Stories about war

The economic reality of US threats

There has been a wave of American threats of war against Pakistan if the latter does not take action against the Haqqani network reportedly operating from the Pak-Afghan border. There is, thus, widespread concern among already economically miserable and politically devastated Pakistanis if an open US-Pak war is about to take place or the current threats are another jugglery of the US to put forward a new do-more agenda. This distress among Pakistanis is feeding upon the ongoing discourse on local and international print and electronic media, and the latter are doing their jobs pretty well to fatten the fear. ...

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My burning home

War drums are being beaten left, right and centre in every part of the country. Phrases like ‘America is here’, ‘attack on our sovereignty’ and ‘we’ll give them a bloody nose’ are coming out of all and sundry in the streets and everywhere. The media machinery is in full swing amplifying this rhetoric, interviewing every Tom, Dick and Harry on the roads and ‘getting them’ to speak what it wants to. Only if the common man knew what was going on behind the scenes in the corridors of power.  Ask yourselves some questions: Is this the first time our sovereignty ...

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Pak-US ties: Don’t kick the hornet’s nest!

Pakistan and the United States are currently embroiled in one of their biggest squabbles since the start of the war on terror which has led to intense speculation of American ground troops in Pakistan. Senator Rehman Malik has come out and said that no American troops will be allowed within Pakistan: “Pakistan will not allow boots on our ground, never. Our government is already cooperating with the US …  but they also must respect our sovereignty.” But it’s not like the Americans will listen to Pakistan or care for the sovereignty of one of its ‘allies’, as the Osama bin laden ...

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What if Amreeka invaded Pakistan

It has happened. The Grand Old party (GOP) has attacked the GOP (Government of Pakistan) and its people. Initial threats of the US to bomb Pakistan back to the middle ages were met with huge laughter by the Pakistani masses. With dengue fever, floods, no electricity, target killings, and religious intolerance, we are already there you fools, the people laughed aloud.  It is now expected the bombing might jolt them out of the middle ages and send them forward instead.  Prior to the attack, the American government claimed it had solid proof and well written reports printed on nice pink ...

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Caught between US and Haqqanis

The US has publicly said that the Haqqani network targeted their embassy in Kabul with the assistance of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI. This is perhaps the strongest accusation of double-dealing in the ten years since Pakistan chose to side with the US in its war on terror. The charge that Pakistan is not fully on board in this conflict is somewhat unfair. After all it is Pakistan, a relatively poor country, which has lost over 35,000 innocent citizens and security personnel in this period. The US, the world’s sole superpower, has not suffered anywhere near this number of casualties. ...

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After 9/11, I still feel hope

“I am only one. But still I am one. I cannot do everything. But still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything. I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” Edward Everett I don’t know who started this war or how it will end – I only know how it came to be. On September 11th 2001, I watched helplessly as the twin towers collapsed. Even a decade after this unfortunate day, the world is reeling from this tragic and needless loss. I was a seventeen-year- old, aspiring to be a writer, mesmerized by ...

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Libya — beginning of the end

As the gunfire reaches Colonel Qaddafi’s compound, it seems as though ‘the end is near’ for the longest serving dictator in the modern world. However, since neither was this a Libyan-led nor a Libyan-owned war, one may argue that this is only just the beginning of the end. When we might get to see Qaddafi creep out of his compound or get killed in the process cannot be foretold; however the situation in Libya does seem to be more fluid and ‘complacency,’ a by-product of winning the war, may get the better of everyone. As his regime fades into the background ...

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Restoring the ISI’s tarnished reputation

An intelligence agency is at the frontlines of every war, especially against terrorism. Terror and terror networks can only be contained, dismantled or destroyed with effective intelligence gathering. But if the reputation of the intelligence agency is tarnished and its every action is questioned, no war can be effectively won and no strategy can be properly executed. It is unfortunate that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) is caught up with—and in some cases, rightly accused—for many domestic and international incidents involving terrorism and other transnational crimes. At the same time, it has also become a scapegoat for those who have ...

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Land of confusion: Why we’ve lost the war on drugs

Recently it was the UN sanctioned International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, another day of world leaders, NGOs and others lying through their teeth about their success in ridding the world of the scourge of narcotic drugs to try and justify their pay checks. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is very different. If you’ve seen the Steven Soderbergh’s 2000 movie Traffic, a remake of the brilliant 1989 British television serial Traffik, starring Jamal Shah among others, you might remember a very relevant piece of dialogue. It happens when teenage junkie Caroline introduces herself during a rehab support group ...

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Towards a relatively peaceful existence

Theoretically speaking, a civil war is a situation whereby two or more groups of a country’s population are engaged in an armed conflict to amass central power. Bearing the definition in mind, there remains no doubt that we seem to be heading towards one. The Geneva Conventions of 1949 explain the nature of a civil war in Article 3, as a situation whereby: “insurgent civil authority exercises de facto authority over the population within a determinate portion of the national territory.” Different groups and factions in Karachi are known to have strongholds in different areas of the city. Residents of these areas ...

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