Stories about UNGA

How successful are Imran Khan’s attempts at becoming an international statesperson?

“My son, look for a kingdom greater than Macedonia, for it is too small for thee.” Alexander the Great’s father, Prince Philip, said this to him when as a young boy he reined in the famous horse, Bucephalus, while everyone else who had tried to do so had failed. Now, while Imran Khan certainly is no great conqueror of lands, nor does he aspire to be, it is evident that Pakistan is too small a stage for him to play on. Even if he wants to dedicate himself wholeheartedly towards fixing Pakistan’s manifold problems and shuns all foreign commitments, it ...

Read Full Post

How effective is PTI’s climate change policy?

Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan began his historic speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last week with climate change, calling it one of the “most urgent problems the world must address”. Climate change was of course on the agenda of this year’s global leaders gathering in New York. But to be fair Khan has noted the importance of climate change in several of his earlier speeches to the nation as well. 1st let me talk about climate change; I have seen a lot of leaders talk about this. But I don’t see world leaders really realizing the urgency ...

Read Full Post

New York 2019: A watershed in Pakistan’s diplomatic history

On January 14, 1977, the Pakistan team entered the Sydney cricket ground as underdogs. Before the start of the series’ most pundits had expected Australia to steamroll the Pakistanis. After a face-saving draw in the first test and a shattering defeat in the second, Pakistan hoped to draw the series level in Sydney. Before that fateful game Imran Khan had toiled for years, even remodeled his bowling action, but that moment of glory had evaded him. At Sydney however, as the entire nation sat glued to their TV and radio sets, Khan bowled marathon spells of scintillating fast bowling. Spells ...

Read Full Post

With impromptu statements, Imran offers ammo to critics

For Imran Khan, one of the greatest drawbacks of being granted endless screen time is that it only ends up providing ample proof of his unending claims and circular statements. For every U-turn that Imran takes, there is substantial evidence to suggest he may well also have a contrary stance, so much so that he has acceded to not just accepting his flip flop behaviour but has also justified it by terming it as a trait which all great leaders possess. In this context, the prime minister’s trip to the United States, for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting, ...

Read Full Post

Where does Imran stand in the Trump-Modi bromance?

“Houston, we have a problem.” Well, not really. It’s more like, “Pakistan, you have a Modi problem.” The ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event, touted as a celebration of the culture and unity of America and India, was nothing less than a grand advertisement and exhibition of the Donald Trump-Narendra Modi bromance – the likes of which one has hardly ever seen before. The gathering that managed to bring almost 50,000 people to the NRG Football Stadium in Houston, Texas was a radical development on so many different levels. The attendance of luminaries from all sides of the political spectrum – Ted Cruz, ...

Read Full Post

“She’s doing injustice to both by bringing her baby to work” – uh, ok! 1950 called, they want you back!

I don’t remember the last time I had time to jot down my thoughts on a piece of paper. The difficulties of being a full-time working mother played a huge role in my ‘hibernation’ from writing. Recently, I was scrolling through my newsfeed to keep up with the world that exists beyond my hectic routine when a lovely photo caught my attention: it was of a lady bringing her toddler to work and the caption of the news article read: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) woman official sets example by carrying infant while on duty. As a woman, a mother and a career-oriented person, I ...

Read Full Post

Damage control: Why Imran Khan needs to put foreign diplomacy before domestic issues

In the globalised world of today, the foreign policy of any state is the most vital component to its progress. This is how states interact with each other and negotiate their interests, as you have to figure out how to fulfil your national interest while also giving other states a way to fulfil theirs. In Pakistan, it has been the control over foreign policy that has been the cause behind major rifts between civilian governments and officials of other institutions. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were all elected leaders thrown out of power due to their efforts ...

Read Full Post

Making Pakistan (un)proud: Too consumed by domestic issues to care about overseas Pakistanis, Khwaja Asif?

Blunt and evasive are two adjectives that best describe Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s recent conversation with the Asia Society. It was held in union with the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Asif, a vocal critic of Donald Trump’s version of American foreign policy, admitted that Trump’s position on the Afghanistan-Pakistan (AfPak) region was an “utter disappointment”. However, I personally felt that his elusive response to the question regarding Pakistani-Americans was an utter disappointment. The interviewer, a world-renowned journalist and author, Steve Coll, mentioned the increasingly polarising nature of the American society, which the foreign minister sharply labelled as a bad sign for the future. Coll also referred to the ...

Read Full Post

Twitter is to Donald Trump what fidget spinners are to millennials

The priorities of a leader, particularly in times of crisis, tend to speak volumes about their leadership skills. In today’s political climate, where social media dictates public image, leaders like Justin Trudeau are appreciated for eating biryani with Muslim communities, while leaders like Vladimir Putin, who is regularly pictured hunting or exercising, are derided for trying to sell an image of machismo. In the past several weeks, the US has been severely impacted by two Category 5 hurricanes, with experts believing the devastation to have set Puerto Rico back nearly 20 to 30 years. At the same time, the US was also involved in a verbal war ...

Read Full Post

Putin’s affair with Obama: Lacklustre and awkwardly painful

Touted as ‘the greatest political show on earth’, one was expecting the 70th UNGA session to achieve some success in terms of reaching an agreement on the on-going Syrian crisis. It was hoped that the integration of ideas would prompt the powers that be to move their butts and take steps to end unnecessary slaughter of human lives, values and everything that matters to our existence. I don’t even know why and for what the UN stands for anymore. I was an avid supporter of the organisation in my younger years but as I have evolved, I feel disenchanted by the impotency of the institution. ...

Read Full Post