Tag: Opinion

Pakistan’s ideological insecurity
Opinion

Pakistan’s ideological insecurity

Pakistan is suffering from ideological insecurities, and the developments over the past few weeks are proof enough. It all began when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan stated in the National Assembly that Osama bin Laden was a martyr. Later, a ruling party legislator accused Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader Khawaja Asif of blasphemy for asserting that all religions were equal.Then, the minority Hindu, Sikh and Ahmadi communities were targeted. In July, the construction of the first Hindu temple in Islamabad, possibly the first temple in Pakistan since 1947, had to be halted when several clerics and even politicians objected to its construction with Muslim taxes in an ‘Islamic Republic’.An elderly Ahmadi man, Tahir Ahmed Naseem, was shot during the hearing of a blasphemy case aga
Why India revoked Kashmir’s special status one-year ago
Opinion

Why India revoked Kashmir’s special status one-year ago

A year ago, on August 5, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind revoked Article 370 of the Indian constitution which protected Kashmir’s special status and in order to dissuade protests, Indian security forces imposed a curfew on Kashmir.Both Pakistan and many human rights groups reacted with outrage. Electronic billboards in Islamabad ticked off the days, hours, and minutes since India had imposed a curfew, never mind the hypocrisy of Pakistan as it did the same to Gilgit-Baltistan. Meanwhile, human rights groups’ consistent refusal to recognize that an end to terrorism is a precursor to rights improvement blunted their moral authority.Prior to India’s decision to change Kashmir’s status, Pakistan-based terrorists regularly crossed into Kashmir and India, more broadly, to attack both security a
##  Pitiful state of Pakistan ##
Business, Opinion, Politics

## Pitiful state of Pakistan ##

In July 2018, Pakistan was accused by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of not doing enough to counter terrorism and subsequently was put on FATF’s grey list. It is only after FATF’s approval that millions of dollars in grants and aid are given to countries combating terrorism.The next session of FATF, which has seen delays due to COVID 19 pandemic, is due again shortly. Pakistan’s recent admission and subsequent denial of designated global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, who is accused by India of the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb attacks that claimed the lives of more than 250 and wounded 900 innocent civilians, is testimony to the pitiful state Pakistan has got herself into. Not only that, this demonstrates Prime minister Imran Khan’s desperation for seeking financial aid (admitting that Dawoo
India successfully gains allies while confronting China
Opinion

India successfully gains allies while confronting China

"Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak”. This is exactly what China seems to have put in action now. China's weakness was highlighted when it failed to effectively handle the outbreak of coronavirus in its initial stages and was caught on the back foot with the U.S., Australia and other countries blaming it and seeking an investigation.So, rather than adopting a remorseful demeanor, China portrayed itself as "strong" by displaying an aggressive attitude. Not only did the Chinese diplomats turn into "wolf warriors," but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime also came down harsh on Hong Kong, displayed belligerence in the Taiwan Strait, South China Sea and East China Sea, and engaged in land border clashes with India.But this time, China seems to have gone too far
Pakistan’s ‘Durand Line’ is perhaps bloodier than LoC
Opinion

Pakistan’s ‘Durand Line’ is perhaps bloodier than LoC

The clashes between Afghan Taliban and Pakistani troops along the Durand line - the international land border between Afghanistan and Pakistan – is now every day news.Between July and August, the Afghan Taliban have claimed that they have killed many Islamabad soldiers. The citizens of Khyber Pakhtoonqkhwa are, once again, sounding the alarm and the good old strategy of chaos so dear to Pakistan army and intelligence is becoming more and more complex and elaborate.According to locals, Islamabad is playing on the usual different tables, sponsoring both Taliban and ISIS -Khorasan. According to US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad these two organizations are each other’s’ “mortal enemies, and in the war against ISIS, Taliban have played an important role”. For more than a year the Taliban are re
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor faces new threats from militancy
Opinion

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor faces new threats from militancy

Ever since its launch in 2013, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been facing a lot of cynical scrutiny, with the United States cautioning that CPEC projects are neither transparent nor cost-efficient, and warning Islamabad that it is subjecting itself to expensive loans under China’s Belt and Road Initiative – through which Beijing has pledged more than US$60 billion so far.However, supporters of the project, including the Pakistani government, say that Islamabad will not end up being a client state of Beijing’s, and that the CPEC is its best shot at economic development.Indeed, the CPEC has not progressed as planned, with several large projects shelved and others still uncompleted. The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to slow things down further, even though Pakistan has approved
China asks Maldives to repay loan, an eye-opener for all debtor-nations?
Opinion

China asks Maldives to repay loan, an eye-opener for all debtor-nations?

Even as the Government of President Ibrahim Solih is battling Covid-19 pandemic, facing heat from the opposition for the government’s India front, and deciphering when to reopen its tourism sector, other issues are beginning to dog the nation. Now, the Solih leadership should also be concerned about the short, medium and long-term fallouts of China asking the Maldivian state to repay at least an instalment of a massive loan granted to a local resort-owner.China’s Exim Bank has asked the Maldivian government to pay up $10 million (MVR 154 million), possibly an unpaid instalment from the total $127 million loan to former Yameen ally and parliamentarian, ‘Sun’ Ahmed Shyam against ‘sovereign guarantee.’Generally, ‘sovereign guarantee’ is extended only to government sector loans, and the guaran
Let us rise
Opinion

Let us rise

“No one is above the law and every citizen, including the state, is subservient to the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution,” said the chief justice of the Islamabad High Court in his verdict on the kidnapping of senior journalist Matiullah Jan in broad daylight on July 21.The court held that the case of kidnapping was a challenge to the federal government and public office holders. “They have to demonstrably show that there is a political will to put an end to impunity for crimes against citizens and to protect journalists from harm for exercising the right to free speech,” said the chief justice. “Abduction or enforced disappearance of any citizen is one of the gravest offences,” he lamented.It is heartening to note that the reaction from civil society, media, diplomats, pol
European governments mustn’t stay mum over Baloch Journalist’s death
Opinion

European governments mustn’t stay mum over Baloch Journalist’s death

It’s the same every time, the story breaks out, gets written and advertised for at least a month before it disappears from the radars of the press. The story starts with a body dumped into a river. The body of a Baloch journalist, Sajid Hussain.Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find mutilated dead bodies, in various stage of decomposition and beyond recognition dotting the roads of Balochistan; it is part of the nefarious ‘kill and dump’ policy of Pakistani intelligence agencies highlighted many times by human rights organizations, both national and international. But this time, there was a twist in the usual plot.Sajid was dumped into a river, but the river was in Uppsala, Sweden - the place where he had fled to and asked for political asylum. “His body was found on 23 April in the Fyr
Abrogation that led to integration
Opinion

Abrogation that led to integration

It’s officially been a year since the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was stripped of its special status and bifurcated into two union territories. The abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A on August 5, 2019 was one of the most talked about legislations of the 21st century across the globe, with every big player in the global state of affairs expressing concerns about the emerging situation in J&K, post abrogation.The move was highlighted by every big media house in the world. Reporters and media houses were trying to get information from the ground in J&K, but the information blockade controlled the outflow of information from the region.The media blackout, which was considered as a violation of human rights including the right to information, basically acted as a damp