News & Views

Ali Haider Gilani, son of former Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who is contesting in the upcoming general election, speaks during a campaign meeting at a house on the outskirts of Multan May 9, 2013, before his abduction by unidentified gunmen.  REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

No one tames Taliban

by Khaled Ahmed American commentator Michael Kugelman recently wrote: “The US government appears to be acknowledging that Pakistan, given its influence over the Taliban, is an important and potentially helpful player in the peace process in Afghanistan.” A Pakistani will ask: What influence? Pakistan’s main unacknowledged threat comes from the Taliban and their patron, al-Qaeda. Mehr Tarar, in her wonderfully […]

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Kabul: Taliban fighters and their supporters carry a representation of the Afghan national flag and a Taliban flag while riding in a motorized vehicle, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 17, 2018. A suicide bomber struck Sunday in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad, killing at least 18 people in the second attack in as many days targeting Taliban fighters, security forces and civilians celebrating a holiday cease-fire. AP/PTI(AP6_17_2018_000142B)

After US leaves Kabul

  By Khaled Ahmed America is thinking of quitting Afghanistan because its soldiers are too expensive to send abroad. It stands to save $43 billion annually if it leaves. Pakistan is scared of what will happen if America really quits and Afghanistan returns to its heroin-sustained warlordism. The Afghan Taliban are winning on a daily basis and control half of […]

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Pakistan’s army is to blame for the poverty

Pakistan’s army is to blame for the poverty

Pakistan’s army is to blame for the poverty of the country’s 208 m citizens Economist Report IT HAS FOR so long been a country of such unmet potential that the scale of Pakistan’s dereliction towards its people is easily forgotten. Yet on every measure of progress, Pakistanis fare atrociously. More than 20m children are deprived of school. Less than 30% of […]

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For Pakistan, 2018 was just another year of the generals

For Pakistan, 2018 was just another year of the generals

by Husain Haqqani Pakistan ends 2018 with a sharply devalued rupee, greater dependence on foreign largesse, lower credit rating, and even less democracy than before. The year witnessed the imprisonment of a former prime minister and the selection of a new one – Imran Khan – hailed as the country’s saviour by some and seen as an inexperienced and dimwitted demagogue by […]

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India-Pakistan relationship

India-Pakistan relationship

Former Ambassador of Pakistan to the U.S. Husain Haqqani left that position six years ago amidst controversy over a memo he was accused of orchestrating, urging U.S. help in preventing a military coup in Pakistan following the Abbottabad operation that killed Osama bin Laden. An advocate of civilian government in the country, he’s become a sharp critic of the Pakistani […]

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan prepares to speak at the opening of the Future Investment Initiative conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The high-profile economic forum in Saudi Arabia is the kingdom's first major event on the world stage since the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Turning their back on modernity

by Khaled Ahmed Turkey’s education system was once an inspiration for Pakistan. Today, both countries promote religious education. In the last column he wrote before he was murdered, Arab journalist Jamal Khashoggi wanted “freedom of expression” and “modern education” in the Muslim world. In Pakistan, however, the government is worried about the concurrently functioning Urdu and English-medium schools “because they […]

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Donald Trump & Imran Khan

Donald Trump & Imran Khan

Money, honour, hope – Why Donald Trump’s US & Imran Khan’s Pakistan are having an open spat By Husain Haqqani The exchange of tough messages over the last few days on Twitter between American president Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan created news but was nothing new. Trump accused Pakistan of not doing “a damn thing for us” […]

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Feisty fighter, Pakistan’s conscience

Feisty fighter, Pakistan’s conscience

Asma Jahangir opposed military dictators, alienated religious parties, did not mince words against the country’s highest court. By Khaled Ahmed Pakistan’s leading human rights lawyer, Asma Jahangir, died of a heart attack in Lahore on February 11, aged 66. There was a spontaneous outpouring of grief in Pakistan, even from those who didn’t like her challenge to an increasingly fundamentalist […]

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Blasphemy and a violent response

Blasphemy and a violent response

  By Kamran Siddiqui The topic of blasphemy in Pakistan has become a contentious issue in recent years. The existing Blasphemy law is being exploited by public to punish their opponents and settle personal vendettas, outside the judicial jurisdiction in the name of blasphemy. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, it is not difficult for flare up emotions […]

