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Malik Siraj Akbar is a Washington-D.C.-based political analyst and a communications specialist. A former Bureau Chief of Pakistan's leading newspaper, the Daily Times, Akbar has written for the New York Times, Foreign Policy, the Chicago Tribune, the BBC, the Center for Public Integrity, the Times of India, the Hindustan Times,  the Indian Express, the Hindu, the Huffington Post, the Diplomat, Dawn, the Express Tribune, the Asia Times, and many other publications. As a political expert, he has been interviewed or quoted by the New York Times, CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, the Guardian, the Voice of America, Reuters and many other news organizations. In 2015, Akbar graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government with a Master's degree in Public Administration. He is a former Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at Arizona State University, Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, Edward Mason Fellow at Harvard University, a former Board Member of the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA), the Vice President of the Harvard Kennedy School Washington D.C. Alumni Council. He is a current member of the Online News Association and PEN America.

کیا حاصل بزنجو بھی نواب بگٹی بننے جا رہے ہیں؟

August 04, 2019

حاصل بزنجو کا بدلتا ہوا سیاسی رویہ دراصل بلوچستان کے اس سیاسی کلچر کا عکاس ہے جس میں بعض سیاست دان اپنی سیاسی زندگی کے ایک حصے میں اسٹیبلشمنٹ نواز ہوتے ہیں اور پھر وہ اقتدار کے اسی سرچشمے کے خلاف ہو جاتے ہیں۔

BBC URDU: عمران خان کا دورہ امریکہ اور ڈونلڈ ٹرمپ کا پاکستان پر یوٹرن

August 02, 2019

In an article for the BBC Urdu on August 2, 2019, Malik Siraj Akbar writes about the discomfort among some American diplomats, journalists and academics on President Trump's handling of the recent visit of the Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan. While the trip has mostly been described as a great success for Khan, some in Washington believe Trump capitulated American interests before the Pakistanis.

Voice of America Urdu Interview: The Reko Diq Verdict

July 15, 2019

The Voice of America Urdu interviewed Malik Siraj Akbar on July 15, 2019, about the decision of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to impose a fine of  $5.8 billion in damages on the government of Pakistan in a dispute over the Reko Diq copper mine.

INDEPENDENT URDU: امریکی پابندی اور بی ایل اے کی دم توڑتی امیدیں

July 04, 2019

امریکی محکمہ خارجہ نے کئی برس کی خاموشی کے بعد دو جولائی کو بلوچستان میں سرگرمِ عمل علیحدگی پسند تنظیم بلوچ لبریشن آرمی یا (بی ایل اے) کو’عالمی دہشت گرد تنظیم‘ قرار دے کر دو واضح پیغام دیئے ہیں۔ اس اقدام سے اس نے ایک طرف ان قیاس آرائیوں کو ہمیشہ کے لیے ختم کیا ہے کہ امریکہ خفیہ طور پر بلوچستان میں ایک دہائی سے جاری علیحدگی پسند تحریک کی حمایت کر رہا ہے تو دوسری طرف ٹرمپ انتظامیہ نے بھی بلوچ رہنماوں کو واضح طور پر یہ پیغام دیا ہے کہ وہ واشنگٹن سے یہ توقع نہ رکھیں کہ وہ اسلام آباد اور چین کے خلاف ان کی بڑھتی ہوئی پرتشدد کارروائیوں کی حمایت کریں گے۔

EVENT: World Sindhi Congress, Washington DC

April 30, 2019

On April 30, 2019, Malik Siraj Akbar spoke at the World Sindhi Congress at the University Club in Washington D.C. His presentation focused on Sindhi, Balochi and Pashtun nationalisms in Pakistan's Sindh province and how the Pakistani government has represesed the demands and grievances of the indigenous peoples.

DAWN: Eight Months in, How is Balochistan Faring?

April 04, 2019

In a detailed article for Dawn.com, Malik Siraj Akbar shares the progress report of the Balochistan government since it came into power, focusing on a range of issues from economic revival to managing the insurgency. "The next four months will be critical if the BAP is rocked by infighting, or if BNP decides to withdraw its support for the PTI in Islamabad to protest unfulfilled promises."

