Stories about america

Tribute to ‘Hazrat Sheikh Osama’…really?

On May 2, 2011, when President Barack Obama went on international television and announced to the entire world that Osama Bin Laden was dead, and that US forces had found the world’s most wanted man hiding safely ensconced in a luxury compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, many things changed. Especially, for Pakistan. As a nation, we had to collectively swallow the bile of many-a-public boast regarding our unquestionable allegiance to the United States government in its War on Terror and our repeated claims that we were the greatest of US allies, in said struggle. Above all, was the mixed response to ...

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Afghan drawdown: The vultures descend

Now that the die is cast and the United States is finally stepping up the process of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the vultures are finally swooping down to ensure that they get a piece of the carcass. Pakistan, Iran, India, Russia; all seem to have a stake in Afghanistan’s future. Out of these, Pakistan and India are arch rivals and have conflicting interests in Afghanistan. Pakistan, which often views Afghanistan as an extension of its own backyard seeks to play out the game of strategic depth in the country. India, on the other hand is taking a more indirect route. ...

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Musings of a ‘Westernised’ Pakistani

We often blame “the West” for constructing and perpetuating unjust stereotypes about Muslims and Pakistanis, while not realising that we’re constantly returning the favour without even knowing it! So, on behalf of the “burger-society,” I’d like to speak a little in defense of “the West.”  Ready your rotten eggs if you must. Let me start by saying that “the West” does not exist. If it does, could someone please delineate it for me? Is Japan included in your definition of the West, despite being a Far-Eastern nation? What about Russia, industrialised China or Romania? When radicals make blunt statements like, “the West is waging a ...

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Kung Fu Paindoo

Yesterday, I had another encounter with Disney*: I watched Kung Fu Panda 2. The bits I loved, and I really loved them, were the jokes. So when the Evil King, a peacock with a stainless steel body and lethal blade-feathers, yells exultantly to its minion-wolf: “CALL IN THE WOLVES! All of them! I want them ready to move! The Year of the Peacock begins NOW!” The minion, instead of running along to hasten the orders, pauses, “Right now?” he wonders aloud. “‘Cause it’s the middle of the year, so you’d only get, like, half of the Year of the Peacock.” But generally speaking ...

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You say OBL, I say CIE

Bin Laden found hiding in Abbotabad! School ID card found hiding behind desk. Explosions heard at PNS Mehran! Explosions heard and felt in the Chemistry practical exam. Should the ISI chief resign? Nope, the History invigilator should. CIA conspiracy theories won’t bother us, but change that A grade to an E and the riot begins. That’s the way it works around here. You can and will forgive me for waking up suddenly on this side of June to find the world crashing down around my ears. That’s because while you were busy frantically watching the news (or ignoring it in a ...

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A worthy enemy

Is America really our Enemy No 1? I am not the one to raise the question. It’s the headline on a political analysis by Raza Rumi. But you know how sometimes a single line in a long poem says all that the poem is meant to say? I thought this was just the kind of headline and have therefore borrowed it. Rumi says that at a gathering of Pakistanis in the United States, our ambassador to that country asked the audience who they thought posed the greatest danger to Pakistan. Was it India, he asked, the US or Pakistanis themselves? There ...

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Terror won’t end with Uncle Sam’s exit

Facing a resurgent wave of violence after the Abbottabad operation, our government, that is the military, is facing internal pressure to defy the United States’ (US) demands and reclaim our sovereignty. At the same time, it is being pulled in the opposite direction by our chief benefactor, the US. The line of argument, simple, yet repeated so often to have become a sacred mantra, is to demand that the US withdraw from Afghanistan, and Pakistan should seize to support her. By doing so, the Taliban would no longer have any justification to continue fighting. It’s neat and simple, yet its ...

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Taliban and the need for ‘evil USA, Zionists and India’

Terrorists armed with rockets and grenades attacked the headquarters of Pakistan’s naval air force in Karachi on May 22, triggering gun battles that killed at least 13 personnel – three weeks after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Once again, the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) claimed responsibility for the incident, in retaliation to Pakistan’s alliance with the West in the war on terror and to the killing Bin Laden. According to TTP’s ideology, attacks against Pakistan Army are justified since it is ostensibly assisting America against al Qaeda. However, despite TTP’s open confessions of alliance with al Qaeda, a conspiracy theory exists in ...

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NY’s reaction to Osama’s death: The other side of extremism

Growing up in Lahore, the monsoon was my favourite season – those muggy, motionless afternoons when the air suddenly exploded into a river of orange rumbling down from the sky, leaving jungles in its wake. In the Bay Area, every balmy day of the year was beautiful except for the miserable characterless spluttering they called “rain.” In Ithaca, my favourite season was Autumn – a fire dance in the sky, bold and blazing, curling flames at your feet. And, in New York, it has to be spring, the teenage of nature, blooming poetry from every stem, every lilting branch a breathtaking ballet ...

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Imran Khan’s band of merry men

These days, the latest ‘it’ crowd in Pakistan are the Immy K revolutionaries. For those of you who do not know, these are pseudo-intellectuals who think they can help Imran Khan bring about an inqilaab (revolution) which will lead to khudmukhtaari (autonomy) and freedom from the West, just by standing on a road for a few hours, or even better, by liking a page on Facebook. I hate to break it to all who belong to this crowd, but quite frankly, you all are deluded. Before I go further, I must admit that I have a huge amount of respect ...

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