Helping Hands to Democracy
ALI SUKHANVER

If Imran Khan were not in the driving seat, certainly it would have been a very hazardous journey towards new democratic avenues in Pakistan. God knows better what direction we all would be heading to in the coming days but one thing is very clear that the whole of the Pakistani nation is very much comfortable in the present dreamlike political situation. Before 25th July, people had no idea that they would succeed in turning upside down the heavy weight stone tables of political kings and queens in such an easy way; they didn’t know that they had a very strong tool in their hands; the tool of vote, and they didn’t know that they had the authority of changing their rulers but now a new day has dawned; a day full of dreams, a day full of passions. The recent elections nurtured another conclusion too; the people of Pakistan would never go with the elements hostile to the security forces and the intelligence agencies of Pakistan.

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Western media’s ‘Pak-elections’ hullabaloo
Sultan M Hali

BECAUSE of its strategic location, Pakistan has been the focus of international media attention for the past four decades. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which resulted in the US and Pakistan joining hands to recruit, train and launch jihadists from the Muslim Ummah into Afghanistan to combat the Red Army of the (erstwhile) Soviet Union also placed Pakistan on world radar. The subsequent defeat of the USSR, the emergence of Al Qaeda, internecine warfare in Afghanistan, 9/11 and the US-led invasion of Afghanistan all brought Pakistan into limelight.

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ROLE OF MILITARY IN SUPPORT OF DEMOCRACY
ALI SUKHANVER

God knows better what direction we all in Pakistan would be heading to, in the coming days but one thing is very clear if Imran Khan were not in the driving seat, certainly it would have been a very hazardous journey towards new democratic avenues in Pakistan.

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Saudi-Pakistan Maintaining Close Bilateral Relationship
Sajjad Shaukat

Having strong foundation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are maintaining a close friendship with each other, which covers religious, strategic, military and economic interests of a great magnitude.

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Kashmir awaits world attention
Reema Shaukat

HISTORY has witnessed many freedom movements world over. The struggles sooner or later succeeded with varying price tag ranging from few hundred to some thousands lives. Unfortunately, there is a freedom movement which is on for the more than seven decades and is still anticipating its triumph. This movement has legal backing of no less than UN and Security Council’s repeated resolutions. The price paid so far is over 100,000 lives and hundreds of thousands of gang rapes in addition to other human rights violations. The movement is termed as Kashmir freedom Movement. Though this struggle movement with the changing geo political dynamics and rise of militancy in South Asian region, western and biased media groups have started calling it a separatist movement which is absolutely wrong and needs to be countered. Kashmiris are fighting for their freedom and right of self-determination which UN itself has authorized them. This freedom struggle with every passing day is getting stronger but unfortunately Kashmiris have paid huge price for this struggle for independence and still many Kashmiris are targeted by Indian occupational forces to be deterred. But salute to their resilience that despite tyranny of many years Kashmir’s love for Pakistan and to be part of Pakistan is never over shadowed.

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India, IWT and looming water crisis in Pakistan
Farooq Awan

During the time majority in Pakistan was engrossed in political interests and provincial prejudices on the construction of Kalabagh Dam, India was building reservoirs on the rivers that fall in Pakistan’s share under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).

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Time to fight and time to unite!
Iqbal Khan

Prospective Prime Minister’s Victory speech was reassuring and refreshing. Hopefully, he won’t get bogged down in cosmetics and would go ahead with substantive reforms. Likewise, the tone of All Parties Conference indicated that the losers elements are more likely to settle down with fate accompli after making face saving noises.

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Tackling Daesh threat assuming urgency
Waqar Ahmed

A suicide blast ripped through a large crowd at a political rally in Mastung on Friday, killing more than 130 people. Among the martyred were the younger brother of former Balochistan chief minister Aslam Raisani and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate, Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, who has been termed as a true Pakistani. The deceased had lost his son Akmal Raisani in a bomb blast in Mastung in July 2011.

