Shar

Shar

The author holds an MPhil in Public Administration and has taught Politics and Public Policy at the University of Karachi.

If you think Qatar’s ostracism is an awful misunderstanding, you are dead wrong

Queen was never my first choice of music when I was an avid music lover during my youth. I guess Freddie Mercury’s antics were not really to my taste. I stopped listening to music over the years because I wanted to choose mental clarity over residual ideals that music brings with it. However, there have been several events throughout world politics that have reminded me of Queen and their seminal classic ‘Another one bites the dust’ – Qatar’s expulsion from the fold of ‘peace-loving’ Arab nations being the most recent example. To everyone who thinks that Qatar’s ostracism by its once chummy Arab buddies namely Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United ...

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To my three beautiful children, this Father’s Day, please forgive me

Dear Muhammad, Maryam and Zaynab, Life is a system of cycles. One event or historical phenomenon, which takes place, tends to repeat itself albeit after numerous years. Personal histories and legacies are all the same. As we grow up, we love our parents (biological or otherwise) when we are young. This idealism gives way to rebellion once, we as children, start to explore the world around us and subsequently discover boundaries in the shape of rules and limitations set by our parents. The rebellion may or may not increase in each individual case but it is there to some extent. This rebellion stabilises when we are ...

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Donald Trump will be giving a lecture on Islam to Muslims in Riyadh – let that sink in

Blowing trumpets, doves flying overhead and the awaiting red carpet. To many, this scenery invokes fairy tales of kings visiting their prefectures on gilded carriages with soldiers in tow. The princes and princesses line up to greet their guest along with the nobility, hoping a beautiful guest from within the entourage would catch their eye and sparks would fly. Not much was expected to change from this picture apart from the medieval setting when Donald Trump landed in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. This is Trump’s first visit to a foreign country and surprisingly, he chose Saudi Arabia as his destination. Surprising is too mute a word to capture the reality ...

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The parasitic relationship of Pakistan, the shark, and Afghanistan, the remora

Reality is more complicated than fiction. Before someone loses a fuse by just reading this statement, let me explain. Fiction, no matter how fantastical, has to make some sense at the end of the day, otherwise it would not be able to appeal to any ‘reasonable’ audience. I apologise for using the term ‘reasonable’ here but I must make some sort of differentiation, otherwise people would point out the weirdest fictions out there as examples also known as House of 1000 Corpses. In fiction, two brothers who despise each other throughout the narrative would somehow find common ground and get back ...

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The curious case of Hussain Haqqani

In ancient cultures across the globe, people believed that the gods punished them directly for their transgressions. These punishments would be in the form of droughts, excess heat or cold or simply too much rain. Numerous outcasts or prisoners paid the price as human sacrifices to the gods including children sacrificed by the Aztecs. In certain cultures, the sins of the people were transferred onto a goat by a priest and then sacrificed to pay for peoples’ transgressions. A similar story can be found in the Bible. Hence the term ‘scapegoat’ was born. I think it’s best to state the ...

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Does Imran Khan stand a chance in the 2018 General Elections?

The Nolan brothers are a great team; they have teamed up for some impressive films such as The Dark Night Trilogy, producing ground-breaking action cinema. What intrigues me even more is that some of the lessons from their films are also applicable in the factual world. When Bane cornered Batman in The Dark Knight Rises, beating him to a pulp, he uttered the movie’s famous lines, “Peace has cost you your strength, victory has defeated you…” A tired and peaceful Batman had won his victory and thus gave up the struggle that made him who he was. There are some parallels that ...

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I support the Compulsory Education of Arabic Bill 2015

Recently, a friend asked me if I had seen the movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Being averse to things I have no real interest in, I told him I see it every day. Surprised, he asked me what I meant, to which I replied,  “In Pakistan, we are all to some level masochistic. Either that or we are just plain servile. How can we be bombed, killed, raped and beaten into submission every day and just go on with our lives as if nothing is happening?” Pakistan has a history of insurgency and violence, which reached its peak during the ‘War ...

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When the martyred children of APS woke this nation up from its dead slumber

Tragedies unite nations, a lot more so than celebrations. Tragedies dissolve differences that divide us as we are emotionally forced to focus on one event rather than on each other. For the citizens of Pakistan, the Army Public School (APS) massacre of December 16, 2014 was that defining tragedy. As a nation, we had become numb or I dare say apathetic, to the killings of our fellow Pakistanis as long as we were not related to them. The extensive target killing of minorities in Pakistan hardly brought a noticeable moment of sorrow for most. APS changed all that. The images ...

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Assad Trumps America

While all eyes were focused on America, another part of the world was also eagerly looking forward to the result that will come out of the US election. With Donald Trump, becoming the next American Commander-in-Chief, Bashar Al-Assad the current President of Syria can breathe a sigh of relief – at least for now. Unlike Hillary Clinton, who probably would have extended Barack Obama’s policy of using clandestine operations and proxy troops in the Middle East, Trump has hinted that he would try to stem the heavy expenses being incurred in such endeavours to revive the economy. A recent interview ...

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Is Brahamdagh Bugti right in applying for asylum in India?

It’s popularly said that times change and so do people, but sometimes after years of changes, a lot does not change at all. In classical warfare, the shrewd commander would keep a force at the front as a façade and keep a surprise for his enemy. The surprise could be an ambush from the side, moats prepared to drown the infantry, a fire hazard to cut one part of the infantry from the other and create a kill zone and so on. Modern warfare introduced more brazen tactics such Hitler’s blitzkrieg, which caused massive damage to the Allied forces. It also gave us the ...

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