Kamal Alam is a Visiting Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute @RUSI_org and is part of the International Security Team @ISS_RUSI.
Afghanistan's perennial runner-up will not be content with second place this time.
A crop of dedicated security chiefs hold the keys to Afghanistan's future, not the Taliban.
The sentiment that there is a 'united Islamic front' standing up for the welfare of Muslims needs to be retired - nothing could be further from the truth.
Will the son of the legendary 'Lion of Panjshir' help to shape Afghanistan's future?
Pakistan-Iran ties have been plagued by wider geopolitical wrangling in the region for decades. Can Prime Minister Imran Khan insulate the two countries from the region's political baggage?
Afghan politics has always been a complicated and ruthless affair, yet Karzai has withstood the turbulence like no leader before him.
With the US continuing talks with the Taliban and failing to include the legitimate Afghan government, and other countries also battling to court the group, the reconciliation process is beginning to look like a game of economic geopolitics.
The Pakistan Army is making a concerted effort to relieve itself of its dependency on the US, and it might be working.
Imran Khan's personal history gives him a leg up in trying to start a dialogue on Kashmir and moving towards ending the 72-year stalemate with India.
Pakistan's dynamic with Saudi Arabia has historically been of subservience, but the latest visit by Saudi Arabia's crown prince shows that the nature of the relationship could be changing.
Pakistan's Middle East policy has long been centred around Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The country, under new leadership, now seems to be taking baby steps towards greater independence in the region.
As Khan has previously described Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as one of his political heroes, it remains to be seen how the two countries will further strengthen their relationship in the near future.
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