Stories about pakistan

The plight of the Uighurs

Whether you’re a Pakistani citizen living in Pakistan or in the diaspora, you must be familiar with the ongoing tussle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Just a few weeks ago, India decided to revoke Article 370, taking away the special status of the disputed land and of the people living in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK). After India’s actions in IoK, the Pakistan government and people decided to reach out to the international community for support, using various United Nations platforms to voice their concerns and holding local protests in order to bring attention to this issue. While, as a Pakistani, I empathise ...

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As Asian economies take centre stage, how can Pakistan cash in?

The economic map of Asia is changing at a fast pace, shaped by trade disputes between the United States (US) and its trading partners, and by commercial developments in Asia, especially in China. The Trump administration is using tariffs, and the threat of higher tariffs, to leverage its bargaining positions and extract trade concessions through negotiations with China.  While policymakers in the US and China are struggling to come up with a joint communique, business executives are going to the drawing board to decide what to do next.  A key decision for these businesses is what to do with ...

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Fazlur Rehman and the art of staying politically relevant

Maulana Fazlur Rehman is well versed in the art of staying relevant. Despite the constant shifts on the political chessboard, Rehman has proven himself to be a very shrewd politician with excellent political acumen. Rehman’s ‘Azadi march’ aims to end as a sit-in against the incumbent government until Imran Khan resigns and dissolves the National Assembly. The fervent support base that the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam- Fazl (JUI-F) enjoys means that Rehman and his followers are unlikely to be deterred by the continuous warnings from Interior Minister Ijaz Shah. If the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government really wanted to avoid Rehman’s impending march and sit-in, it ...

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Why can’t Pakistan adopt practices from developed countries to reform its tax system?

Why is it so difficult to evade taxes in developed countries? Couldn’t we just adopt the same systems and improve our tax collections? If they have figured it out, why can’t we just copy them? What’s all the fuss about? These questions regularly come up in conversations when someone finds out that I work in public finance. Since taxation has become a hot topic over the last year, Pakistanis are curious to know more about whether or not we can simply transpose tax policies from other nations into Pakistan. But the realities are a little more complicated than that. ...

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The man who understood poverty: Akhtar Hameed Khan

When Akhtar Hameed Khan announced that he would be resigning from the bureaucracy in order to become a labourer and a locksmith, it isn’t hard to imagine why his family was deeply concerned. After all, he had been born into relative prosperity, had joined the coveted Indian Civil Service (ICS), studied history and literature at Cambridge, and had the intelligentsia of the time as his family, both by birth and through marriage. But it was his time as a revenue collector in East Bengal that made Akhtar Hameed Khan pause and reflect upon his life and world around him. It ...

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Why can’t a non-Muslim dream of becoming the prime minister or president of Pakistan?

When Sajid Javid announced that he would join the race for 10 Downing Street earlier this year, the news was met with a joyous reception in Pakistan. Just the thought that a man who was raised in a Muslim household was even in contention to become the next prime minister of Britain was seen as a matter of great pride; after all, we feel it is imperative that all other nations ensure an equal access to opportunities for all religious minorities and do not discriminate on the basis of religion. However, how many in Pakistan would be celebrating if ...

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How significant will Manmohan Singh’s Kartarpur visit be?

History teaches us that an absence of dialogue leads to war. The Kartarpur corridor is an attempt at dialogue at a time when the relationship between India and Pakistan is at an all time low. Therefore, the timing of former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s visit to Kartarpur, as part of a group of pilgrims, acts as a coolant during this tense atmosphere. It is not important whether Singh has accepted Pakistan’s invitation or whether he is going on the invitation of the Chief Minister of Indian Punjab. What matters is what his visit represents. Happy to meet former Prime ...

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Misbah’s cautious approach is as unchanged as his squad

With an entire nation watching him and scrutinising every decision, one of the first hurdles that Misbahul Haq had to navigate was whether or not he could put together an impressive T20 squad for the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series. Unfortunately, it seems like he has tripped at the very first barrier. After even a cursory look at the 16-man squad, the first thing that cropped in my mind was, where are the youngsters? It boggles the mind that when Pakistan is playing a weak Sri Lanka side, that too in front of a home crowd, why has Misbah opted for such a ...

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Does Pakistan have the moral ground to criticise religious persecution in India?

Now that the adrenaline from listening to Imran Khan’s powerful speech at the United Nations (UN) has subsided, it is a good time for some introspection. India’s descent into fascism has caused justified outrage amongst the people of Pakistan. Its treatment of a minority Muslim population has filled our hearts with pain. But has it also awakened us to the hypocrisy of our nation? We ask the world to step in to save Muslims in India, but we also want ambivalence from the world towards how minorities are treated in Pakistan. Last year, when America added Pakistan to a list of ...

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The curious case of Pakistan’s dependence on Indian pharmaceuticals

As relations between India and Pakistan soured as a result of the Kashmir crisis, Pakistan stopped all trade with India. Some even went so far as to prophesise that this in turn would wreak havoc for the Indian economy. It appears that such measures are usually taken in a sudden burst of nationalist fervour, and usually ignore Pakistan’s economic realities. The simple truth of the matter is that many sectors in the country are unable to sustain themselves on domestic products alone; case in point the lifting of the ban on Indian pharmaceuticals.  Under Imran Khan’s orders, Pakistan had suspended all ...

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