Columns

Courting disaster

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while commenting on the current political impasse in the country in a recent speech mentioned the crises of 1971 in the then East Pakistan ( now Bangladesh) when disrespect for the aspirations of people expressed through vote had led to the disintegration of Pakistan. His detractors labeled this analogy to be far fetched one and ...

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It’s time to end Pakistan’s double game

Zalmay Khalilzad

Since 9/11, Pakistan has provided just enough sporadic assistance to give an impression of helpfulness, while at the same time harboring, training, and assisting violent extremist groups. President Trump, in his tweet about Pakistan, called a spade a spade. Since 9/11, Pakistan has consistently played a double game, providing just enough sporadic assistance in capturing members of Al Qaeda and ...

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Remembering Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

It is not surprising that the debate about the murder of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (SMBB), even ten years after its occurrence, is raising such deep emotions. After all, she was one of the most charismatic and popular leaders in Pakistan’s history, who was killed on December 27, 2007, just before a crucial general election in which she was poised ...

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The fundamental contradiction

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

Important  developments during this week (public explanation by the Chief Justice about recent court orders and the COAS’s Senate briefing) seem to have somewhat helped in defusing the crippling tension that had gripped the political situation during the last few weeks with a severely negative fall out for governance system in the country. It was because the high voltage tension ...

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FATA, Pakistan and America’s indefinite stay in Afghanistan

Roohul Amin

As soon as the United States declared its going to stay in the war-ravaged Afghanistan for an indefinite time period, rumors about resumption of the Taliban’s FM stations in Bajaur Agency surfaced among locals. Bajuar is a tribal region bordering Afghanistan’s green and hilly Kunar province. This province is believed to be the base camp of the fugitive Taliban leader, Mullah Fazlullah aka “Mullah ...

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Here’s why activists in FATA oppose Obaid-Chinoy’s latest project

Pakistan's Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy: The Oscar double winner. Photo: AFP

Obaid-Chinoy has a legitimacy problem that needs to be addressed to restore her credibility as an unbiased and professional film-maker. Pakistan army’s strategic depth policy has had devastating consequences for people of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The area was handed over in de facto manner by Pakistan  army to its  proxies, the  Taliban, since 9/11. The Taliban disrupted ...

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Battle for Lahore

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

After politically almost choking Islamabad to death through a sit in by a violent band of religious zealots in November, the action of the unfolding coup has shifted to Lahore in December to demolish the provincial government which is the actual base of PML-N rule over the country. By stopping Mian Nawaz Sharif from mobilizing masses, the Trojan horses of establishment in ...

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A complicit state

Ayesha Siddiqa
Photo: SOAS

A historical overview of the country where religious groups of one hue or the other have played their role in collusion with the state to turn it into the hybrid-theocracy of today. The recent agreement enforced upon the political government is nothing but a small reminder that Pakistan has turned into a hybrid-theocracy where sharia law is gradually being applied ...

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Government in opposition?

Afrasiab Khan Khattak

The pro establishment tv anchors and the so called defense analysts disparagingly comment on the “oppositional” attitude of PML (n) government . They ridicule it for making demands like a party sitting in opposition . But with the three years plus old creeping coup having entered quite an advanced stage, the PML (n) governmentseems to have lost control over most of the commanding heights in ...

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Electronic identity cards, Islam, ethnicity and Afghan govt

Roohul Amin

In pre-Taliban era when the last president of Afghanistan, Dr. Najibullah was ruthlessly hanged to death, Kabul was frozen with terror of the deadliest civil war. The atrocities which followed by are unspeakable. Afghanistan, a land, where you can take any of your war with your enemies, became a living hell for its masses, and paid an unbearable price to ...

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