turned-PM Imran Khan is known by his followers as “Kaptaan” (Captain) for his against-all-odds brand of leadership. On Sunday, he pulled the pin from the only political grenade he had left in his arsenal of populism by dissolving parliament and pushing for a snap election to avoid being ousted in a no-confidence vote he was set to lose.

Using a cricket term to explain his defense of the political challenge he faces, Khan had vowed last week to defend his government till the “last ball” against so-called foreign conspirators and their local assets. Who was he referring to? Right-wing Pakistan’s go-to foe: the United States.

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Hina Khar: Pakistan must solve its domestic problems and step back from a global role
Hina Khar: Pakistan Must Solve Its Domestic Problems and Step Back From a Global Role | GZERO World

Hina Khar: Pakistan must solve its domestic problems and step back from a global role

With Washington ready to downgrade its relationship with Islamabad, Pakistan's PM Imran Khan, looking to form new friendships to protect Pakistan's strategic interests visited Moscow as Russian forces invaded Ukraine. In a GZERO World interview, Ian Bremmer talks to Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister, Hina Khar, about Afghanistan, Pakistan’s future choices, and India.

Khar argues that the West needs to accept its responsibility for starving Afghans. Military interventions like the US-led war in Afghanistan, she adds, cast a “deep shadow on the entire democratic value system.” She also thinks that the best way to help end the humanitarian crisis is to talk to the Taliban.

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Pakistan suffered from global role; should focus domestically, says former top diplomat
Pakistan Suffered From Global Role; Should Focus Domestically, Says Former Top Diplomat | GZERO

Pakistan suffered from global role; should focus domestically, says former top diplomat

Pakistan has long punched above its weight in global politics. Yet, former Foreign Minister Hina Khar said her country has gained little from it.

That's why she'd like to see Pakistan taking a step back from the global stage to focus on its mounting domestic challenges.

“Our first role should be to our own people,” Khar told Ian Bremmer in a GZERO World interview at the 2022 Munich Security Conference.

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Paige Fusco

The Graphic Truth: The US can't buy Pakistanis' love

The longstanding US-Pakistan relationship is not an easy one. Despite the billions of dollars the US doles out to Islamabad in economic and military assistance, Pakistanis hold extremely unfavorable views of America and its leadership. After 9/11, Pakistanis held more positive views of the US, but that changed in the 2010s, when the killing of bin Laden inside Pakistan's territory and deadly US drone strikes that killed Pakistani civilians sparked deep animosity against Washington. President Trump then made things worse by playing favorites with India, Pakistan's nemesis. We compare US aid flows to Pakistan with Pakistani views on American leadership over the past two decades.

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