M A Niazi

  • Chinese bearing gifts

    Actually, the visit to Pakistan by Chinese President Xi Jinping represents a third attempt, and the two previous ones illustrate the issues that both countries face. Yet the main problem between these two close friends, East Turkestan, has not shown up, though it remains the main challenge to what ...

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  • Reactions and counter-reactions

    It is possible to imagine someone finding funny the contortions of the Pakistani establishment about answering the Saudi Arabian request for assistance in its intervention against the Houthis of Yemen, had those contortions not been so painful. It would be an illustration of the shambolic approach ...

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  • The deal in the background

    With the reaching of an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries, the stage has been set for the lifting of sanctions from Iran, in exchange for not so much as a stopping of the Iranian achievement of a nuclear weapon, as of a delay. However, the deal must be seen within the context of the ...

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  • To fight or not to fight

    Pakistan has become suddenly deeply involved in the Middle East, through its on-off participation in the Yemen crisis, with the decision not being taken to meet the Saudi request for Pakistani military assistance. There are signs that the state would like to accept the request, but the government ...

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  • An agreement at last

    Almost unnoticed, the government and PTI negotiators arrived at an agreement on the Terms Of Reference for a judicial commission to do what PTI chief Imran Khan had called for: investigate the 2013 elections to find out if they had been rigged to ensure the victory of the PML(N). This was the issue ...

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  • The politics of minorities

    The raid on Nine Zero Azizabad marked a lot of things, but one of the issues it threw into relief was that of the importance provincial identity had assumed under the constitutional dispensation provided by the 1973 Constitution, while the Yuhannabad church attack reinforced the message of the ...

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  • The other, upper House

    Now that the Senate elections have been held and followed strictly, the next stage comes at once: that of determining the Senate Chairman for the next three years, that is, until the next Senate election due in 2018. The government’s support for the PPP’s Raza Rabbani reflected the fact ...

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  • Trials of democracy

    Mian Nawaz Sharif gave proof, if any was needed, that he is not ideologically committed to democracy by striking at the root of two of its dearly held principles at the same time. Meanwhile, the fact that the apparent reason for tearing them down was also a democratic principle, showed that ...

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  • The tomb and the legacy

    The relief by Turkey of its guard of the tomb of Sulaiman Shah, and its shifting of the remains to another location inside Syria, was not only the first incursion by Turkey into Syria since its current civil war began, but also reflected the role of Turkey in the whole problem of the Caliphate to ...

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  • India’s PTI sans cricketer

    The resounding victory in the Delhi state elections of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) should not be seen as more than it is. The AAP has won in only one of the seven union territories which, along with 29 provinces, make up the Indian Union. Also, the win should not be seen as indicating the demise of ...

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  • Play up and play the game!

    The expectations amongst the viewing public from the Pakistan cricket team seem decidedly low. This is not so much a result of a realistic evaluation of the prowess of the team, as of a deeper national malaise. It is almost as if a resilient and stubborn people are running out of steam, and are ...

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  • A passage to India

    It was perhaps going to be inevitable that Pakistan would be disappointed by US President Barack Obama’s visit to India, though strictly speaking, it should have expected it. The outburst by Pakistani officials afterwards was perhaps also inevitable, though it will probably not prevent it ...

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  • The sons of Abdul Aziz

    When Crown Prince Salman ascended the Saudi throne on Friday, after the death of his elder brother Abdullah, he broke a previous record by becoming the sixth of the sons of Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, the founder of the Kingdom, to ascend the throne. He did nothing new by naming younger brother Muqrin ...

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  • Attacking Charlie Hebdo

    The response by Charlie Hebdo to the attack on its offices, which led to the death of 12, has sparked off protests in the Muslim world, making it seem that the original offence for which the attacks are supposed have taken place, had been shelved, but the new depiction of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) ...

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  • Will courts make the kids safe?

    Even extended winter holidays came to an end, with the country’s schools still not completely safe, but with the military courts about to be notified. Though those courts represented the political consensus reflected in the passage of the 21st Amendment, they did not cause sufficient ...

