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Showing posts from May, 2017

OPED: The Missing Talking Points at the Arab Summit

Published by Global Village Space Under the Title "Pakistan must outline and work to achieve its own future for the region", with some adjustments / 31 May 2017

The media picked up on two things at the Arab-American Islamic summit held in May 2017. One that Pakistan was not mentioned even once. And the other was of course that Iran was - many times, in the most unflattering of terms. While the first has been seen a source of concern, the second should not really concern us. Yet it does.

The new American President on his first visit to the holy land arrived with a speech that was on point and diabolically clever, rolling back all the vitriol and hate filled rhetoric that are ratings gold for his Presidency. He hit all the right notes and named all the nations either allied with the U.S. in the fight against terror or have been in the terrorists cross hairs at some point; all except one.

Back home the deliberate oversight has been termed as a failure of Pakistan’s foreign p…

OPED: Pakistan at the Frontlines of Educational Reforms

Originally Published by Global Affairs / May 2017. Written before the Mashal Khan tragedy in Mardan



A terrifying document surfaced the other day on the social media that suggested a possibly extremist agenda in the education department in KPK - Pakistan. The letter dated 2015, ostensibly from Pervez Khattak directed DCTE Abbottabad to seek input from proscribed groups - the ASWJ for devising the curriculum. It was an alarming discovery and the comments that followed on the twitter timeline of the social activist who shared the story were even more alarming for they appeared to support making terror outfits stakeholders in the academia.

In a different part of town a few good Samaritans put forward a timely proposal that promised salvation for young Pakistani’s at the mercy of the hardliner’s pen.

Representatives from 7 organizations presented a pilot project launched to defuse the ticking time bomb of bigotry and hate. They dubbed it - ‘Badal Do’ – ‘Ignite the Change Within’ - a c…

OPED: The Impact of Raheel Sharif as Commander NATO-lite

First Published in Global Affairs / May 2017

Former COAS Raheel Sharif (R.S.) is a rare bird. He did not ask for an extension - make a play for the throne, get embroiled in scandals, financial or otherwise, or walk away with the coveted title of a Field Marshal. It was a dignified exit; and a first in Pakistan. As COAS he was the cat’s pajamas. Then he got a job offer. And everything changed.
Since then, laudatory reports regarding his achievements in counter-terrorism had given way to critical debates concerning his forthcoming appointment. One in particular devises a fear-mongering narrative from the General’s future prospects and needs some clarification.

The post entails commanding a NATO styled, Saudi backed coalition of Muslim nations, Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terror - IMAFT. And should he don the mantle of commander in chief - NATO - lite, it will be another first.

Is there anything keeping the General from assuming charge of a coalition sponsored by the House of Sa…