Stories about foreign aid

Given the recent spat and strained relations, how will the Imran-Trump meet unfold?

Hoping to assuage strained bilateral relations between the United States (US) and Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Washington later this month has been met with enthusiasm from both sides. Despite the initial confusion regarding the visit, the official White House statement highlighted that the focus of Imran’s maiden visit will be on ‘strengthening cooperation’ in pursuit of regional security and peace; its vagueness unsurprisingly echoing previous visits by Pakistan’s premiers. What will undoubtedly be of interest is the sight of Imran and President Donald Trump finally coming face to face after their tense exchange on Twitter last ...

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Who will invest in Pakistan if its head of state constantly highlights its corruption and desperation?

Prime Minister Imran Khan, after taking oath, has so far been on six foreign trips despite initially stating that he would not go on any foreign trips for the first three months. Perhaps given the economic dire circumstances, these trips were inevitable. The extent of success of these trips, with respect to obtaining economic aid and attracting investment, is still being debated in the national media. However, another thing which is under discussion is the way prime minister conducted himself on these trips. Like all rulers, Imran has also tried to market Pakistan by pointing towards its large young population, ...

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It’s not you, it’s me: Why did India refuse Pakistan and UAE’s aid?

The Indian state of Kerala, known as God’s own country, has become the victim of nature’s wrath and is experiencing the worst floods of the century. Thus far, the floods have left 445 people dead and dozens missing. In the hilly regions, floods have caused landslides which have exacerbated the destruction of homes, bridges and road networks. Around 1/6th of the population of the state has been directly affected, and the central government has declared it a level-3 calamity, which clearly indicates the severity of the catastrophe.  First of all, it is worth exploring why God’s own country has come under God’s ...

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When charitable organisations don’t believe in only giving anymore and barter sex for food

This year is definitely a year for women. At the start of 2018, the careers of Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes (now deceased), Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby and Kevin Spacey (although the allegations were from men) decimated due to sexual assault allegations. It seems the propensity for women to come forward and report indecent behaviour by powerful men is now on the rise.  Now it seems every faucet of life, from sporting events and Larry Nassar’s incarceration, to Hollywood and now the world of charities and NGOs, is slowly turning on. Recently, atrocious allegations were revealed by news outlets of the use of prostitutes by ...

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Pakistan’s unstable, schizophrenic relation with Afghanistan

Pakistan and Afghanistan enjoy a ‘brotherly’ relationship that is nothing less than a theatre of the absurd. It has had its highs and lows and has had moments when people have scratched their heads and wondered about the emotionally unstable, schizophrenic handling of bilateral affairs by their erratic and volatile leaderships. With an extremely porous, almost non-existent border featuring a treacherous terrain of hills and rugged mountains standing between the two countries, the people of both lands have endured hard times since decades now. As if the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 70s was not enough with a massive influx of refugees spilling into Pakistan throughout the 80s, ...

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Gay man thrown off a building: ISIS and TTP, our Frankensteins

I must warn you – there is nothing new to read here. There is nothing here that spells ‘recipe for changing the world’. There are no prescriptions or solutions to the horrors we are witnessing today or have witnessed yesterday. From our birth to our death, we are in a constant struggle to defeat our own monsters and demons on a daily basis, with silent victories and failures in self-improvement, relationships with family and friends, spiritual and economic prosperity, and learning and taking care of health. The awareness of how well prepared we are in terms of dealing with the monsters ...

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Afghanistan: A new dawn but old challenges

For over 30 years, Afghanistan has had to contend with political upheavals, foreign invaders, economic disruption and a ruthless insurgency. On April 5, 2014, Afghans went to the polls to choose a new president, in an election that was seen as crucial to the country’s future. Divided along ethnic fault-lines, instead of an inclusive and legitimate leadership who acts as a reflection of the mosaic nature of the Afghan society, what these elections produced in return was chaos and instability. For more than six months, the two rivals for the Afghan presidency, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah had accused the other of ...

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Kashmir: Battling floods and false-reporting by the Indian media

Kashmir is battling the worst of times in its living memory. A flood that has inundated half of the valley is causing unimaginable devastation, yet the hyper-nationalist and jingoistic Indian media has made the so-called rescue operations by its army the centre of its attention and coverage. “Army and air force are risking their own lives to save lives in #JKfloods. Separatists who have only abused the fauj should feel chastened now,” tweeted the cheerleader of India’s broadcast media Barkha Dutt. Army & Air Force are risking their own lives to save lives in #JKfloods. Separatists who have only abused the Fauj should ...

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Don’t ignore your IDPs, Pakistan!

The military operation in Swat five-years-ago led to the displacement of approximately two million Pakistanis, who had to abandon their homes, commodities and lives overnight to a bleak and uncertain future. Facing obscurity, these two million refugees trekked to safer locales with infants and elderly in tow. According to United Nations Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) statistics, released as of September 11, 2012, there were 160,063 families still resigned to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) status, of which 12% (18,783 families) were still residing in camps and 88% (141,280 families) were residing in host communities two years back. Though the World Food Programme (WFP) assisted ...

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Afghanistan needs our help!

The central bank of Afghanistan imposes a fine on shopkeepers to stop them from using foreign currency. Pakistani currency also known as Kaldhar in the war-stricken country is widely used, which reflects the lack of confidence of Afghani businessmen and traders in their economy. Afghanistan’s economy appears stable if compared to Pakistani rupee that lost almost half its value to the dollar. 90% of Afghanistan’s budget depends on foreign aid. However, will the bubble economy survive when the US is itself embroiled in a financial crisis back home? Rich Afghans are already escaping with their money stashed in suitcases. $4.6 billion has ...

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