Stories about pakistan

The anvil of the East

In the cold hard stare of those shanty towns, You hear the busy bikes bustling around, You hear the hearty children humming to the sounds, You see the posh Prado that does not belong, You see the glock pointed, “Sir, go along”. You might even hear screams, Hair pulling, a lover’s affair, Shoes flying, such a disgrace, beware! You see the sewage water going down the drain, You see brown earth, roads nowhere in sight. You see the cows mooing with anorexic bodies, You see the baby wiggling its nose to escape the flies, You see the boys laughing in their four-inch paradise, You see the rest dying, day and night. You see ...

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Maleeha Lodhi: Spilling tea with the architect of Pakistan’s diplomatic coup at the UN

On a bright Sunday morning, right after Pakistan managed to raise the Kashmir issue at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting – despite India throwing everything and the kitchen sink to stop it – we sat down for a conversation with UN Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi at her official residence on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. We unpacked how Pakistan managed to orchestrate the UNSC meeting after five decades, what’s next for Pakistan at the UN, and what a typical day in her life looks like during these extraordinary times. “The fact that the UNSC meeting took place showed that ...

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The system of government in Pakistan: democracy or hypocrisy?

From theocracy to monarchy, from monarchy to imperialism, from imperialism to nation states, the methods of governance have been transformed several times. They have passed multiple stages in an attempt to find the way of governance best suited for the interests of people. However, due to selfishness and the ever-present lust of power, none of these methods proved to be successful. In fact, these systems went from religious to hardliner, monarchy to oligarchy and imperialism to colonialism. After the failure of numerous government systems, nation states emerged. They arose with the slogan of democracy as a global system of government; ...

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Imran Khan and Rodrigo Duterte, two leaders who care about their countrymen abroad

The Philippines and Pakistan are two large developing countries that have each seen many of their people travel abroad for material opportunities. Whilst the attitude of some leaders in such countries is “good riddance,” such an attitude is not only deeply crude but it is deeply unpatriotic. When people from countries like the Philippines or Pakistan go abroad, they do not do so because they want to turn their backs on their counties; they do so because they seek what all people seek – the best possible opportunities to advance their worldly condition and that of their families. Unlike some ...

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Partition 1947: Their worlds suddenly changed, never to be the same again

Partition. A simple word used to refer to the extremely traumatic events of August 1947. A word that seems devoid of any emotion whatsoever; concealing the atrocities committed and the thousands slaughtered in the name of religion. As boundaries were rashly drawn by the British and their colonial country was left ravaged by war, how aware were these higher orders that communities, families and friendships would be so ruthlessly ripped apart? Everyone from both sides of the border have their own tales of Partition. My own daadi and naani (paternal and maternal grandmother respectively) often narrate their accounts of pre-Partition India, Partition, and ...

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Indians can’t wait to ‘marry Kashmiri girls’, ‘buy land in Kashmir’ – and therein lies the problem

A few years ago, I wrote a blog in which I cherished an overarching identity which connected me, a Pakistani, to the inhabitants of neighbouring India. The said article was not a negation of the Two-Nation Theory but rather what I thought was the right way forward. I had written, “Yes, modern Pakistan and India are a reality, but then so is our great common heritage. Yes, it is important for us to be loyal to our political states, but at the same time not overlook the joint heritage. There is an overarching identity which unites us despite our political ...

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India and Pakistan need to win peace, not arguments

Following the scrapping of Article 370 of the Indian constitution by the Indian government on Monday, there is a sense of déjà vu among the ruling party, a strong section of the majoritarian community and a section of the media. They are rejoicing that the ‘Kashmir problem,’ a legacy of history, has been ‘resolved’ once and for all by discarding the legislature since it was a hindrance in the final integration of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK). The problem with this argument is that it disregards history, ignores the larger reality of geo-politics and completely discards the political aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Can ...

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#StandWithKashmir: Why India repealing Articles 370 and 35A is a cause for concern

Even for a region so accustomed to state aggression and the constant violation of civil liberties, the recent Indian actions in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) are unprecedented. In the span of a few days, India sent thousands of new troops to the region, put many parts of IoK under curfew, closed down essential institutions like schools, universities and hospitals, suspended all communication services, put prominent Kashmiri leaders like Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti under house arrest and asked all tourists to leave the state. All this, and much more, was done under the pretext of a terror threat to the annual Hindu pilgrimage of Amarnath ...

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Lesson for Pakistan: “It is not about how much water you have, but how you manage it”

Before Prime Minister Imran Khan touched down in Washington, I landed in America’s capital, invited by the State Department for a foreign press tour titled ‘Creating a More Water Secure World’. I was curious to learn how the US was dealing with droughts, floods and warmer temperatures given that the country is pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Donald Trump recently dismissed a study produced by his own administration warning of the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change, saying, “I don’t believe it.” While I was there on the 10-day tour along with journalists from other developing countries, the northern hemisphere ...

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Can Pakistan be polio-free?

People who know me well know that I often compulsively compare and contrast India and Pakistan by virtue of not just their close proximity, but because I consider both countries as my home. When the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared India polio free on March 27, 2014, after it had not had a single case since 2009, I was filled with great pride. Knowing that India is densely populated, afflicted with poverty and has poor access to healthcare for millions, polio eradication was indeed something to celebrate. But as in every such situation, I naturally wanted to know how long it ...

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