Stories about Congress

Lessons in tenacity: Why Pakistan should learn from Turkey

When faced with the seemingly unyielding support of its ostensible NATO ‘partners’ for Kurdish secessionists in the Syrian-Turkish border regions, Turkey faced a veritable conundrum. Turkey’s  successful October 9-24, 2019 Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria against entrenched, US military-protected Kurdish fighters came after setting red lines regarding its national security, acknowledging that lack of respect afforded to those red lines by traditional partners necessitated threatening core foundational assets of its ties with them, recognising its advantages and constraints and hedging its bets with new foreign allies. In numerous ways, Turkey’s negotiation of the ordeal vis a vis the Kurds and ...

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Will Imran Khan regret skipping the Kuala Lumpur Summit?

The flawed gains-and-losses calculus of Imran Khan’s PTI government recently produced what may well be the most aberrational and peculiar foreign policy decision by any country this year. Imran cancelled his attendance of the Kuala Lumpur Summit (which he himself reportedly jointly proposed with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mahathir bin Mohamad months ago) after visiting Saudi Arabia – who along with key allies shunned the event – and asking for a $5 billion rollover loan. Regardless of erratic attempts by some to use Mahathir’s politically-correct ‘assurances’ that the Summit was not meant to ‘compete’ with rival powers to downplay the capitulation to the Saudis by ...

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Communism’s love-hate relationship with Pakistan

A sizable amount of literature suggests that the Left supported the Pakistan Movement. However, a deeper reading into the politics of the Left in the crucial last decade of the British Raj reveals a far more complex situation. In 1936, three young communists, namely ZA Ahmad, Sajjad Zaheer and Kunwar Muhammad Ashraf, upon the alleged instructions of the Communist Party of India (CPI) [1], joined the All India Congress Committee under Nehru’s presidency. Nehru had initiated the Muslim Mass-contact Programme (MMCP) to increase the Muslim members of Congress and had placed it under KM Ashraf. He and his two ...

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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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Bernie Sanders spoke up about Kashmir, but does it really matter?

We are a nation that rejoices at semantics, not action. You need only look towards the reaction to Bernie Sanders’ statement regarding Kashmir to get a sense of that. Sanders, who is currently one of the candidates vying to become the Democratic presidential nominee, recently spoke at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in Houston and made some remarks which led to a whole host of reactions. He called India’s actions in occupied Kashmir “unacceptable,” and went onto state, “The communications blockade must be lifted immediately, and the United States government must speak out boldly in support of international ...

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Indians can’t wait to ‘marry Kashmiri girls’, ‘buy land in Kashmir’ – and therein lies the problem

A few years ago, I wrote a blog in which I cherished an overarching identity which connected me, a Pakistani, to the inhabitants of neighbouring India. The said article was not a negation of the Two-Nation Theory but rather what I thought was the right way forward. I had written, “Yes, modern Pakistan and India are a reality, but then so is our great common heritage. Yes, it is important for us to be loyal to our political states, but at the same time not overlook the joint heritage. There is an overarching identity which unites us despite our political ...

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What happens to India now that Modi stays in power?

At the time of writing this piece, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is leading in 351 seats. This landslide victory belongs to Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for those who predicted the demise of the Modi wave did not realise how India’s electoral democracy works. When a magician like Modi – who knows the nuts and bolts of public perception – teams up with a shrewd election strategist like Amit Shah, together they create waves that win elections. If by divine grace they are blessed with an opponent as incompetent as Rahul Gandhi, such tides turn into ...

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While endorsing Modi, did Imran Khan forget the plight of Kashmiris and Indian Muslims?

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, while talking to Reuters, gave a statement that really shocked the diplomatic world. Referring to the Indian elections, he said: “Perhaps if the BJP – a right-wing party – wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached.” India’s General Elections have started from today, April 11th, and will continue till the end of next month. The most surprising aspect about Imran’s statement is that it came just a day before the start of the first round of the Indian elections. Usually, world leaders avoid giving out statements that seemingly endorse any political party of a foreign ...

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What did Pakistan achieve by boycotting the OIC?

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held its 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), in which it criticised India’s role in the Kashmir crisis. Making references to “intensified Indian barbarities” in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), persistent violation of Pakistani airspace and illegal detentions in the state of IoK, the OIC’s resolution was met with a sharp response from the Indian spokesperson, who stated that the issue remains internal to India. Despite inviting Sushma Swaraj as the guest of honour to the summit, the resolution leaned more in favour of Pakistan by praising Imran Khan’s decision to return Indian Air ...

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Modi was all set to win the upcoming elections. Enters Priyanka Gandhi

Politics is the prisoner of context and timing. The entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into mainstream politics in India comes at a time when Indian politics senses a new opportunity that is beyond the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With the main opposition Congress winning three important regional elections recently, the party sees a beginning of a new momentum which has been missing ever since its worst ever performance in the last General Elections in 2014. The victory in the regional elections consolidates the positions of the party president, Rahul Gandhi, and also heralds him as a prominent face of the ...

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