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Stabilising Balochistan

Hussain Nadim Born and raised as privileged individuals, it’s often the case that we end up raising our voice and concern for the rights of Muslims far away in Palestine or Myanmar, forgetting our very own neighborhoods that have been struggling for their rights for decades. Many of us who do even end up raising our voices, seldom do so beyond social media, doing more harm than good to the Baloch cause — a cause which is more about getting an equal playing field and less about Baloch independence. My experience with Balochistan has been different, and naturally my problem-identification and solution is also counter-intuitive. Successive governments in Pakistan, both democratic and military, have tried to reach middle ground to res...

August 17, 2015 at 5:14 pm | News Desk

Australian government looks to threat of terrorism

Looking from abroad at the statements of the Australian government regarding security, one would be forgiven for thinking the country had just suffered a 9/11 scale attack or was currently engaged in a war for its very survival. The country’s hard right Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has over the past six months employed increasingly shrill and fearful language to address the threat posed by terrorism and the Daesh in particular. The government’s increasing use of such loaded language began last year, in the months after the release of its first Federal Budget. The Government had fought its election campaign around the issues of illegal immigrants and the budget deficit, with the latter in particular being spoke of as a “debt ...

August 17, 2015 at 4:42 pm | News Desk

Vyshinsky In The Sudan

In 1940, Stalin sent his strongest political operative, Andrey Vyshinsky, to bring the Baltic States to heel under the boot of the Soviet state.  Vyshinsky arrived in Latvia on June 18th, installed  as Stalin’s special envoy.  The president of Latvia, Karlis Ulmanis, was forced to appoint a “people’s government”. Within days, the president and key members of his administration were arrested and deported to the Soviet Union.  A hastily scrambled election took place on July 14-15, with a single list of Soviet-picked candidates on the ballot.  The results gave 97.8 percent of the vote to the previously unknown and unheralded candidates. Vyshinsky preened for the press corps and expressed hope the newly elected “people’s...

August 15, 2015 at 11:46 am | Tammy Swofford

Afgan-Pak: Why China is Playing Mediator

By Fanny Ragot Recently, a new strategic dialogue was held between Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Taliban leadership in the hill city of Murree, Pakistan. These negotiations were coordinated by China, illustrating Beijing’s recent commitment to support Kabul in pacifying its country. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, elected in mid-2014, has been reaffirming his willingness to set the wheels of negotiations in motion. It implies engaging in negotiations with Pakistan to resolve the problem of Pakistan’s support for the Taliban, across the Durand Line. While the dialogue is still new, China appears to be brokering these discussions. That Beijing is evidently involving itself in shaping the future of Afghanistan and Pakistan ...

August 15, 2015 at 10:54 am | News Desk

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Securing President Obama’s legacy

History shows us that America must lead not just with our might, but with our principles. It shows we are stronger not when we are alone, but when we bring the world together."  ~President Barack Obama The historic and monumental Iran Nuclear Talks have finally concluded successfully on July 14, 2015. This is a highly significant factor which lays the foundation in establishing President Obama's legacy. [caption id="attachment_6253" align="aligncenter" width="500"] U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before a meeting in Geneva January 14, 2015. Zarif said on Wednesday that his meeting with Kerry was important to see if progress could be made in narrowing differences on hi...

August 14, 2015 at 3:18 pm | News Desk

World Bank, IMF launch joint initiative to strengthen tax collection

WASHINGTON: The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are launching a new initiative to help developing countries strengthen their tax systems, says an official announcement. Analysis associated with the two institutions suggests that many lower-income countries have the potential to increase their tax ratios by at least 2 to 4 per cent of their GDPs, without compromising fairness or growth. Raising additional revenues will allow developing countries to fill financing gaps and to promote development. Pakistan is top on the list of the countries that need to reform their tax systems. In a recent statement, the IMF mission chief in Pakistan urged the rulers to broaden the country’s tax base. The country’s tax-to-GDP rati...

August 14, 2015 at 3:07 pm | News Desk

Stop Executions Please!

Initially, executions in Pakistan were carried out for terrorism related charges. However, in the wake of the Peshawar tragedy, the government of Pakistan decided to lift the moratorium on the10th. of March of this year and reinstated the heinous punishment for all death penalty offences. The PPP lead coalition government in 2008 placed a moratorium on executions following pressure on the government by the European Union and human rights’ groups. On the 21st.of April, 17 inmates were executed in Pakistan, the highest number of executions in a single day since reversing of the country’s self-imposed ban on the death penalty in December after the Peshawar massacre that took more than 140 innocent lives. The prisoners were executed in ...

June 25, 2015 at 11:18 am | Sarmad Ali

Pathways To Terrorism

Dr DAll had taken strikingly different journeys to violent extremist activity. People follow a pathway into radicalization, terrorism and terrorist organizations. Apparently the first stage involves an awareness of oppression. The second stage marks recognition that the oppression was social and therefore not unavoidable. The third stage is an impetus or realization that it is possible to act against the oppression. Ultimately, some conclude that working through or within the system to reform or improve it is not going to work and that self-help by violence is the only effective means for change. Based on an analysis of multiple militant extremist groups, there do appear to be some observable markers or stages in the processes that are c...

