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Showing posts from September, 2017

Rebuttal: ‘Finding a Safe Place for Pakistani Christians’

Published in Global Village Space under the title: Is Pakistan as extremist as portrayed by the Western media?/ Sept 2017

‘Finding a Safe Place for Pakistani Christians’ by Marijana PETIR, Member of the European Parliament – finds systemic persecution in Pakistan’s backyard, implying a clear and present danger to minority groups while bypassing an inclusive society that honors and respects the contributions of its minority communities or a nation that deems the eradication of discriminatory laws and radical ideology an essential pillar of its counter-terrorism policy.

An impartial review must also consider the state funeral given to a German nun, the national flag flown at half mast as a mark of respect and the military men who carried her casket; remark on the monuments named after Christian martyrs who served their country, meet Roman Catholic Bishops or Franciscan nuns awarded highest honors and note Christian war heroes who are the pride of the nation. The civil society that forme…

OPED: The Sense of an Ending – Afghan War Chapter

Published Sep 2017/ Global Affairs
Written a few weeks before the new Afghan Policy was rolled out

‘The road to Afghanistan peace does not lie in Kabul’ by Rahmatullah Nabil and Melissa Skorka (Reuters – 12 July 2017) considers the political side of the equation, to bring stability to the region. That part makes some sense given the fact that boots on the ground have failed to deliver results and a lack of consensus has taken a serious toll on Pak-US relations. It also fixates on Islamabad as the root cause of all their earthly woes and considers taking a tougher stand towards their ‘reluctant ally’ in the hopes of turning the tide in this protracted war. That part makes less sense.

The change in policy direction is predicated upon assumptions that Haqqani's still use Pakistan as their base of operations. Islamabad’s reputation of using proxies continues to dictate U.S based policy-makers actions despite the changing security paradigm and emergence of a new pecking order.


OPED: Democracy at Stake in Pakistan?

Published Sep 2017 / Global Affairs
Written early Aug when the NS story was relevant

The Course of True Justice Never did Run Smooth

As the country completes its 70th year, yet another democratically elected leader gets the boot. He has also been disqualified from contesting in the future thereby ending his run as candidate for the coveted PM slot. From afar the negative holding pattern appears to be intact. Whispers of coups fly by from authors affiliated with foreign publications, a good many with South Asian handles and murky agendas.

Though it was blowback from Panama Papers responsible for Mr. Sharif’s undoing, the perception that democracy has taken a hit abounds. It is based on speculations that this was a military backed offensive under the guise of a judge’s gavel. They in turn prompt sensational headlines like ‘Pakistan's Prospects for Democracy Weaken as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Is Disqualified.’ And when former ambassadors like Hussain Haqqani proclaim that “Pakis…