April 30, 2017

Afghanistan’s Evolving Election Scenario

Two dispensable men: Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf at a World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2008. (Photo by World Economic Forum)

Nominations for the Afghan presidency opened on September 16, 2013 and with this milestone the country formally entered the pre-election period. Over the next seven months Afghanistan will be turned into one great reality TV show, watched by the world, while the candidates practice our unique brand of politics. In the run up to nominations, the alternating announcements of electoral ... Read More »

Myanmar’s Stateless Rohingyas

The Rohingyas are a persecuted ethnic and religious minority from Myanmar, and the groups in Cox's Bazar fled that persecution in 1991 to live in Bangladesh. (Photo courtesy by Austcare - World Humanitarian Aid)

Every human being has the right to live in his birthplace irrespective of religion, color and race. But in case of Rohingyas in Myanmar, it is different and difficult. Rohingyas ( an ethnic group who practice Islam and speak Rohingya) have been living in the state of Arakan in Myanmar since the 8th century, but have not been recognized as citizens. After decades of oppression ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Vertical Theory of Democracy

A view of an election rally of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in North Western Province's Kurunegala District on September 17, 2013. (Photo via President Mahinda Rajapaksa's office)

I feel we are living in a vertical democracy. As the President of the country stated, we do have elections on a regular basis. We are governed by a Constitution, which establishes democratic institutions of governance. One can check the boxes: Sri Lanka has an Executive, Parliament, a Judiciary, and universal franchise is an age-old tradition in the country. This ... Read More »

De-Weaponizing Pakistan’s Most Violent City

According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a total of 1,726 people were killed in the first six months of 2013. (ViewsWeek photo)

The paramilitary Rangers “targeted operation” to restore peace to Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi under the direction of the provincial Sindh government commenced on a low-key basis, a number of ‘suspects’ taken into custody and some arms and ammunition seized. It remains to be seen whether putting the operation into high gear will make an improvement, the lawlessness continues as ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Invest2Innovate Taps into Entrepreneurial Talent

(Photo via The Diplomat)

  Last year, five hopeful social entrepreneurs came together for Plan 9, the PITB’s (Pakistan Institute of Technology Board) Tech Incubator, in Lahore, Pakistan, to present their start-up ideas to a host of potential investors. The young entrepreneurs were part of a relatively new initiative called Invest2Innovate (“i2i” for short),  a social enterprise intermediary that not only trains newly launched social entrepreneurship initiatives ... Read More »

An Indian Perspective: Cannot Wish Away Afghan Troubles

Afghan National Army recruits walk back to their formation after completing marksmanship training during Basic Warrior Training in Kabul Military Training Center. ((U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ernesto Hernandez Fonte, Creative Commons License)

New Delhi’s delusion that taking strong measures to protect its interests in Afghanistan will lead to war in South Asia will cost this country dear. Read More »

Threats And Pakistan’s New Counter Terrorism Strategy

Trucks destroyed during military operations against the Taliban stand in a fuel station in Dagar, Buner district, North-West Frontier province, Pakistan on May 15, 2009. (Photo by Balazs Gardi, Creative Commons License)

About a week ago, without the usual international attention, Pakistan miraculously achieved a milestone that has proved to be elusive since the war against terror erupted in 2001. With the US slated to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, the new government has achieved consensus on a strategy to fight the extremists. This is after realizing that the bullet train cannot ... Read More »

India’s Divisive Political Face

Charismatic and controversial, Narendra Modi is seen both as divisive and unifying force in India. (Photo by Al Jazeera English, Creative Commons License)

Now that India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has settled on Narendra Modi, a top right-wing politician and chief minister of western state of Gujarat, as its prime ministerial candidate for the next year’s crucial elections, commentators across India and beyond are looking at the emerging political circus with inquietude. Modi is likely to face a stiff challenge from Rahul ... Read More »

In Afghanistan, Victory Comes From Sports, Not War

Thousands of Afghans celebrated their national football team's victory against India in Nepal, a rare sight in a country that has endured decades long war. (Photo off video stream)

Celebrations erupted across Afghanistan last week after the country’s nascent national team won the South Asian Football Federation Asian Championship in Kathmandu, Nepal, beating regional giant India 2-0. The jubilations show that Afghans, like any other nation, cherish the normal pursuits of present-day life:  peace, happiness and national preeminence. Cricket is another major sport that Afghans are fast becoming passionate about ... Read More »

Pakistan: Journalism Gets Perilous by Day

A journalists holding a placard at a recent rally in Islamabad to protest increasing violence against the media. (ViewsWeek photo off video stream)

Investigative journalist Ali K. Chishti had a nightmare in Karachi (Pakistan’s southern port city) on the evening of August 30, 2013. He was traumatized by a 10-hour ordeal after ‘uniformed Karachi police personnel’ abducted him and his driver. Chishti was handed over to a group of people who were irked by his writings for one of the country’s leading weekly ... Read More »