Ali Ahmed

Ali Ahmed

A student, a freelancer, a Lahori stuck in Islamabad. Ali tweets @SkyisNeela

Balochistan 3: Pakistan’s dirty little closet full of skeletons

In the aftermath of Sabeen Mahmud’s murder, essentially right after the cancellation of the LUMS talk, a large number of people voiced their anger against those who tried to highlight state abuses in Balochistan.  Mama Qadeer, in particular, came under fire but people vocal about the issue were also accused of being traitorous, or at least of lacking patriotism, or colluding with separatists or, well, you get the idea. The groups under fire have expressed shock over the reaction they have faced. All they were trying to do was highlight the basics – human rights violations, human life itself. Human life, in theory, should be the foremost concern of ...

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Balochistan 2: There is more to Balochistan than the state’s high-handedness

The attack by Baloch separatists on labourers in Turbat last month was a timely reminder that there is more to Balochistan than the state’s high-handedness. The atrocities of the armed forces reviewed in the preceding blog-post take place in, and are part of, a two-way conflict. Mama Qadeer’s son, Jalil Reiki, was the information secretary of the Balochistan Republican Party, headed by Brahamdagh Bugti. Brahamdagh is also believed to control the Balochistan Republican Army and, alongside Harbiyar Marri and Allah Nazar Baloch, credited with leading the insurgency in Balochistan. All three are designated as terrorists by Pakistan. The insurgency, which has often been romanticised because of the neglect ...

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Balochistan 1: The nature and extent of State abuse

Sabeen Mahmud, a peace activist and founder of The Second Floor (T2F), was shot dead on Friday, April 25, 2015, after hosting a talk on Balochistan. Her guests included the now infamous Mama Qadeer, who was also the most prominent invitee at an earlier talk at LUMS. That talk was cancelled after intervention by the state. The subject she highlighted right before her death, and the manner of it, suggests unusual bravery. It also puts an onus on the rest of us to discuss it more. Obviously, Balochistan is too complex an issue to encompass in its entirety, especially for outsiders. We ...

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2013 elections: Out with the allegations, in with the evidence

With another showdown between the government and Imran Khan on the horizon, it is important to revisit the root of the current strife; rigging in the general elections of 2013. While much has been said about this subject, we still appear to have people who are not correctly informed as to what happened, or is alleged to have happened, and what are the evidences to support such allegations. The crux of the arguments from the disinterested, misinformed commentators boils down to what I came across in an op-ed around two months ago. Basically that the agitators have neither, “ 1) A theory of how ...

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Would the PPP leaders care to explain why people in Thar are dying?

It was revealed in the second week of October that around 300,000 bottles of mineral water – meant for the drought victims in Thar – expired in a government warehouse without ever reaching the masses. Earlier this year, wheat supplies for the Thar victims faced the same fate. At least 31 lives were lost in October and 234 more, mostly children, in the preceding episodes. A report revealed that the district administration of Thar was in the hands of Makhdoom Amin Fahim’s son earlier this year. Fahim happens to be the senior vice-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party. So is PPP not responsible for the Thar mismanagement? An inquiry commission formed ...

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Can evidence against PML-N ever be found?

First, a few observations on the new narrative being constructed about rigging; specifically the ‘election tribunals’ argument made famous by who appears to be Fakhruddin Ibrahim’s son. While many went gaga over it yesterday, this ‘view’ has been here for a month now. I first read it in a Dawn column at the start of last month, and in the Five Rupees blog the next day. Since then it has been furiously parroted by at least one PML-N guy on TV; the new Punjab law minister. The argument basically is that the election tribunals are working fine, with 78% of the petitions disposed off already. ‘Already’ and ‘fine’ here are obviously ...

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Lawless lawyers:From heroes to hoodlums

The black coats have been Musharraf’s most potent opponents since his return, just as they were during his time in office. And while it is admirable that they have taken the initiative when others seemed somewhat hesitant, the ugly scenes witnessed in Rawalpindi on Tuesday would suggest that they have gone a step, or several, too far. Musharraf’s supporters had reportedly turned up in large numbers as he appeared before a court in connection with the Benazir Bhutto murder case. Lawyers were also present, although they claim not in the same numbers. After some sloganeering, a melee broke out between the two ...

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Dear Indian media, please stop spreading hate

Last night I was able to catch a quick glimpse of the news that is being broadcasted in India currently. Since the alleged cross border raid by Pakistani forces that left two Indian soldiers dead, there has been much speculation. Barkha Dutt, an Indian journalist fairly well known on this side of the border, read out a very tense, stern, hyped-up monologue that set the tone for her entire show. Her emphasis, time and again, on the “unprovoked” aggression from the Pakistani side as well as the “gruesome” and “horrific” nature of the attack stood out. Unprovoked because the Indian Army was ...

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Bash thy army the right way

Bashing the military is a favourite past time of the ones who feel they have been enlightened. Following this trend, an increasing number of people want to join this enlightened group, so they have taken to bashing the army too. The tool is a laptop; the location is a cosy house in Defence. The new army bashers however, in my humble view, need to know a thing or two before launching into a gallant bayonet charge. So I have decided to help them out and will now try to explain how to effectively bash the malicious military, or how to ...

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