Stories about NATO

Mr PTI Chairman, we have a problem

Dear Mr Chairman (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf), Your meteoric rise as a powerful alternative political force in Pakistan was a reflection of the belief of the educated middle class in your slogan of ‘change’. For the first time, in recent history, our people saw a ray of hope against corruption, nepotism, plutocracy, injustice and entrenched hereditary politics. You mobilised the sceptic and the idealist, the old and the young, the religious and the liberal, the elite and the poor, by your strident call, ‘Tabdeeli aa nahi rahi, tabdeeli aa gayi hai’ (Change is not yet to come, change is already here). Men and women flocked to your jalsas in millions to ...

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Blocking NATO supplies: Imran Khan’s stance is for national security

Imran Khan has always been a personality admired by people. Starting from his cricketing days to his entrance into politics, people have only expected good from him. The  mercurial dynamics of politics in Pakistan have not affected his attitude and temperament much over the last 17 years; however, things seem to be experiencing a shift since his party has formed government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), earlier this year. Ideally, what we need to understand is that it is not possible to assume that a political party that has formed a government in a province is any different from the government ...

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US-Afghanistan withdrawal: Can Pakistan survive without NATO money?

With September 2014 fast approaching, all eyes are fixed on Afghanistan and the announced withdrawal of the United States-led coalition forces. Although the Afghan Loya Jirga has asked President Karazai to sign the peace deal with the US, a majority of the contingents are scheduled to leave by the end of 2014. This mass military exodus from Afghanistan will shift the burden of security responsibility onto the Afghan army and police. It is hard to predict whether the Afghan forces will able to cope with the post-withdrawal security situation or not. Yet the withdrawal will surely have a negative economic impact – ...

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Pakistani reactions to breaking news (explained through cats)

When visiting US diplomats talk about Pakistan being a key ally in the War on terror. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. When Imran Khan says he will block NATO supply routes. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Reality of trying to block Nato supplies… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. How security forces are seen when rumours emerge of an operation into North Waziristan ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  How the MQM is seen when they announce they are breaking a political alliance ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  How the JI is seen battling over the ‘martyr’ controversy …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Each time the power tariff is raised by 50 paisa …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. When there is a strike due to ‘namaloom afrad‘ ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  When a negative review of Waar is published ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  When a positive review of Waar is published …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. When there’s a ...

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When did Malala become a geo-political and defence expert?

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old girl who was shot last year by the Taliban gained international fame for her memoir – a multi-million dollar book titled I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. However, in Pakistan, a large proportion of the populace has labelled it to be a controversial book as well as a disgrace to the country. Co-authored with British journalist Christina Lamb, I am Malala, has propelled its readers to talk either in favour of it or against it. Although many of her fans were excited to read it, the book ended up disappointing a major section ...

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Let’s not misinterpret PTI’s stance on NATO supplies

It would be an understatement to say that the timing of Hakimullah Mehsud’s death has become quite controversial.  Just when he was planning to proceed with peace talks with the government, Hakimullah was targeted by a US drone. It has been quite apparent that the US is not thrilled with the possibility of peace between Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) and Pakistan. Hence, the very first thing that comes to one’s mind is why this happened now when it had never happened before. Instead of getting into the possible explanations, let us evaluate the reaction of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to this particular drone attack. It seems ...

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Meeting Sri Lanka’s ex-army chief

After meeting former chief of army staff of Sri Lanka, General Srilal Weerasooriya, I was curious to know what he thinks of the ongoing Afghan war, as well as the US withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. I was also interested in discussing issues related to militancy in Pakistan with General Weerasooriya, who spent months with former president General Pervez Musharraf in the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, Abbottabad in the late ’60s. He told me that Pakistan cannot get rid of militancy until it succeeds in stopping neighbouring countries’ involvement in its territory. General Weerasooriya made it clear that the Pakistani ...

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The Afghan army and its failure

US President Barack Obama with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai has announced that the Afghan army will now operate directly from Afghanistan from this spring. While Karzai has expressed happiness over the announcement, he was heard saying that an indigenous army would mean that Afghanistan will not be able to put the blame on foreign troops in case of human rights violations in its own country. However, a very small number of US troops may remain in the region for assistance and training purposes. President Obama has made it clear that these troops will not be seeking permanent settlement in the ...

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Afghanistan needs our help!

The central bank of Afghanistan imposes a fine on shopkeepers to stop them from using foreign currency. Pakistani currency also known as Kaldhar in the war-stricken country is widely used, which reflects the lack of confidence of Afghani businessmen and traders in their economy. Afghanistan’s economy appears stable if compared to Pakistani rupee that lost almost half its value to the dollar. 90% of Afghanistan’s budget depends on foreign aid. However, will the bubble economy survive when the US is itself embroiled in a financial crisis back home? Rich Afghans are already escaping with their money stashed in suitcases. $4.6 billion has ...

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US-Af-Pak tripartite interests: Time is running out!

Amidst reports of an anti-Taliban insurgency in the provinces of Ghazni, Paktia, Kunar, Nuristan and Laghman gaining strength, time for Pakistan’s clay-footed policymakers is running out fast. The restless provinces of Kunar and Nuristan are registering signs of a coordinated anti-Taliban militancy led by the former Mujahideen commanders. While it looks increasingly possible that US-led Nato forces and IEDs could eventually pull off something resembling a military victory on which to build a negotiated settlement with the hostile forces, the Pakistani defence establishment seems to be frozen in the past. While Pakistan decided to run endless talk shows analysing the ...

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