Is the Ruet-e-Hilal committee obsolete?

For years now, the image of a cluster of bearded men hovering over a telescope has become a staple sight in Pakistan. The head of this entourage, Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman, has long wielded great influence over the members of this committee. However, in recent times, the concept of the moon sighting has evolved into an almost comical political issue, where individuals continue to exchange barbs in an attempt to gain control of their increasingly eroding clout and status. It is almost as if the functioning of the Ruet-e-Hilal committee has now morphed into a battle of egos between over-aged, obsolete clerics, vying to secure ...

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Is a Karachi uplift package the solution to the city’s woes?

It is no secret that the urban centres of Sindh have been ignored for quite some time now. The city of Karachi voted for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the last general elections hoping that Imran Khan would change the fate of this neglected city, yet no concrete policy measures have been put in place in order to help solve the myriad of problems that this city is facing. The 18th amendment has further complicated matters and left the city to a government that is essentially ruling an urban centre with a rural mandate. Therefore, in light of the city’s deteriorating ...

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What does the future hold for PTM?

After his release from prison, Dawar began his fiery speech in Parliament last month with a Pashto verse which translates to, “My hands are shackled and you slap me on my face; my beloved, one day I will settle the score.” Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir, leaders of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), had been arrested in May earlier this year after the unfortunate incident at Kharqamar, North Waziristan. The duo were spearheading a protest when the incident in question came to pass. However, before attempting to understand PTM’s demands and their grievances, it is important to grasp the context within which they are rooted. After the Kharqamar incident, ...

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Why can’t a non-Muslim dream of becoming the prime minister or president of Pakistan?

When Sajid Javid announced that he would join the race for 10 Downing Street earlier this year, the news was met with a joyous reception in Pakistan. Just the thought that a man who was raised in a Muslim household was even in contention to become the next prime minister of Britain was seen as a matter of great pride; after all, we feel it is imperative that all other nations ensure an equal access to opportunities for all religious minorities and do not discriminate on the basis of religion. However, how many in Pakistan would be celebrating if ...

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Capital punishment and the cracks in Pakistan’s judicial system

Up until very recently, Pakistan had the world’s largest population on death row. China has since taken over this dubious honour, but Pakistan remains second in line with the United States trailing closely behind. Right now, in Pakistan, a whopping 6000 people are awaiting execution. The question then becomes: Who are we hanging? And why? If a recent article in The Economist is anything to go by, the answer is that Pakistan is hanging far too many innocent people. Of course, this injustice and incompetence are not exclusive to our country. For example, in the United States, where I currently live, the ...

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Does Pakistan have the moral ground to criticise religious persecution in India?

Now that the adrenaline from listening to Imran Khan’s powerful speech at the United Nations (UN) has subsided, it is a good time for some introspection. India’s descent into fascism has caused justified outrage amongst the people of Pakistan. Its treatment of a minority Muslim population has filled our hearts with pain. But has it also awakened us to the hypocrisy of our nation? We ask the world to step in to save Muslims in India, but we also want ambivalence from the world towards how minorities are treated in Pakistan. Last year, when America added Pakistan to a list of ...

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New York 2019: A watershed in Pakistan’s diplomatic history

On January 14, 1977, the Pakistan team entered the Sydney cricket ground as underdogs. Before the start of the series’ most pundits had expected Australia to steamroll the Pakistanis. After a face-saving draw in the first test and a shattering defeat in the second, Pakistan hoped to draw the series level in Sydney. Before that fateful game Imran Khan had toiled for years, even remodeled his bowling action, but that moment of glory had evaded him. At Sydney however, as the entire nation sat glued to their TV and radio sets, Khan bowled marathon spells of scintillating fast bowling. Spells ...

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Why should Pakistan change its export policy?

In the current inhospitable economic climate prevailing in Pakistan, leading to rising inflation alongside a worsening trade and fiscal deficit, the nation desperately needs a solution to these growing list of problems. While it is fairly simple to understand that an increase in exports will benefit the economy, the method through which this can be achieved is a slightly more tricky question to answer. Exports will help pave the way towards economic prosperity by improving Pakistan’s Balance of Payment (BoP), but policies which try to lead Pakistan in this direction can only be implemented once we address the question: why does Pakistan have ...

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What is Article 149 really about: Karachi’s woes or PTI vs PPP?

Karachi deserves better than being embroiled in a perpetual tug of war between the federal and provincial governments. Karachi’s people put up with rampant crime, non-existent waste management, inept policing, poor infrastructure and chaos when it rains on a daily basis. Hoping for change but slowly losing optimism. However, Federal Minister for Law Farogh Naseem thinks he has found the solution to these problems in the Constitution’s Article 149 (4). But the federal minister is wrong. Article 149 (4) gives the federal government the authority to give directions to the provincial government under certain conditions. The important point here being ...

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Kashmir proves why the Two Nation Theory was necessary

“Us Pakistani liberals have long defended India, so much so that it has almost become a reflex, but honestly an India that has sunk into such depths just cannot be defended: dishonest journalism, joke of a secularism, knee-jerk Hindutva reactionism.” Us Pakistani liberals have long defended India, so much so that it has almost become a reflex, but honestly an India that has sunk into such depths just cannot be defended: dishonest journalism, joke of a secularism, knee-jerk Hindutva reactionism. https://t.co/6pyrZW6yMP — Sabahat Zakariya (@sabizak) September 4, 2019 These words are so reflective of the way monumental and rapid changes in India ...

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