Somebody educate John Bolton

US-sadam(By Bill Van Auken) The New York Times Thursday published a prominent opinion piece entitled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”

The author was John R. Bolton, a former State Department official and, for a brief period, US ambassador to the United Nations, under the administration of George W. Bush. He became an influential figure in the administration after serving as a lawyer in the Bush campaign’s successful operation to steal the 2000 election by stopping the vote count in Florida. Continue reading Somebody educate John Bolton

No room for mistrust in exceptional circumstances

In article published earlier this week in the New York Times, former Interior Minister of Afghanistan, Mr. Daudzai raised serious questions over Ashraf Ghani’s judgment and understanding of the Pak-Afghan effort against terror. Coming off as overly skeptical, the former Interior Minister claimed that Pakistan’s goals and objectives are markedly from those of Afghanistan’s, and that Pakistan’s response so far has been largely tactical and self serving. While Mr. Daudzai has had previous experience working with the Pakistani administration since he served as an ambassador, it seems perhaps a little disrespectful to imply that Ashraf Ghani has been unable to read the situation.

Cooperation and trust the only way forward for AF-PAK

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Woes of public sector education


Contrary to repeated multilateral and national commitments to provide education for all, and despite terming education a basic human right, widespread illiteracy still remains a daunting challenge, especially across the developing world. The increasing reliance on the private sector in providing education is considered to be one major hurdle preventing this desired goal of universal education.

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SIM card verification a positive step in fight against terror

Pakistan has ordered mobile phone users to register their Sim cards in a national database which is being compiled as part of efforts to curb terrorism. As this huge logistical enterprise draws to a close, the BBC’s M Ilyas Khan looks at how anti-terror measures are being implemented.

Men gather around a canopy set up by a mobile phone company near a small rural market in Tirkhi Nangyal, a small village about an hour’s drive south-east of the capital Islamabad.

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Islam seems to be missing in Muslims


farkhandaRecently, in Afghanistan a young girl by the name of Farkhunda was burnt alive by a zealot mob who believed that she had torn the pages of the Quran in a holy place. No one checked the facts and the young girl was kicked punched and burnt long will we allow this insanity to overpower our commitment to God. Why would some people act violently in matters like these? Is there no tolerance and compassion even if she was guilty of doing what she was accused of.

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The minorities of India

(By Praful Bidwai) Has India’s mainstream media decided to pay mere lip service to secularism and liberalism while ignoring daily attacks on them by the extremist Sangh Parivar in which the Bharatiya Janata Party is embedded? Going by the media’s silence on several recent developments, that seems to be the case.

No newspaper noticed the irony of a representative of the Sangh Parivar – the very current that inspired the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi – being invited to the unveiling of his statue in London. This event was organised mainly by the Tories, who never had any love lost for Gandhi, with an eye on the British-Gujarati vote in the coming election. Continue reading The minorities of India

Failing society and its grim consequences

By Kamila Hyat

Even as tragedy surrounds us, what is still more tragic is the fashion in which we allow thinking to be distorted and events twisted to fit specific notions. In many cases these notions are social constructs, built by a media that follows a specific, narrow tunnel of thought and apparently seems hell-bent on ensuring no one looks far beyond its confines.

The fact that the media is essentially united in its perspective, despite the multitude of channels, means that the tunnel it has set up is a constricted one with no windows or peep holes that would allow in light.

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Justice for all… political parties

Justice is justice only when it is applied to all 

In the last few weeks, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has seen the state come down hard on it. With arrests of MQM’s workers, search operations of the MQM headquarters and extracted statements from criminals makes it clear that the MQM is under siege. Let there be no doubt, if there are criminals among the MQM then they should be caught, prosecuted under a free trial and justly sentenced if found guilty.

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Undermining Pak-India peace process

haqqaniPakistan is at a critical juncture in its fight against terrorism. After Peshawar attack, there is a new resolve in civil-military leadership to deal with this menace for long term peace and stability in the country. While Afghanistan has offered full cooperation to Pakistan in this war, there is another neighboring country that would rather see a destabilized Pakistan to suit its agenda. There is no denying the fact that Indian involvement was instrumental in breaking Pakistan once. From going against the agreement on Indus Basin Treaty in order to deprive Pakistan from its due share of water, blaming Pakistan for every mishap without investigation, to repeated border skirmishes, the former has always viewed Pakistan as an enemy state. Consequently, India has been actively supporting and financing Baloch insurgents and Taliban terrorists.

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Finally Pak, Afghan and US objectives converge

The US drone strike in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan has reportedly killed 13 militants belonging to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other affiliated groups on March 24, 2015. The area targeted in the drone strike was near the Khyber Agency, a region that has become a battleground for the military in its fight against suspected militants. There has been a flurry of fighter jets in Tirah Valley and even a drone strike there recently. The presence of members from Pakistani religious extremist groups in Afghanistan, where Pakistani terrorists have been seeking refuge for years, can be explained by the intense military operations. Amongst the terrorists killed in the drone attack were members of the Lashkar-e-Islam, a breakaway faction of TTP that pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS), ostensibly in the hopes of getting funds and support. The leaders of Lashkar-e-Islam have recently realigned themselves with TTP after the exhaustive operation Zarb-e-Azb. It is likely that their fear of becoming isolated targets of the military, in light of the fact that the Afghan Taliban and the Afghanistan government are making their way to the negotiating table with Pakistan acting as a go-between, was the driving force behind their decision to join TTP again. Continue reading Finally Pak, Afghan and US objectives converge