Hassan Javid

  • 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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  • It is done. Donald Trump has been inaugurated as the president of the United States. An openly racist, Islamophobic, and misogynistic bigot has been sworn in to the most powerful office in the world. Assuming his new responsibilities with a speech that struck an unapologetically strident and ...

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  • There they are on Facebook, in their multitudes. Their profile pictures are usually selfies and often feature friends and family. They smile and they laugh, plastering their profiles with inspirational quotes, funny news stories, and pictures of places they have been. It all seems innocent enough ...

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  • Across the world, the start of 2017 has been met with a certain degree of trepidation. Beyond the widespread, if inaccurate, belief that 2016 was a particularly bad year in terms of celebrity deaths (an artifact of the increasing number of aging celebrities and public figures following the ...

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  • Asif Zardari’s December surprise was ultimately unveiled with a whimper rather than a bang; his announcement that he and his son Bilawal would compete in by-elections to join the current National Assembly, while significant, was not as seismic as the previously expected launch of a nationwide ...

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  • If 2016 is likely to be remembered for anything, it is the ascension of populist, largely right-wing movements and parties to the heights of political power across the world. The Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, the election of Donald Trump in the United States, Matteo Renzi’s ignominious ...

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  • On the 16th of December, the second anniversary of the APS attack, the airwaves and print media were full of memorials and tributes to the 144 schoolchildren who were killed by terrorists on that terrible day. Amidst the grief and the sadness, leaders from across the political and military spectrum ...

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  • When the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) raided the offices of the Tehreek-e-Jadid in Rabwah earlier this week, arresting nine men, it claimed to have done so in order to stop the publication and propagation of hate speech. The Punjab Government barred Tehreek-e-Jadid from producing any ...

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  • Few things are as hypocritical as the baying outrage of many conservative Pakistanis who denounce Donald Trump for his bigotry and intolerance. More often than not, these people will pounce upon even the most remote incident of Islamophobia or racism in the United States to bemoan the plight of ...

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