Views Digest

September, 2013

  • 15 September

    A Scenic Drive Through Nepal’s History

    Nepal’s highways get a lot of bad press, sometimes justifiably so. But beyond Kathmandu’s potholed roads and the permanently cratered Naubise section of the Prithvi Highway, the roads are pretty good (the 108 mile long highway connecting Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and Pokhara, a tourist city in the western part of the country). Nepal is better known for trekking, but driving holidays …

  • 14 September

    US Drone War: The Need For A New Story

      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 …

  • 14 September

    Killing the Talib(an) Within

    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 …

  • 14 September

    Will Release of Top Taliban Leader Restore Peace?

    As a remarkable sign of Pakistan’s new phase of cooperation with the Afghan peace process, Islamabad is to release Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a prominent Taliban leader who was in prison in Pakistan since he was captured in 2010. The Afghan government has long urged for release of Baradar as he is considered a moderate and pro-peace figure among the …

  • 14 September

    India Living Beyond Its Means

    After decades of low consumption, when simplicity, socialism and self-reliance were the watch-words, the Indian consumer's appetite, post reforms, knows no bounds. Everyone is fighting shy of angering the middle class that dominates the media and the social media intercourse. The not-so-remote control is with the India Inc.

  • 13 September

    Pakistan’s Water Woes

    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 …

  • 13 September

    How A Fake PhD Hijacked The Syria Debate

      This article was published by the Center for American Progress Action Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy, Syria expert, made quite an impression on Senator John McCain. During Senate hearings, the former Presidential candidate quoted at length from her recent Wall Street Journal op-ed painting a rosy picture of a mostly secular, pro-Western anti-Assad insurgency. “John, do you agree with Dr. O’Bagy’s …

  • 12 September

    Message from India’s Communal Riots

    A series of riots that claims the lives of about 40 people (60% Muslim, 40% Hindu, according to a police source) may appear insignificant. After all, this is a country born in sectarian violence, where the main ruling and the Opposition parties have engineered and/or abetted pogroms against minorities. As Delhi’s authority slowly recedes and regional leaders grow more powerful, …

  • 12 September

    Kindling Hope in Pakistan’s Balochistan

    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 …

  • 11 September

    De Blasio Leads NYC Mayoral Primary

      Bill de Blasio edged closer to his victory in the hotly contested Democratic primary for New York City mayoral election on Tuesday, September 10. The Public Advocate had secured 40 percent of the vote with 96 percent of the precincts reporting the results. His nearest competitor was former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson with 26 percent votes. Despite …