Stories about Obama

Drone strikes: For better or for worse?

Drones are effective; they kill the most-wanted militants, reduce operational costs, minimise collateral damage and President Obama calls them “legal”. So where is the problem? Why are they so widely condemned? Recently, a drone attack killed another militant, Waliur Rehman, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). He was supposedly the number two of the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) – the only organisation that Pakistan considers inimical to its interests. The TTP is a publicly stated enemy of Pakistan as it has mostly claimed ownership of suicide bombings and IED attacks which keep killing innocent Pakistanis. Waliur Rehman’s elimination, on the face of it, means Pakistan ...

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Talks with the Taliban and sleeping with the enemy

The charged air of “change” in recent elections caused many political parties to promise an end to terrorism and a return to peace, albeit without a clear strategy as to how this would be achieved. The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), parties that have otherwise engaged in name-calling and bitter rivalry, appear to agree on the necessity for peace in the region; peace that they claim can be achieved through “peace talks” with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). As a common Pakistani citizen, I would vouch that nobody of sound mind and loyalty to the country would ...

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Michelle Obama is more than just a dress

Yes I admit, after spending eight hours at a news desk in Pakistan, I curled up in front of my laptop –to follow more political theatre – in this case President Barack Hussein Obama’s (BO) second inauguration. Since The Guardian does great ‘live text’, embedded with videos, tweets, and (to-be) memes, that’s where I was keeping up with the Obamas. I realised as I scrolled down The Guardian ‘As it happened’ page to the am (Eastern Time) posts, ‘what the First lady of the United States wore’ was getting ink. No details of what the President of the United States ...

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How much do you hate Pakistan’s media?

Keeping lists of all aspects of Pakistani activity on Facebook is a manic hobby of mine. I consider myself the tracker of the totality of our online diaspora, which is best represented on Facebook (8 million Pakistanis and growing fast). One list that has been very consistently growing and producing content is my (rather plainly dubbed) Pakistan Media Haters list. Over the last two years I have been diligently adding pages that spew hate (i.e. irrational, cherry-picked critique with dollops of venom, lies, incitement to violence and racism) against the local media. I have also tried to decipher where these pages ...

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Going to the bathroom? No need for a status update please!

The advent of social websites such as Facebook and Twitter has forever changed the way we interact with each other. Just about a decade ago, you would not have imagined that you would be able to keep in touch with all your friends from kindergarten through to graduation, your family and your workmates in such a manner as is possible today. These websites have not only given us the power to share our whereabouts with the world on a real-time basis but have also allowed us to share our thoughts on news, views and happenings around the world. But this ...

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Wake up Pakistan! This is your war

Pakistan is out of step with the rest of the world – a recent poll showed it was the only country to prefer Romney over Obama and is now proved to be on “the wrong side of history”.  Obama’s win on November 6 for a second term has been recognised by every country but Pakistan as a historic decision that is good for the peace and security of the Middle East.  The international community has welcomed the election result with much relief as, unlike his Republican opponent, ex- Governor Romney, President Obama will not engage in unilateral military action and will ...

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Aren’t we already a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’?

Last week, major media outlets reported that the Obama administration was considering designating the Haqqani network a “terrorist organisation”. The New York Times, meanwhile, pointed out that the United States was considering the decision’s impact on its relationship with Pakistan. The article added that “such a move would seem to bring Pakistan a step closer to being designated as a state sponsor of terrorism”. Let’s address the issue of Pakistan being declared a “state sponsor of terrorism”. On the list of terrorist organisations available on the US State Department’s website are familiar names like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkatul Mujahideen, Jundallah and ...

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Politicising homosexuality: A make or break for US presidents

The president of the United States, dispelled all doubt his democratic supporters or republican opposition had earlier this month when he spoke in support of gay marriage in a televised interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News.  The announcement comes at a sensitive time as this is election year and gay rights, union, and marriage have always been a sensitive political subject for those on the Hill and all citizens of the United States. Although the first amendment of the American Constitution’s Bill of Rights includes the freedom of association, laws for and ...

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‘Bin Laden is not dead’ and other conspiracy theories

During a discussion with some fellow medical students, I was astounded to observe that they thought 9/11 was a Jewish conspiracy and that al Qaeda is just a figment of some people’s imagination. I found it surprising how most of them did not know the origins and genesis of al Qaeda, one of the largest terrorist organizations in the world. The aim of writing this post is not to launch a tirade against the conspiracy theory culture prevalent in our society. It is to discuss a couple of popular controversies and try to provide some answers to the much debated ...

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US presidential elections 2012: What are we in for?

As America marches towards the 2012 elections, the presidential debates have been at an all time boiling point. Issues on the domestic front may not be of great interest, but the candidates’ stance on foreign and military intervention, foreign aid, and their level of commitment for Israel will naturally find resonance amongst foreign readers. One can’t help but wonder what the elections have in store for the rest of the world, Pakistan in particular. I am sure all of us can recall how, back in 2008, President Obama campaigned on the noble promise of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, dismantling Guantanamo ...

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