Today: November 21, 2017

To Contribute →

Login Register

Politics

Iran is Not a Bulwark

An unnamed American diplomat told the Sunday Times in Britain that President Barack Obama “believes a peaceful Iran could be a bulwark against ISIS in the Middle East and the key to peace there.” The Iranian people and government strongly oppose ISIS, no doubt about it. They are predominantly Shias while ISIS is the most deranged Sunni Islamist terrorist organization in the world. Its attitude toward the Shia is outright genocidal. It’s easy, then, to see why a powerful Shia bloc might act as a “bulwark.”   The problem here is that the Iranian- led Resistance Bloc—which includes the Assad regime in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and a smorgasbord of Iraqi Shia militias—is the primary instigator of ISIS. Look: ISIS is jus...

August 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm | News Desk

China’s economic illness contagious for Asia

When the US sneezes, an old saying goes, the world catches a cold. That’s been nowhere more true than in Asia. But as China’s coughing fit grows louder, countries in the region are wondering whether their neighbor’s illness will also prove contagious. Since Wall Street’s crash in 2008, Asia has been pivoting to China. The $16.8 trillion US economy is still 1.8 times bigger and its per capita income dwarfs China’s. But China is Asia’s biggest trading partner and, increasingly, its benefactor. Flush with $3.7tr of currency reserves and its new $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China has used checkbook diplomacy to make friends across the region. Asia’s social media accounts are now pulsating with talk of h...

August 21, 2015 at 5:40 pm | News Desk

Stabilizing Baluchistan

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 neighbourhoods 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 Baluchistan 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 resolve the crisis ...

August 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm | News Desk

Australian Government Looks to Threat of Terrorism to Save Itself

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 21, 2015 at 5:10 pm | News Desk

Modi-fication?

  Aakar Patel        Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to be congratulated for his brave move in announcing he will visit Pakistan. I do not only mean brave from the point of view of physical courage. I have been to Pakistan many times and not felt unsafe, and it is clear that Modi will find that he is given security of the highest standard. But even so, Pakistan’s most protected man, former president Pervez Musharraf had his convoy bombed twice and its former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was killed not that long ago. So Modi is brave in agreeing to go where even cricket teams have refused. The second way in which he has been brave is that he has defied many in our media and also our strategic affairs experts in reachi...

August 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm | News Desk

National Action Plan: An Evaluation

Miyamoto Musashi, a victorious Japanese swordsman wrote in his famous book ‘The Book of Five Rings’ that in strategy, it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things. But these thoughts are taken into account by those who have vision, farsightedness and pain of their nation. The situation of our country is much different. Here a government comes to serve its vested interests and secure enough to be financially powerful through thieving the  national exchequer. None of the institutions are above the National Action Plan under its famous 20 points agenda unanimously taken on December 24, 2014 with the backing of 21st Constitutional Amendment. It was aimed at the executio...

August 18, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Zulqarnain Sewag

Pakistan: MQM Under Siege

Rana Banerji Not since Pakistan’s former Interior Minister, late Nasrullah Khan Babar’s, crackdown in mid-1995, has the Mohajir Muttahida Quami Movement – Altaf (MQM- A) been subjected to such a relentless siege by the Pakistan Rangers and the Sindh Police in Karachi. On March 11, 90, Azizabad, or `Nine Zero’, the home of Altaf Hussain in Federal B Area, the sanctified MQM headquarters, was raided by Pakistan Rangers. Several MQM-A party workers were arrested, arms and ammunition allegedly stolen from NATO containers seized, and five criminals wanted in the January 2011 murder of journalist Wali Khan Babbar were apprehended. The current operations in Karachi have been ongoing since August, 2014. The effort of the law...

August 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm | News Desk

Donald Trump: The Democrats’ Best 2016 Asset

Hillary Clinton’s campaign may not develop the sizzle the would-be first Madam President and her team has long planned for. But the race has already created its first, truly searing image in the skin of the American nation. To the Democratic Party establishment’s great relief, this is not the result of any of Hillary Clinton’s missteps, of which there have been some. Rather, the problem emerged from the inside of the tent of the Republican Party. It is commonly called the “Donald Trump problem.” The worst part for the Republicans is that Trump has the same effect as a Trojan horse. (Beware of the “Greeks” bearing gifts, Republicans of the United States!) Trump’s emergence in the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire gives the D...

August 17, 2015 at 6:30 pm | News Desk

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

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

India extends crackdown to Catholic charity

NEW DELHI: India has placed the Catholic charity Caritas on a government watch list, an official and news reports said Tuesday, in a growing crackdown on foreign organisations operating in the country. A home ministry official told AFP that Caritas had violated India's foreign funding laws by financing groups that were working “against the country”. He said Caritas had been placed on a list of organisations needing prior government approval to receive or distribute funds in India, a move also reported by the Indian Express daily. “There was clear violation of foreign funding law,” said the official, who asked not to be named, citing funding for groups which protested against a nuclear plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. T...

June 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm | News Desk

Pakistan vows to respond ‘forcefully’ to any destabilization attempt

UNITED NATIONS: Reaffirming its commitment to eliminate all terrorists “without distinction,” top Pakistani diplomat Maleeha Lodhi warned of a forceful response to any attempt to destabilise parts of Pakistan or to attack its territorial integrity. “Let me be clear: we will be relentless in rooting out terrorism, whosoever its sponsors, external or internal,” Ambassador Lodhi told the UN Security Council on Monday. “Any effort to destabilise parts of our country or to attack its territorial integrity will be responded to forcefully,” the Pakistan envoy said in a debate on the situation in Afghanistan. Acknowledging that terrorism remained a common challenge, she told the 15-member council that Pakistan had condemned the recen...

June 23, 2015 at 2:12 pm | News Desk

PPP to raise anti-army diatribe in the parliament

ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari’s speech was the main topic of discussion in both houses of parliament on Wednesday. But contrary to the advice of the ruling PML-N or even fellow opposition members from the PTI, PPP legislators seemed to put their weight behind their leader as they continued to assail the military leadership and warned them against targeting the party. The PPP lawmakers in the National Assembly, one after the other, hit out at the military’s top brass for “violating their constitutional duty”. On one occasion, a lawmaker went so far in his remarks that the speaker had to expunge them from the parliamentary record. Know more: PPP leaders back Zardari's military remarks, decide to field Bilawal for NA...

June 18, 2015 at 9:21 am | 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 10, 2015 at 12:39 am | News Desk

POLITICAL IMPASSE OR MALICE A FORETHOUGHT

The day I hit the keyboard with an intention to comment on the remonstration staged by Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT), Pakistan played cricket series deciding ODI and got comprehensively beaten by Sri Lanka. I doubt if anyone, even a fervent cricketer, followed the match. The entire nation was held hostage to political stage show alongside the parliament telecast live in real time. We may be forgiven for missing out on the cricket match but can we defend ourselves on ignoring catastrophic issue of much greater national implications such as internally displaced persons (IDPs) bearing the inclement weather conditions under open sky besides lacking all the necessities they deserve as the citizens of Pakistan. Ne...

September 18, 2014 at 2:35 am | News Desk

Page 2 of 512345