Meraj Hasan

Meraj Hasan

The writer is an independent researcher based in Islamabad. He tweets @_merajhasan (twitter.com/_merajhasan)

Can the Indus Delta be saved by the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam?

With the recent signing of the accord between Pakistan’s Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and Chinese state-run China Power to build the Diamer-Bhasha dam, the debate around its impact on the decrepit Indus Delta has been renewed. It is argued that the dam will further damage the delta and its ecology, harming the lives of those who live there. The rationale for building the dam is that it will add 4500 MW of electricity to the National Grid and its 6.4 MAF usable water storage capacity will alleviate the irrigation shortage in the Indus Basin arising from siltation in the existing ...

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Was Pakistan always destined to become an Islamic republic? – Part 2

This article is the second in a two part series which looks at pre-partition and post partition events that led up to Pakistan being declared an Islamic republic. Read part one here. ~ In the 1945 elections, although Thanvi had died, the Muslim League had the support of one of his protégés, another Deobandi scholar named Shabbir Ahmad Usmani. The ulema offered their help to the Muslim League and sent 24 scholars, including Hasrat Mohani,across Uttar Pradesh (UP) for campaigning. Mohani later became a member of the UP assembly. Usmani’s JUI lent their support to the League officially and Nawab Ismail Khan recognised the leadership ...

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Was Pakistan always destined to become an Islamic republic? – Part 1

This article is the first in a two part series which looks at pre-partition and post partition events that led up to Pakistan being declared an Islamic republic. Read part two here. ~ Saturday, 29 February 2020, will mark the 64th anniversary of the day when Pakistan was formally declared an Islamic republic. However, was Pakistan always destined to be a Muslim state? This was one of the critical questions faced by Pakistan’s founders and the subsequent leadership soon after the country’s independence in 1947. The question, however, was not new. Ever since the Muslim League’s Lahore Resolution of 1940 and Jinnah’s ...

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Why is the world embracing right wing politics?

In 2019, Modi’s re-election in India alongside Bolsonaro in Brazil added to the growing list of right-wing populist leaders around the world. With Trump serving as the president of the United States, Israel’s Netanyahu becoming the country’s longest-serving prime minister and a resurgent European far-right, the rise of populist strongmen as leaders in several countries has become a subject of intense scrutiny especially focused on why these changes are taking place. In order to understand the issue at hand, I shall look at studies from the 90s to the 2000s, which will also be complemented by current research and then applied to political ...

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Communism’s love-hate relationship with Pakistan

A sizable amount of literature suggests that the Left supported the Pakistan Movement. However, a deeper reading into the politics of the Left in the crucial last decade of the British Raj reveals a far more complex situation. In 1936, three young communists, namely ZA Ahmad, Sajjad Zaheer and Kunwar Muhammad Ashraf, upon the alleged instructions of the Communist Party of India (CPI) [1], joined the All India Congress Committee under Nehru’s presidency. Nehru had initiated the Muslim Mass-contact Programme (MMCP) to increase the Muslim members of Congress and had placed it under KM Ashraf. He and his two ...

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