Haroon Riaz

  • 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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  • Nothing makes the idea of security from terrorist attacks more ironic than probably one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in terms of damage since 9/11 in Pakistan. The terrorists struck mercilessly in Quetta, the troubled capital of the troubled province of Baluchistan. Where the state’s ...

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  • Without condoning corporate or other slavery that may or may not be involved in related construction jobs, I find it important to support the idea of Olympics. Especially the idea of participation in it and oppose preventing any people from doing so. Further, more than that, I would consider the ...

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  • During the height of the Iraq War, we were wondering where all the anti-war liberals had gone. We should have been careful what we wished for. After the Iraq War, most people of both the liberal and libertarian preoccupation have concluded that war and US foreign policy interference are plain and ...

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  • Our public inquisitors and blasphemy scanners, who have taken it upon themselves to inform the public of every little mischievous soul taking the Lord’s name in vain, are dominating the TV waves. The biggest problem is who would decide that it is a blasphemy. The answer is simple. The public ...

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  • How could you possibly think about daring to ask such a question? That too on the national TV? What is the matter with our media channel owners, or should I say the media mafia? Now before I go on, I want you to know something about us. We are the most peaceful people in the world. We tell our ...

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  • Mumbai attacks not only devastated India to its very core, but have also shaken the conscience of the world, including many in Pakistan. The attacks were undoubtedly one of the most shocking since 9/11 anywhere around the world, but were significant due to India’s findings that the Pakistani ...

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  • What is the best response to a government that proactively blocks porn websites and going out of its way to do so? The answer is to openly and unashamedly embrace porn, regardless of the attacks from religious conservative and liberal moralists. In the latest episode, the Pakistan government has ...

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  • Pakistanis are by far the most tolerant nation on earth. They are easily the most tolerant considering how much sh*t they put up with. I am not even sure why are they accused of intolerance in the society, considering their loving, forgiving nature. Want to try it? Ask the person sitting next to ...

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  • The Panama Leaks are the sort of story that was needed to shake the firm grasp of the Sharif family on the politics of Punjab. Unlike the uproar in the media and warnings of a protest movement from PTI chairman Imran Khan, I am not convinced that the people of Pakistan are particularly bothered by ...

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  • The future of democracy in Bangladesh is in serious jeopardy. The machete attacks on secular, atheist and progressive bloggers and academics have become a norm. Anyone speaking their mind about their worldview, as well as criticizing religious groups for their ignorance and obscurantism can ...

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