November 23, 2017

Pakistan’s State of Insecurity

To trace the origins of insecurity in Pakistan we must study both the natural and contrived deficiencies in our social, political and economic sectors. Ethnic and religious strife have not only morphed but become further complicated by ruthless terrorist activity. Unfortunately partisan and parochial viewpoints from both sides of the spectrum tend to be counter-productive in seeking practical long-lasting solutions ... Read More »

Climate Change, Migration, and Conflict in South Asia

South Asia will be among the regions hardest hit by climate change. Higher temperatures, more extreme weather, rising sea levels, increasing cyclonic activity in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, as well as floods in the region’s complex river systems will complicate existing development and poverty reduction initiatives. Coupled with high population density levels, these climate shifts have ... Read More »

Pakistan’s North Waziristan Close to Full-blown Conflict

Guns have fallen silent in Mirali — a bustling town 35km to the east of North Waziristan’s regional headquarters of Miramshah, but now with rows of burnt down and bombed shops and houses.   The sudden flare-up and military’s fierce response to a suicide bombing at one of its main camps in Khajori on Dec 18 have shown that the ... Read More »

Bangladesh: You Are Either with Mollah or Against Him!

In a fateful moment of our recent history, US President Bush had uttered ‘either you are with us or against us’. His words cast a spell on the world and condemned us all to a political myopia. We are since then stuck between these two choices. We find everything either black or white.   Whichever of the two you are, ... Read More »

Pakistan Headed in the Right Direction in 2013

While 2013 was marred by natural disaster, violence, increasing conservatism and poor economic trends, it should be remembered as the year that democracy was consolidated in Pakistan.   Historically, Pakistan has swung between democracy and military rule. Since independence in 1947, Pakistan has been ruled by the military on three occasions and for a period totaling over half of the country’s ... Read More »

Pakistan’s ‘Mullah Radio’ And The ‘Terror Game’

“Congratulations! you have the honor now”, a sarcastic friend from Waziristan told me in the aftermath of the newly selected chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP — the South Asian nation’s largest terrorist network), Mullah Fazlullah’s announcement to have Dir (a mountainous northwestern region in Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan’s Kunar province) as the new headquarters of the TTP. According ... Read More »

Art in Exile

The Babylonian Ishtar Gate, excavated from Iraq, cannot be seen by most Iraqis. This is because it is displayed at the Pergamon Museum of Berlin, far away from the sight of Iraqis.   The gate, along with many other artifacts, was excavated by German archaeologists before the First World War in the territory that is currently modern Iraq. In the ... Read More »

Bangladesh’s Divisive Politics

Given the fractured and vindictive political climate in Bangladesh, the risks of new injustices occurring are very real. Dramatic hanging of Abdul Quader Molla symbolizes two axioms about gross miscarriage of justice: ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ and justice hurried is justice buried’; both were operative in this case. Opening of cases after over forty years of the alleged crime, enactment ... Read More »

An Indian View on Legacy of Pakistan’s Retiring Chief Justice

Ifthikar Chaudhary, who stepped down as Chief Justice of Pakistan on December 11, will go down in history as the first judge to challenge a military ruler successfully, and then to have spoilt it all by his relentless onslaught against a fledgling democratic government, its President and Prime Minister.   Mr. Chaudhary’s epic term in office, which included more than ... Read More »

Extremism: Changing the Mindset in Pakistan

A mindset is a set of assumptions that everyone develops throughout their lives and become so established that people or groups continue to adopt or accept prior behaviors, choices, or tools of those within the same mindset without questions. As an incident of a person’s philosophy of life mindset can be powerful, having the ability to control, persuade and even hold us ... Read More »