Columns

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

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

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

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?

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

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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FATA’s wounds

The news about unannounced military operation in the Masood area of South Waziristan came in bits and pieces in second week of November as the government was secretive about it. But the news could not be kept secret as 1100 plus families of Shabi Khel sub tribe of Masood from Shaktoi, Small and Bobarh villages of Ladha subdivision were asked ...

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Islamabad under siege

The fresh onslaught on Islamabad indicates aggressive mood of the putschists who are hell bent on dissolution of assemblies before the expiry of the constitutional term. Extraordinary prolongation of the simmering coup against the PML (N) government has been painful for the entire country but it has been particularly excruciating for the capital city Islamabad. Characters change in this live ...

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National question and the state

Europe is recognised to be the birth place of the modern national state. The processes of ethnic consolidation and socio political development triggered by industrial revolution and followed by democratic transformation between 15th and 19th centuries were supposed to have shaped the phenomenon. In some cases there were relatively more united national entities such as Dutch and Portuguese nations that gave birth to states ...

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AfPak in the eye of storm

The latest round of the so called Great Game which has started recently, like the previous ones played in 19th and 20th centuries, has brought new troubles for South Asia in general and for Afghan/Pashtuns in particular. The first round of the Great Game is supposed to have started between the British and Russian empires in 1830 when Britishers decided ...

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Deconstructing a dangerous myth about FATA

The people of the tribal areas got what they had signed up for and their constitutional status is but a quid pro quo for retaining their ‘autonomy’. And so goes the argument: the constitutional arrangement for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) reflects the written agreements that were concluded with the state on their behalf. Why would the tribes accept ...

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