Born and raised in Kashmir, Syed Zafar Mehdi has worked with many national and international news publications as reporter, blogger and editor for more than 8 years. He previously served as the founder editor of Afghan Zariza, the first English news magazine from Afghanistan. He is also the founder editor of Kashmir-based magazine The Witness, which primarily focuses on issues facing the Muslim world. He divides his time between Kashmir, Kabul, New Delhi and Tehran.
What starts as intermittent exchange of fire can sometimes escalate to a full-blown war with far-reaching consequences. Over the past one week, these fears were ignited when estranged neighbours Pakistan and Afghanistan resorted to brinkmanship, flexed their military muscle and fired artillery at the Torkham border, leading to many casualties.
Taking their "development partnership" to the next level, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the Salma Dam during an impressive ceremony in western Herat province on 4 June. Though the dam has been the target of many terrorist attacks over the years, the people of Afghanistan have been have been overwhelmingly supportive of the project.
Afghan authorities have not directly accused Pakistan of involvement in the Kabul attack of 19 April, but many senior government and security officials have blamed the hostile neighbour for providing sanctuary to terror groups -- most notably the notorious Haqqani Network -- attacking Afghanistan. Kabul intelligence chief Omar Aziz, addressing a press conference, said the attack was orchestrated "outside the country", stopping short of mentioning Pakistan.