News & Views

Pakistani head of the Tehreek-i-Labaik Yah Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLYRAP) religious group Khadim Hussain Rizvi (C) announces the end of sit-in protest on a blocked flyover bridge during a press conference in Islamabad on November 27, 2017.
The Islamist leader whose group clashed violently with Pakistani security forces and paralysed Islamabad for weeks called off the sit-in protest November 27 after the law minister resigned, meeting its key demand. / AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI

Obituary: Allama Khadim Husain Rizvi-Scoundrel or Saint?

Khaled Ahmed Leader of Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Allama Khadim Husain Rizvi breathed his last on 19 November 2020 in Lahore after staging a successful protest at Faizabad crossing, Rawalpindi. Born in 1966 in the Pindi Gheb area of Attock district, Punjab, Rizvi was a Hafiz-e-Quran and Sheikh-ul-Hadith – knew the Quran by heart and had command over Hadith – […]

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Moeed Yusuf interview aimed to put Pakistan back in Kashmir

Moeed Yusuf interview aimed to put Pakistan back in Kashmir

by Ayesha Siddiqa Pakistan’s establishment has much to celebrate after Moeed W. Yusuf, special advisor on national security and strategic policy planning to Pakistan’s Prime Minister, gave a successful interview to Karan Thapar. Notwithstanding the fact that the interview was a personal gain for Yusuf, it also succeeded in delivering the most important message from Pakistan: the Imran Khan government was not interested in talks with its Indian counterpart, and that Islamabad is prepared to fight […]

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A Mandir in Islamabad

A Mandir in Islamabad

Khaled Ahmed In 2018, an allotted piece of land for a Shri Krishna Mandir in Islamabad was attacked and occupied by clerical protesters saying a Hindu structure could not be built on a city named after Islam. In June this year, under the government of Imran Khan, the project was restarted with a first funding installment of $1.3 million. But […]

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The fight against discrimination should not be selective

The fight against discrimination should not be selective

 Kamran Siddiqui The public outrage in response to the brutal killing of George Floyd has exposed deep cracks in the US social justice structure. The massive protests are being observed in US and all around the world. People of different races, religions and ages stood up in solidarity with African-Americans in their struggle against racial discrimination. While expressing desire to […]

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Why is Pakistan spending so much money on defence amid COVID-19?

Why is Pakistan spending so much money on defence amid COVID-19?

 Ayesha Siddiqa The Pakistani government does not seem willing to shift its spending priorities despite the burgeoning COVID-19 challenges.  Pakistan has emerged as one of the countries with the fastest rate of coronavirus infections in recent weeks, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The country reported its first coronavirus case on February 26 and is now among the top 15 […]

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Covid Economy & National Security State

Covid Economy & National Security State

Husain Haqqani Claiming that there is no pandemic in the country and that Pakistanis should be allowed to celebrate the festival of Eid ul Fitr as they have always done, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered resumption of train services, other public transport, and opening of shopping centres. This, while Covid-19 cases rose to 43,000 and led to 924 deaths by 19 May. Pakistan already has more coronavirus cases […]

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Pakistan military won’t take budget cuts easily for Covid

Pakistan military won’t take budget cuts easily for Covid

A lot of Pakistan’s defense budget may get redirected in the post-Covid era, but the army isn’t going to let go. It now eyes revocation of a constitutional amendment. Ayesha Siddiqa Like every crisis, Covid-19 will bring its set of challenges and opportunities. For starters, the  guns-versus-butter debate may be back on the table. With the overall size of the world economy […]

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Omar Sheikh was let go…

Omar Sheikh was let go…

Omar Sheikh was let go because someone in Pakistan wanted him freed, like mentor Masood Azhar Ayesha Siddiqa Coronavirus pandemic, world distracted by Afghan peace deal and weak case in the murder of Daniel Pearl opened a window to acquit Omar Sheikh. But the US noticed. On 14 October 2009, American ambassador to Pakistan Ann Patterson cabled Washington that Omar Saeed […]

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The chilling saga of  General Shahid Aziz

The chilling saga of General Shahid Aziz

An army cannot afford to allow so many ideologically motivated hardliners to rise to senior ranks and to freelance on behalf of their ideology after retirement. Husain Haqqani It is very unusual for retired senior officers of a professional military to end up fighting alongside militants attacking soldiers they once commanded. But the recently reported saga of retired Lt. General […]

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Gilgit and Xinjiang: Two tales of modern colonialism

