Stories about war

Vo Jang: Take strength from Faiz Pakistan

As a director, the making of ‘Vo Jang’ was one of the hardest feats that I have ever had to complete. I went through hours of grave contemplating, thinking, and absorbing the gruesomeness of the status quo of Pakistan. At times, the experience became so overwhelming that I would break down completely. Nevertheless, some things have to be said and some brutalities have to be faced. Evil has to be confronted and demons have to be fought even if it all comes at the price of standing on the verge of losing your sanity. ‘Vo Jang’ is a beautiful albeit saddening piece ...

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US-Af-Pak tripartite interests: Time is running out!

Amidst reports of an anti-Taliban insurgency in the provinces of Ghazni, Paktia, Kunar, Nuristan and Laghman gaining strength, time for Pakistan’s clay-footed policymakers is running out fast. The restless provinces of Kunar and Nuristan are registering signs of a coordinated anti-Taliban militancy led by the former Mujahideen commanders. While it looks increasingly possible that US-led Nato forces and IEDs could eventually pull off something resembling a military victory on which to build a negotiated settlement with the hostile forces, the Pakistani defence establishment seems to be frozen in the past. While Pakistan decided to run endless talk shows analysing the ...

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India only wants Kashmir, not its people.

I belong to the generation of the 90’s; a time when struggle for the independence of Kashmir was passing through its bloodiest phase. A few months before it all started, I was enrolled in a prestigious school in Srinagar, but my education started at home. As one of my former principal writes in his memoirs – which appeared in the school magazine a few years later – we had only 60 working days that year ─ the rest of the year was consumed by curfews, crackdowns, and strikes. Living in a posh colony shielded me from the outside world; I couldn’t see ...

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Child of war

The child of war loses his mind, As bubbles of fire from yonder rain, His youthful eyes no longer shine, He looks at all with much disdain, The war shall leave in its remains, A man afloat, a childhood drowned, A family was smashed and maimed, In a sea made of clamorous sounds, Out of order alphabet, Scribbled across his only book, The walls, although, his best work yet; Displaying all lives he took, His gun, he wears it on his shoulder; His morals somewhere in the trash, Emotions die as he grows older, His torrid heart now only ash, Upon the prisoners he has freed, His narcissism and his pride, Evils of heredity and creed, His only foes and by ...

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Ambassador Munter misunderstood Imran Khan

Ambassadors usually choose their words carefully. However, in a recent interview with BBC Urdu, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, stated that he had met with PTI Chairman Imran Khan and PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif and that both leaders had assured him of a pro-US government if elected. This was either a misinterpretation on his part or wishful thinking and shows the dangers of careless talk or reporting. Imran Khan has said on many occasions that he is not for or against the US, but that he is against specific US policies. In a 2011 interview on CNN’s ‘Face the ...

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Af-Pak relations: Brothers at war

The Soviet war, the Taliban regime, 9/11, and now the 2014 pull out. Yes, we are talking about Afghanistan, a country that has provided  justification to the US geopolitics for interventions outside the US, and fed the world media for over three decades. Ironically though, Pakistan has played the facilitator all through ─ hosted and trained Afghan mujahideen, and also sheltered over 3.5 million Afghan refugees for over two decades. One major question that boggles many minds is why, despite the material and political sacrifice and socio-political suffering, does Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan continue to draw negative publicity. Why do our relations with ...

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Indo-Pak ties: A case of inflated egos, deflated brains

One can always trust the Indians and Pakistanis to make their battles about their inflated egos. The end point is no surprise; Siachen, the world’s highest battleground testifies to the sheer stupidity and irrationality in vogue among the khakis and non-khakis on both sides of the border. The story goes that the Siachen saga was hatched at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, where some Pakistani generals decided that they better lay claim to Siachen before India does. So, they ordered Arctic-weather gear from a shop in London, which also supplied the Indians as well. Whether this was bad luck, or ...

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Al Libi’s death: Another milestone in war against terror

The second in command of al Qaeda, Abu Yahya al Libi, was reportedly killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan on June 4. The Obama Administration has already hailed al Libi’s death as another significant milestone in the drive to root out terrorists from their safe havens in Pakistan. Meanwhile, our Foreign Office has again let the US authorities know that the drone strikes violate our country’s sovereignty. At this point, I think it would be worthwhile if we asked ourselves why the US resorted to using these Predator drones in the first place. The Americans claim that they have broken ...

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Stop the war

I dreamt of a destructed land last night, Walked around and met a wounded child, She was lying in between dead people, It was the oasis last night, she said in a pained voice, I was playing with my brother before he died, My father and mother kissed me before they were murdered beside me, I had a brother like you, but he was killed last night, Such is the case with all the girls after the oasis converted into a graveyard, I walked ahead and met a crying mother, We were sleeping last night, she said frantically, I had a son like you; he was killed by people ...

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Unsung heroes and our medieval knowledge

Names such as Bhagat Singh, Mangal Panday, Rani Lakshmibai etc are never even remotely mentioned in Pakistani course books. Why? Their contributions as well as those of other unsung (at least in Pakistan) heroes are immense and should not be so arrogantly ignored. I love the fact that the entire Islamic nation, especially Pakistan, is so stuck in and obsessed with the glory days of yore. There’s no doubt that the Arab and Persian scientists from the medieval era made huge contributions to science, but why do we Pakistanis fail to acknowledge that they were Arab or Persian rather than Indians (which we ...

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