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Showing posts from July, 2013

The importance of light

Malala – a name that puts fear in the hearts of the Taliban who have terrorised millions and killed thousands of innocent human beings; a name that gives hope to millions of young girls and women that they can achieve their dreams regardless of the hurdles put in their way by patriarchal systems and societies; a name that inspires confidence in people affected by terrorism that they can survive this dark period and still move forward successfully; a name that has shown Pakistanis that one of their own can take centre stage on a global platform and make them proud; a name that is many things to many people around the world.

While many in Pakistan celebrated Malala and her courage, there were thousands of others in the same country who launched a vicious anti-Malala campaign, denouncing her courage and commitment to education. Conspiracy theories could be found in abundance after her brilliant and deeply moving speech at the UN.

It was disturbing to see Malala being called all sorts of …

General Musharraf's trial

When General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s plane landed in Karachi on March 24, there were less than a thousand people, including the media, to receive him at the airport. It amply demonstrated how irrelevant Musharraf had become to Pakistani politics. He may have been a darling of the media, opportunist politicians and some members of the civil society when he first came to power after ousting Mian Nawaz Sharif’s government on October 12, 1999, but his popularity took a nosedive following the sacking of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and the consequent Lawyers’ Movement. The Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) operation alienated the conservatives while extremists and terrorists vowed revenge. Musharraf resigned as president of Pakistan in August 2008, months after a democratically elected government took charge. He left the country soon after his resignation.

Now that he is back in Pakistan after spending more than four years in self-exile, everyone is wondering why he returned in the first place.…

Journalists sans borders

Keeping journalists out of each other’s countries does not serve any purpose for either Pakistan or India

The hostility between India and Pakistan, two neighbours still battling demons from their past, is hurting the people of both nations. Many Pakistanis now feel that there could be enormous opportunities and countless incentives for both neighbours to establish friendly relations for mutual benefit. When Mian Nawaz Sharif’s party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), came to power once again after the general elections in May 2013, many analysts observed that it would lead to improved ties between India and Pakistan. Mian sahib’s willingness for bilateral talks, de-escalating tensions, and establishing trust to find ways and means to resolve all political and geopolitical issues between the two countries is no secret. Both countries can save a major part of their budget currently being spent on defence, which can be used for providing basic facilities to their people in health…