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Newsweek|October 08, 2021
Pakistan sees a victorious Taliban in Afghanistan to the west and a partner in China to the East. But the U.S. is at odds with both, pushing leader Imran Khan into a delicate balancing act.
TOM O'CONNOR

PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER IMRAN Khan presides today over a nuclear-armed major South Asian power situated at a critical geopolitical crossroads. To the west, the Taliban has emerged victorious from a two-decade war led by the United States. It has reestablished the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, a project Pakistan backed a quarter of a century ago, and with which it still maintains closer ties than any other government. To the east, a traditional partner, China, has risen up from its revolutionary roots to become a superpower contender willing to share the spoils with Pakistan.

But Khan’s country also finds itself at the center of deep-rooted tensions both regional and global. His exclusive interview with Newsweek touches upon a number of the most pressing issues his nation faces as he seeks to lead it through difficult times.

Unruly Neighbors

Pakistan’s modern history is intrinsically linked to that of its archfoe, India. Both nations were born out of the colonial United Kingdom’s departure from the subcontinent, where a 1947 partition along the Kashmir region created two independent states and left hundreds of thousands dead in the ensuing violence.

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