News books are being launched by the Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue IRD) of International Islamic University (IIU) in the coming week.

As the titles of both books reveal that these are important issues investigated by the authors. Ms Tabassum Majeed investigates the dynamics of the rise of Taliban in Swat valley, the havoc they brought in the region, and then the ultimate decline of the militants.

She looks into this entire violent process in three stages: a pre-conflict phase when the grounds were made; a conflict phase when the actual conflict emerged and spread out in the region; and then the last phase when after the successful military operation, the beautiful valley of SWAT entered a post-conflict situation. She also identifies several factors and actors that contributed to peacebuilding in the valley.

Ms Majeed is optimistic about the future of the valley but she is still worried that all conflicts have a cycle and if the initial causes of the conflict are not properly handled, then another turbulent situation is just ahead.

In his book, Pak-US relations during the Musharraf era, Dr Manzoor Ahmad, critically examines the nature of Pak-US relations during the Musharraf era specifically after the tragic incidents of September 11. He argues that Pakistan was surrounded by several key economic, social and political challenges, and Pakistan’s economy and society suffered a lot during that era. Pakistani extended all its support in the War on Terror and accrued some financial benefits as well but the quantum of loss to the economy and society was huge.