Views Digest

September, 2013

  • 15 September

    In Afghanistan, Victory Comes From Sports, Not War

    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 …

  • 15 September

    Pakistan: Journalism Gets Perilous by Day

    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 …

  • 15 September

    Maldives Gets A Second Chance At Democracy

    By securing the largest vote-share in the September 7 election, deposed President (of Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean) Mohamed Nasheed has re-established his popular credentials. But he still has to complete an uphill trek before he can move back into the Muliaage (the official residence of Maldives President). Nineteen months after their first democratically elected leader was …

  • 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 …