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Thirsty South Asia – River rifts threaten “water wars”

By Nita Bhalla As the silver waters of the Kishanganga rush through this north Kashmir valley, Indian labourers are hard at work on a hydropower project that will dam the river just before it flows across one of the world’s most militarised borders into Pakistan. The loud hum of excavators echoes through the pine-covered valley, clearing masses of soil and boulders. The 330-MW dam shows India’s growing focus on hydropower but also highlights how water is a growing source of tension with downstream Pakistan, which depends on the snow-fed Himalayan rivers for everything from drinking water to agriculture. Islamabad has complained to an international court that the dam in the Gurez valley, one of dozens planned by India, will a...

August 30, 2013 at 11:58 am | News Desk

The Radish Farmers

By: Tammy Swofford Georgetown University's Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding hosted a delegation from Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party on April 4, 2012.  I merely made a mental note that a wild donkey does not bray when it has grass. After Egypt hastily scrambled a new constitutional document I wrote about the flaws and my concerns regarding a lack of critical thought within some of the amendments. Things seemed to be off to a rocky start. But I never imagined that President Mohamed Morsi would be a "transition guy" - like the man a woman dates on the heels of a bad relationship - the man who does not represent future permanency, but a mere dalliance. Perhaps my opinion will not be a popular one. But it is o...

August 30, 2013 at 11:40 am | News Desk

IMF deal; An opportunity and a risk

by Shiraz Nizami Nawaz government has struck a deal with International Monetary Fund for $5.3 billion extended loan facility, intended to rebuild foreign exchange reserves, pull the plug on energy crisis and a sliding currency in Pakistan. Though, it was a contradiction of PML (N)’s election manifesto, but the government’s finance minister says there was no way out to retire from past liabilities. The country had long been discussing a fresh bailout package from the IMF after abandoning $11.3 billion loan program in 2011 after the PPP led government refused to carry out strict financial reforms. The program, which is worth $5.3 billion, will carry a floating interest rate of 3% and would be payable over a longer period than conventi...

August 30, 2013 at 11:31 am | News Desk

The Global Jihadi

By Yasmeen Aftab Ali There is a myth that speaks about the Muslim supremacy. It talks of the ancient Khurasan that will be the cradle for the theater of war and will cinch for Muslims a complete supremacy in the war over infidels. The ancient Khurasan includes modern day parts of Iran, Afghanistan, the Central Asian republics and some areas that are now part of Pakistan. The global jihadi interprets the myth according to his thinking and to suit his own end. According to the thought process of the global jihadi, once the war is won in the Khurasan theater, he plans a march to the Middle East, from where he believes al-Mahdi to rise and join hands with them to then wage war and liberate Palestine. Hence, the global jihadi spurned the thou...

August 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm | News Desk


by Afrah Jamal ‘What was it for? The BBC Two anchor asks Farooq Sattar (MQM’s Deputy Convener and Parliamentary leader) with an impassive face, referring to stash of the pounds found after a raid on Altaf Hussain’s London pad. ‘Whatever it was for’, he answers, at his inarticulate best. The word ‘body bags’ ominously flashes on the screen, Mr. Sattar changes tactics; ‘we were all laughing’, dismissing it as a joke. The savvy anchor runs more damning clips. ‘It is out of context’, Farooq declares. ‘There is no reference to context’ he adds helpfully. But your own SC took notice… ‘O’ that’, ‘mere emotional outburst’. Unlike those ‘media types’ this party member would not speculate on the ori...

August 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm | News Desk

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