Columns

Pashtuns’ parlat

In the last weeks, Islamabad witnessed an outpouring of extreme anger and fury from Pakistan’s Pashtun dominated areas. Thousands of protestors including University students, rights activists, and political workers converged at the National Press Club to condemn extrajudicial killings, disappearances of Pashtuns youth, loss of lives in landmines, forces’ arrogance on security check-posts, curfews and harassment of tribesmen on the ...

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Pashtun protest

More than a week of peaceful protest by thousands of Pashtun activists ( mostly from Waziristan and FATA) in front of Islamabad Press Club may or may not succeed in forcing the government to accept their reasonable demands but it has definitely redefined Pashtun political discourse in Pakistan. The contradiction between ever growing socio political awareness brought by urbanisation and the utter political disempowerment is the ...

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Time for Afghanistan to change its counter-terrorism strategy

Jan. 27, 2018, was another bloody day in the Afghan capital Kabul, with more than 100 killed and about 200 injured in a suicide attack in one of the busiest areas of the city, just meters away from the old Interior Ministry complex. As usual, the victims were mostly civilians, including women and children. There was no hesitation from the ...

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Radicalisation at universities

The National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism has a 20 point agenda; none among them talks about the radicalization in public or private sector universities or colleges. The killing of a college principal on January 22 by one of his students in Charsadda over perceived blasphemy is yet another grim reminder that how distorted interpretation of religion is vigorously being ...

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Dead end of the Afghan policy

In recent times Pakistani political and military leadership has come around to the position where it is publicly accepting the fact that General Zia’s policy of supporting private Jihadist networks in 1980s was actually a fassad (turmoil) as according to them Jihad is  sole domain of the state. Not only that. From General Musharraf’s “enlightened moderation” after 9/11 to the ...

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Af/Pak Durand Line Fencing

Despite objections by Afghanistan, Pakistan has accelerated work on building fence along the Durand Line, the two countries’ border, steeped in history and bitter controversy. Pakistan argues that fencing the border will stem cross-border movement of militants, a key sticking point in ties between Kabul and Islamabad, and Washington and Islamabad. President Donald Trump has ratcheted up pressure on Pakistan ...

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Western media continues to fail Afghanistan’s ‘unworthy victims’ of terrorism 

Terror attacks in Kabul are once again making headlines—but they have failed to engender global outrage in support of Afghanistan. Last Saturday (January 27), an ambulance packed with explosives blew up on a crowded street in central Kabul, killing more than 100 people and injuring some 200 others. The intensity of the attack and the multitude of deaths led both ...

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Political fragmentation

The rapid expansion of electronic media followed by the equally impressive growth of social media during the last two decades in Pakistan has opened up immense possibilities for the people to connect and we have witnessed massive rise in connectivity among individuals, social and political groups and communities across the country ( and beyond). The irony, however, is that democratic movement in ...

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Courting disaster

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

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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