Stories about kashmir

Was Nawaz Sharif really soft on India?

Former Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam in a recent interview claimed that not only was former prime minister Nawaz Sharif soft on India himself, he directed the Foreign Office to not highlight India’s sponsorship of terrorism in Balochistan or mention Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian spy who had been arrested in the same province. She also went on to allege that Sharif was soft on India due to his business interests in the country. These claims have since been rubbished by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart Khawaja Asif, while Pakistan’s former High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has seconded the allegations.  Was Sharif ...

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Is America’s outlook towards Pakistan changing?

Predictably, President Donald Trump’s 36 hour visit to India generated a lot of hype not only in the country but also in the United States (US). Despite the trade deal remaining elusive, both parties seem to have gained from the optics of the visit. In his election year, President Trump will benefit from the pomp and show that his campaign will showcase to the domestic audience as proof of his international publicity and stature. The visit will also help him gain the support of the four million strong Indian-American community. Similarly, although some might say that Narendra Modi fiddled around ...

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Why Afghanistan should leave Pakistani Pashtuns alone

Successive Afghan governments, since Pakistan’s founding in 1947, have remained self-proclaimed champions of Pakistani Pashtuns’ rights. The basis on which Afghan officials (and part of the public alike) have shown interest in Pakistani Pashtuns is the assumption that Pakistani Pashtuns are an oppressed people. The source of the oppression, the argument goes, is the Punjab province. Bilateral Afghan-Pakistan tensions did not begin after the 1978 communist coup in Kabul or the subsequent Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, when Afghan Mujahideen and refugees fled to Pakistan. Afghan-Pak tensions had begun in 1947, when Afghanistan started insisting that Pakistan give ...

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What to expect from Antonio Guterres’ Pakistan visit

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres will arrive in Islamabad tomorrow, February 16th, to attend an international refugee conference that marks over 40 years of Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The UN chief will also meet Pakistani leaders for talks on matters of mutual interest, giving Prime Minister Imran Khan an opportunity to get international backing on the issue of Kashmir. But in light of Pakistan’s long-established mass deportation of Afghan refugees, can it truly claim the moral high ground on Kashmir?   Aims of the conference Since 1979, Pakistan has hosted an official number of 1.4 million refugees who fled from Soviet ...

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The Dogra Dynasty: The godfathers of the Kashmir dispute

Kashmiris ruling Kashmiris. Undoubtedly, a novel concept, not only to modern day Pakistanis and Indians, but to historians as well. It is ironic and equally unfortunate that for the past 400 years or so, Kashmiris have been subjected to the reign of non-indigenous ruler, be it the Mughals in the late 1500s or the Dogras pre-partition. Most rulers saw Kashmir as nothing more than a comfortable summer retreat and so, ignored the plight of the local populace which was, by most accounts, quite poor. However, the demeanour of the Dogra dynasty towards the Kashmiris was essentially that of an owner’s ...

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How the internet ban has crippled Kashmir: A first-hand account

Since 2012, Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) has been witnessing the deliberate disruption of internet connectivity, cell phone services, and access to social media on an increasing scale. These disruptions are caused by the Indian authorities who allege that these services spread rumors and ‘fake news’, providing outside forces with a chance to disrupt the internal situation in Kashmir; thereby giving rise to violent protests. In order to prevent rumor mongering, the authorities claim that these deliberate blackouts, the longest of which have occurred in Kashmir as compared to any other part of India, are useful in pacifying or preventing the protests. However, no empirical evidence to support this ...

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Sadhguru – BJP’s spiritual henchman

One could argue that the term ‘guru’ has come to become one of the most misused and abused words in India today. Traditionally, Indians have seen gurus as a source of wisdom, whose sage advice was often sought by kings. Ancient Indian texts are filled with stories in which rulers use the advice provided by gurus as a guiding principle when determining state policy. But it appears that this mindset has not remained confined to the past. Modern India now has its own set of gurus, and they too derive their legitimacy through political patronage. In turn, they try to endorse the political deeds of the ruling ...

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Was Imran Khan’s Davos trip a success or a failure?

Nestled in the snowy Alps of Switzerland lies a quaint town that plays host to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting. For fifty years, Davos has provided a platform for the world’s political leaders, economists, academics, journalists and corporations to come together to accomplish an impossible task: “improving the state of the world”. From the outside, Davos seems like yet another stomping ground for the global elite. Their onerous mission entails a discussion on the eternal conundrums of economic inequality, political instability and social development. Members of civil society mingle with the heads of powerful organisations to shape ...

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Will Pakistan support Palestine or the ‘Deal of the Century’?

While difficult to predict how Pakistan would react, the scenario where it is deemed suitable by the makers of the notorious ‘Deal of the Century’ for Palestine to be approached for a stance supportive of the deal is not unlikely. The reason for the plausibility of this and for the speculation about Pakistan’s possible embracement of the deal not being entirely outlandish lies in contemporary Pakistani foreign policy itself. The ‘Deal of the Century’: haphazard and contemptible Reports suggest that the substantially already leaked ‘Deal of the Century’ prepared by partisan US-Israeli Zionists for Palestine will be announced within days. ...

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Revisiting Manto’s biting ‘Letters to Uncle Sam’ – Part 1

In this two part series, Raza Naeem translates passages from Manto’s nine Letters to Uncle Sam and discusses their enduring legacy. Read Part 2 here. ~ Saadat Hasan Manto passed away on a foggy morning today, 65 years ago in my native city of Lahore. A few months shy of his 43rd birthday, his frail body had been consumed by alcohol and his spirit was exhausted by the many battles he fought in independent Pakistan against the state’s courts and critics, who shunned, marginalised and victimised him. Among the victims of his acerbic pen in his final years were Uncle Sam and the ...

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