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 ...Read Full Post
Prime Minister Imran Khan recently announced that the governments of Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia will collaborate to launch a “BBC type” English television (TV) channel to challenge Islamophobic views in the West. The channel is expected to highlight various issues specific to Muslims in the West and “contextualise” cases of blasphemy. So why aren’t we feeling as hopeful as we should? Our meeting in which we decided to set up a BBC type English language TV Channel that, apart from highlighting Muslim issues, will also fight Islamophobia. pic.twitter.com/GA6o15oJFH — Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 30, 2019 Misperceptions which bring people together against Muslims would ...Read Full Post
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, ...Read Full Post
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Aspiring for a career and finally achieving employment is a blessing for anyone. When I was young, my dream, like many other kids, was to roam around the world, to see far off places and to experience different cultures. One practical way to achieve my goal was to join the Merchant Marine. At a young age of 17, when one is full of hope and ambition, I finally had the selection letter tucked gleefully in my pocket after a gruelling selection process. It was a pleasant February afternoon in 1974 when I joined the ...Read Full Post
If Xi Jinping wants China to be accepted as a global leader, he needs to revise his aggressive diplomacy
The anointment of President Xi Jinping as the ‘core leader’ in the recently concluded 19th Chinese Communist Party congress, and by enshrining his thoughts on “Socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era” in the party’s constitution, Jinping has elevated himself to the exalted status of Chairman Mao Zedong. Like the Little Red Book, Jinping’s thoughts have now been made compulsory reading for Chinese students, government officials and party functionaries. Jinping, before the convention of the congress, where his elevation was a foregone conclusion, had systematically purged all his potential rivals. His Machiavellian statecraft had ensured that he had a vice-like grip over the party. Added ...Read Full Post
Wearing jeans or a sleeveless top is “ruining the culture”, but a sari showing the midriff is not, India?
There must be something very special about the evil garment called ‘women jeans’, otherwise why would even the most sagacious men rile up against it? They are certainly not just a pair of trousers in denim fabric, else why would it worry and distract men so much? Perhaps this is the reason why the village panchayat in Rajasthan barred women from wearing jeans along with attractive clothing such as leggings, short skirts and sleeveless tops. Nevertheless, women wearing fully covered jeans with a sleeveless top ruin the culture, but a sari that shows off midriff doesn’t. Besides, it is the tight jeans and leggings that ...Read Full Post
The international community has largely ignored the political situation regarding the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar. The Rohingya have been systematically disenfranchised and persecuted in their home state of Myanmar, having been denied the rights of citizenship, worship, marriage and education. Since 2012, the Rohingya have been subjected to numerous acts of violence by the Buddhist majority leading to hundreds of deaths, destruction of property, and a mass exodus of Rohingya with estimates stating that around 100,000 are living in internment camps and 200,000 more residing in unofficial camps in Bangladesh. In 2013, mosques and Muslim-owned businesses were destroyed by a 300-member mob in central Myanmar in a series of ...Read Full Post
The performances of athletes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who took part in the Olympics continued to be dismal. While India has managed to win 28 medals since its independence, Pakistan has managed only 10. Sri Lanka lags even further behind with just two medals. Bangladesh has never managed to win any. Even a comparatively smaller country like South Korea, which has a population of only 50 million, has managed to win 21 medals at Rio 2016. Athletes from Thailand and Malaysia also performed relatively better. India, a country with a 1.3 billion population and a $2 trillion economy, mustered only two medals at the Rio Olympics. Michael Phelps, the ace swimmer from the ...Read Full Post
Oman’s meteoric rise in international cricket took the world by surprise, much like Afghanistan’s. It all began during the Asian Cricket Council T20 Cup. Relentless prayers back home finally went answered in 2014 as Afghanistan took on the big names in the Asia Cup. Photo AFP Oman entered the World T20 2016 qualifier as the underdog, was ranked 16th in the world and was up against some of the Associate heavyweights. With nothing to lose, Oman played for the thrill of the game. After suffering an early defeat at the hands of Kenya, Oman went on to beat the much experienced Netherlands, Afghanistan and ...Read Full Post
In his article published in the May edition of Newsline, an independent monthly news magazine, economic journalist, Muhammad Ziauddin, says “a levelling phase” began in Pakistan with the advent of the Bhutto era, which forced the “22 families to flee the country with their loot.” He adds that the “phase of levelling inequality” was cut short quickly by General Zia and a new phase of cornering the wealth of the nation by a few hundred was launched. He and other left-of-centre writers like to glorify the Bhutto regime – why else would anyone call the six years of economic ruin and destruction “a levelling phase”? I recently spent some ...Read Full Post