Stories about Iran

Are Modi’s trips to the Gulf States an attempt to sabotage Pakistan’s ties with them?

The Pakistani media was abuzz this week with the Indian PM’s recent visit to our ‘brotherly’ ally Saudi Arabia. PM Modi’s visited the Kingdom for a short, but sweet, two days to discuss bilateral agreements of various natures with King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his son Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The Indian media, along with the policy makers in New Delhi, were overjoyed by the visit – hailing it as a strategic attempt to further isolate Pakistan – its arch nemesis – from its “brothers” in the Gulf, the visit is said to have opened further avenues for New Delhi. Some Indian officials also ...

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Congratulations, Pakistan!

There are certain positive developments in Pakistan that I wished to extend my solidarity with as a liberal from across the Indo-Pak border. But as I set out to write this piece, we had the news of the arrest of an Indian on espionage charges in Balochistan, fanning hatred in both Pakistan and India. Apart from this, we had some sad news coming in at the global level from Brussels, the Ivory Coast, and the blasts in Lahore on Easter. However, negativity has to be fought with positivity. We, the liberals, have to move forward with our actions to defeat the agenda of those coming in our ...

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How will the Kulbhushan Yadav case affect Pakistan’s relations with India?

A video showing the confession of the detained Indian spy has gone viral on social media. It is not just a video featuring a confession. Recently, we had Mustafa Kamal expose the internal workings of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) in his confession on the media which became a huge affair. This video outrivals the former big confession because it involves a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent directly. Kulbhushan Yadav, a serving Indian naval officer and a suspected RAW agent was arrested by security forces while he was trying to cross over in Pakistan at the border from Iran. His confession has revealed disturbing facts, confirming ...

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Is Afghanistan making a mistake by excluding India from the peace process?

The International Crisis Group, an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation for resolving conflicts around the world recently convened a meeting on Peace and Security in Afghanistan under the aegis of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, on January 23 and 24, 2016, in Doha, Qatar. This was the second kind of such meeting organised by Pugwash to explore possible solutions to end the bloodshed in Afghanistan. Doha Conference At the Doha meeting, around 55 participants were present to discuss the possibility of hammering out a framework for a national reconciliation in Afghanistan. In a surprising development, the representatives of the Afghan Taliban, who had attended ...

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6 things Saudi Arabia and Iran have in common

Saudi Arabia’s long and bitter history with Iran came to a boiling point recently when the Kingdom murdered Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on charges of treason after a farcical trial. For some time, the Saudis had indirectly indicated that Nimr al-Nimr was on Iran’s payroll. The late preacher, a fierce critic of the monarchy, ridiculed these claims. Although Nimr al-Nimr was a Saudi national, Iran strongly condemned the execution. Later, a Saudi embassy in Tehran was vandalised by Persians angrier than the ones defied by 300 Spartans. That Iran reacted so strongly did nothing to disprove any Nimr al-Nimr ...

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Have you visited the Wall of Kindness in Karachi?

As I was scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed I saw a post about the Walls of Kindness in Iran. The post had thousands of views, shares and comments. Naturally, I wasn’t the only one who was inspired by these acts of altruism. People have been leaving jackets and scarves for the poor who can’t afford warm clothes in the winter. Photo: AP Photo: AP Photo: AP Iranian volunteer Mohammad Esmaeil Khosroabadi, right, donates a sandwich to a needy man at a street charity hut in southern Tehran, ...

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Our national dress is the shalwar kameez, not the niqab

Through fear of the sword or through promise of eternal torment they spread their regressive ways. Over time we found another reason to abhor each other, to feel divided, to openly judge our own. The foreign culture we adopted didn’t play well with our own, for it insisted in its dark perfection while clashing with our own light. Whenever I travel from Pakistan I feel a melancholy that slowly hums in my heart overseas until it reaches full tempo when I return home. Other countries hold dear their customs and honour the old roots from which they rose with tolerance ...

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With US sanctions lifted, can Iran become the next economic superpower in the Middle East?

The 61 years of diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States have almost always been problematic. Iran’s mistrust dates back to the joint US-British intelligence design of 1953, aimed at overthrowing Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq, whose goal to liberate Iran’s oil industry from British colonial rule delivered a death blow to Western economic interests. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 spurred nearly a decade of hostile anti-American sentiment, and since 1995, the United States has placed various sanctions to restrict Iran from practicing economic, scientific and military trade with major global powers. Since 2006, the United States and Israel have ...

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Saudi Arabia and Iran need to show the same level of political maturity as Pakistan

Saudi Arabia’s decision to severe its diplomatic ties with Iran were ill timed, especially because the world is witnessing a growing escalation of conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Instead of working closely on solving the crisis in the Middle East, they have only managed to strengthen the hands of all those forces that don’t want to see peace in the region. Furthermore, this will embolden terror outfits such as ISIS, who will readily take advantage in the already febrile region. With the recent detente between the United States and Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iran could have grabbed the opportunity ...

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Will Turkey and Syria be another Pakistan-Afghanistan?

When we were younger and played with matchsticks, our parents used to say ‘don’t play with fire, or your hands will get burned’. The January 12, 2016, suicide bombing in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district has certainly highlighted this predicament. The attack took the lives of 10 people, all of them German citizens and was swiftly, or rather conveniently, blamed on the Islamic State. As if Tuesday’s incident wasn’t enough, a car bomb went off outside a police headquarters in the predominantly Kurdish Cinar district, Diyarbakir province, killing six people and wounding at least 39. This attack has been blamed on the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) militants, who ...

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