Stories about military rule

Asma Jehangir, a force to be reckoned with

Growing up, I was filled with loathing for Asma Jehangir and yet somewhere deep down I had a sense of respect for her, however grudging it may have been. Today, I have come full circle and openly admit having deep and uninhibited respect for her. My dislike for her was primarily caused by her views which portrayed her as ‘anti-Pakistan’ and ‘against’ Islam. But I was way different back then as I used to be a typical product of state-tutored nationalism and considered any criticism of the state as anti-Pakistan. This brand of nationalism, instilled through textbooks and the media, creates deep mistrust of the outside ...

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Despite re-verifying CNICs, the Mullah Akhtar Mansoors in Pakistan will continue to enjoy their perks and fake identities

What a strange country we live in! First you harbour terrorists from across the border, facilitate them and help them get a computerised national identity card (CNIC) and travel documents. Then when, inevitably, the terrorist is found with those documents provided to him by the state, the interior minister of Pakistan acts indignant and says that he would push for re-verification of all CNICs in the country. Now what did I, a hapless citizen of Pakistan, do to be punished for what is essentially a sin of the state? And what will re-verification achieve? What new Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) will the government put ...

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You know your state is failing if the poor pay taxes and the rich don’t

Skimming through the newspaper a few days ago, I read a front page news piece which shocked me. The piece stated that the elites are not paying taxes and that our tax system favours the rich. The shock was not at the findings of the Tax Reforms Commission (TRC) rather it was at the fact that it took the TRC a year and a half, and millions of rupees in research, to report something everyone knew from the beginning. When we already live in a system which promotes elitism and rewards it, why are we so surprised at the economic endorsements of this ...

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How we went wrong with Rawalpindi

The history of Rawalpindi is one, which is scattered across a vast area. To draw a complete picture of our history, one has to collect the scattered pieces and put them together. No doubt, it’s quite a difficult task but with time and patience, all can be achieved. Most of us know Rawalpindi as a convenient route taken by the invaders, when coming from the north-western regions. It also served as one of the most important cantonments established by the British Army in the north-western region of British India, in days of the The Great Game. Before the partition, Rawalpindi was an urban centre ...

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Pakistan Army: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them

Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus while compiling his literary work Chiliades Adagiorum (Thousands of Adages) never would have thought that one day his words ‘can’t live with them, can’t live without them’ would be used to describe the Pakistan Army as viewed by Pakistanis.  The Pakistan Army is seen both as white knights and ravagers by the common man. Some consider the army as the author of every ill that afflicts the country while others view it as the sole reason of its sustenance. Commentary on the Pakistani military is aplenty on the internet and while the positive comments at times can be attributed ...

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Elections 2013: PPP should complete its five-year term

The current PPP-led government has, at the most, another seven months in office before it completes its five-year term in March, 2013. However, opposition parties such as the PML-N and the PTI are calling for the ruling coalition to hold early elections, keeping in mind the tensions between the government and the judiciary that have led to political instability in the country. The question before us is whether elections will be held in March, 2013 or will the government be forced to call snap pools? Or, whether elections will be held at all in the foreseeable future? There are several hypothetical ...

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