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Prospects for a new Punjab

Prospects for a new Punjab

It seems that the a sizeable faction of the urban middle-class, heteronormative male, Sunni Muslim, rightwing Punjabis is now challenging its own stereotypical positions In Pakistan, as a rule of thumb, if you were an urban middle-class, heteronormative male, Sunni Muslim, rightwing Punjabi, you were a supporter of Pakistani military and the military must have loved you back. This is ... Read More »

Liberal Islam and Islamdom

Liberal Islam and Islamdom

Taking stock of contemporary debate between proponents of liberal Islam and Islamists to show how both camps are trapped within their dogmatic enclosures “Consult thy reason and let perdition take others all: Of all the conference Reason best will counsel and guide. A little doubt is better than total credulity.” — Abū al-Alā al-Maarr, The emergence of Islam after the ... Read More »

Neoliberal economics: the challenge within

Neoliberal economics: the challenge within

As a rule, our political parties have their heads in the clouds when it comes to contending with fiendish economic problems. Not surprisingly, economic issues take a backseat in political polemics. In the run-up to the elections, a rancorous tug-of-war between the principal political players has clouded the fact that they all are on the same page regarding the efficacy ... Read More »

Our new old war

Our new old war

I served in London as a military attaché in the high commission between 1992 and 1996 when the IRA – the militant wing of the breakaway Sinn Fein of Northern Ireland – had laid siege to Kingdom’s Union with Northern Ireland. In an over 30-year-long civil war, 3500 lives were lost with over 50,000 casualties in 36,900 shootings and 16,200 ... Read More »

Global village

Global village

Bridging distances Transforming the globe into a village means that its inhabitants are well-connected, well-acquainted with one another. This global community has surpassed many challenges, particularly that of distance. Now, people from the under-developed world, even if only twenty-two percent from Africa, can connect with their counterparts residing in the developed world. There has been a time when people living ... Read More »

No space for foreign policy

No space for foreign policy

Neither the election campaigns nor the manifestos of major political parties have mentioned anything concrete about the country’s foreign policy. The PML-N was bitten badly for eating from that tree of life while the PPP found itself handicapped in pursuing its agenda. So, it comes as no surprise that the PTI has also decided to avoid stepping into uncharted terrain. ... Read More »

Is Trump at war with the West?

Is Trump at war with the West?

JUST one day after his stunning comments in Helsinki, President Donald Trump attempted to backtrack. In the Finnish capital, standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a news conference, he had cast doubt on the conclusions of US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Back in the White House on Tuesday, however, Trump argued that he ... Read More »

From summits to strategic tensions

From summits to strategic tensions

After the demise of the USSR, it was widely believed by people in the West that Nato would become democratic and work for peace. But to their utter surprise, the military alliance started blitzing various states. It emerged as a potent tool to topple the governments of a few ‘dictators and autocrats’. Reneging on their promises, Western countries also expanded ... Read More »

Need Asian IMF

Need Asian IMF

At a time when economic challenges are multiplying on account of external woes and the case for another bailout package is becoming stronger and stronger, there is a need to float an idea that could help Pakistan avoid this disaster that will only add to its chronic indebtedness. For making Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), unveiled by Chinese President XI ... Read More »

Five pillars of the political structure

Five pillars of the political structure

Belatedly economists have begun to appreciate that the strength of an economic system depends on the strength of the political structure. The elections of 2018 will determine whether the political structure Pakistan built over the last seven decades will be strengthened and survive into the future. If it does, it will aid the country’s economic revival and put its economy ... Read More »