April 24, 2017

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 »

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 »

US Drone War: The Need For A New Story

Protesters oppose US drone war at a rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, early this year. (photo by Fibonacci Blue, Creative Commons License)

  There are competing narratives about the US’s drone war in the Waziristan area, a bastion of militants. These narratives have so far failed to gain traction in the public, inside Pakistan and elsewhere. The Pakistani narrative goes like this: the drone attacks are a violation of our national sovereignty. They kill innocent people, including women and children, as collateral ... Read More »

Killing the Talib(an) Within

(Photo from video)

Will Durant says that whenever there is a turning point in the history of a people we always see a lofty character at the turn it takes. Pakistan, especially its northwest, is passing through the worst of its times but we don’t see any lofty character. A lunatic fringe is hell-bent on dragging the whole society by its hairs to ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Water Woes

Tarbela Dam remains Pakistan's largest water reservoir which was built in 1974. United States has been helping Pakistan in upgrading the power generation capacity from its reservoirs. (Photo by US embassy Pakistan)

While energy shortages, economic stagnation, terrorism and religious intolerance remain in the spotlight, water shortages pose one of the most significant threats to Pakistan. Regrettably, the Pakistani discourse on the subject remains in a state of delusion and is thus misdirected. In the 66 years since independence Pakistan’s per capita water availability has declined from 5000 m3 to 1000 m3 ... Read More »

Kindling Hope in Pakistan’s Balochistan

Pakistan's Balochistan province is home to Gawadar deep sea port that is being managed by China. (Photo by  Moin Khawaja, Creative Commons License)

Contrary to belief that laws banning feudalism were first enacted in India immediately after independence (from Great Britain) in 1947, the East Bengal (later East Pakistan and today Bangladesh) State (later Estate) Acquisition and Tenancy Act 1950 meant to ban feudalism was actually drafted on 31 March 1948 and passed on 16 May 1951.  Consequently when Prime Minister Liaquat Ali ... Read More »

Cry Karachi!

Mausoleum of Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi. The city is home to much of Pakistan's industry and generates 71 percent of Pakistan's tax revenue. (Photo by by Kasuga Sho, Creative Commons License)

The Federal Cabinet met in the city of Karachi on the subject of “Karachi” to take “extraordinary measures to deal with the extraordinary situation in Karachi”, in the words of Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif. One does not doubt the urgency of the federal government or their sincerity, however one must call a spade a spade and that is missing. ... Read More »

Will Iranian Gas Resolve Pakistan’s Energy Woes?

Photo by Harald Hoyer, Creative Commons License

Pakistan's crippling energy crisis demands urgent initiatives for sustainable supply of natural gas at affordable political, economic and diplomatic cost. Is Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project worth the price Pakistan seems to be willing to pay? Read More »

How South Asia Can Benefit from Central Asian Energy Boom?

Long oil train on its way to Russia transporting oil from Kazakhstan. (Photo by Duccio Aiazzi, Creative Commons License)

In a rare assembly of representatives of governments of countries in South and Central Asia, parliaments and the private sector as well as experts from China, the US and Europe sat in Islamabad on September 1 and 2 to discuss not the security challenge but the energy promise that the region offers. Read More »

Deserts’ Photovoltaics Promise

solar energy

In the US, a vast glittering Ivanpah solar facility will be commissioned by the end of this summer. It will produce 392 megawatt electricity, making it the largest concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in the world. In the desert near Abu Dhabi, Middle East’s first large CSP — Shams-I — has already been commissioned, producing 100MW of electricity. The Saudis have bigger and ambitious ... Read More »