Ashraf Ali is a media consultant with the United Nations Development Programme on Pakistan's initiatives to mainstream the war-hit region of FATA. He has over 25 years of experience in the fields of journalism, mass communication, and research. He worked with the BBC World Service for 17 years, after which he joined the FATA Research Centre as its president in 2009. Later, he took over as Executive Director of Zalan Communications (Zcomms), an Islamabad-based research organization. During this time, he covered the rise and fall of the Taliban in the conflict zones on both sides of the Durand Line (Pak-Afghan border), the subsequent American-led war on terror, and the re-grouping of the Taliban in recent times. He has contributed articles to The Daily Telegraph (London), the San Francisco Chronicle (USA), The Muslim Observer (USA), and the Gulf Monitor (UAE), besides writing regular columns for leading Pakistani daily newspapers, The News and The Nation on governance and security issues. He has led a number of research studies in the tribal areas of Pakistan as well as bordering Afghanistan on a wide range of issues from violent extremism/radicalization to socio-economic, political, and cultural aspects.