Stories about middle east

Iran, laughing in the face of nuclear disaster

Iran has launched a four day military exercise to show its strength in the wake of rising tensions with the international community and possible military action against them. Getting into gear, their Revolutionary Guards as well as their ground troops and air defenses, Iran is ready for anything. Coinciding with the show of strength is a two day UN inspectors’ visit to Iran, the second visit this month. Led by Herman Nackaerts, the team hopes to achieve access to Parchin military base, as well as talk to question Iran’s nuclear scientist. The inspectors, however, will not be visiting any nuclear ...

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Nuclear Iran is not in Pakistan’s interest

Since the International Atomic Energy Agency issued its latest findings on Iran’s nuclear program and activities, policy-makers in the West and the United States in particular are weighing their options on how to respond to Iran’s continued defiance of its Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations. The Islamic Republic’s nuclear program has possible military dimensions and its stated “peacefulness” lacks credibility. Alarm bells in Israel have been ringing for a long time and a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear sites seems imminent. Not much is being discussed in Pakistan about the implications of a nuclear Iran, precisely due to Pakistan being consumed by its ...

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Six long decades of the Arab-Israeli conflict

It has been more than 60 years now since the start of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Before the start of the First Intifada in 1987, the Palestinians knocked at every door of the international world for someone to address their issue. No one lent an ear. A total of 42 Security Council resolutions were vetoed unilaterally by the United States alone. The Intifada — imbued in shreds of violence and counter-violence both on the part of Arabs and Israelis — made the world realise that there was, indeed, a problem to be addressed in the Middle East. Arafat had to be ...

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Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: May the best team win!

Pakistan will start yet another home series on neutral territory tomorrow as they take on Sri Lanka. This is the first bilateral series at a neutral territory between the two nations after the horrific attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team two years ago. It is going to be a full series with 3 tests, 5 ODIs and a one off T20 match between two almost evenly matched sides and should be an interesting encounter. Last time Pakistan played in the Middle East against South Africa the tests were a high-scoring draw. The test series  Both the teams are going through a ...

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Qaddafi certainly made life interesting

In Qaddafi we have lost not only a despot but also one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century. Call him eccentric, idiosyncratic or an oddity; yet the satisfaction of finding le mot juste will elude you. The problem here is not with Qaddafi, it’s with these words: none of them can do justice to the personality of ‘the mad dog of Middle East’. Only if there was a word which could sum up his callousness, clownery, perversity and political maturity, many could die happy. The only competition that Qaddafi had was His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi ...

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Libya — beginning of the end

As the gunfire reaches Colonel Qaddafi’s compound, it seems as though ‘the end is near’ for the longest serving dictator in the modern world. However, since neither was this a Libyan-led nor a Libyan-owned war, one may argue that this is only just the beginning of the end. When we might get to see Qaddafi creep out of his compound or get killed in the process cannot be foretold; however the situation in Libya does seem to be more fluid and ‘complacency,’ a by-product of winning the war, may get the better of everyone. As his regime fades into the background ...

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Postcard from Dubai

You know, I really wouldn’t say another nasty thing about Dubai if I didn’t know a secret. Yes, it’s true. Dubai and other Gulf states which sear their bottoms on the desert sands have a dirty secret that doesn’t get publicised. And I am going to tell you what it is. To be fair, however, let me just say that there are really no points for you as a critic for singling out Dubai for criticism. Namely, because a. it is an easy target; and b. it doesn’t make a difference. And I agree. In fact, I think it is unfair to diss ...

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Palestine, behind the Osama smokescreen

The Bin Laden killing has gripped the global media and has been a source of relief, as well as misery, for many people around the world. Nevertheless, the practical impact of his killing on international terrorist activities and the war against terror is yet to be seen. This event, however, has inadvertently served as a smoke screen for more substantive events in the Middle East, specifically Palestine. Recently, Fatah and Hamas, the two groups representing the Palestinians, came together in an agreement to end the tensions between them and to formulate a plan for government formation. The history of these two ...

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Osama’s death will not stop the dollar’s decline

The news of Osama Bin Laden’s death will open new dimensions for the US dollar but only for a short while. The reason I say this is because while global financial markets are terming the news of Bin Laden’s as good news for the currency, the dollar will continue to stay weak in 2011. Stock markets will rally in the US, Europe and Asia, but these efforts will all be short-lived and the status of the dollar will go back to its original position. Analyses of the past The bull market for the US dollar is like an invisible man. An important aspect ...

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What I learned about Pakistan in Muscat

I’m in a new land. Many back home think I am amongst the lucky few who have had the chance to live abroad and see “better days”. But, I wonder, do Pakistanis find happiness in the fact that they are actually home? I was filled with an overwhelming longing for Pakistan as soon as I landed in Muscat. The alien atmosphere, the new faces, the strange dresses, and the various dialects intimidated me. For the first time in my life, I felt proud of being a Pakistani, of wearing our traditional shalwar kameez and bearing the traditional Pakistani look. When ...

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