Columns

Censorship footprints in Pakistan and ‘The Lives of Others’ movie

In today’s Pakistan, essential freedoms are being curbed, both openly and covertly on different pretexts. Media and internet censorship is gaining foothold in Pakistan. The current state of freedom of expression reminds us of the 2006 movie ‘The Lives of Others’ by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The movie truly depicts the present situation in Pakistan vis-à-vis silencing of dissent, controlling ...

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The ISI is the enemy of reconciliation between Pashtuns and the West

Benjamin Gilmour’s feature film Jirga remedies maladies of guilt with bravery and redemption.   It is fairly cathartic when a war movie takes us far beyond the horror of bullets, bomb and blood into the other sides of the war—emotional incumbrances on the individuals.  With such a characteristic aplomb, Jirga film unveils the depth of the heartache and guilt of an ...

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Controlled democracy – Not a good going

In his first address to the nation, Prime minister Imran Khan spoke on a number of issues. It’s very pleasant to see someone speaking about the issues which were barely addressed before, as,  climate change, tourism, agriculture research, new provinces, health insurance, physically challenged people, kids on the streets, merit, child abuse, civil service reforms, developing beaches, building new resorts, ...

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The election blues

The much talked about democratic transition that was supposed to have started with the general elections in 2008 and continued through the general elections of 2013 has for all practical purposes died down. The so called soft creeping coup which was conceived by the deep state and midwifed by judiciary during the last few years has not only culminated in ...

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Pantomime of FATA reforms

As if this was not enough, the civil and military bureaucracy is about to spring another surprise on the Parliament by imposing the so called Interim Governance Order 2018 which is a new form of the despicable FCR. Ultimately the 31st Constitutional Amendment bill, providing for merger of Federally Administered Tribal Area ( FATA ) and Provincially Administered Tribal Area ...

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The words, he uttered?

At last “the soul” spoke out the two forbidden words; Pashtun vs. Military. The later didn’t like and resorted to repression on Pashtun youths. Their Printed material confiscated and the right to free movement of the “CHE” were restricted. Air travel was banned. People and few groups from our land were propped up to carry out a nasty and senseless ...

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The power shift

Formally the constitutional term of the present government will come to an end with completion of the term of elected assemblies by the end of May but power has already been shifted from elected to non elected executive far before that. The black out of the entire press conference of the sitting prime minister last week was a proof of ...

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Transformational leadership of Pashteen

The Transformational leadership focuses on leaders who take control of the situation by conveying a clear vision of the group’s goals. An American historian and political scientist, James MacGregor Burns, who was one of the first thought leaders to embark on a more philosophical approach to the understanding of leadership, Suggested, that “we need to step back from our over-emphasis ...

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Mainstreaming FATA

Gone are the days of colonialism, yet we see its remnants to this day. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is such a space that was either eulogized for the ‘free spirit’ of our valiant tribesmen or abused as a lawless region. It came to be the epicentre of terrorist structures, which were rooted out by our valiant armed forces. ...

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The dismal picture of Pak politics

Officially Pakistan is supposed to be in the final stage of preparation for general elections to be held in summer this year as the elected National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies are reaching the end of their constitutional term on May 30 ( the last day of the constitutional life of Pakhtunkhwa Assembly is May 28). Care taker governments, at both ...

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