Stories about military

Five things Egypt can learn from Pakistan

Discussions over Egypt’s future have almost become a coffee table routine for many across the globe. Shock, grief and anger over the violence and death, combined with the fear of a looming civil conflict, has paved way for passionate discussions over the ‘legitimacy’ and ‘actions’ of various political entities in the most populous Arab state. As Egypt copes with a changing political climate and sluggishly works its way towards democracy, one wonders what external solutions can be offered to help end this unrest and instability. If Egypt wants to look at a fellow Islamic country for guidance, it should look no ...

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Egypt: Does the West change the definition of democracy when it comes to Muslims?

While the Egyptian army is busy massacring Morsi supporters in Egypt, the west and local liberals both have turned mute and silent. Hundreds have been killed and it is feared that the violence will escalate once the Egyptian army resumes its standard operating procedure of ‘find-torture-kill’; something it has mastered for a number of years. Champions of freedom and democracy, the US and the West, have once again shown their true colours of deceit, deception and hypocrisy as they fully support the Al-Sisi led coup without once thinking of the impact this could have on a ‘democratically elected’ government; ...

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From Egypt to Pakistan: Why are we infatuated by the Army?

After a halting transition to democracy that was hailed around the globe, Egypt is once again under military rule. The generals claim to have intervened in the national interest, citing the massive crowds who filled the streets of Cairo to protest the Islamist rule of the democratically-elected president.  This coup, coming just a year after the Arab Spring, raises a fundamental question that applies not just to Egypt but also to Pakistan. How do armies legitimise their coups? Despite their differences, there are striking parallels between coups in Egypt and Pakistan. Take the case of Pakistan: The army’s maiden coup in 1958 by general ...

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Taxi driver shot dead: The Rangers are not to blame

Most of the time, law enforcement agencies in Pakistan are blamed for corruption and for being in cahoots with criminals. However, recently, the elite contingent of Pakistani law enforcement – which is usually called in when the situation becomes too big to handle for basic level officers – has come under fire for allegations of extra judicial killings and for sporting a general “hair trigger attitude.” The reference here is, of course, to the Rangers and the spate of recent incidents that have involved shooting at presumably innocent people. The Rangers first drew media attention after they opened fire on an unarmed young man ...

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FATA? Is that where tribesmen are cannibals and women are slaves?

Over the years, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan (FATA) have been a hot topic of discussion, but for all the wrong reasons.   We, the tribal people, have been termed as ‘wild’ and are somehow depicted as sub-human. Our women are often at the receiving end of pity because they are believed to be subjected and persecuted. Where to start and where to begin here? Through this post, I would like to introduce you to the Fata I have spent my entire life in by busting some popular myths about this region. Myth 1: In Fata,women are to remain illiterate and house-bound Please do ...

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The formula of making a failed state

To make a failed state you can start off by looking for a newly created country. It will help if the state is initially in two parts geographically, separated by a country that has several elements living within it that openly criticise the existence of this state. It will also help if the strategic importance of one wing of this state is immense when it comes to global politics. This will make sure that it remains in the centre of major strategic decisions in the future. Once created, chances are that the leaders who led to its creation will acquire top administrative roles. ...

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What war does to women

There is so much going on in the world. The clouds of war and violence seem to hover around the globe and there seems to be no end to this mayhem and chaos. Billions of military troops march out in the name of war and conflict every day. They fight against each other under the shadows of cannons, tanks, nuclear warfare, chemicals, gunfire and smoke. The fight goes on and on and when it ultimately ends (which it never does), we find them buried deep under the ground. They take cities, culture and heritage down with them, like they never existed. And ...

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General Musharraf: A fine specimen of bravery and stupidity

Having never liked the former military dictator-cum-politician, it is not very easy to present an unbiased case for Pervez Musharraf. Thinking back to the days when he assumed power after overthrowing Nawaz Sharif in a military coup, he had been hailed as Pakistan’s saviour for delivering it from a ‘corrupt and autocratic’ regime and from preventing Sharif from ‘declaring himself Ameerul-Momineen’. As a young boy, my firm distrust of the military man never went away, even after witnessing grown-ups close to me staunchly standing by the mentioned narrative – and myself being too politically naïve at the time to counter it. Generally ...

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Musharraf should not be given a second chance

Pervez Musharraf stirred new controversies and conversations by announcing his return to Pakistan last week. However, the main question remains whether the Pakistani people should give the former dictator-president another chance to run the country or not. An in-depth look at the former army chief’s post 1999 resumé would suggest that he is not fit for assuming the country’s top leadership positions again. Half-hearted approaches to deal with terrorism, organising only cosmetic economic measures and exercising lack of political judgments were some of the key things that Musharraf did during his tenure and the cost of his miscalculations and mistakes are still ...

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The return of Musharraf

Some Hollywood sequels hold the promise of becoming big ticket numbers, especially if their heroes are of world-saving ilk. The Dark Knight, Terminator 2 and even Die Hard 2 are examples of movies whose characters struck such a chord with the audience that people couldn’t wait for them to return to fight the big, bad villains. Pakistan is not short of characters, and not necessarily fictitious ones, who are chomping at the bit to make a comeback. Their desire to return to the spotlight is, however, not necessarily a reflection of audience demand.Their promos and trailers have been running forever ...

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