South Asia

April, 2014

  • 27 April

    The Houses That Karachi’s Poor Want

    “Are we some rubbish to be thrown out of the city by the government?” asks a woman living in Lyari, Karachi. “Why should we go to the outskirts of the city? Give us space close to the centre of the city.”   She expresses the anger of many of Karachi’s urban poor who feel that their preference to live in …

  • 26 April

    Bangladesh Lacks A Credible Alternative?

    I am one of those many who consider the so-called election of January 5 to be an utter farce, and the government legitimated by it to be little more than an autocracy whose absolutist tendencies get stronger by the passing day. Thus believing, however, does not make the said government non-existent. What makes the government even less likely to feel …

  • 24 April

    Questioning Bangladesh’s Iconic Number

    On April 17, the Bangladesh’s War Crimes Tribunal initiated contempt proceedings against the Dhaka-based British journalist David Bergman for, among other matters, questioning the death toll from the country’s 1971 war. In the following article, Mr. Bergman explains why journalists and scholars should be able to question this figure.   Is the Bangladesh government’s official figure of three million a fair estimate …

  • 23 April

    Pakistan’s Press Freedom Debate

    The murderous attack on Raza Rumi in Lahore in which his driver died was claimed by militant extremists, so was the subsequent threat to veteran media personality Imtiaz Alam.  While the motive and responsibility for the dastardly assault on Hamid Mir in Karachi is still a matter of speculation, the threat to the freedom of expression in Pakistan is nothing …

  • 22 April

    Lessons from Afghan Presidential Elections

    When, Nadir Khan, the father of Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan and Father of the Nation, decided to draft a constitution for his absolute monarchy, the sycophants in his court opposed the idea. They advised him that while his majesty king was alive Afghanistan did not need constitution. They said that the will of the king is law …

  • 22 April

    Waziristan’s Displaced Tribes’ Search for Spring

    It’s springtime in Sadat Ullah Dawar’s beautiful village of Issori. The hills in front of his mud house rise from among the lush green fields, which are covered with blue colour flowers, ‘Sparleh’, bathing the valley with their scent. In the backdrop stands the majestic mountain of Shawal in North Waziristan still covered with white snow. The graying patches show …

  • 20 April

    What Would Modi Government Look Like?

    As India goes to the ballot boxes, it seems clear that the ruling Indian National Congress (INC) and its United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition will be decimated by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The suspense centers entirely on how close the NDA will get to the 272 seats required for a parliamentary majority. The …

  • 19 April

    Attempt to Silence One More Journalist in Pakistan

    The space is shrinking for independent journalism in Pakistan because of continuous violence against journalists by militants and state agencies. The attack on Hamid Mir, Pakistan’s most respected journalist, proves this again. Mir survived an assassination attempt in Karachi on April 19, 2014. An unidentified gunman targeted him as he traveled from the airport to the office of Geo News, the TV …

  • 16 April

    Reconnecting Afghanistan

    The exercise of universal franchise in the war conditions prevailing in Afghanistan has been a tremendous landmark, not only for the Afghans themselves but for countries like Pakistan on the receiving end of every evil conceivable emanating from Afghanistan for nearly 35 years. With two of the eight presidential candidates on course to get nearly 80 percent of the partially …

  • 15 April

    Why Modi Should Not be Hostile Towards Pakistan

    As the BJP remains the front-runner in India’s election with prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi recast as an economic reformer, neighboring Pakistan is waiting in the wings. For more than a decade since it first gained power, the BJP has shared a chilly relationship with Pakistan, followed by periods of rapprochement.   Pakistan is now curious about Modi’s ambiguity over lingering issues …