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  • Shining a murky light

    That two Rangers were killed by the Indians when they went to attend a flag meeting on the other side, on the Line of Control, shows not just how matters are going out of control, but also how India is violating the most ancient principles of warfare, in which emissaries’ lives are respected. ...

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  • Courts at year-end

    2014 was not a peaceful year for Pakistan, with its end reflecting the violent times in which it, and other years, had passed. A fortnight before its end, the Peshawar massacre set in train a chain of events that made it inevitable that the turbulence of the past would continue in the future. The ...

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  • The grief doesn’t end

    The mass killing at Peshawar and the end of the PTI sit-in seemed to come together when PTI chief Imran Khan visited the Army Public School to condole with the survivors. The national outpouring of grief showed that the militants carrying out the massacre had done something that badly backfired. ...

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  • Ending it all

    It is wrong to accuse the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) of using the Peshawar school massacre to call off its four-month-old sit-in in Islamabad, but that is what happened. The massacre may well have been in the capital of the only PTI-ruled province, but because it took place in an Army Public ...

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  • Fears for Lahore after Faisalabad

    While the country was terrified by the death of a PTI worker in Faisalabad, it was relieved by the survival of all Karachites in the PTI shutdown there. Hopefully, there won’t be anyone killed in Lahore when the PTI gets here tomorrow. To do that, maybe the Punjab government should send Rana ...

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  • Faces of the coin

    Some would say that Junaid Jamshaid has got his comeuppance for turning religious; others would say that what he did was proof that he should not have meddled in religion. There are those who have said that if he can be forgiven his blasphemy by repentance, then why was this privilege not extended ...

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  • The meeting in Kathmandu

    The SAARC Summit showed once again how the entire region remains hostage to the relationship between its two largest members, India and Pakistan. The entire summit was in danger of being thought of as a failure if their Prime Ministers did not meet on its sidelines. That this is the case, while the ...

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  • Last man standing

    PTI chief Imran Khan’s announcement of a renewal of his sit-in on November 30 has caused tremors in the government, but has not caused the same degree of fear as last time, when the sit-in started on August 14. The last time, the government was under the threat of falling. By that measure, ...

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  • Making its presence felt

    The Jamaat Islami’s first Ijtima-i-Aam under its new Amir, Sirajul Haq, opens in Lahore today, due to continue over the weekend, just a week after the Tablighi Jamaat ended its own ijtima in nearby Raiwind. The two reflect the Pakistani public’s wish for a return to Islam, but there are ...

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  • The Chinese puzzle

    Apart from the many MoUs signed, apparently Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif’s trip to China merely undid the damage caused by the PTI sit-in, which prevented the Chinese President from visiting Islamabad. Actually, it also played a part in the ongoing attempt by the US to ...

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  • Death in Lahore

    M. A. Niazi The militant attack at the Wahga border was widely and roundly condemned, with the emphasis on the immense loss of life. With 70 dead, the suicide attack was one of the most costly in Lahore, and certainly the worst in recent times. For a city that has been under constant threat, but ...

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  • Waiting for the other shoe

    Now that PAT chief Tahirul Qadri has called his sit-in off, the government, like the man who hears the lodger in the room above him drop one shoe and then the other before going to bed, has heard one shoe drop: he waits now, for the other shoe, i.e., PTI chief Imran Khan to make a similar ...

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  • A long-awaited political debut

    It was inevitable that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would assume the mantle of his murdered mother, but it was not inevitable that his entry into politics should have instigated the departure of the MQM from the Sindh government. However, his remarks must be seen within the context of the ...

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  • Conflict between nuclear neighbours

    The firing by India on the working boundary has killed several people, all on the Pakistani side, but it is worrisome for the whole world because it might escalate into another Indo-Pak war, which would be different now between two nuclear armed countries. While it is generally unpredictable when ...

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  • Coming back after Eid

    Though Eid ul Azha has passed, the political situation has not cleared up. The Inqilab and Azadi March sit-ins continue in Islamabad, and despite talks between the government and the marchers, there has been no agreement.Even though it has officially denied any involvement, it is still assumed that ...

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