M A Niazi

  • The NA-120 by-election was not going to be easy for the PML(N) to lose. Not only had it held the seat since 1988, but it was in office in Punjab. It is still an implicit condemnation of the provincial government if it loses a by-election, even if the seat had previously been held by the opposition. ...

    READMORE
  • That the BRICS declaration is being regarded in Pakistan as anything more than a furtherance of US President Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Pakistan providing safe havens to militants fighting the USA in Afghanistan, is because China is one of the members of BRICS, and has indicated that ...

    READMORE
  • The Rohingya problem has once again reared its head. The Myanmarese Army is engaged in a prolonged battle with them after they were driven to an armed clash which was being blamed on the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). There is also a dispute about the torching of 2600 homes in various ...

    READMORE
  • There has been a storm in Pakistan because of the new US policy for Afghanistan announced by US President Donald Trump. The storm was because he came out and said something that had been an open secret for a long time, but which could not be said: that Pakistan was affording safe havens to those ...

    READMORE
  • The Barcelona attack revealed that the War on Terror was not over. That realisation should be emphasised by the fact that while the Barcelona attack was by crashing a moving van into a crowd, it was followed by knife attacks, in Finland, and in near-by Russia, in Skug. There was also an attack on a ...

    READMORE
  • At one level, former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif’s journey from Islamabad to Lahore was a preparation for the by-election to the seat he had been forced out of, NA-120, but it was also a spot-check on the emotive issue of corruption on which he had been ousted. It is now a truism that ...

    READMORE
  • Not only has the new Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, been elected and sworn in, but he has also had his new Cabinet sworn in. He has been labelled an interim Prime Minister because he was originally scheduled to give up the post after the real replacement, Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shehbaz ...

    READMORE
  • Mian Nawaz Sharif finds himself removed from office for the third time. He has already made two comebacks, and hopes to make a third. He has already been a thorn in the side of whoever wants a pliable and obedient dummy at the top, because he has had everything thrown at him. His first ouster was ...

    READMORE
  • That the blast in Lahore, which killed 35, including nine policemen, could be blamed on the government as a distraction from the Panama Leaks case, showed the same low opinion of government morality as makes the public willing to believe that politicians are corrupt. It also fed into the narrative ...

    READMORE
  • While the Supreme Court’s Joint Investigation Team report on the Prime Minister and the Panamagate Leaks might have unleashed a call for his resignation, as well as for fresh elections, it so far has failed to address the real underlying question: The electoral system creates dirty money, and ...

    READMORE
  • The Joint Investigation Team report to the Supreme Court has not really proved anything except that its members had fallen back on the saying that has guided bureaucrats down the ages: “When in doubt, mumble.” There was none of the underlying straightforwardness necessary in Mark ...

    READMORE
  • Perhaps among the most contentious issues that face the leaders of the G20 countries face at their two-day summit in Hamburg beginning today is that of global warming. As the countries most responsible for the energy profligacy that is behind the global rise in average temperatures, the G20 ...

    READMORE
  • The replacement of Muhammad bin Nayef as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia by his cousin Muhammad bin Salman represents the Saudi dynasty’s ongoing attempt to manage generational change, but it also highlights one of the pitfalls of Muslim monarchies, which has been the management of competing ...

    READMORE
  • The Saudi-Qatar confrontation may seem not just an inter-Arab dispute, but an inter-Gulf one, perhaps because the hidden third party in the dispute, Iran, is a Gulf power, if not an Arab one. Another reason that the dispute looms larger than the Arab world is because it involves two Muslim ...

    READMORE
  • The British election has resulted in that most unstable of results; a hung Parliament. It is so badly hung that it has produced that unstable combination, a minority government, which holds office with outside support. The last time such a government took office, back in February 1974, it tottered ...

    READMORE
  • After the presentation of the federal budget, came that of the provincial budgets, starting last Friday with Punjab and ending this with Baluchistan, and showing once again that the business end of government is provincial, because that is where the real delivery of service actually takes ...

    READMORE
  • Finance Minister Ishaq Dar presented his fifth budget of the current tenure with the general anticipation being that it would be an election budget. It wasn’t, at least not in the sense of doling out largesse, which could have come in the form of tax relief, expenditure on public goods, and ...

    READMORE
  • Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has been to China before, and has not just visited Saudi Arabia, but spent his exile there, but never before have his visits meant meeting such powerful people. For once, both were multilateral visits. In China, he was attending the One Belt One Road Summit, in ...

    READMORE
  • The victory of Emanuel Macron in the French presidential election was predicted, but there were so many unusual features about his election that they virtually overshadowed the result. That the win was as comprehensive as it was provided much relief to his supporters, who saw his opponent Marine Le ...

    READMORE
  • For the cognoscenti, Dawn Leaks was going to be more damaging than the Panama Leaks, because it was seen by the armed forces as involving them directly, while the latter was seen more as an issue in which the Pakistan Tehrik Insaf (PTI) was more invested. Though the PTI is seen as the ...

    READMORE
  • The arrest of RAW agent Cdr Kulbhushan Jhadav did not seem to have set so many cats among the pigeons as his death sentence, and there seems to have been a frenetic increase in activity on the Indian side, as RAW tries its best to bring home its boy. Of course, an important part of the military ...

    READMORE
  • Now that the Supreme Court has seen fit to begin the judgement in the Panamagate case with a quote from The Godfather, itself quoting from Balzac, it might be appropriate to seek among film titles for one that might encapsulate the judgement itself. Film titles, because The Godfather won fame as a ...

    READMORE
  • The BJP government might have found it ironic that it was dragged further on a collision course because of someone who belonged to an Other Backward Caste, even though it is full of high-caste Hindus, but then being headed by Narendra Modi, whose own Modh Ghanchi caste is counted as being an Other ...

    READMORE
  • The gas attack in Syria caused a number of reactions. The most dramatic was that it caused the USA to launch Cruise missile strikes on Syria, which was the first US military intervention in the Syrian Civil War, apart from its bombings of Islamic State targets. This intervention may have been the ...

    READMORE
  • Pakistan’s decision to build a wall across the Durand Line is seemingly not connected with the Trump Administration’s decision to build one across the US-Mexican border, but the way it was announced by COAS Gen Qamar Zia Bajwa shows that there was an element of inspiration. The Durand ...

    READMORE
  • The attack in London, which led to four being killed, by a single attacker, showed up a peculiarly British problem. The attacker showed that Islam can now be the vehicle for expressing rage, and how rage is the natural response among those Britons who form the underclass. In a certain respect, the ...

    READMORE
  • The visit of Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad ibn Salman to the USA might well be an attempt at fence-building with Saudi Arabia’s old ally, but there are two parallel developments, one of which involves Pakistan indirectly, the other directly, which deserve to be linked with ...

    READMORE
  • Though there is a clear understanding that parties will not play politics with the War on Terror, the introduction of the 22nd Constitutional Amendment and the accompanying enabling amendment to the Army Act exposed just that: that the parties are seeking partisan interests in this. It should also ...

    READMORE
  • The Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) Summit in Islamabad was not just attended by the nine members. Though much attention was focused on the failure of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to attend, perhaps of greater significance was the presence of the Chinese Executive ...

    READMORE
  • The blowback of militancy suffered in the third week of February by the country was new in that it covered all four provinces. All the provinces had been hit before, and there was no new pattern to the targeting, but the closeness of the attacks showed that the rhetoric about the end of terrorism ...

    READMORE