Stories about Army

The birth of widows in conflict ridden Kashmir

In 2008 and 2010, Kashmir witnessed the most severe and popular anti-India movement leading to the death of more than 200 individuals, mostly teenagers. The decade’s old conflict has given birth to many widows and half-widows. The men who died in the Kashmir conflict can never come back, but their memories bring joy as well as pain to their families who are yearning to see their graves.  “Ro rahi hai yeh zameen, ro raha hai aasmaan.” (The earth is wailing, the sky is wailing) Three sisters in particular, Ruqaiya, Zarifa and Shamima, lost their husbands to this conflict and have been destined to live alone. But they did not ...

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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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Why socialists do not brace the Azadi and Inqilab marches

Enough has been said and written about Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri in the recent days, and for obvious reasons. These contentious, yet, influential leaders have occupied the living room space of every Pakistani household via television. Therefore, one is forced to discuss them, whether they like it or not. Surprisingly, out of all the folks of the body politic; socialists or progressives are caught in this discussion. Unlike supporters of the mainstream political parties, socialists operate and deliberate in a sophisticated and academic manner; that is they analyse a movement through their ideological lens and then frame it within ...

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An open letter to anti-PTI trolls

Am I a member of a cult or some secret society? No. Have I recently been released from prison for murder? No. Then why do I have to cringe every time I show my support for the Azadi March and why am I made to feel like a deviant? If you follow your leanings and happen to side with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), as an effort to get rid of this putrid system of government, get ready to be torn apart by a new breed of trolls. Our government and our systems have failed us. We have been disillusioned and indifferent for far too long. Now that ...

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How Hollywood reacts to Gaza: Welcome to the dark side

Since the early 20th century, Hollywood has been persistently flourishing and progressing towards better and greater dimensions; shaping filmmaking trends for rest of the world’s leading film industries to follow. One of its achievements remains its ability to manage a global diversity of artists, producers, directors, technical teams, supporting staff and crew members, and how it enables all of them to render their services on the single platform of Hollywood. This film fraternity has produced a galaxy of legends and stars who have earned intriguing rewards in terms of name, fame, money, career, passion and self-attainment. The lustrous charm of this industry and the overall ...

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A sham democracy is not democracy at all, PML-N

In light of recent events, the government has said that it has a firm resolve to ‘safeguard’ democracy at any cost. I am not entirely sure what the government thinks democracy really is. So far, whatever steps they have taken to ‘safeguard’ it, have been in direct opposition to basic human rights – the same rights that democracy is supposed to protect. I can’t help but find the government’s ‘defence strategy’ heavily laden with panic and idiocy. Their response reminds me of a story I once read in which a man was entrusted with the duty to protect food reserves for a ...

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Should war be celebrated?

On the walls along MA Jinnah Road, I came across certain graffiti, a bold approval in red paint, which read, “Pak fauj qadam barhao, hum tumharay saath hain” (Take a step, Pakistani Army, the people are with you) This was a reminder for every passer-by that it is the duty of every Pakistani to support its army engaged in Zarb-e-Azb, the on-going military operation in North Waziristan. In the past few months, there has been a shift in the rhetoric pertaining to the army; the protector has become the saviour, the last resort has become the beacon of hope and force has become the ...

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Iss parcham ke saaye talay

It’s been more than a decade since I have felt safe in my own country. Through times, I have experienced phases that this country has seen, but never have I seen such a demanding situation that seemed never ending. But now, finally, there seems a light at the end of this tunnel – maybe children will be able to play on the streets again… like I used to. Now, finally, we are taking the war to the enemy. I remember the day Lal Masjid was attacked. There were many discussions on various forums about whether the government was right in taking action ...

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Don’t equate the United Baloch Army with the Taliban!

Wednesday April 9, 2014. 8 am. Islamabad I-11’s fruit market. A blast rips through the usually quiet federal capital morning. Over two dozen lives lost. Everyday news in everyday Pakistan. The only difference? The attack was not claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or one of its various splinter groups. It was claimed by the United Baloch Army (UBA). This has been the second attack of its kind carried out by the UBA in the last few days. The first one took place at a train station in Sibi, Balochistan, killing 17 people. While in the last few hours the government has rejected the ...

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Of course, charging an ex-Chief of Army staff with treason will help us fight terrorism

After many hiccups and a long wait, the day has finally come and former president Pervez Musharraf has been indicted for treason. This is a new chapter in the history of Pakistan, for reasons both, good and bad. However, before going into the reasons and the impact of this verdict, I think it is pertinent to recap the situation that led to the imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007 – the alleged violation of Article 6 of the constitution. Since the matter cannot be considered in isolation, let’s begin from the presidential reference against the former chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry. The lawyers’ ...

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