Hassan Javid

  • Earlier this week, a collection of fascist, neo-nazi, and white supremacist groups got together in the city of Charlottesville in Virginia as part of a ‘Unite the Right’ rally. Ostensibly, the rally was aimed at protesting the proposed removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a general who ...

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  • On the eve of Independence Day, let’s take stock of what has been accomplished in the last seventy years. Every day the entire country spends hours without electricity, bearing the stifling heat and oppressive humidity without any of the relief that might be provided by technology. Across ...

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  • In the past week, people have threatened to throw acid on Ayesha Gulalai, tear her house down, and have her fate decided by an enraged mob. She has been vilified and pilloried by countless armchair warriors armed with keyboards and social media accounts, and has been subjected to a sustained ...

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  • The deed is done. The Supreme Court has finally given its verdict in the Panama Papers case, and has disqualified Nawaz Sharif from holding public office. It has also filed references with the accountability courts against Sharif and his family, with the expectation that allegations of corruption ...

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  • After hearing arguments from both sides the Supreme Court has chosen to reserve its judgment in the Panama Papers case, and it is still not clear if Nawaz Sharif will be disqualified from holding office as a result of the allegations of money laundering, tax evasion, and misappropriation of public ...

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  • One week after the release of the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) report into the financial affairs of Nawaz Sharif and his family, public debate on the issue has assumed an increasingly rancorous and polarized character; on the one hand, some have welcomed the JIT report as a watershed ...

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  • On Monday, the 10th of July, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked by the Supreme Court to investigate the financial affairs of the Sharif family is expected to submit a report of its findings. While there has been no shortage of opinion and speculation on the possible outcome of the ...

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  • In the fictional totalitarian state of Oceania, the setting for George Orwell’s 1984, everyday life is permeated with doublespeak – the use of language by the media and those in power to promote a particular agenda by distorting reality through the selective use of facts and outright ...

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  • They may still be a year away, but it is clear that the next elections are beginning to dominate the agendas of the major parties. Even as the PML-N struggles to deflect attention away from the Panama Leaks and bolster its support base through a fresh wave of spending on public infrastructure, the ...

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  • When Grenfell Tower caught fire on the 14th of June in London, the resulting blaze consumed almost the entirety of the 24-storey structure, leaving behind the buildings blackened and charred skeleton. The tower was home to hundreds of residents living in its flats and while many were able to escape ...

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  • For the second year in a row, the British electorate has thoroughly confounded analysts and observers by voting in an entirely unexpected manner. In April, when the British Prime Minister Theresa May announced her intention to hold an early election, she justified her decision by stating that an ...

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  • The fashion industry in Pakistan has long been able to thrive by peddling certain ideas about itself. Exploiting feelings of insecurity, aspiration, and entitlement, for example, it relies on the notion that wearing particular kinds of clothes will make people look better and feel better about ...

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  • Back when the cybercrime bill was first mooted and debated, critics of the proposed law repeatedly pointed out how its vague wording and broad jurisdiction represented a clear danger to freedom of expression and belief in Pakistan. While the official rationale for introducing the law focused on how ...

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  • It is a dispute that will go down in history, a veritable clash of titans. While the media and general public remain fixated on the duel being fought between India and Pakistan at the International Court of Justice, or the simmering civil-military tensions that are an intrinsic part of the ...

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  • The Dawn Leaks saga has finally come to an end with. On the surface, all reports suggest that the civilian and military leadership in Pakistan have managed to come to a mutually agreeable settlement, with the latter dropping its objections to the ‘notification’ that had been issued by ...

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  • Why does the blasphemy law exist in Pakistan? One explanation might simply be that its formulation in its current form was part of a cynical and deliberate attempt by the Zia-ul-Haq regime, and the socio-political forces it spawned, to acquire legitimacy and burnish its religious credentials as ...

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  • Earlier this week, a friend of mine observed that Pakistan was now home to a unique category of person, namely the ‘patriotic terrorist’. How else could you describe Ehsanullah Ehsan, erstwhile spokesman for the murderous Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and current media sensation ...

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  • After months of speculation and not a little grandstanding from all the parties involved, the Supreme Court finally delivered its verdict on the Panama Papers case earlier this week. Initially, the 540 page judgement was met with bewilderment and confusion, as both the PML-N and the PTI took to the ...

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  • When the murderer Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral was held in Islamabad, tens of thousands of people travelled to the city to attend it. At the time there was a very real concern that the event could become a pretext for Qadri’s devotees, the organisations that supported him, and even elements ...

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  • Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.” These were the words of Donald Trump on 10 October 2012 as he took to Twitter to attack President Obama while simultaneously criticising an American foreign policy ...

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  • In the latest twist in the ongoing saga of the Donald Trump presidency Michael Flynn, the retired three-star general who was briefly appointed National Security Advisor before being removed from office after he was found to have lied about meeting the Russian ambassador to the United States, has ...

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  • In a little over a year, Pakistan will go to the polls to elect a new government. Assuming the current government completes its term, the next election will mark only the second time in Pakistan’s history that power will be transferred from one democratically elected government to another ...

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  • Sometimes it seems that blasphemy, its perpetration, and its perpetrators, are the only subjects worthy of discussion in the Land of the Pure. Forget grinding poverty, abysmal social indicators, inept governance, and rampant militancy; the biggest issue confronting the citizens of Pakistan is the ...

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  • Whatever else they may be, Pakistan’s politicians cannot be accused of being particularly enlightened. As if more proof of this were needed, earlier this week the PTI’s Murad Saeed and the PML-N’s Javed Latif were involved in a physical altercation outside the National Assembly ...

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  • I have never been much of a sports fan. While I understand the appeal, I have never really been able to take much of an interest in the athletic antics of young men and women chasing balls, throwing things, and smashing objects around fields and arenas. I also remain perpetually mystified by the ...

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  • To understand the media in Pakistan, it is necessary to consider the way in which it is structured and the imperatives that guide it. In the past two decades, dozens of privately owned channels and networks have burst on to the scene, each of which exists primarily as a business venture rather than ...

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  • Not much can be said that has not already been said. The spate of bombings across Pakistan this week, including in Lahore and at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalander in Sehwan, has left more than 100 people dead. Responsibility for these attacks has been claimed by the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway ...

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  • There is a reason why agents of conservatism are often called ‘reactionaries’. More often than not, their opposition to progress and reform does not come from a position of strength and is instead rooted in deep insecurities and fears about change. When religious extremists threaten ...

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  • Policies can be good or bad but this distinction is of little relevance when the state simply lacks the will or the capacity to take substantive action. The popular discourse in Pakistan has long been characterised by a paradoxical approach to the question of state power; on the one hand, ...

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  • There is a tendency to treat the purveyors of bombastic outrage with patronising contempt; only an utter fool, the argument goes, would actually believe that a massive wall could end illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States, or that the recent US elections were characterised by ...

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