Stories about war on terror

Homeland is NOT Islamophobic

Based around an American prisoner of war’s conversion to Islam and his suspected descent into the terrorist fold, five time Golden Globe-winning series, ‘Homeland’ is widely acclaimed by critics for its top-notch political commentary and a devoted performance by the show’s CIA heroine, Claire Daines. It’s not as uncontroversial among the American Muslim community, however; gaining a mixed response primarily because it has been accused of legitimising Islamophobia by portraying many of its antagonists as radical Muslim terrorists. What’s also feared is that Homeland will incorrectly portray Pakistan, the setting of its upcoming fourth season. Yet I personally think it’s unfair to simplify Homeland as an anti-Muslim ...

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Where did Jinnah’s Pakistan go?

On August 11, 1947, certain words echoed in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan with much emphasis. “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”  These words were proudly stated by none other than the founding father of our nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. After 66 years of struggle, sacrifices and long-fought battles to procure democracy in Jinnah’s Pakistan, ...

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Zarb-e-Azb: Are you doing your bit to fight terrorism?

With the consent of the federal government in Islamabad, the Pakistan Army has finally launched operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ in North Waziristan. It was long due for the federal government to take responsibility of the constitution of Pakistan. The constitution is not just about executing former chiefs of the army under article six; it is also about establishing the writ of the state, providing justice to its citizens and securing their lives and properties, against criminals and terrorists. The attack on Peshawar airport was not the first attack. The attack on the Karachi airport, on army bases and headquarters, on schools and public gatherings, in marketplaces and residential areas, ...

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Iss parcham ke saaye talay

It’s been more than a decade since I have felt safe in my own country. Through times, I have experienced phases that this country has seen, but never have I seen such a demanding situation that seemed never ending. But now, finally, there seems a light at the end of this tunnel – maybe children will be able to play on the streets again… like I used to. Now, finally, we are taking the war to the enemy. I remember the day Lal Masjid was attacked. There were many discussions on various forums about whether the government was right in taking action ...

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Stop blaming FATA and take responsibility for the IDPs, Pakistan

After months of dithering, the Pakistani government finally approved the long-awaited offensive against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) last week. The decision came in the wake of the audacious terrorist attack on the country’s largest airport that reportedly killed at least 29 people. While the decision is a welcome move, the way it was arrived at revealed the ‘reactive’ nature of and the laxity and arbitrariness associated with the country’s policy-making process. Given the existential threat it poses, terrorism should have been the foremost priority of the new government and therefore must have been dealt with in a more pro-active and robust way. Unfortunately, ...

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I am from FATA and, today, I don’t feel Pakistani at all

I was shocked when I heard that the governments of Punjab and Sindh have barred Waziristan’s Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from entering their provinces. Belonging to the tribal areas, I know how much our forefathers have sacrificed for this country. It was our people who took part in Pakistan’s first war against India in 1948, to save Kashmir – and this was when Pakistan’s own army general had refused to fight. Today, whatever part of Kashmir comes under Pakistani territory, it’s all thanks to the efforts of my people. When the USSR attacked Afghanistan and Pakistan decided to be part of the United States-led ...

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Will we ever see a nuke-free world?

Despite numerous calls and rhetoric to move towards global nuclear disarmament, no significant progress has been achieved to this day. Instead, all these efforts have met with a tragic end. The recent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report has shown a very dismal picture with regards to this. All nine nuclear states are currently in possession of 16,300 nuclear weapons, which includes 4000 operational ones. P5 countries, which include the United States, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom, are upgrading their nuclear arsenal and spending a hefty amount on the development of new weaponry systems. Though, we have seen a ...

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To all the leftist liberals and the beghairat brigade, my blood is still green!

Nostalgia is a funny thing. It’s like looking through the window of a bullet train passing by downtown of a metropolis at night. You only see the well-lit boulevards and tall skyscrapers while the darkened slums are blurred out of view. Today, when I look back at my 29 years in Pakistan, I can’t remember the pitch dark slums of the late 80s or early 90s. The memories that have remained or those which my brain has chosen to record are the ones where only the metaphorical boulevards and skyscrapers remain. Before a myriad of Pakistani television channels sprung up, before a number ...

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When giants come to play

The whole council was meeting today in the Parliament house, major leaders from  Pakistani Awami Tehreek, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Pakistan Muslim League- Q were present in a large brightly lit conference room, which was dominated by a huge mahogany table in the middle. It could seat 20 people; Qadri had taken up the chair at the head while Khan Sahab occupied the chair on the other side and in the middle sat, the Chaudhry brothers, quite strategically. Barely a couple of days had passed since their momentous victory in the elections; no one could challenge this bullet proof coalition. They swarmed into Islamabad in their containers ...

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The resurgence of Lal masjid and honouring knowledge with ignorance

The Crusades were an example of a diminishing empire declaring war on an ever-expanding opponent using religion as a pretext, even though the motives were actually territorial and economical, and the actions of its soldiers more satanic than godly. The Muslim world was at its peak around this time, its libraries a source of light for the world, its share of scientific output unmatched, and its religious zealots confined to the fringe. Western writers have described one of the Crusader leaders’ orders following the sacking of Jerusalem as ‘kill every man, woman and child, but spare the dogs’. That same kind of ...

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