June 22, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Fawad Kaiser

Persecution of the Christian Community

My forefathers fled to these shores with a vision of religious freedom. The right to it was purchased with blood and this fervently embraced freedom is the cornerstone of our Constitution. The words still leap off the page; though now dead, the witnesses still speak. Their thoughts are codified in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The dry ink of the signatories flows like liquid satin through my veins. I champion this freedom. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” This treasure known as freedom of religion is a summation of its parts. Man is a moral agent with free will. But free will is also extended to those who choose not to celebrate nor particip...

June 22, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Tammy Swofford

The China-Pak Economic Corridor: An Evaluation

In the contemporary world, economy is treated as a religion. The time has gone when the superpowers had large arsenals and extensive colonies. This is the era of economic independence and self-reliance. Currently, the nations which are economically independent, sovereign and self reliant are dominant. The story behind the success of the Western powers, China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and other fast progressing countries is their economic independence and self- reliance. But unfortunately, the situation in Pakistan is totally reversed. Although Pakistan is rich in natural resources, it is very poor in management. Sixty seven years have passed since the inception of the country but none of its systems has been developed properly. In Pak...

June 22, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Zulqarnain Sewag

Pakistan: Provinces Pledge To Join The Federal Government In The Fight Against Climate Change

Under an agreement reached among provinces and federal government at a high-level national meeting on National Climate Change Policy Implementation Committee (NCCPIC), each of Pakistan's five provinces will create its own committee to take action on climate change policy and report back by May 5 on how they intend to take action on both reducing climate-changing emissions and supporting adaptation to climate change impacts. It was also agreed during the meeting that climate change sections also would be established in the federal planning commission and provincial planning and development (P&D) departments for smooth coordination among the federal and provincial governments on climate change and climate funding. “Such plans will be ...

June 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm | News Desk

Using the Law of Creation to Live Your Purpose

Life is not something that simply happens to you. It happens for you and through you, only when you recognize and utilize its hands-on magic The fundamental Law of Creation is something which applies to every soul that is manifested on this planet. Inescapable, it is also a beautiful and necessary part of life. Seen most commonly as a mysterious way for the universe to approve or deny the possibility of something, the Law of Creation is actually operational through your own hands, heart, and mind. Understanding the basic premises of the Law of Creation can help you to decide what your true purpose is and inspire you to actually live it. However, the law dictates that you must be present in your own life, taking responsibility for yo...

June 18, 2015 at 5:21 pm | News Desk

FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS – TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES

INTRODUCTION: Investigations and other related enforcement activities including off-site and on-site surveillance and inspections are potent weapons in the regulatory arsenal of law enforcement agencies globally. Investigations are made either for detailed examinations or to find out facts. Regulatory and law enforcement agencies can effectively accomplish their statutory mandate if they exercises their investigative authority prudently and professionally. Financial and white-collar crimes have increased tremendously in recent years. Investigators and law enforcement personnel need to be well-equipped in combating such crimes. An investigator shall have the ability to elicit facts from evidences and witnesses in a fair, impartial, law...

June 17, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Waseem Ahmed

RAW footprints in Pakistan

India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has long faced allegations of meddling in its neighbors' affairs. "India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan", said Chuck Hage, the defense secretary (2013-2015), in a written speech at Oklahoma's Cameron University in 2011. Chuck Hagel had served on the US Senate Intelligence Committee before becoming the Pentagon chief. Since, Narendra Modi took over as the prime minister, RAW has stepped up its covert war against Pakistan. Prime Minister Modi appointed Ajit Doval, a well-known hawk, as his National Security Advisor. In the 1990s, Mr. Doval served as an undercover RAW agen...

June 16, 2015 at 9:53 pm | Sajid Gondal

Foreign investors stage come back at the bourse

The much anticipated visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping and approval of the International Monetary Fund’s sixth tranche and above all the return of foreign buyers put the stock markets on an upward trajectory in April as the KSE-100 index gained more than 3700 points during the month. However, it could not come up to expectations due to main events that took place and saw a weak-ending in the last week. The visit of the Chinese President to Pakistan, the signing of various MOUs by both the countries, investment friendly policies of the government and induction of more companies at the stock exchange have created positive impacts on Pakistan’s stock exchange which is now on the highest level of its history. Moreover, investment in ...

June 10, 2015 at 1:13 am | News Desk

Populism fractures in Indo-Australia relationship

Over the course of the past eighteen months relations between Australia and Indonesia has steadily deteriorated. It’s a relationship that has historically been a challenging one for Australia for a variety of reasons, but the recent fissures are in reality more driven by the rise of populist leaders in both countries with a penchant for xenophobic dog whistling. From an Australian perspective, the outlook for our partnership with Indonesia looked like heading into rough waters as soon as the country elected the Liberal-National coalition in September of 2013. This was due to the fact that Tony Abbott, the Coalition’s leader and now Prime Minister, had as one of the few pillars of his campaign a commitment to "turn back the boats." ...

June 10, 2015 at 1:06 am | News Desk

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