Pakistan needs to lobby its case

An outgoing French diplomat, who served in Islamabad for many years, very alarmingly explained Pakistan’s state of external affairs. But first a little history. He explained how Pakistan had a cordial relationship with France which had been the first non-Muslim state to recognize Pakistan. During the Cold War, France considered Pakistan a “state deserving attention” and had been a major foreign supplier of Pakistan Armed Forces. She... Read More

Wah Taj!

The Taj Mahal has been a permanent fixture in Madeeha Maqbool’s life India has always been a big influence in my life. My father’s love for the subcontinent’s Islamic art and architecture trumped India-Pakistan tiffs that saw travel and trade agreements go down the toilet. His biggest concern, whenever some regular skirmish or the other breaks out, is when he will next be able to go to the land of the Taj Mahal.. It is not a surprise,... Read More

Indo-Pak: Do it now

Track 2 diplomacy is the way forward for India and Pakistan, says Waqas Rafique We are witness yet again to a recurrence of the classic tit-for-tat tension in Pakistan-India relations. Those who were happy to see the stage being set for resumption of Indo-Pak peace dialogue are now thinking twice before expressing hope for better relations between the arch rivals. Although Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif kept his promise of making efforts to bring the... Read More

Blog of the week: Sardaaraan

Mano Javed pens the real-life story of a Manto-esque figure called Sardaaraan Sardaaran was a tall and scrawny old woman with an exceptionally brisk walk who used to roam in the streets of Old Muslim Town, Lahore in the nineteen-nineties. Those days, we had a house in that vicinity so bumping into Sardaaran was a regular occurrence. Clad in tattered rags, her hair spread around her head in matted ropes, she would emerge from the end of the... Read More

Reigniting Kashmir

Syed Zafar Mehdi feels the Indian armed forces fan sectarian conflicts within the region when they want to divert attention away from their own misconduct The last few weeks have been particularly distressing for Kashmir. It started with the mindless massacre of unarmed protestors by trigger-happy Indian forces in Ramban district of Indian-occupied-Kashmir. The people were staging a peaceful demonstration against the desecration of mosque and Holy... Read More

To India, With Love

Taha Sheikh went to Kolkata on a university trip for a conference seeking to pass down the indigenous heritage and culture of the land to the next generation   The idea of crossing the border, under the dark clouds of the political turmoil between the two countries, after the murder of Ranjit Singh, was daunting but a few of us were too crazy to care. Hence on the morning of 18th May, we met at our university (Beaconhouse National University) parking... Read More

The Nawaz Factor and the Difficult Indo-Pak Relationship

Hamzah Riffat takes a sweeping glance at why this time the Indo-Pak relationship may actually improve in the Nawaz tenure India/ Pakistan relations can sway like a reckless rickshaw, which is a vehicle that is not suitable for driving on the ‘M2’ which connects Lahore with Islamabad. The ‘M2’ is a product of Nawaz Sharif who inaugurated it in November 1997 and is now the Prime Minister of Pakistan. His approach towards India heavily depends... Read More

Sarabjit vs Shauq

I was in Lucknow when Sarabjit Singh died in Lahore. My purpose in visiting the city of my childhood was to address a much milder agenda: to attend a seminar organized by the local Urdu Media Guild on May Day or International Workers’ Day. Since May Day this year coincided with a celebration of The Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) daughter Fatima Zehra’s birthday, the organizers made this coincidence the theme of the seminar. Trust Lucknow to have preserved... Read More

India at Last

Taj Mahal high At the beginning of this year the revival of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan gave me an opportunity to visit India at long last. Travelling restrictions had always ruined my plans to visit India but this time around the visa process went smoothly thanks to my friends and some contacts in the Indian embassy and I ended up with a visa to Amritsar, Delhi and Agra. Having grown up on a steady diet of Pakistan Studies propaganda... Read More

Sarbajeet Singh and c-evil society

The so-called Pakistani civil society is burning the midnight oil to prove the Indian terrorist Sarbajeet Singh [SS] a hero/martyr via tweets and facebook updates. Some overseas ‘intellectuals’ outperformed our outgoing interior minister Rehman Malik who would point out TTP as mastermind behind every act of terror minutes after it would take place. Sitting thousands of miles away from Lahore, they smelled ISI/military establishment behind SS killing... Read More

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