The international response to Sudan: just another day in ‘Dictatorland’

Rarely does Africa make American headlines. Briefly we may hear about Boko Haram, or read about pirates off the coast of Somalia. Occasionally, a rich American game hunter murders an animal in Africa which, while heart-breaking, triggered more outrage than the unremitting plight of human beings across the region. Sometimes we learn of military losses in Mali, never asking why American soldiers are deployed there to begin with. Beyond that, Africa is perceived much like it was during the time of Joseph Conrad – a “heart of darkness”. This disinterest persists even during the current upheaval in Sudan, where ordinary citizens have ...

Read Full Post

Ashamed of being ‘too Pakistani,’ is Sajid Javid ‘British enough’ to become the PM?

Home Secretary of the United Kingdom Sajid Javid, son of a Pakistani bus driver, has reached the top of the financial and political world. His life truly does make for an inspiring story.  Javid has modelled himself around the idea of a ‘British Dream,’ where if you work hard, anyone can make it. However, the greatest irony of his ascent is that he has continuously alienated the community that he was born into. Throughout his political career, he has become the mouthpiece of the right wing to legitimise their protestation against migrants, the working class and a whole host of progressive international causes. In ...

Read Full Post

History in the making: What to expect from Imran-Putin’s first meeting?

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will reportedly have their first ever meeting later this week during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek. While the symbolism of this possible meeting shouldn’t be downplayed, observers also shouldn’t get their hopes up for unrealistic outcomes. A monumental meeting A news outlet disclosed that the country’s foreign minister, minister of external affairs, and other officials will also attend the prospective meeting, suggesting that their Russian counterparts will probably be in attendance as well. In the run-up to this event, the prospects look very promising for taking ...

Read Full Post

Lessons PTI can learn from BJP and its landslide victory

For many, the two-nation theory (TNT) is a matter of history rather than a contemporary and ongoing political phenomenon. If the plebiscite demanded by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 was implemented, if Pakistan was not facing hostile provocations from India and its allies in Kabul, if India was at peace with itself in terms of ending communal violence, if India was not pitting Iran against Pakistan, and if Bangladesh and Pakistan had healthy relations, then perhaps the TNT could be viewed as an historical accomplishment. Because the aforementioned issues are far from being solved, and moreover, due ...

Read Full Post

What does Theresa May’s resignation mean for Brexit and the UK?

Theresa May’s resignation has prompted a mixed reaction. There are those who suddenly feel sympathy for a woman they were berating just days earlier, and there are those who remain steadfast in their criticism. I, for one, don’t feel sorry for her, nor do I harbour any anger about her handling of the Brexit deal. The simple fact is that no one could have done this impossible task any better. May was elected leader of the Conservative (Tory) Party on a campaign of uncompromising, understated competence. That was her appeal and it made her stand out from the barrage of ...

Read Full Post

What happens to India now that Modi stays in power?

At the time of writing this piece, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is leading in 351 seats. This landslide victory belongs to Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for those who predicted the demise of the Modi wave did not realise how India’s electoral democracy works. When a magician like Modi – who knows the nuts and bolts of public perception – teams up with a shrewd election strategist like Amit Shah, together they create waves that win elections. If by divine grace they are blessed with an opponent as incompetent as Rahul Gandhi, such tides turn into ...

Read Full Post

Is war between the US and Iran imminent?

Countries often behave like people, with the same psychological forces controlling and driving them. The United States (US) and Iran are no different. They are bitter rivals because of their differing ideologies but there’s something else at play too. From the very end of World War II, the US has tried to dominate the world’s political discourse and has dictated policies to every country it could get its hands on. From North Korea to Venezuela, the diktat has been the same – either accept our political supremacy or bear the consequences of not listening to us. Pax Americana is ...

Read Full Post

Modi says ‘Hindus cannot be terrorists’ – so what does that make Godse then?

‘Hindus can never be terrorists,’ and ‘Hindus are not beef eaters’. India’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) , and its patron Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), are very vehement when it comes to defending these two statements. They can even incite a lynch mob to prove their point. But why do they say that a Hindu can never be a terrorist? The BJP’s idea of India is a majoritarian state where the Hindu way of life takes precedence over all other faiths. In their worldview, it is important to clearly demarcate the Hindus from Muslims. It is sine qua non ...

Read Full Post

A mall, a lady, and some slut-shaming – another sad day in India’s ‘rape capital’

They say sometimes a woman is a woman’s worst enemy. In this instance, they have hit the nail on the head. In a mall in Delhi’s suburb of Gurugram, a middle-aged lady allegedly slut-shamed a bunch of young women openly. She was not their mother, or even someone they remotely knew. No, this was a random ‘aunty’ who was simply not pleased with the way the girls were dressed. According to her, their outfits were indecent and they deserved everything nasty that came their way. When the girls retaliated, saying they were comfortable in their skin and in their shorts, ...

Read Full Post

How Modi sold India’s reputation to get his Masood Azhar ‘trophy’

Most of Indian media is portraying Masood Azhar’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) terrorist designation as a long-sought victory for their country, one that was only brought about by Narendra Modi’s campaign of pressure on Pakistan which supposedly got China to reverse its position on this issue and finally agree to the sanction. While that narrative is easily believed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) hyper-nationalist Hindutva base, the political opposition immediately pointed out that the global body’s official statement made no mention of the many attacks that New Delhi accused him of masterminding. The conspicuous omission of the 2001 Parliament attack, the 2008 Mumbai ‘false flag’ ...

Read Full Post