Gilgit and Xinjiang: Two tales of modern colonialism

Pakistan started colonising G-B in 1949 and as a first step, bifurcated the portion of J&K in its occupation to create two entities that it calls, Azad Kashmir (AJK) and the Northern Areas (Nas). Senge H Sering Islamabad schemes to illegally annex Gilgit Baltistan (G-B), which is a constitutional part of India’s Union Territory of Ladakh. The move is aimed […]

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Militants continue to collect donations at mosques in Pakistan

Militants continue to collect donations at mosques in Pakistan

Militants continue to collect donations at mosques in Pakistan’s Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces near Durand Line Rahman Bunairee, VOA Deewa The outlawed Taliban militants continue to collect donations at mosques in Mardan, situated at a distance of only 86 miles from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north, in the name of Afghan jihad and threaten to kill […]

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CAA doesn’t affect integration of Gilgit-Baltistan with India

CAA doesn’t affect integration of Gilgit-Baltistan with India

Senge Hasnan Sering CAA expedites the naturalisation process for persecuted non-Muslims of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who are waiting to be declared as Indian citizens. While adoption of the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) of 2019 has led to violent protests in different parts of India; it has also generated a lively debate among Ladakhis about its possible fallout on Gilgit-Baltistan […]

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Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawwa and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, speaks during an anti-Indian rally on Pakistan's Independence Day in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. The Pakistani nation is celebrating its 67th Independence Day, to mark its independence from British rule in 1947. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

THE SAD SAGA OF HAFIZ SAEED

by KHALED AHMED On July 17, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed was taken into custody by the Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab. This occurred a mere two days after an anti-terrorism court in Lahore had granted pre-arrest bail to Saeed in a case pertaining to his organization’s alleged illegal use of land for its madrassa. That case apparently came about as an […]

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How will military generals solve economic issues?

How will military generals solve economic issues?

Husain Haqqani A quotation often misattributed to Albert Einstein defines insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”. The Pakistani establishment’s assumption that control over all levers of power and a single national narrative can rid Pakistan of its myriad problems definitely matches that definition. Pakistan’s generals see themselves as the solution to Pakistan’s problems instead of realising their own contribution to the country’s […]

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Pakistani Army must stop using terror groups as instruments of foreign policy

Pakistani Army must stop using terror groups as instruments of foreign policy

Pakistani Army must stop using terror groups as instruments of foreign policy: Pakistani dissidents Under the banner of South Asians Against Terrorism & For Human Rights (SAATH) Forum, the group that includes Pakistan’s former envoy to the US Hussain Haqqani, said the security agencies must close “torture cells and black sites”, known as internment centres. A group of dissident Pakistanis […]

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Fighting others’ wars

Fighting others’ wars

Khaled Ahmed On November 14, Prime Minister Imran Khan repeated himself on the unwisdom of Pakistan “fighting others’ wars” instead of presumably its own which it dodged. He added that “Pakistan would no more join any alliance for any other country’s war” but “rather play the role of a reconciler or bridge-builder”. The occasion was the concluding session of The […]

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Intellectual ignorance

Intellectual ignorance

By Kamran Siddiqui The levels of intolerance, irrationality and ignorance are continuously on the rise in Pakistan since its creation. However, at present, they have reached a point where the damaged caused by such behavior is not only threatening the survival as a nation both internally and externally, but also highlighting the incapability and incompetence as a nation to move […]

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A corridor of conciliation

A corridor of conciliation

Khaled Ahmed On 9 November 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan got together with thousands of Sikh pilgrims to inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on the bank of river Ravi in Punjab in Pakistan. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi thanked Pakistan for opening up the route to the last resting place of the great Sikh founder-guru Nanak Dev in accordance with […]

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Does the Human Mind Need to be Evolved to the Next Level?

Does the Human Mind Need to be Evolved to the Next Level?

Reviewer: Habeeb Sheikh I have read a few self-improvement books but “A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” stands out significantly reading on this topic.  The author, Eckhart Tolle, based on human history, is convinced that we have inherited a Dysfunctional mind that needs to be evolved to Consciousness. A Dysfunctional mind creates suffering for itself and for […]

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China and Terrorism in Pakistan

China and Terrorism in Pakistan

Khaled Ahmed The Paris-based 39-member Financial Action Task Force (FATF), against money-laundering and terror-funding, strongly urged Pakistan last month to comply with its demands by February 2020 or face being included in the FATF “black list” meaning sanctions. It said: “To date, Pakistan has only largely addressed five of the 27 action items, with varying levels of progress made on […]

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