Stories about Yemen

Who really wants the US-Iran war?

The tussle between Iran and the United States of America nearly reached a boiling point after the aerial assassination of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3rd. Immediately, the Gulf states pleaded for urgent de-escalation, knowing full well that a conflict could be disastrous for all the countries close proximity to Iran. Even the Saudis made it abundantly clear that they played no part in the deadly drone strike which claimed 10 lives. The USA duly obliged and President Donald Trump’s speech, after Iran’s limited missile attack on US bases in Iraq, was marked by restraint. The Gulf ...

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Pakistan’s role in the Middle East conundrum

Sitting 8000 miles across the Pacific from my hometown Islamabad, I had to take a break from work for an early afternoon stroll along the Santa Monica Beach to make sense of recent developments in the Middle East and their wider implications. My country of origin, Pakistan, has already seen the aftermath of indulging in proxy wars at a staggering human, social and economic cost. Hindsight in our case has unfortunately never been 20-20. Even after the relative de-escalation of tensions following President Donald Trump’s address last week, one still cannot dismiss the potential of one hasty tweet or one cyber-attack to ...

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How the obstacles to women’s mobility are crippling Pakistan

While the gender disparity which plagues Pakistan is by no means undocumented, perhaps the true extent of this gulf escapes us on a daily basis. The disparity becomes particularly stark when it is placed in a global context, as illustrated in the recently released report by the World Economic Forum titled the ‘Global Gender Gap Index 2018.’ According to the report, Pakistan is the second-worst country in the world when it comes to gender disparity, a title which should make it apparent that drastic reforms are needed in the country if we truly wish to become a nation which provides ...

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Is geography the primary determinant of foreign policy?

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “If you know a country’s geography, you can understand and predict its foreign policy said.” If we view the modern world through a lens of realism, we will notice that every nation-state is acting to ensure its survival. Principles of idealism can only exist in countries where national interests do not collide with the interests of powerful international actors. Major global events of the last decade indicate that Morgenthau’s and Mearsheimer’s realism has indeed prevailed. Throughout this article, I shall attempt to prove how the foreign policies of world players have revolved around their geographical placement. Western analysts portray ...

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Why the alleged spat with WWE epitomises Mohammad bin Salman as a leader

In recent news, the famous American World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is apparently in a spat with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. It was initially reported that the latter had not paid the former their dues for two special events held in Saudi Arabia this year and reportedly owes WWE Chairman Vince McMahon between $300 and 500 million. Additionally, WWE wrestlers missed a show scheduled immediately after the last Saudi event after Salman ‘retaliated’ to McMahon threatening to cut off the Crown Jewel live television feed by ordering that the departee wrestlers are taken off their flight out of the ...

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Is a Saudi Arabia-Iran thaw a possibility?

The Middle East appears to be in a perpetual state of flux. The constant friction between Iran and Saudi Arabia has meant that the region has devolved into a battlefield where proxy wars are constantly waged, hence only further complicating the already turbulent regional politics. These tensions were only further exacerbated following the attack on two oil plants in Saudi Arabia. Naturally, Saudi Arabia, along with the United States (US), was quick to point at Iran and hold the country responsible for the catastrophe. In this political climate, as Iran becomes increasingly isolated after the collapse of talks with the US, and as ...

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Who exactly will the Islam-centred TV channel be for?

Prime Minister Imran Khan recently announced that the governments of Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia will collaborate to launch a “BBC type” English television (TV) channel to challenge Islamophobic views in the West. The channel is expected to highlight various issues specific to Muslims in the West and “contextualise” cases of blasphemy. So why aren’t we feeling as hopeful as we should? Our meeting in which we decided to set up a BBC type English language TV Channel that, apart from highlighting Muslim issues, will also fight Islamophobia. pic.twitter.com/GA6o15oJFH — Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 30, 2019 Misperceptions which bring people together against Muslims would ...

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It was to be expected that the UAE would side with India over Pakistan

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) shocked many observers late last month when it awarded Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the country’s highest civilian honour amidst the on-going concern that New Delhi plans to carry out ethnic cleansing against the Muslims of Kashmir after its Israel-like unilateral moves in early August. This development flies in the face of everything that the international Muslim community (Ummah) is supposed to stand for, yet it should have been expected, especially after the Emirati Ambassador to India lauded the de-facto annexation of occupied Kashmir right after it happened for supposedly aiming to improve the economic ...

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Questioning Obama and Trump’s policies, Ilhan Omar is bringing accountability to America’s doorstep

Ilhan Omar’s election to the United States House of Representatives earlier this year symbolises the complex nature of the American polity. As the first Somali-American to have entered Congress, her campaign victory is deemed a historic feat against the backdrop of the increasingly polarised and nationalistic political culture that has crystallised under the Trump Presidency. What’s more, Omar’s position in the House Foreign Affairs Committee has propelled her to engage in difficult debates that dominate her country’s political discourse and keeps her from shying away from a number of controversial issues, including the influence of the pro-Israel lobby American ...

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PTI’s vague and static foreign policy will only worsen Pakistan’s standing in the world

Historically, Pakistan’s foreign policy has been a domain in which elected governments have been allowed very little space and scope to work in. Our founding father envisaged a foreign policy based on peaceful relations with our neighbours – including India – and one that would value our sovereignty. Contrary to his vision, Pakistan has not been able to devise a balanced policy that can be termed entirely beneficial for its own national interest. The current government led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) also finds itself in a position where Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is symbolically heading foreign affairs while ...

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