Khalid Iqbal

  • TThe campaign for the upcoming general elections is characterised by violence, victimhood and rumours. The decision to go for the elections in an environment of violent conflict implies that pre-electoral violence would remain at a more than usual high pitch. The ongoing violence has two formats: ...

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  • TThe unfortunate incident of Joseph Colony in Lahore, where homes, shops and Churches of the Christian community were set on fire, brought collective shame and embarrassment for the entire Pakistani nation. Each time an incident of violence against the minority community takes place, we think that ...

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  • TThe high-profile inaugural ceremony of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline marks a watershed in the foreign policy of Pakistan. There was an interesting altercation during the recent weekly briefing at the Foreign Office:Question.   “As Pakistan is going to sign the IP gas pipeline, ...

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  • TLast week a chaotic situation was created when almost the entire country plunged into darkness due to sudden breakdown in power supply that took more than 36 hours to restore fully, with some cities without power for more than 14 hours. It is alarming that despite the fall-back systems and ...

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  • TThere is an overwhelming perception, backed by intelligence-based statements of the government functionaries, that target killing of members of different sects, especially the Shiite, is part of the game to divide the Pakistani society. To keep Balochistan on boiling point is also in the interest ...

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  • TThe wonderland of nuclear non-proliferation has a treacherous history; it is full of fantasies, rhetoric, dilemmas, deceit and duplicity. The third nuclear test by North Korea, a statement by the Speaker of Iranian Majlis about the status of his country’s nuclear programme, and the imposition ...

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  • T This year, Kashmir Solidarity Day was observed under peculiar circumstances. The recent violations of ceasefire have brought the Kashmir conflict under a renewed focus at the international level. Needless to say, it has been on the UN agenda for more than six decades and, indeed, is its ...

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  • TThe United Nations considers Rohingyas of Myanmar as a persecuted religious and linguistic minority. Myanmar considers this community, of about 800,000, settled in Rakhine, as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Despite their continuous residential reality, Myanmar is reluctant to grant them their ...

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  • TIndia’s anti-minorities bias is so strong that it has failed to acknowledge the threat posed by Hindu radicalism. The state’s pro-Hindu stance has made it paralytic to tackle this extremist phenomenon. The Indian establishment’s response to Hindu nationalists has rarely exceeded ...

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  • TThe first two weeks of the New Year saw the worst spike of violence in the Kashmir region, since Pakistan declared a unilateral ceasefire in 2003. The recent report by The Hindu indicates: “An Indian army unit had started building observation bunkers along the LoC; ceasefire agreement of 2003 ...

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  • TFor Americans, the Afghan war is entering its final phase. President Barack Obama is ensuring that it ends during his tenure. But he is also aware that none of the stated objectives of this war have been visibly achieved. Nevertheless, he would go down in history as one of the most pragmatic ...

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  • TFor Pakistan, sub-conventional threat is a reality of present time. This, however, does not mean that the conventional threat has receded. It will be an overstatement to consider sub-conventional threat as existential. It is transient in nature and would pass by when its string pullers abdicate ...

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  • TAmerica’s Afghanistan policy is pegged around a strategy of deliberate ambiguity. At a time when Afghan resistance groups needed a healing touch, putting Haqqanis on the terror list while, at the same time, wishing to engage them in the peace process, has radiated confusing signals. When all ...

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  • TIt was cathartic to interact with the Kashmiri leadership from the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) delegation, led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, comprised of living icons of the longest political struggle in the post-World War II era. The group was representative of ...

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  • TTurkey was able to facilitate a meeting between the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, accompanied by their Ministers and Army Chiefs, only a few days after the head of Afghanistan’s Intelligence Agency was wounded by a suicide bomber in Kabul. This attack was almost a carbon copy of last ...

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  • TThe recent overtures from both sides clearly indicate that Pakistan and India want to improve their bilateral relations. Pakistani President Asif Zardari’s non-state visit to India and the ensuing joint communiqué, grant of MFN status for India, resumption of sports activities and ...

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  • TThe death of President Yasser Arafat, while he was walking a tightrope of simultaneously managing peaceful and military approaches towards accruing statehood for Palestine, brought a new phase in the struggle. The Palestinian-Israeli security coordination mechanism was revived. Though it brought ...

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  • TIt is not a fairytale. Not very long ago, Muharram was not the season of sectarian violence and mayhem; people of all sects would attend the Majalis under the same roof to pay homage to the great martyrs of Islam. While the Shias would move in processions, the Sunnis would line up along the routes ...

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  • TDuring October 2012 two reports were released highlighting the human rights situation in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). Reports by Amnesty International (AI) and Citizen’s Council for Justice (CCJ) were released in a quick succession. Both dossiers have adequately exposed the ongoing human ...

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  • TPakistan is passing through tough times. In an environment of deceit, incompetence and mistrust, different institutions are busy in a competitive race for the turf. While they zealously guard their acquired space, often they appear actively engaged in encroaching upon the adjacent spaces as well. ...

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  • TThe people of Pakistan strongly support the promotion and application of universally agreed human rights based on the principles of cooperation, non-discrimination, impartiality and genuine dialogue. Pakistanis derive their inspiration about human rights from the teachings of Islam that uphold the ...

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  • TWhile the people of Pakistan prayed for the early recovery of Malala Yousafzai, they were awe-struck by the frenzy created about the incident. Where people die in dozens each day as a result of terrorist attacks, singling out Malala for glorification was rather intriguing. Our media, especially its ...

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  • TThe attempt on Malala’s life, dumping of defaced dead bodies in Balochistan and surfacing of body bags in Karachi are some of the facets of terrorism running high in Pakistan; intricately linked together by a common financier, trainer and arms provider. Logistics trail leads to one source, ...

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  • TThe reaction to the ‘postponement’ of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pakistan is quite interesting. Conspiracy theorists blame American and Indian pressure; some also talk about American pressure via Saudi Arabia. Over the last two years or so, however, there has been a ...

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  • TThe theme for debate in the 67th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is fascinating as well as elusive: “Adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means.” The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the ...

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  • TThere is persistent outflow of anti-Islam literature in various forms: movies, caricatures, printed matter and word of mouth. The pattern is of a well orchestrated, multi-pronged campaign to keep the Muslims off balance. Reactions by the governments of the countries from where such materials are ...

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  • TThe UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), one of the “thematic procedures” of the UN Human Rights Council, has arrived. Hopefully, it will help us in demystifying the issue of ‘missing persons’. In the prevalent setting of narratives and counter ...

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  • TThe recently launched report of the fact-finding mission to Balochistan by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) stirs up as much anxiety as it radiates a ray of hope. It is too early to say that Balochistan is on its way to recovery. However, it will not be an overstatement, if we say ...

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  • TNorth Waziristan is under international spotlight for holing up of a large number of hardened militants, combatants, criminals and terrorists. It also houses a portion of the Haqqani network. The Haqqanis have never identified themselves as an autonomous entity; they present themselves as part of ...

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  • TOn the eve of Eid, shrapnel from two rockets fired at the Bagram Airbase hit the parked aircraft of the most powerful military commander of the world, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; forcing him to await a replacement plane. Such attacks occur nearly every two weeks at this most ...

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