The plight of the Uighurs

Whether you’re a Pakistani citizen living in Pakistan or in the diaspora, you must be familiar with the ongoing tussle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Just a few weeks ago, India decided to revoke Article 370, taking away the special status of the disputed land and of the people living in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK). After India’s actions in IoK, the Pakistan government and people decided to reach out to the international community for support, using various United Nations platforms to voice their concerns and holding local protests in order to bring attention to this issue. While, as a Pakistani, I empathise ...

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As Asian economies take centre stage, how can Pakistan cash in?

The economic map of Asia is changing at a fast pace, shaped by trade disputes between the United States (US) and its trading partners, and by commercial developments in Asia, especially in China. The Trump administration is using tariffs, and the threat of higher tariffs, to leverage its bargaining positions and extract trade concessions through negotiations with China.  While policymakers in the US and China are struggling to come up with a joint communique, business executives are going to the drawing board to decide what to do next.  A key decision for these businesses is what to do with ...

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How will Priti Patel’s proposed migration reform impact the UK?

Priti Patel’s ascension to the post of home minister of the United Kingdom (UK) deserves a lot of praise. Arguably, she is one of the few principled individuals left in politics, even if we may fervently disagree with her principles. Patel has held an ardent Euro-sceptic view for her entire career, long before it became fashionable. She even had a brief stint heading the Referendum Party in 1997 which campaigned for Britain to have a vote on their membership of the European Union (EU), years before the referendum was actually called. She is a self-described Thatcherite and has long been ...

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How significant will Manmohan Singh’s Kartarpur visit be?

History teaches us that an absence of dialogue leads to war. The Kartarpur corridor is an attempt at dialogue at a time when the relationship between India and Pakistan is at an all time low. Therefore, the timing of former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s visit to Kartarpur, as part of a group of pilgrims, acts as a coolant during this tense atmosphere. It is not important whether Singh has accepted Pakistan’s invitation or whether he is going on the invitation of the Chief Minister of Indian Punjab. What matters is what his visit represents. Happy to meet former Prime ...

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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 will emerge on top after Afghanistan’s elections?

Amidst growing fears of violence during the elections, the people of Afghanistan will head to the polls September 28th to decide their future president. A country which has been riddled with war, tenuous stalemates, and terror since the Soviet invasion, finds itself having to now contend with an uncertain future because of the resurgence of the Taliban. The knife’s edge on which Afghanistan is precariously balancing at the moment received another shock recently when talks between the United States (US) and the Taliban collapsed. Donald Trump’s pledge to pull US troops out of Afghanistan seems to have fallen by ...

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Why is the Indian government ignoring all the economic red flags?

Owing to a “weaker than expected outlook” for domestic demand in India, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that India’s growth rate will undergo a downward revision by 0.3% for the fiscal year 2019-20. As the Indian media and government keeps deflecting rising economic concerns, the massive economic slowdown that seems to impact a vast majority of the Indian public has led to the ringing of alarm bells in some quarters. The government statistics for the first quarter of the year (Q1) showed that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5%, the lowest Q1 growth rate India has ...

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How the Kamila Shamsie incident reflects Germany’s growing Israel problem

Last week, in a bizarre turn of events, the British-Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie was informed that she would no longer receive the Nelly Sachs Prize on account of the fact that Shamsie supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) movement. The withdrawal of the prize, which has been welcomed by some and was initially conferred upon Shamsie by the German city of Dortmund, speaks more about the lingering fault-lines which remain entrenched in Germany than it does about Shamsie’s personal politics.   But before one dives into this particular incident and how it is representative of a wider ...

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Where does Imran stand in the Trump-Modi bromance?

“Houston, we have a problem.” Well, not really. It’s more like, “Pakistan, you have a Modi problem.” The ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event, touted as a celebration of the culture and unity of America and India, was nothing less than a grand advertisement and exhibition of the Donald Trump-Narendra Modi bromance – the likes of which one has hardly ever seen before. The gathering that managed to bring almost 50,000 people to the NRG Football Stadium in Houston, Texas was a radical development on so many different levels. The attendance of luminaries from all sides of the political spectrum – Ted Cruz, ...

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Will the people of Kashmir accept India’s version of ‘normal’?

The word ‘normalcy’ is the most used and abused term in India today. Never before has this nation been so obsessed with these three syllables. Forty five days after the revocation of Article 370, Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) still remains paralysed, the majority of political leaders are in detention, civil society activists are under scrutiny, and the media has been asked to become the handmaid of the government. Under this backdrop last week, while hearing petitions filed with regards to the situation in Kashmir, the Indian Supreme Court asked the state to “restore normalcy” in the region as soon as possible. ...

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