Stories about Osama bin Laden

As a German, I am offended by Imran Khan’s comparison of Modi to Hitler

I wholeheartedly understand Imran Khan’s anger in light of India’s decision to revoke Article 370 in occupied Kashmir and plunge the region into chaos. After all, Imran had been advocating vociferously for increased dialogue between India and Pakistan, yet Narendra Modi‘s government did not reciprocate the sentiment. While Modi’s actions in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) undoubtedly deserve to be condemned by the international community, I feel that comparing the Indian prime minister to Adolf Hitler is rather extreme and unnecessary. As a German whose grandparents witnessed the barbaric acts unleashed by Hitler, and as someone who was made to study ...

Read Full Post

Given the recent spat and strained relations, how will the Imran-Trump meet unfold?

Hoping to assuage strained bilateral relations between the United States (US) and Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Washington later this month has been met with enthusiasm from both sides. Despite the initial confusion regarding the visit, the official White House statement highlighted that the focus of Imran’s maiden visit will be on ‘strengthening cooperation’ in pursuit of regional security and peace; its vagueness unsurprisingly echoing previous visits by Pakistan’s premiers. What will undoubtedly be of interest is the sight of Imran and President Donald Trump finally coming face to face after their tense exchange on Twitter last ...

Read Full Post

How are we supposed to keep a check on governance without Twitter, PM Imran Khan?

The 280 characters provided by Twitter don’t seem like a lot of space to make a powerful statement. It sounds even smaller when nearly 6,000 tweets are tweeted per second, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year. But with 350 million monthly active users, every tweet has the potential to reach millions of people. That’s the very reason influencers, celebrities, and even governments turn to Twitter at important events. There is no media outlet or portal on earth with the reach and opportunity for a viral ...

Read Full Post

With Donald Trump’s travel ban 3.0, is America any safer?

Today, the Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban to be fully enforced. This ban restricts visas from eight countries, including six Muslim-majority nations. The premise: ‘national security’. But does such a ban really make Americans safer? Here are five points all Americans need to understand. 1. Religious extremism, not Islam, is the real threat There is no denying the fact that religious extremists, and terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS), pose a grave threat to the United States. These groups pervert religion for ulterior geo-political agendas. Their violent rhetoric – advocating for the killing of homosexuals, ‘blasphemers’, apostates and anyone who disagrees with ...

Read Full Post

How controversial is ‘The Spy Chronicles’?

The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace, co-authored by former ISI Chief Asad Durrani, former RAW Chief AS Dulat, and journalist Aditya Sinha, has rightly created a buzz around the subcontinent. After all, two former counterparts from rival agencies coming together to compile a book on sensitive issues – especially pertaining to backchannel diplomacy and events relating to security and foreign policy matters – is a unique experience on its own. The book is narrated conversationally, where Sinha initiates the conversation between Durrani and Dulat. It has seven chapters, and each and every one is detail oriented. It ...

Read Full Post

As history proves, presidents will come and go, but Pakistan’s relationship with the US will always hang by a thread

The relationship between the US and Pakistan today is the diplomatic equivalent of a miserable marriage, where neither partner is ready to divorce the other, yet there is persistent bickering. Can’t live with each other, can’t live without each other either. Earlier this year, Islamabad watched with anxiety and horror as President Donald Trump called on India to deepen its influence in Afghanistan in his speech outlining the Afghan policy. India’s presence in Afghanistan has been a long time worry for Pakistan, and Trump’s speech earlier this year only reinforced that fear. By pitting two arched enemies against each other, President Trump aimed to ...

Read Full Post

16 years after 9/11: Its tragic memory, surreal aftermath and the insecure world it left behind

In 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, young men like me who had posed as ‘Marxists’ across the 80s were overwhelmed by a sense of both sadness and dread. And yet we knew that things in our beloved Soviet Union were not quite like what we had imagined – a socialist Utopia in which the working classes (the proletariat) had risen above economic, religious and social biases to consolidate their own rule according to the noble dictates of Marxist-Leninism. I was 22 in 1988 and about to head out to a university in Moscow on a scholarship. The plan was ...

Read Full Post

Can Pakistan’s economic stability and businesses survive Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar’s disqualification?

In one of his first public appearances, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was reported to have said the following: “During my tenure, the stock market increased from 19,000 to 52,000.”  So, is a rising stock market really a barometer of a strong democracy or just a number game for a selected few? We surely cannot say at the moment. To all the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) sloganeers, Nawaz is gone, but is prosperity, not tabdeeli (change), around the corner? Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was primarily the only major political party that was known for their pro-growth temperament. Despite never being able to complete their full term, businesses cheered on the so-called economic focus ...

Read Full Post

It wasn’t state facilitation but years of political neglect that turned FATA into an extremist stronghold

Whilst our civilian rulers have borne significant calumny for their dismal governance since the return of the democratic regime in 2008, there remain some feathers in the cap they can yet point to when juxtaposed with their military counterparts. Take the 18th Constitutional amendment for example. Since independence, successive military regimes have sought to consolidate power in the centre, perpetrating a phantom federation which in turn fuelled discontent and separatist-ism throughout the smaller provinces. The unitary propensity of the establishment also played a vital role in the East Pakistan debacle in 1971. The 18th amendment represented a break from this past, bringing about an inclusive administrative system by ...

Read Full Post

Trump’s ban on Muslims is just as offensive as Pakistan’s racial profiling of Pakhtuns

Not every Muslim is a terrorist but a significant number of terrorist incidents are conducted by Muslims. This statement is controversial and yet, deep down we all know that there is some sort of evidence for it. At least the terrorist incidents which are indiscriminate and use suicide bombings are overwhelmingly committed by Muslims. Of course, as already mentioned, this does not mean that every Muslim is a terrorist and in fact thinking in such terms would be overstretching and overgeneralisation, resulting in bigotry if endorsed by the general populace and institutionalised discrimination if incorporated into laws by the state. Donald ...

Read Full Post