Showing posts from October, 2013

Of cowards and criminals

Cowardice is certainly not a crime but there are occasions when one simply cannot forgive political cowards. Unfortunately for Pakistan, after the 2013 general elections, there is no dearth of such cowards in our parliament and provincial assemblies. Every time a terrorist attack takes place, some such coward will come forth and say something to justify the attack and the attackers, i.e. the Taliban. Most of these men are the members of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) or Mian Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Mr Khan himself is guilty of making most callous and insensitive of statements after several terrorist attacks. When the government is unable to stop deadly attacks against its citizens, the least one expects is for our leaders to condemn the terrorists in no uncertain terms and show compassion towards those martyred. Instead, what we see is PTI and PML-N leadership calling the attackers our ‘misled brothers’ who will see the light as soon as drone …

A dangerous narrative

“I stood firmly with those who opposed Musharraf’s Balochistan operation and earlier the sending of the military into Waziristan,” wrote Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan. These lines were penned by Mr Khan to explain his position on why he is in favour of initiating a dialogue with the Taliban. It was astounding to see Mr Khan drawing parallels between the genuine Baloch struggle and terrorism by the Taliban. Mr Khan is not alone in coming up with such ridiculous arguments. In recent months, many in Pakistan – especially in Punjab – have started equating the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and other Baloch nationalists with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Those who do this are either unaware of the history of the Baloch struggle or want to undermine it – or both. The narrative surrounding the TTP and the Baloch nationalists is quite dangerous, to say the least.

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur, who has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s, …

Malala Yousafzai and the Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Committee awarded the 2013 Peace Prize to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the UN chemical weapons unit. Other nominees for the peace prize included 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize nominee in history. While a lot of Pakistanis and others around the world were disappointed that Malala did not win the Nobel, she is no less a heroine for us. As an editorial ("The Malala story," October 9, 2013) in Pakistani English daily, The News, noted: "The question to be asked is not whether Malala deserves to win the Nobel Peace Prize; it's whether the Nobel Peace Prize deserves a winner as worthy as her."

Malala is being celebrated around the world as an icon. She is not just an inspiration for millions of youngsters around the globe but even for those who are much older than her. Whenever one hears her speak — from her speech at the UN to her recent interviews — it melts your heart and makes you cry. Her becoming a g…