Haroon Riaz

  • After Obama’s weak reaction to the Russian interference in the Syrian civil war, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the world started wondering about an American leadership on the back foot. The more hawkish of commentators even saw this as the beginning of the end of the American Empire or at ...

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  • Narendra Modi made history by becoming the first sitting Indian prime minister to visit Israel. We already know that India has been a buyer of Israeli arms in the recent years, but this visit goes far beyond anything we have ever seen in the history of their relations. Modi and Netanyahu brought ...

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  • There is very little doubt that the US-Arab Summit was a vulgar display of power and malice on the part of Saudi Arabia and the United States primarily. There is also very little doubt that the conference where Pakistan had to ensure its attendance was an openly anti-Iran in its agenda. All of this ...

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  • The latest provocative Dawn story about the CPEC might as well be a pack of lies, but what about things unfolding right in front of our eyes? It is very hard, and almost feels immoral, to remain silent at the Interior Minister’s crusade against dissenting bloggers and social media ...

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  • The recent blown-out-of-proportion episode of Dawn Leaks saw the civilian leadership reprimand the military for not being tough enough against Islamist militant outfits. However, the recent tirade by the Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, makes you wonder if they need to give a ...

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  • The world may appear to be sharply divided among the far left and the far right on the social media, and even on the mainstream media these days. However, you could make the case that with the election of Emmanuel Macron as the French President, some hope has been revived in centrism and globalist ...

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  • As I continue to age, I have learned something very important about politics. A lot of our ridiculous, unwavering, uncompromising political positions come out of ignorance and being completely out of touch. This is something that has made me appreciate people evolving politically over the years and ...

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  • We all know that the blasphemy law is supposed to punish the offenders who desecrate the good name of God and the Prophet, or commit a similar offense against religion. And there is really no doubt that blaspheming against holy persons and entities is indicative of a lack of sensitivity and regard ...

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  • In a saner world, or let me rephrase that even before I begin… In the real world, such behavior is easily considered to be mentally unstable. A serious problem. Yes, even in Pakistan. On an evidently non-violent trigger, anger fits so severe that you end up possibly and at times actually ...

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  • I often ask myself this question and hardly get any reasonable answers. Sometimes I wonder how people are still defending Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad and any conspiracy theory that finds him innocent. But then again, in a world in which Nazism is alive and well, and in which you ironically and ...

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  • Jamaat-e-Islami is a political organization which appears to rule the hearts and minds of a majority of urban people in Pakistan despite their dismal electoral performance. This statement would be heartening for a supporter of the Islamist party still struggling to make a dent in the secular wall ...

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  • Pakistan is a strange country. Here people are more outraged about who helped catch the most wanted terrorist in the world than the fact that Osama Bin Laden was found hiding in the backyard of the country’s military academy. Now whether the most wanted man in the world was a prisoner of ours ...

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  • Are you not tired of hearing people screaming on TV talk shows that we have not learned our lessons in the war against terrorism? Hearing people ask why we need a military operation every one or two years. One of the biggest reasons Pakistan has not been fully able to eradicate the tumor of ...

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  • The unfortunate and devastating bombing at the Sehwan Sharif shrine sheds a new light. The devotees of the shrine and those with a Sufi leaning in their faith reinforced their love for the spiritual rituals practiced over there. The Islamic State accepted the responsibility for the Sehwan Sharif ...

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  • Many of us are cynical when it comes to Valentine’s Day. And for a good reason too. The Western and probably overly commercialized holiday makes you cringe. And of course, you don’t even need to focus on the harassment that ensues. But we have forgotten in our sharp criticism that ...

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  • Considering how Pakistanis are supposed to be fanatics for cricket, we certainly lack a well developed sports league in this country. And when I say a league, I mean something on the lines of IPL and at least BPL, if not the English Premier League or NFL. It is not that Pakistani people do not have ...

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  • Liberal ideas seem to be in retreat around the world, but this effect is not perceived stronger anywhere more than in the United States. What went wrong? The United States is supposed to be the leader and preacher of liberal ideas around the world. How could it expect to inspire change in the more ...

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  • Well, the writing on the wall is clear. Now it begins. So much for the days of freewheelin’ secular and leftist bloggers. It’s all over. Now is the time for the Islamist social conservative and the militant nationalist to reclaim the space on the social media that they probably should ...

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  • Some people need no reason to hate the Jewish people. For some, it’s almost an instinctive reaction, to others, it is a religious obligation, and for even more people, because Israel. However, our honorable Defense Minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who became the laughing stock of the world ...

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  • There is a reason why the tradition of keeping your vote secret is often respected. Even if not so much anymore. Nothing like this election year has brought up how political polarization divides people. Even in some cases it ends friendships and tears up families. Because people cannot help but ...

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  • In perhaps a not so unprecedented move, the Pakistani interior ministry ordered the shutting down of Pak-Turk schools and the staff to leave the country by November 20. It was not too long ago that the same Interior Minister ordered the Save the Children organization to shut down, only later ...

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  • A few months ago when the Republican primaries started, I wrote that a Republican presidency was the best possible road for the situation in Iraq and Syria. The suggestion was more for a traditional Republican. Even though I did anticipate a Donald Trump presidency right from the start, it was ...

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  • A government is supposed to protect the interest of its public. But what to do if it becomes the biggest hurdle in their way? Now for the uninitiated, the politics of shipping containers probably sounds like manipulating the trade at the port, not that that was never a problem, but these shipping ...

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  • If the recent foreign policy developments for Pakistan did not have you worried, then it is time for serious reflection. Ever since President George W. Bush left office, you can feel a distance between Washington and Islamabad. The differences between the two countries were particularly seen at ...

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  • What a coincidence that at this critical point in history that we have somebody like Donald Trump running against Hillary Clinton? It is hard to believe that it is happening to the world, let alone the American people, whose fate lies in the hands of these candidates. But more than anyone else, ...

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  • Ah, the season of war is back. Time to deal with completely needless inconveniences because of the bloated egos of the leaderships of the two countries, if you are unfortunate enough to live in one of them. War hysteria is at an all-time high in recent years in India, especially fueled by the ...

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  • The mind of a modern, liberal, enlightened youth in Pakistan is boggled with the moral puzzle of the armed struggle in Kashmir. Should Pakistan stop backing the Jihad in Kashmir? Or should Pakistan provide support for the freedom movement in Kashmir? What a world of a difference do these words ...

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  • This month, The New York Times featured a surprising piece from the Iranian foreign minister. Reading the article, you would find that he has curiously coined a new term for Islamic terrorism: “Wahhabism.” But sadly, it is not as clear as it sounds. While you would occasionally ...

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  • Muslims of the world could not be more unfortunate to have countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia in charge of their larger political leadership. Not only they are arguably the worst governments in the world, but they have somehow also become the spiritual leaders of the two leading schools of ...

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  • The last thing an Indian nationalist wants to talk to you about is Kashmir. It’s because looking the other way when it comes to Kashmir has become the defining factor for the Indian nationalist. And it’s not just Kashmir. From Parveena Ahanger to Soni Sori and Irom Sharmila, there are ...

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