Democracy under threat

In the president’s house and the prime minister’s house, both situated in the green Margalla Hills, everything seems greener. For the moment everything is in its ideal locus. Everyone is defeated and Zardari is the only winner. The US is happy with Zardari and angry with the army. The two powerful players are cross with […]

The Karachi question

Criminals are a segment of every society. However, Karachi is unique in the sense that criminals, dacoits and mafias are encouraged, developed and patronised by political parties. And what an irony that the patrons of mafias are expected to protect citizens from them! All three of Karachi’s major parties have killers, land grabbers, dacoits and […]

Fata reforms: too little too late

Every inch of this country has its defined administrative identity, but the tribal areas are neither a province nor a division, nor part of any province or division. Parliament can legislate for any area of Pakistan except the tribal areas. The Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction over these areas and their residents cannot appeal […]

Afghanistan: the winners and the losers

In terms of security the beautiful city of Kabul has better arrangements than Islamabad. But what I noticed in my last week’s stay at Kabul is that the city is poisoned with confusion, hassle and distrust. I visited President Hamid Karzai for condolence on his brother’s death, and for the first time I found him […]

Where the problem lies

Pakistan and the US share no conventional binding factor: borders, social fabric, ethnicity, language, religion. The US is a rich country and Pakistan needs aid, and that is the thread that joins the two. When the US requires more services from Pakistan it adds extra warmth, and when it does not, the relations become cold. […]

Obama’s old wine in new bottle

The way President Barack Obama reached the world’s top position is indeed sufficient proof of his abilities. In terms of common sense and talent George W Bush and Obama are on opposite ends. Thus, in this part of the world we were very hopeful that Obama’s policies in Pakistan and Afghanistan will bring positive change, […]

Self-defeating interests

The Western mantra of Pakistan being the epicentre of terror has been as old as the war on terror itself. But we have always maintained that Pakistan is the frontline state in the war against terrorism, has given matchless sacrifices, and arrested or killed the largest number of Al-Qaeda leaders. However, the killing of Osama […]

After Osama bin Laden

I had repeatedly written and stated that that “Al-Qaeda is a reality and its leader Osama is alive.” In the process I faced heavy odds and losses, which I am still ready to face for the truth. Virtually being a factory of conspiracy theories, Pakistan will be awash once again with numerous such theories on […]

End-game in Afghanistan

Why this region descended into bloodshed after 9/11 and how the US, Pakistan, and Afghanistan failed to make headway against ragtag militants? Deep reflection has brought me to one answer; faltering unity amongst allies. The militants put their ideological, sectarian, and linguistic differences behind them and rallied round commonalities; but their opponents, especially the US, […]

Peace opportunity

Pakistanis are not known for professionalism; we don’t know our bounds as journalists, judges, opposition leaders and rulers. Whoever succeeds in politics turns into a dictator, a little bit of fame turns journalists into self-styled leaders and experts, while judges follow whims instead of laws. We have developed the habit of treating ideological differences as […]