EVENT at Georgetown University: Pakistan, Its Politics and Regional Stability

March 25, 2019

On March 25, 2019, Malik Siraj Akbar spoke at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. on "Pakistan, Its Politics and Regional Stability". The event was hosted at the School of Foreign Service by SFS Graduate School Council where Malik spoke about Pakistan under the leadership of Imran Khan, the recent standoff with India, negotiations between the Taliban and the United States and the future of the region. David Blechman, leader of the SFS Graduate School Council, introduced Malik to the audience while Anthony Orlando, a Georgetown student, moderated the Q&A session. 

Interview with the BBC

February 15, 2019

The BBC Arabic interviewed Malik Siraj Akbar in February 2019 for a report about the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan and the heavy investments the Saudis and the Chinese are making there. Despite, the abysmal state of internal security and growing turmoil, Malik said, the Saudis and the Chinese were still willing to gamble on Pakistan.

PTM redefining resistance in Pakistan

February 06, 2019

The killing of Ibrahim Arman Loni, 35, a senior leader of Pakistan’s groundbreaking Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), last Saturday in an “encounter” with police in Balochistan province has sparked widespread condemnation and protests among the country’s Pashtun population and members of other allied communities.

ASIA TIMES: Winners and Losers of the Afghan Peace Talks

January 29, 2019

The United States and the Taliban have reported progress after their intense negotiations in Doha, Qatar, to end the war in Afghanistan that has lasted for around two decades. Both sides seem delighted with the expected outcome of the discussions, although the Taliban clearly seem to have the upper hand over Washington in these talks.

بلوچستان: کشیدگی کا براہ راست اثر مہاجرین کے بچوں اور خواتین پر پڑ رہا ہے

January 12, 2019

In this BBC Urdu analysis, Malik Siraj Akbar explores the future of the Baloch refugees in Afghanistan who had to flee their homes in Balochistan following the launch of a military operation in the province in 2004. The recent attack on a key leader of the Baloch Liberation Army inside Afghanistan indicates that neighboring country is no longer a safe refuge for the Baloch fighters. Women and children find themselves stranded in this armed conflict. 

China’s Balochistan Problem

December 28, 2018

On Tuesday, news broke that Aslam Baloch, the mastermind of the recent attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, had been killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan. While no group has accepted responsibility for the attack, the greatest celebrations were seen among Pakistani military officials, the country’s right-wing media, and centrist politicians.

China Must Quit Balochistan: Aslam Achu

December 26, 2018

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) confirmed on December 25, 2018, that one of its top commanders Aslam Achu had been killed. The Pakistani media reported that the Baloch leader, believed to be the mastermind of the recent attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi, was killed in an attack in Afghanistan. I had interviewed Achu only four days before his death. This was probably his last interview. Publishing it here on my site without any edits.

The News on Sunday: Blind Spots in Balochistan

December 22, 2018

The recent attacks in Karachi and Turbat involving Baloch armed groups indicate that managing the chaos in Balochistan requires rigorous political intervention and policy review.

The New York Times: In Balochistan, Dying Hopes for Peace

July 19, 2018

 

The carnage in Balochistan can be understood by considering the long history of separatism in the province, the resentment against the federal authorities for denying its people their proper share of resources and opportunities, and the failed strategy of the Pakistani military to use repression and to encourage and use Islamist groups and militants to crush Baloch nationalist rebels and politicians.

Featured in the Huffington Post Article on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

July 24, 2018

On July 24, 2018, the Huffington Post foreign affairs reporter Akbar Shahid Ahmed featured Malik Siraj Akbar in his long-format article about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the overall conflict in Balochistan, its history, and impact on the Baloch people. The author wrote, "Akbar was casually name-checked by almost everyone I talked to, from current officials to international outside experts and tribal chiefs-in-waiting. He’s deeply familiar with the perspectives of both Pakistani decision-makers and armed nationalists." 

DAWN: Who speaks for Balochistan in the upcoming elections?

