The freedom to make or amend constitutional laws is Pakistan’s fundamental flaw

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi recently remarked that Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution may be scrapped with the consultation of all parties. In case readers have forgotten, this particular article had provided the grounds of Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification. Constitutionally, Abbasi is correct, as Article 239 titled ‘Constitutional Amendment Bill’ states the following in clause (5): “No amendment of the Constitution shall be called in question in any court on any ground whatsoever.” Furthermore, clause (6) states, “For the removal of doubt, it is hereby declared that there is no limitation whatsoever on the power of the Parliament to amend any of the provisions of the Constitution.” Therefore, if Article 62 is ...

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Schools in India have become less about education and more about survival

It was a senseless murder so heart-breaking that only the most hardened could have remained unmoved. It has been more than a week since seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was murdered in the washroom of Ryan International School in Delhi’s suburb of Gurgaon, just minutes after reaching school. The police say a school bus conductor has admitted to killing the child. In a gruesome CCTV footage, the child can be seen crawling out of the washroom, clutching his bloody neck because the attacker slit his throat. Thakur was dead before he reached the hospital. Now, this story is what everyone with a child in ...

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Is Singapore turning into Pakistan with its uncontested and undemocratic election of Halima Yacob?

Halima Yacob, a former advocate of women rights, of psychological health and senior citizens, and the speaker of the Parliament of Singapore, was recently sworn in as the first female president of Singapore. Her election may be a milestone for Singaporean women, but nothing more. The Singaporean government curtailed the presidency criteria, which authorised Yacob as the most befitting candidate for presidency. Her selection met with social media outrage that is justified due to the fact that it was a uncontested election. come on. only Halimah received the eligibility certificate. did you guys have to make it THAT obvious? #NOTMYPRESIDENT — Edward C. Yong ن (@infernoxv) September 11, ...

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If Aung San Suu Kyi fails to act, she will go down in history as an unworthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

In 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights. In her acceptance speech, she called for the world to be “free of the displaced, the homeless and the hopeless”. Her story is one of courage and determination, especially the way she took on the might of the military junta for restoring democracy in Myanmar. In the 1990 general election, Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), witnessed a resounding victory but unfortunately, the military junta refused to recognise the results. The military kept Suu Kyi under house arrest for 15 ...

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16 years after 9/11: Its tragic memory, surreal aftermath and the insecure world it left behind

In 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, young men like me who had posed as ‘Marxists’ across the 80s were overwhelmed by a sense of both sadness and dread. And yet we knew that things in our beloved Soviet Union were not quite like what we had imagined – a socialist Utopia in which the working classes (the proletariat) had risen above economic, religious and social biases to consolidate their own rule according to the noble dictates of Marxist-Leninism. I was 22 in 1988 and about to head out to a university in Moscow on a scholarship. The plan was ...

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BRICS declaration: What is China playing at exactly? Does it plan on cutting Pakistan loose?

Despite its recent defence of Pakistan against the United States on the issue of terrorism, China seems to have taken a surprising new turn on the issue. This week, the declaration adopted by Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) at their summit in Xiamen has not only condemned terrorism but also named three key Pakistan-based terrorist groups – the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT),  Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) –  in a larger list of terrorist groups responsible for violence and insecurity. Beginning with a condemnation of violence against “innocent Afghan nationals”, the declaration went on to firmly back the Afghan national government, ...

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Kim Jong Un’s impudence is merely food for internal consumption, not words to be taken at face value

In contemporary history, the memory of the 1953 Korean War has been somewhat overshadowed by the internecine World War II that concluded some seven years before it.   Over three weeks, a collective five million civilians and military personnel perished on both sides of the Korean peninsula, entire villages were destroyed and cities obliterated. Hostilities were first stoked when the then North Korean despot Kim II Sung invaded the South, postulating a reunification of the peninsula. The South Koreans, allied with the United States then as they are now, were aided by the first large-scale air campaign conducted by the US Air Force as well ...

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If Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries can practice safe and hygienic qurbani, why can’t Pakistan?

Amateur butchers with no skills, armed with sharp knives and cleavers of various sizes and shapes will once again see daylight on Eidul Azha. These part-time novices can be seen swarming our cities during the wee hours of Eid. They are stationed at every nook and corner and seem trained in their craft of deception. In our quest to find the most reasonable butcher, we end up overlooking important factors such as hygiene and whether or not they are skilled enough to perform qurbani (slaughtering) the correct way. It is imperative that we keep such factors in mind before hiring butchers. After mosques ...

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Is Pakistan too fragile to exist without American help and aid?

Donald Trump and his cronies must have wondered why Pakistan’s tribesmen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Balochistan staged an anti-US rally. The reason behind this rally taking place was to protest Trump’s remarks about Pakistan not “doing enough” in the war in Afghanistan. Our people (particularly the tribesmen) have suffered immensely due to Trump’s policies, particularly the drone attacks which killed thousands of innocent people. Furthermore, they have suffered due to his failure to stop terrorists in Afghanistan from killing civilians. And to rub salt in our wounds, Trump asked India to help crush the Afghans! In Pakistan, we know that Trump is not reasonable, ...

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The problem with Imran Khan’s CNN interview is his hypocrisy that is too palpable to ignore

In an era of hyper-nationalism bordering on fascist tendencies, a strongly crafted statement works wonders for your public image.  This is exactly what we witnessed recently. America’s recent tragedy, otherwise also known as President Donald Trump, was found to be ruffling some spiteful feathers yet again. But Trump said what all American leaders have already said about Pakistan (we’ve been compared to cancer and called an international migraine, for starters). He also threatened Pakistan with the stoppage of American aid if we don’t “do more”. Been there, heard that. In came Imran Khan to rescue Pakistan from this shared sense of shame. In ...

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