Why should Pakistan observe neutrality when it can dominate the political discourse in the Middle East?
The Gulf States have an existential reason to not make their armies strong because if they do, it would mean that the heads – quite literally – of the various kings, princes and other royals would be on the line. Enter the United States (US) armed forces and the 600,000 strong land, sea and air forces of their strongest Muslim ally, Pakistan. While the presence of the US armed forces is known by all and sundry, a lesser known piece of information is how crucial Pakistan is to the precarious balance of power and peace in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia sees the Pakistani Army as the defender of the ...Read Full Post
At some level, I do understand why no Facebook profile picture filters appeared or why no hashtags dominated the social media landscape after a bombing in Kabul or Baghdad. It is assumed that cities like these must be acclimatised to the reign of terror; to towering plumes of smoke; to children’s blood being spilled on the city’s pavements; and to mangled corpses strewn on the dirty streets. It is assumed that they must be used to mothers wailing in a strange cacophony; to rundown ambulances whirring past shocked onlookers, who in turn are used to their unacknowledged existence; and used to the ...Read Full Post
Pakistan’s liberal classes revile no other figure as much as Ziaul Haq. To them, he is the embodiment of whatever ails Pakistani society today. They put the onus of Pakistani Taliban on that sole grave under the shade of Faisal Mosque. They are quite virulent in their protests that Pakistani society became intolerant and vastly more Islamist solely due to him. Perhaps they forget that the marde-momin mard-e-haq did not declare Ahmadis non-Muslims: Bhutto did. Sadly, the man cannot even take credit for banning alcohol and gambling: Bhutto did. The Objectives Resolution of 1949, calling for the creation of an Islamic rather than a secular Republic, was passed when Zia was a mere Major in the army, with no ...Read Full Post
They have been wreaking havoc in our country since the early 80s. The spread of drugs and the Kalashnikov culture is blamed on these poor souls and rightly so. Their help in the conduct of terror plots throughout the country is widely known; the Army Public School (APS) attack in December 2014 is a case in point. With Zarb-e-Azb in its final stage, fighting internal and external threats in FATA and dealing with border skirmishes, it is safe to say Pakistan already has enough on its plate. Yet, it has been the only country gracious enough to grant three million Afghan refugees an unlimited stay. Rather than acknowledge the good will, ...Read Full Post
There is no doubt that he is flamboyant and aggressive to a fault. That is indeed what draws the viewers in. It’s not his fault. It is how the world of television news operates. He is merely the personification of ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ of news channels or perhaps the manifestation of television news at its best. For what else is news media about if not an indulgence in hyperbole, an engagement with trifle, and the desire to project whatever that is being shown as meaningful. Many have fallen victim to the Arnab Goswami attack; a barrage of verbosity. When ...Read Full Post
While the US presidential nomination circus is going on in full swing, people back in Pakistan ought to wonder who the best man or woman would be for Pakistan. Let us be very honest, Pakistan does not figure very prominently on the radar of most of these presidential candidates. However, the fate of these presidential elections is very important to Pakistan. The amount of aid we receive to the approval of our ever growing nuclear program and the continuous supply of and upgrades to our military hardware depends very much on the man or woman at the oval office. On the Republican ...Read Full Post
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