Stories about US

Why India does not want any US-Afghanistan peace talks

The clearest indication of how the Indian military, intelligence and diplomatic bureaucracies (‘deep state’) truly feel about US’s Afghan peace talks with the Taliban can be seen in India’s Major-General (R) Harsha Kakar’s recent article on this topic written for The Statesman. Intuiting India’s interpretation India, which hasn’t shied away from sounding off about all manner of international issues ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election in 2014, has been uncharacteristically tight-lipped about its attitude towards US’s Afghan peace talks with the Taliban. This led many observers to intuit that it’s extremely unhappy with this process but is applying the age-old wisdom ...

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Govt shutdown: While the world is building bridges, an isolated US stands alone behind walls

Where do I begin? Who do I pin the blame on? How did we get here? What happened to my United States of America, where from the time I came of age until now, in the twilight years of my life, I’ve held on to the belief that this is it; this is the land where I belong; this is home, the values of which I am wedded to. Where did we go wrong? How did this completely unworthy and unruly under-achiever manage to get elected to the highest and most revered office of the country? We’ve had several government ...

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A patwari and youthia walk into a dhaba…

Or any place that serves a karak chai for that matter. The humdrum chatter at the venue drowns out any prospect of awkward silence. The two engage in conventional small talk as they await the chai that arrives shortly. From there, it’s all tea-dunked biscuits and fun until the conversation inevitably steers towards politics. All it takes is one comment critical of the current administration and one in rebuttal before the two simultaneously yell “patwari”, “youthia”. They storm off in their respective directions as the remaining chai turns just as cold. It is deeply disconcerting to witness a similar attitude of swift stereotyping and disengagement in ...

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With a possible rise of the Taliban regime, should Afghanistan’s neighbours be worried?

When US President Donald Trump, in his uncanny political demeanour, announced he had decided to pull out half the US military personnel from Afghanistan, not many people, even within his own defence establishment, anticipated such an abrupt announcement. However, the buck didn’t just stop there! Trump further asked Afghanistan’s neighbours and regional players, including India, Pakistan and Russia to play an active role in “rebuilding Afghanistan”. He is of the view that it is the duty of Afghanistan’s neighbours and not the US to fight the Taliban and the Islamic State (IS). However, staying true to his (lack of) ...

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Creepy and ominous, Us is not like your average, run-of-the-mill monster movie

Once known primarily for his comedic exploits, Jordan Peele is rapidly becoming one of the most iconoclastic filmmakers around. His debut feature Get Out gave us an idea of his talents as a filmmaker and a storyteller, for besides earning over $250 million at the box-office, it also earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Not too bad for a director making his first film, and that too about the deep-seated issues of race in America. Therefore, it is no surprise that there is a fair bit of anticipation for his next film Us, and while the first ...

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Thanksgiving with a Pakistani twist

While living in America, I have experienced many amazing festivals and holidays that have their own unique significance and symbolism. Amongst all of them I enjoy Thanksgiving the most, which is celebrated by everyone regardless of their faith or tradition. Thanksgiving is a feast, something that people enjoy all over the world. However, for me, the importance of this celebration is how Americans come together to express what they’re grateful for. It is a celebration where family bonds are reaffirmed through breaking bread together. My teenage children enjoy this celebration as they grow up and partake in aspects of both American ...

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This win is not just for Acosta but for all journalists purged for freedom of speech and press

As journalism comes under threat in all parts of the world, one is forced to question the role of the ruling governments in the treatment of media and its personnel. Hundreds are being fired in Pakistan, being told “their services are no longer required” as part of a downsizing. However, journalists in the United States face different hostilities. A CNN White House (WH) correspondent, Jim Acosta was recently humiliated in the US for asking President Donald Trump questions on his campaign regarding the midterm elections in the country. Following the elections, the president orchestrated a news conference to address the ...

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A blue House and a red Senate with an orange President – where does America go from here?

The November 6th midterm elections was perhaps the most contentious and bitterly contested event in modern US history. As BBC aptly put it: “Though his name is not on the ballot anywhere across the US, make no mistake – these elections are ALL about Donald Trump.” The outrageous and mind-boggling campaign run by the Republicans essentially put everything at stake including America’s pride, status as a global power, and standing as the beacon of hope for millions of people around the globe. Trump’s one-man show tried its best to poison his mostly ‘white’ base against people of colour. His unhinged messaging ...

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The unholy alliance between WWE and Saudi Arabia

The year 2018 has brought with it a promise of progress. While Pakistan’s the new leadership has been taking steps towards economic growth, Saudi Arabia is apparently adapting to the 21st century modus operandi and opening its doors to the world. In one of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s (MbS) progressive reforms, the Kingdom opened new cinemas for the first time in decades. They followed it up by lifting the driving ban on women, which was a much-applauded move. Adding to the propaganda of change is World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the American sports entertainment conglomerate, which signed a 10-year, $450 million ...

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Is Saudi Arabia “taking over” Pakistan?

Earlier this year, when the election campaign in Pakistan was running at fever pitch, I found myself listening to an old classic by The Who. The song was Won’t Get Fooled Again and the line that got me pondering was “meet the old boss, same as the new boss”. I shuddered when I heard this line while watching parties push their candidates. It was literal horse-trading as politicians scrambled to capture the number of seats required to secure the government for themselves. We are barely a few months into the new government and people are already questioning and debating the current government’s decisions. For example, take the ...

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