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CIA declares two Indian Hindu groups as militants
Sultan M Hali

A furor has been raised in India after two Hindu groups in India – Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal were categorized as “militant religious outfits” while Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was referred to as a nationalist organization by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Changes in update to the CIA World Factbook triggered widespread protests in India after the categorization of Hindu groups as militant religious outfits and showcasing a part of Indian held Kashmir (IOK) as part of Pakistan on a map. Indian saffron extremists, who are ready to tear their opponents’ eyes and hair at the drop of a hat, have castigated the CIA, calling it a terrorist organization that created and nurtured Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

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PTM rally in Geneva
Sultan M Hali

PTM (Pashtoon Tahafuz Movement) held a protest rally in Geneva (Switzerland) on 25 June 2018. The rally organized by PTM was directed against Pakistan and was held in front of the United Nations’ Building during the ongoing 38th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The activists raised anti-Pakistan slogans and alleged that Pakistan Army had carried out atrocities targeting the Pashtoon community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and parts of neighbouring Afghanistan. The Pashtoon were joined by Baloch, Sindhi and activists from Azad Jammu Kashmir. PTM has emerged in recent times as a grassroots movement projecting itself as the voice for various human rights issues, including the alleged disappearances of over 32,000 people in Pashtun majority areas bordering Afghanistan. At the Geneva rally, flags of BSNs (Baloch Sub Nationalists) and Afghanistan being waved about have strengthened Pakistan’s narrative that external forces are supporting PTM.

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Anti-State machinations by a Pakistani
Sultan M Hali

HUSSAIN Haqqani is a journalist of Pakistani origin. He is also an academic, political activist and former Ambassador of Pakistan to Sri Lanka and the United States. He has authored two books on Pakistan: Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military, and Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding. He contributes analyses to various US and Indian Dailies and is currently a Senior Fellow and Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC and co-editor of Hudson’s signature journal Current Trends in Islamist Ideology. Unfortunately, for a person whom his country of origin, which gave him so much respect and honour, he chooses to denigrate it in international fora. Appearing regularly on Indian TV Channels to disparage Pakistan for its alleged high handedness in Balochistan, Hussain Haqqani plays to the Indian gallery, giving rise to speculations that he is on Indian security agency RAW’s payroll.

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Voters’ rights & responsibilities
Sultan M Hali

ELECTIONS play an important role in building the nation. The upcoming election-2018 can be a turning point for Pakistan, the principal responsibility to bring this change lies with the people of Pakistan. There is a need to educate and sensitise general public of Pakistan regarding their sacred responsibility towards the state and also alert the institutions responsible for the conduct of elections to fulfil their responsibilities in the best possible manner. The cognisance of voters’ rights and responsibilities can be built through emphasizing that casting their vote is a national responsibility of every voter. A big turnout on the voting day leads to true aspirations of the people of country and this is what a state owes to its people.

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Activities of pro PTM cadres
Sultan M Hali

PRO PTM cadres in UK and Europe who are involved in over projecting PTM issue predominantly belong to Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) and Afghan Diaspora members. It was observed that fissures developed between the Pashtun cadres and the Afghan segments on display of Afghan national Flag during different PTM activities. PKMAP has its roots in the Pakhtun nationalism of Khan Shaheed Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai. It emerged from now defunct National Awami Party (NAP), following differences with NAP leadership over rights of Pakthuns in Balochistan and over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa leadership’s appeasing attitude towards the Centre.

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Why only ISI ?
Ali Sukhanver

TARGETING the ISI and looking at it with suspicious eyes is nothing new; it is an old tradition all around us particularly in the USA. It is not only the desire of US, India and Israel, there are so many others including Afghanistan who do not wish well for the ISI because they feel this organisation is a threat and a challenge to their hegemonic and notorious designs against Pakistan. Almost seven years back in 2010, the Reuters published a report by Michael Georgy with the title, ‘Pakistan’s ISI, a hidden, frustrating power for US.’ The report said, “Top U.S. defence officials are concerned that some elements of Pakistan’s main spy agency may be interacting improperly with the Taliban and other insurgent groups. ISI is the most powerful intelligence agency in Pakistan, a country the United States sees as indispensable to its efforts to tame a raging Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.” The report further said, “The shadowy military intelligence agency has evolved into what some describe as a state within a state. It is believed to have a hidden role in many of the nuclear-armed nation’s policies, including in Afghanistan.

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Why Afghanistan is in terrible shape?
Ali Sukhanver

Recently former Afghan president Hamid Karzai in a statement alleged that ‘Pakistan wants to turn Afghanistan into a silent state’ He did not spare the US too and said, “Washington wants to establish permanent bases in Afghanistan to better control the region.” He was talking to The Associated Press on February 07. He further said that his country is in “terrible shape” 16 years after the U.S-led invasion that toppled the Taliban. Who is responsible for putting Afghanistan in that ‘terrible shape’ Pakistan or US; it is no doubt a very important question. Some of the analysts are of the opinion that it is neither the US nor Pakistan, it is simply the failure of the Afghan government that it could not succeed in securing the country and Mr. Karzai had to refer to it as a country in ‘terrible shape’.

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