M A Niazi

  • TThe Pulwama incident was one which should have caused tremors, leading to a rethink by the Indian establishment of its dog-in-the-manger policy on Kashmir, because it involved the deaths of 37 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, but instead it has caused a war-scare with Pakistan. There is ...

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  • TThe arrest of Punjab Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan by the National Accountability Bureau shows the pitfalls of its accusation-means-guilt approach to guilt. It also shows the vulnerability of the PTI to corruption charges, because of the past deeds of ‘electables’. Aleem Khan is the ...

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  • TThe killing of a family by the Counter-Terrorism Department of the Punjab Police has caused a wave of horror and revulsion throughout the country, not just because it illustrated how heavy a cost the USA’s so-called War on Terror can extract from ordinary citizens, but also because it showed ...

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  • TThe rumbling in Punjab is probably going to be controlled, but it does represent an escalation in a province that only came under the PTI’s sway in the last election, and where it formed the government only with the support of the PML (Q), which had seven seats. There were also 28 ...

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  • TOne of the main attractions of a government job, the world over, has been the metronomic regularity of payment. Government pay is generally less than that in the private sector, but it arrives every month, or week, or whatever the interval set. This was the case even in the USA. But not so now, as ...

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  • TPrime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Turkey is a reminder that both countries were once close US allies, but are now relatively estranged, with the governments not exactly anti-US, but committed more to their own interests rather than to the USA’s. Pakistan and Turkey go way back, to a ...

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  • TThe PTI is falling into the pattern of previous rulers of Pakistan who have come to power with a reform agenda. Even before the hoopla of the ‘First 100 days’ were over, there were voices asking that a longer time be given for the PTI to show the change it had made. Now the limit, if ...

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  • TPrime Minister Imran Khan made a powerful statement of intention in Lahore, at the function organised by the Punjab government (a little late) to mark the PTI’s first 100 days in government, by promising not to let the corrupt escape. However, he also made an admission of something that could ...

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  • TThe breakthrough in the UN-sponsored Yemen peace talks, which led to an agreement between the warring factions to end the fighting over the city of Hodeida, represented incremental progress, but still does not end a conflict that has had a horrendous fallout on civilians, particularly ...

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  • TCity Notes The opposition had a rather mixed time of it, though on the whole it must have realised that it was probably ahead in the game. True, it lost the PPP-168 by-election, in which the ruling PTI won back the seat it had lost in the general election. The PML(N) might take comfort from the ...

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  • TPrime Minister Imran Khan told a press delegation that his government was considering overcoming its lack of a majority in the Senate, and its consequent inability to pass legislation, by promulgating ordinances. He not only showed the limit of his government’s power, but also exposed one of ...

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  • TThere has got to be some irony in the confident statement of Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa that terrorism has been contained, made while addressing the Multan garrison after witnessing an exercise, coinciding with not just the attack on the Chinese Karachi Consulate but also the bomb ...

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  • TThe obtaining of a relief package from Saudi Arabia has caused triumphant crowing from Imran Khan’s PTI government, as well as caused hopes to rise that there will also be an aid package from China, which the latter will announce when the PM goes there next week. However, neither the Saudi ...

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  • TPerhaps more than the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the admission by US President Donald Trump that climate change might pose problems could be damaging, was the most worrying. True, the IPCC report did say that climate change may have already passed the tipping ...

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  • TThere was as much of a frenzy here as when a sirloin steak, or a live rat, is thrown into a tank full of piranhas. You see, the IG Police Punjab was transferred, and replaced by another officer. The IG had only been posted a month ago, when the new government replaced the officer appointed by the ...

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  • TThe arrest of PML(N) President and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Mian Shehbaz Sharif should have been an ordinary event, but was not. After all, though arrests are made every day, it was for the first time that a Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly was arrested by a ...

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  • TThe release of ex-PM and ex-PML(N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar on bail represented a cause for celebration by the PML(N), but was a far cry from achieving the party’s avowed aim of returning him to office. However, the release is politically ...

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  • TPrime Minister Imran Khan, has had a strange relationship with the USA, and nothing illustrated more than the coincidence of the first visit of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State to the region, with the Atif Mian affair. Part of the reason for the convergence is that Dr Mian is US-based, teaching at ...

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  • TNow that the prize had been won, Imran Khan might well have realised the difference between winning at cricket, even if it is the World Cup, and winning an election. In cricket, indeed in any sport, the purpose of playing is to win. But when one contests an election, challenge begins when one takes ...

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  • TBy being named the next Chief Minister of Balochistan, Jam Kamal Haider has managed to combine both ancient and modern forms of the hereditary principle. He is primarily the 13th Jam of Lasbela, a title which dates back to 1742, but he is also the first third-generation chief minister of ...

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  • TPakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) won the recent election, thus bringing to fruition the long effort of its founder, Imran Khan, to find a life after cricket. But in the process it also brought about a major change in the country’s political geography. It not only managed to replace the Pakistan ...

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  • TWhenever there is a hung parliament, I am reminded of the advice to bureaucrats: “When in doubt, mumble.” Well, the Pakistani electorate has mumbled. That did not stop the Tehrik Insaf celebrating, with party workers showing off the special dance steps they had been saving up for just ...

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  • TThere seem to be contrasting bits of evidence to show the attitude of political parties towards manifestoes. Manifestoes are supposed to represent the promises made by the parties to the electorate of what they plan to do if elected to office. In more experienced democracies, party manifestoes have ...

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  • TThat there was virtually no doubt about the decision in the Avenfield flats reference was not so much a tribute to the strength of the prosecution’s case, as it was a criticism of the country’s courts. The only element of doubt was the sentences that would be passed on the defendants. ...

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  • TIt almost seemed as if US President Donald Trump had gone too far. The reaction at the world’s grassroots to the separation of children asylum seekers from their parents at the US border with Mexico showed up President Trump for what he was: someone with power who was feeding on prejudices ...

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  • TOne of the most complicated challenges that Pakistan will face in the not-too-distant future is the opioid epidemic, which is not just wreaking havoc in the USA, but is also threatening to break out and become a worldwide epidemic. There is a definite problem in the USA, with 50,000 deaths there in ...

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  • TOne of the less noticeable distinctions between India and Pakistan has been the latter’s reluctance to change internal boundaries. While one of the first things India did after independence was to merge the princely states into it, Pakistan did not do so until 1958, when it formed one unit, ...

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  • TOusted Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif seems to be offering proof that no civilian Prime Minister can remain long enough without having the label of ‘traitor’ pasted on him. Or her, because this was first used against Beanzir Bhutto during her first term almost 30 years ago. Mian Nawaz ...

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  • TThe bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx was celebrated last Saturday much more quietly than the first, which was actually the first big occasion that was faced by the USSR, which had not yet taken shape, with the concatenation of dates meaning that the centenary came just after the new state ...

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  • TWhen Miftah Ismail rose to present the 2018-19 Budget to the National Assembly, it was as a Finance Minister in search of a seat in either House. His personal controversy did not eliminate, but accentuate the controversy over whether he should present a Budget for the whole of next year, or just ...

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