Farooq Yousaf

Farooq Yousaf

The author is a PhD (Politics) Candidate currently pursuing his studies in Australia. He has previously completed his Masters in Public Policy and Conflict Studies from Germany. He also consults Islamabad-based Security think tank, Centre for Research and Security Studies, and occasionally writes for various news and media sources. He is specialising in Indigenous conflict resolution and counter insurgency. He tweets at @faruqyusaf (twitter.com/faruqyusaf?lang=en)

Why is the Bangladeshi or Indian narrative the only acceptable narrative for 1971?

The year 2016 is ending on a somewhat positive note for Pakistan with a lower number of terror-related casualties compared to 2015. Yet there is one date that always affects Pakistanis aware of the 1971 partition of East (now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan. That date is the December 16th. December 16th is marked as Victory Day in Bangladesh, signifying not only its independence from West Pakistan (now Pakistan), but also its apparent victory over the Pakistani military. On this day every year, social media, not only in Pakistan and Bangladesh, but also in neighbouring India is abuzz with different narratives, opinions, and sentiments. #16December A historical day for India, the Day ...

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Will Pakistan learn from its mistakes with Afghanistan to save its ties with Iran?

Even though tensions between Islamabad and Kabul over the Torkham border crossing are yet to be settled, Pakistan has laid the foundation of “Pakistan Gate” near the Iranian border in Taftan. The gate is said to check any illegal trade occurring via Iran, and also help the border guards effectively manage and monitor the border crossing. What makes this gate different from the one in Torkham is that it is not only built with mutual consent from both Pakistan and Iran – but also on special demand from Tehran, as it has already built a gate of its own ...

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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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You think ISIS is the deadliest terrorist organisation in the world? Well, it’s not.

So you thought ISIS was the deadliest terrorist organisation in the world? Well, it’s not. The deadliest is Boko Haram. The outfit overtook ISIS in 2014 in terms of the number of innocent people killed. To make matters worse, the group has already pledged allegiance to ISIS making it a deadly and potent outsourced partner in Africa. While global media is abuzz with the ISIS catastrophe, Boko Haram – a Nigerian terrorist organisation – is laying strong foundations in North and West Africa. The outfit, based in Nigeria, is also active in Cameroon, Niger and Chad. It also carries attacks in other African ...

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Bombs without borders: American bullets in non-American bodies are always collateral damage

“Russia bombs ISIS/FSA targets” and “USA Bombs an MSF Hospital in Kunduz” read two headlines from the biggest international news stories these days. The contrast between the two stories is chilling. Brace yourself for the discomfiting truth that is about to envelop you. If you thought you understood the complexities of international affairs, prepare to have your world jolted. Russia, which has always taken a backseat in the whole “war on terror” ride, has now wrenched the steering wheel out of America’s slippery hands and has jammed its sturdy foot on the accelerator. The ‘war on terror’ officially has a new driver ...

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Where is Al Jazeera’s journalistic responsibility?

Al Jazeera News Network was recently in the news for relatively positive reasons. A surprise, one must say. Their editorial on “Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants’”, grabbed attention not only among global media consumers but also various renowned media networks – who published scores of commentaries appreciating the stand taken by the media outlet. In their policy editorial by Barry Malone, Al Jazeera’s online editor, wrote, “At this network, we try hard through our journalism to be the voice of those people in our world who, for whatever reason, find themselves without one. Migrant is a word that strips suffering people of voice. Substituting refugee ...

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Is Vladimir Putin responsible for Boris Nemtsov’s death?

A western media headline reads, “Nemtsov, a harsh critic of Putin, murdered” This was soon after Boris Nemtsov’s, former deputy prime minister during Yeltsin’s government, dead body was found on a bridge in front of Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. According to reports, 55-year-old Nemtsov was shot multiple times by an unknown assailant while he was walking with his Ukrainian girlfriend on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge near the Red Square. A mass gathering, that was initially aimed as a rally against Putin turned into an act of mourning for Nemtsov. Thousands of Russians have gathered in Moscow to pay tribute to a leader who was considered “a hope” for change in the current ...

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Will Ukraine benefit from the Minsk deal?

Seven days ago, when Russian, German and French leaders, accompanied by the Ukrainian and Belorussian president, met in Minsk, a deal was signed to provide Eastern Ukraine with a glimmer of hope for peace. Eastern Ukraine, soon after the pro-Russian rebel uprising last year, had started circling an orbit that was destined for chaos and failure. Even with last year’s Western sanctions, aimed at constraining Russia from supporting rebels, things were not improving in the region as the rebels were marching towards government held territories. But with this recent deal, coming on the back of last year’s failed accord, can there be hope for peace in Eastern ...

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Of drone strikes: “Did we just kill a kid?”

“Did we just kill a kid?” asked Bryant, a drone sensor operator. “Yes, I guess so!” replied the drone pilot. Brandon Bryant’s recent exposé of drone operations killing hundreds of innocent civilians during his service, which led to his post-traumatic stress and retirement, explains the dark side of the CIA led US drone operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Adding to Bryant’s shock and surprise, his peers believed that they had killed a dog and not a kid that day, and thus it was nothing to worry about. Bryant worked as a drone sensor operator for the USAF from 2006 to 2011, mainly operating from a dark container ...

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Drones, Pakistan’s worst kept secret

The current surge in drone strikes in FATA has reignited the infamous ‘drone debate’ and ‘Pakistan’s tacit agreement’ on intelligence sharing with the United States. Only a few months ago, Peter Bergen, a US expert on drones, had revealed that the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan may have finally come to an end. Not only Bergen, but even the current Nawaz-led PML-N government boasted of lobbying against drones and convincing the Obama administration to cease the strikes. Till June this year, one could believe these reports and revelations as there was a long hiatus in predator strikes. However, it was on June 11 when, negating such ...

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