Stories about Iran

If Iran and the US can make peace, why can’t India and Pakistan?

The nuclear deal between Iran and the West has opened up new avenues of engagements for those nations which have been in conflict for decades. It has proved that time-tested diplomacy is the only way to achieve peace in the world. Therefore, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s gesture of sending mangoes to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, holds more than just symbolic value. It is, at one hand, a reflection of the desire to normalise relationships between the two countries while at the other hand, it suggests the calming down of frayed tempers on both sides of the border which have been boiling over the ...

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Pakistan should put its own house in order before jumping into an arms race

I’m a peacenik and I’m happy in my skin. As an active journalist, I have covered enough wars, had my fair share of good and bad fortune, experienced torture and witnessed people maimed, lamed and face the ultimate fate of death. I got emotionally drained and ultimately decided that it was time to say goodbye to the action and adventure. In my quest to understand life better, I used spirituality as my crutch. I realised that all we need is to counter hatred with love, aggression with passion and hostility with peace. I learnt that the beast of vice is ...

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Donald Trump, you’re a racist and you’re fired!

Joaquin Guzman also known as El Chapo (meaning shorty) is being hailed as the real Shawshank after a mind-boggling escape from the Altiplano prison through a one-mile long tunnel, an engineering marvel on its own.  The gravity of negligence on part of the Mexican security officials and seriousness of the flak coped by Mexican Premier Enrique Pena in the wake of an embarrassing escape of the world’s most feared drug lord jibed to the lighter side when American rapper Pitbull took on Donald trump,  after the latter’s racist remarks on Hispanic immigrants. It all began to simmer when Trump of The Apprentice fame kick started his presidential campaign. He resorted to clichés such as, “Sadly, ...

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What Pakistan can learn from the Iran nuclear deal

After 13 years of struggling and negotiating, a deal has finally been concluded between Iran and the West that rightfully is called ‘historical’. The main bone of contention has been the Western fear that Iran might be developing nuclear weapons, which could destroy Israel and change the balance of power in the Middle East. Though the newly concluded long-term agreement is supposed to prevent this, Israel and Saudi Arabia, a newly found friend of Israel, have been first to condemn this agreement before the ink on agreement was dry. Despite the fact that Iran always insisted that it was developing nuclear facilities for peaceful energy production only and ...

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In Iran, you can marry your 13-year-old adopted child

Define irony: When you pass a bill to ‘protect’ children and in that bill you allow a man to marry his adopted daughter even if she is as young as 13-years-old. Woody Allen, are you listening? I think it’s time to move to Iran. Or at least base your next movie there. Or maybe George RR Martin would be interested in this as his next plot twist? Parliamentarians in Iran have recently passed such a bill, I kid you not. It allows the caretaker to marry his or her adopted child if the court rules in the interests of the child. There are so many fundamental issues with ...

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1971 confession: After Bangladesh, is Balochistan’s disintegration next on India’s list?

I heard what my ears would never want to hear again – Narendra Modi’s acceptance of India’s lethal plan in the disintegration of East Pakistan in 1971, and its threat to destabilise Pakistan through terrorism. Clearly the statement was aimed at fanning hatred against Pakistan in Bangladesh. This also proved that the specific aim of creating RAW in 1968 was to subvert the people of former East Pakistan and prepare grounds for the creation of Bangladesh for the training of over one million Mukti Bahini. The controversy grew even more after his minister of state, Rajyavardhan Rathore, made a controversial statement on June 10th stating that India will enter ...

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Russia: The one country the US cannot bully

This week US Foreign Secretary John Kerry met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Russian Black Sea resort, Sochi – the same place where the Winter Olympics took place, which the West boycotted – for the first talks since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis back in the autumn of 2013. Kerry held discussions for more than four hours with Lavrov before he sat down with President Putin. Among the topics discussed were the themes which the US cannot handle without support from Russia, i.e. the Iran nuclear talks and the situation in Yemen and Libya. But apart from these topics, ...

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Four ways to condemn violence against minorities in Pakistan that are all wrong!

Minority communities in Pakistan are thankful for their moderate friends from mainstream Sunni school of thought, for supporting them in these harrowing times. Countless have condemned the attacks against minorities, and many have risked their own lives to stand up for others. However, in a few circles, some arguments in opposition to violence against minorities, while appearing to be a condemnation of violence, often end up being detrimental to these side-lined communities. Here are a few of those arguments, often heard from mainstream moderates (and if you hear yourself making one of these – please stop): 1) “We shouldn’t kill Shias because Shias and ...

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What have we received from the people of Pakistan except neglect and torment?

What concerns me most is a word. It is a simple word that is not heard on the lips of people in most parts of the world, but for me it is a word that desperately needs to be heard more often. Whenever I do hear this word, or say it myself, it stirs emotions that I cannot explain. I cannot do justice to the memories they evoke. That word is Balochistan. I have grown up around politics and in politics. For a daughter of a Baloch tribal leader and activist, politics and life are irreversibly intertwined. The need to understand the ethnic and national tensions ...

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Modi-Obama or Nawaz-Jinping: Which should be worried?

We are lucky to have a neighbour like the People’s Republic of China, a country which has always stood with us unconditionally. I have always been fascinated with our relationship with them. While the Chinese president’s visit to Pakistan is making headlines these days, I feel that we should revisit our historic relationship and the strong bond we have developed so far. Pakistan was the first Muslim country which accepted China in 1950 and ended diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Then, in 1962, the Sino-Indian border conflict took place, which laid the foundation of a strong friendship that was to change the course ...

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