Columns

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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The merger question

Any delay in Fata reforms prolongs its people’s misery IT is heartening to note that the National Implementation Committee on Fata Reforms has directed the finance minister to pursue the allocation of Fata’s share from the divisible pool with the National Finance Commission over the next 10 years. The committee has outlined four interdependent aspects of mainstreaming: political, legal, economic ...

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Contours of the endgame

The creeping coup has taken quite a long time to reach the endgame. It all started soon after the newly elected government of Muslim League led by Nawaz Sharif assumed power after winning the general election in 2013. The fault lines between the elected civilian government and the so-called permanent state (security establishment) appeared quite soon. The first issue that ...

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The AfPak tangle

The bloody summer this year in Afghanistan wouldn’t have been different from the last two years that saw a similar bloodshed had it not been for important political developments at the tail end of the fighting season. On August 21 US President  Donald Trump declared a fresh strategy towards AfPak which underlined the regional nature of the armed conflict in ...

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Rules of the game

The events taking place in Islamabad over the last few days leave no doubt about the aggravation of the crises in the state system of the country. The said crisis has reached a stage where it is too big to be swept under the carpet. Refusing ministers including the Minister Interior during a hearing of a case against Nawaz Sharif, ...

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