News & Views

On Ramakrishna Booksellers

On Ramakrishna Booksellers

The Forgotten Lahore’ series –Altaf Hussain Asad acquaints readers with the history of a pre-Partition bookstore, ‘ the name of which is still embossed on the façade of a building in Anarkali, Lahore by Altaf Hussain Asad New age ushers in gigantic changes, and changes make you a bit wonderstruck as well as out of place as you try to […]

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An awkward genius

An awkward genius

by Khaled Ahmed Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar (1878-1932) led the largest political movement in India called the Khilafat Movement and today features in the Pakistani textbooks as one of the leaders of the Pakistan Movement too. Professor M. Naeem Qureshi has written a most insightful book Ottoman Turkey, Ataturk, and Muslim South Asia (OUP 2014) highlighting the role of Maulana […]

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In this photograph taken on August 28, 2017, a US Marine looks on as Afghan National Army soldiers raise the Afghan National flag on an armed vehicle during a training exercise to deal with IEDs (improvised explosive devices) at the Shorab Military Camp in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province.
Marines in Afghanistan's Helmand say Donald Trump's decision to keep boots on the ground indefinitely gives them "all the time in the world" to retake the province, once the symbol of US intervention but now a Taliban stronghold. They may need it. At the hot, dusty Camp Shorab, where many of the recently deployed Marines train their Afghan counterparts in flat, desert terrain, the Afghans admit their army still cannot fight alone.

 / AFP PHOTO / WAKIL KOHSAR        (Photo credit should read WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Getting ready for a post-US Afghanistan?

By Khaled Ahmed Prime Minister Imran Khan pronouncing a strange “fatwa” on women’s Islamic purdah and calling Osama bin Laden “shaheed” could be his way of getting ready for the new Afghanistan emerging after the exit of the Americans from there in September 2021. The world is also scared – like Prime Minister Khan – of the post-US Afghan scenario. […]

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Syed Ameer Ali: The Unknown Scholar

Syed Ameer Ali: The Unknown Scholar

An expert in Islamic law, the Bengali scholar paved the way for the political training of Muslims in India by Khaled Ahmed  One must give credit to Dr. Sikandar Hayat, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at FC University Lahore, for writing a most detailed portrait of great Islamic scholar Syed Ameer Ali—seldom discussed in Pakistan—in his book, A Leadership […]

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God has gone missing!

God has gone missing!

Amar Jalil God has gone missing for couple of days. He is my friend. We never quarreled with each other over anything. All of a sudden, He has gone missing. For a moment, I thought the people who kidnap others might have kidnapped him as well. It is impossible to return from there. He will never be back. And if […]

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Thinking of secularism in Pakistan

Thinking of secularism in Pakistan

Khaled Ahmed People stopped thinking of secularism – read pluralism and liberalism as well – long time ago; but there is a highly respected teacher in Karachi who has the intellectual honesty to think of it afresh. Dr Moonis Ahmar, Professor of International Relations at the University of Karachi, wrote his book Conflict Management and Vision for a Secular Pakistan: […]

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The end of Hafiz Saeed

The end of Hafiz Saeed

Khaled Ahmed On 19 November 2020, a pivotal development took place in the lives of Pakistanis. An anti-terrorism court sentenced chief of the banned organisation Jamaatud Dawa – erstwhile Lashkar-e-Tayba – Hafiz Saeed, to ten years in jail for “terror financing”. The conviction came as Pakistan tried to avoid blacklisting by the global dirty-money watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force […]

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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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