Mohammed Rizwan

Mohammed Rizwan

A senior reporter for The Express Tribune based in Lahore.

US-Af-Pak tripartite interests: Time is running out!

Amidst reports of an anti-Taliban insurgency in the provinces of Ghazni, Paktia, Kunar, Nuristan and Laghman gaining strength, time for Pakistan’s clay-footed policymakers is running out fast. The restless provinces of Kunar and Nuristan are registering signs of a coordinated anti-Taliban militancy led by the former Mujahideen commanders. While it looks increasingly possible that US-led Nato forces and IEDs could eventually pull off something resembling a military victory on which to build a negotiated settlement with the hostile forces, the Pakistani defence establishment seems to be frozen in the past. While Pakistan decided to run endless talk shows analysing the ...

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Is there a method to Sharif’s madness?

In a fiery press conference recently, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif warned Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to step down or face a long march aimed at dislodging him. Claiming the high moral ground, Mr Sharif said that since Gilani was convicted, he has lost all moral reason to continue in office. Sharif’s newfound love for the judiciary is well-known. Ever since he returned from exile, he has proved to be the most ardent champion of judicial supremacy and rule of law. If there are people around who want to talk about an obscure incident in a distant past where some PML-N ...

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What will Grossman’s visit achieve?

On the face of it, Pakistan and the United States are inching closer to a possible reunion as US Special Envoy for the Af-Pak theatre, Marc Grossman, is set to reset the volatile relationship with Islamabad. But there is a lot more to the equation than what meets the eye. The Parliamentary Committee on National Security has presented its recommendation to the parliament, and the defence and cabinet committees are set to endorse the new terms of engagement with the United States. Despite all the fuss, it seems that there is no fundamental change in the relations between these strange ...

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Hafiz Saeed: Missing pieces?

Hafiz Saeed, a mujahid and philanthropist in the eyes of many Pakistanis is basking in the limelight thrown on him by the US State Department when it placed a $10 million reward for information leading to his conviction under the Reward for Justice Programme. Saeed’s followers point towards the fact that because he demanded for the closure of the Nato supply route, the personal vendetta has been unleashed. The reality, however, is not that simple. Lashkar-e-Taiba, believed to be a militant arm of Jamatud Dawa, was designated as a foreign terrorist organisation in December 2001 by the US while its ...

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Pak-US ties and those who matter most

At a joint sitting of the parliament the debate is on. The representatives of the people of Pakistan are discussing the new set of terms of engagement with the United States in the aftermath of the November airstrike on Pakistan’s Salala check post. A joint parliamentary committee on national security dished out some 40 recommendations which ostensibly would lay the basis on which the future Pak-US relations would stand. One runs through the proposals and after a lot of sifting through three visible contours emerge. 1) The US must submit an unconditional apology for the strikes; 2) the drone attacks must end ...

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The birth of our nationalist media

Ever since gung-ho nationalism was beamed into our living rooms (thanks to private channels) some 10 years back, a probing question stirred in my mind: what is wrong with our media? Is it normal to be in a state of continual war with every idea? Is our media a reflection of our society, or is it trying to lead a complete social transformation? It seems that the latter is true, and that the transformation is inspired by a particular mindset that perpetually defends the idea of “national security” while national welfare suffers. More importantly, is our media – especially the electronic media ...

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Can laptops save PML-N from Imran Khan?

Wary of the rising political capital of Imran Khan in the plains of Punjab, the provincial government led by the erstwhile Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has unleashed the most valuable weapon in its arsenal to target the urban youth who are, by far, the vanguard of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf. Carrying a price tag of three billion rupees, the laptop distribution scheme is supposed to benefit the brightest across campuses across province. The money earmarked to launch this laptop onslaught is meant for the development of the whole province, slicing it off from the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the province. The chief ...

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February 25, 2012
TOPICS

Defy Pakistan: How the right-wing turned rogue

The Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) is a tightly-held multi-party alliance of some 40 parties representing all shades of the country’s religious right-wing. It is led by veteran cleric Maulana Samiul Haq, who is popularly known as the father of the Taliban. The alliance is founded upon a single anti-US agenda, to drive out the Nato forces in the region and sprang up soon after Pak-US relations took a nosedive post the Salala bombing. After some low-key, closed door seminars on Pak-US relations, the alliance took to rallies, the first of which was staged at the Minar-i-Pakistan in Lahore. This rally was an ...

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Overtures from Washington

There are clear and unmistakable signs of a possible thaw emerging between Washington and Islamabad, with the head of the US Central Command expected to visit the Pakistani capital this month. Both sides are counting the threads of converging interests and a strategic rethink is taking shape on Pakistan’s possible role in US talks with the Taliban. The deadly Nato attack on a Pakistani border post on November 26 last year had virtually frozen the relationship at both political and military levels, leaving the US to embark on a solo journey in uncharted waters as Washington engaged the Taliban for the ...

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