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Its May Day in Pakistan Petroleum Limited

Its May Day in Pakistan Petroleum Limited

by Nasir Mustafa Pakistan’s energy needs are increasing day by day. At present more than 80% of its oil is being imported from abroad. Similarly since lately it is compelled to import large quantities of natural gas as LNG, which now has an important role in the energy mix of the country. Thus in a country like Pakistan where more […]

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Return of the jinns

Return of the jinns

Kamila Hyat For a society that hopes to move towards progress and development – something the PTI government clearly aspires to achieve – we work in strange ways. The Air University, a public research university established by the Pakistan Air Force, held a seminar at its Islamabad campus in April this year to discuss jinns and the role of the […]

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After Mumbai JeM planning another Attack?

After Mumbai JeM planning another Attack?

10 years on from LeT’s 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, JeM writings call for further seaborne attacks on India by Tufail Ahmad India will mark the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks on 26 November. A decade ago, 10 jihadi fighters from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), arriving by sea from Pakistan’s port city of Karachi, landed on the coast of Mumbai and […]

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Too Close To Home

Too Close To Home

Naipaul’s observations on South Asia are insulting, but may not all be off the mark By Khaled Ahmed, The Indian Express Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul was not much liked in either India or Pakistan. An Area of Darkness (1964) was banned in India but no one could have missed the excellence of his prose, including the infamous page on “how Indians […]

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Pakistan’s new PM on the State of Medina

Pakistan’s new PM on the State of Medina

 by Mobarak Haider Recent elections in Pakistan re-confirmed the trend and commitment of its ruling elite and military establishment. It is a trend that we have seen in Iran’s political face for the last four decades under its theocracy. This same trend dominated Arabs in the better parts of 20th century but has recently started reversing with the great political […]

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Pakistani Generals’ arrogant stupidity

Pakistani Generals’ arrogant stupidity

Sharif’s imprisonment will not end his political career and will outlast the retirement of generals and colonels who plotted his downfall. Pakistani Generals’ arrogant stupidity makes Nawaz Sharif rise as a heroic fighter for democracy HUSAIN HAQQANI 14 July, 2018 Nawaz Sharif’s decision to return to Pakistan and go to prison marks a new phase in the country’s politics. Sharif […]

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The devious plans of Pakistan’s army & Supreme Court

The devious plans of Pakistan’s army & Supreme Court

The military, the intelligence apparatus, and their allies in the superior judiciary are working overtime to ensure that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s party does not win | Commons by Husain Haqqani The powers-that-be must seriously consider the price Pakistan pays for each round of their attempt to manipulate the political process. The outcome of Pakistan’s parliamentary and provincial elections, […]

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State is Targeting Media

State is Targeting Media

EditorialUpdated June 27, 2018 AN adversarial relationship between a free media and the state and public officials it seeks to cover is necessary and desirable in a democratic polity. In Pakistan, which has had long spells of undemocratic rule, such a relationship has often veered towards outright threats and violence against the media. Today, as the country prepares to hold an […]

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Imran & His Third wife

Imran & His Third wife

Khalid Umar Can a married woman in her fifties, mother of 5 adult children and grandchildren, belonging to a modest, conservative Muslim religious family background of Pakistan dare to enter into a romantic relationship with another man, dating him over a period of more than 2 years? Would not it be against the social and cultural norms of the society? […]

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Democracy under Siege

Democracy under Siege

  Nadeem Khalid In his brilliant masterpiece “Chronicle of a Death Foretold”, Marquez narrates the story of a murder, which is about to take place in a small provincial town in Latin America. Nearly the whole town finds out about the impending murder before it occurs, but no one ends up telling the victim either because they cannot find him, […]

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Who is afraid of Nia Zamana?

Who is afraid of Nia Zamana?

By Khan Zaman Kakar A progressive magazine that was shut down for raising an intellectually strong voice in favour of the marginalised To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize – Voltaire At the turn of this century, a progressive journalist Mohammad Shoaib Adil launched an exceptionally unflinching Urdu monthly Nia Zamana in Lahore […]

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