July 19, 2018

An election campaign without sufficient space to debate on the actual political, economic and security issues, and a promise of justice does not seem to guarantee a happier and a more stable future to the country’s persistently unstable province. However, it appears despite the unfulfilled promises of the past, Balochistan is still willing to give a new democratic government the chance to take the province to the promised age of development and prosperity that has been promised to its people for the past seven decades.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its Impact on Balochistan

June 05, 2018

On June 5, 2018, Malik Siraj Akbar spoke at George Washington University in Washington D.C. about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and its impact on Balochistan at an event hosted by AdvoPak, a nonprofit organization. The event was a part of an ongoing series of lectures Malik is hosting on Balochistan for people interested in different aspects of life in the region. 

Calling a spade a spade: Asma Jahangir’s bold stance on Balochistan

February 12, 2018

Although Asma did not live to see a permanent peaceful solution to the ongoing Balochistan conflict, she left an impeccable legacy that teaches us about the power of compassion, travel, and dialogue while dealing with underrepresented communities.

Quoted in The News on Sunday on the Hazara Killings

May 13, 2018

Senior Pakistani journalist Zofeen T. Ebrahim interviewed Malik Siraj Akbar for her The News on Sunday articleKilling Them Slowly published on May 13, 2018. Akbar talked about the recent wave of violence against Pakistan's Hazara/Shia minorities. He said the new generation of the anti-Shia extremists in Pakistan seemed inspired by and loyal to groups like the Islamic States.

Beijing to Balochistan

The Baloch nationalists have repeatedly warned China to stay away from Gwadar or to at least directly negotiate with them about Balochistan’s coastal and mineral resources instead of going through Islamabad.

 

In a nutshell, the nationalists’ posture toward China is based on these key messages: Stay out of Balochistan. Don’t usurp the province’s resources. Don’t become a party in the Baloch-Islamabad conflict. 

EVENT: Harvard Pakistan Forum

April 15, 2017

Malik Siraj Akbar spoke on the Harvard Pakistan Forum panel "the Balochistan Question: Fostering Provincial Cohesion in Pakistan" on April 15, 2017. He spoke about the causes of the conflict in Balochistan and how flawed policies have alienated the Baloch population and led to human rights abuses. Moderated by Dr. Adil Najam, dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University,the conversation was also joined by Mr. Anwaar Kakar, the official spokesman of the Government of Balochistan. It was the first time the Balochistan conflict was so extensively discussed at Harvard. 

EVENT: George Washington University: Causes and Implications of the Conflict in Balochistan

February 01, 2018

On February 1, 2018, Malik Siraj Akbar spoke at George Washington University in Washington D.C. about the conflict in Balochistan at an event hosted by AdvoPak, a nonprofit organization that works toward a peaceful Pakistan that is free of violence and discrimination. Young professionals and university students attended the event and showed a keen interest in issues about Balochistan. Because of the complexity and diversity of topics, AdvoPak decided to initiate a series of events to discuss various aspects of the conflict in Balochistan.

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Testimonials

 

One of the youngest bureau chiefs in Pakistan’s largest and most dangerous province, Balochistan, who gained access to the region’s most influential politicians and tribal leaders. (CNN)The star Baloch reporter of his generation. (Newsweek) A soft-spoken but steely man. (Washington Post); A victim of the tough stance taken by the Pakistani government. (BBC); He talks passionately and movingly of the hundreds of Baloch who have been brutally killed by the security agencies. (Al-Jazeera); A respected columnist in Pakistan's mainstream press. (The Miami Herald) One of the most authoritative voices on one of the longest-running conflicts [Balochistan] (GARA); Deeply familiar with the perspectives of both Pakistani decision-makers and armed nationalists. Name-checked by almost everyone... from current officials to international outside experts and tribal chiefs-in-waiting. (HuffPost); A real mouthpiece for the oppressed. (Huffington Post Live); He lived to tell the story of resistance, a freedom movement and the fight for democracy in Balochistan. (The Diplomat) A long journey from a small Pakistan-Iran border town to Washington.; (The New Indian Express); A voice saner than ever. (Dawn).

 

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