Stories about Taliban

Is it time for Pakistan to reconsider the US as its ally?

Close to 50,000 deaths, over $100 billion in losses, and growing insecurity and fear among the citizens with each passing day. These are few of the highlights of Pakistan’s involvement in the US-led war on terror that has now been fought for more than 12 years.  This war which was initiated to target the militants in Afghanistan has haunted and continues to haunt, many innocent civilians, not only in Afghanistan but also in Pakistan. The United States, along with its allies, began this war to hunt down the 9/11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden and to put an end to the Taliban regime and its activities. However, in ...

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10 reasons why Malala is Pakistan’s very own Katniss Everdeen

Most of us Pakistanis who have seen Hunger Games had the same question in their mind. What if we had a Katniss Everdeen of our own? Who would it be? Well, for those who don’t already know, we do. We have Malala Yousafzai and here is how I view their similarities: 1. People think they’re both ‘pretentious’ A lot of people think Malala is fake and pretentious. A lot of people thought Katniss was fake too, until the passion shone through. Like Katniss won the hearts of Panem, Malala won the hearts of people across the world. When Katniss showed up in Panem with an innocent personality and a shy, ...

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Don’t blame Imran Khan for your own mistakes!

Imran Khan seems to have become a lightning rod for mass criticism. Aisha Ghumman’s recent blog is yet another addition to an already overflowing list of complaints against Imran Khan. In a nutshell, she questions his promises spouted during the May 2013 elections, labels him and his tactics a failure, and demands his resignation from the party. Ironically, it is the attitude of the author and not that of Imran Khan which is more reflective of why we have refused to see meaningful political change in the country. Students of philosophy and Greek mythology are familiar with Sisyphus. He was a king but his actions ...

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In Italy, I was asked why I was not wearing a Burqa

It was our last day in Rome. My friend and I decided to spend it at our two favourite places in the city – Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fontana. It was almost noon on a pleasant day with the brilliant autumn sunshine warming the cobble-stoned square and illuminating the magnificent Roman sculptures in the centre of the piazza (city square in Italian). It was as if both of us wanted to take a part of Rome away with us in our hearts as we sat quietly on the stone bench simply absorbing the relaxed Italian life around us. I had my camera ...

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President Obama: The only Nobel Laureate guilty of war crimes

It is a champion of human rights, it is a champion of science and technology. It is a champion of arts and humanities. It is the forerunner in world economy and is a central figure in the global power politics that shape the future of nations. It is also guilty of more war crimes than you can imagine. It is probably the only country in the world that lives and breathes paradoxes. It witnessed its people occupying Wall Street but at the same time, keeps denying the Geneva Convention and the International Court of Crimes. When it comes to its own evils ...

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Munawar Hassan’s words, spelling the end of Jamaat-e-Islami?

It is evident that the death of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Hakimullah Mehsud has opened a Pandora’s box of accusations, suspicions and conspiracy theories; and provided enough fodder to the electronic and print media to feast upon. Although Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was fast to react, their statements were balanced and great caution was exercised by limiting their views to terming the attack as a conspiracy against the peace process. Maulana Fazlur Rehman meanwhile went the extra mile to stir up anti-US sentiments by saying that “even a dog killed in a US drone strike would be declared a martyr”. Of course, Maulana’s statement invited the wrath of many ...

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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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Deconstructing a dangerous narrative

In an angry speech in the National Assembly on Monday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan urged all political parties to unite and stand up to the perceived American pressure to put an end to the drone strikes in Pakistan. Earlier, reacting emotionally to the US drone strike that reportedly killed Hakimullah Mehsud, Imran took to task his critics on the issue of dialogue with the Taliban. Dubbing them “American mouthpieces” in a rather laymanish way, Imran seemed frustrated with the liberal intelligentsia for not appreciating his quest for the noble cause of peace. While Imran’s intentions may be genuinely benign, it is his misinformed, drone-centric ...

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Shooting Malala – again

Though Malala survived the Taliban’s bullets last year, she is now again under attack in Pakistan by the very same ideology. They attacked her physically then, and now they are out to get her soul. Right-wing anchors and self-proclaimed intellectuals have taken to disrepute her book by claiming that it reeks of a ‘Western agenda’. If a young Pakistani girl in dupatta, standing up for education and speaking against radicalisation, demanding an end to the drone war, advocating peaceful resolution to the terrorist menace which Pakistan is plagued with and speaking of hope in a progressive Pakistan, is what constitutes ...

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Will Hakimullah Mehsud be the ‘man who wasn’t given a chance’?

Hakimullah Mehsud is dead. Pakistan should be celebrating because we are rid of the man who has caused so much pain to us over the years. However, I cannot shake off the sinking feeling that whether we like it or not, Hakimullah Mehsud will emerge as the man who was wronged. This man will not be remembered for the blood he has shed, but will be the ‘man who wanted to talk but wasn’t given the chance’. That is the importance of timing. Mark this statement because we are all going to hear it for years to come from our beloved ...

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