M A Niazi

  • By agreeing to talk with the government, Baloch Republican Army head Brahamdagh Bugti did not merely cause an earthquake in the politics of Balochistan, but in that of the entire country. Balochistan is not just important because it is one of Pakistan’s provinces; it is by far the largest in ...

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  • There was a last-minute flurry, and the meeting between the Indian and Pakistani National Security Advisers that had been agreed at Ufa by their Prime Ministers, was cancelled, because India objected to something that had virtually become a ritual, and which would probably have had no effect on the ...

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  • The resignation of the MQM members from the Sindh Assembly and Parliament have attracted comparisons with the Pakistan Tehrik Insaf (PTI) members’ resignations last year, and once again, have not been accepted. It now appears that a new category of resignation has gained acceptance: one which ...

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  • The decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the military courts indicates its rapprochement with the Army, and may mean not only a hesitation to apply the Salient Features doctrine, but also a re-establishment of the military-judiciary nexus that allowed the validation by the Supreme Court of all ...

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  • The announcement of the death of Taliban chief Mullah Omar two years ago coincided both with the killing in a police encounter of Malik Muhammad Ishaq, the leading spirit behind the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, and eight companions. It was almost as if rivals of the ISIL were being eliminated. That ...

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  • The Judicial Commission set up to investigate the PTI’s 2013 election rigging allegations has delivered an expected verdict: the poll was not rigged and the result reflected the wishes of the electorate. This was enough of an endorsement for Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to come on TV and ...

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  • Looking at its broad sweep, the journalistic career of Majid Nizami is striking first of all because of its extent. It preceded his editorship of Nawa-i-Waqt, and even that extended over half a century. But it should never be forgotten that he was also a founder of newspapers. This newspaper itself ...

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  • It was almost as if a miraculous alignment of the stars favoured the making of deals. Not only did the USA and Iran lead the way to a resolution of the Iranian nuclear programme, but there was also an agreement on the programme that Greece had to follow to remain within the Eurozone. This came just ...

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  • The arrest of KP Mineral Development Minister, Ziaullah Afridi, was a test for the Pakistan Tehrik-e- Insaaf, to which he belonged, not just because it showed the kind of ‘Naya Pakistan’ the party was busy constructing, but also how it reacted to members who were accused of abusing ...

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  • The coming to Pakistan of Pakistan Awami Tehrik chief Allama Dr Tahirul Qadri does not seem linked to the crossing over of PPP stalwarts to the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, but since both are happening in the midst of other political developments, most notably local body elections in Punjab and Sindh ...

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  • The allegations contained in the BBC documentary on the MQM are not new, but they do take the evidence that the MQM is hand in glove with RAW to another level. At the same time, there are also questions raised about the ‘smoking gun’, and mean that the Pakistan government’s ...

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  • Amidst the war of words that surrounds PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari’s statement has been hidden the reason for the statement, though the importance accorded the statement is an acknowledgement of the importance of the two organisations it involves, the PPP, whose Chairman made the statement, ...

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  • The war of words between India and Pakistan, last week was occasioned by the Indian claim of a cross-border raid into Myanmar, where it is instructive to note that the main cause of concern was whether it would cause a war between the two. Even though the two are neighbours, there was the threat ...

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  • The impression that the Budget is prepared, in accordance to the wishes of the IMF and the World Bank, is too widespread to be dismissed out of hand. It cannot really have enhanced the impression that federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, presented an independent budget for the coming fiscal year, ...

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  • The holding of the local council elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, means that the country’s two Western provinces have completed the exercise, and the two largest provinces, Punjab and Sindh, have to undergo it. It also means that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has fulfilled one of its ...

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  • On the face of it, the travails of the Rohingya boat people have nothing to do with those of the Axact company. And little to do with those of the refugees from Africa and the Middle East going across the Mediterranean to Europe, but all these phenomena reflect the attraction of the West.The ...

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  • The attack on the bus in Safoora Goth was not just about the killing of the 45 Ismailis gunned down, but about many other things, and not just the arrival of the Islamic State, but the place of the Ismaili community in the Pakistani polity.It was not the first attack on the Ismaili community in ...

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  • The UK election was not just important because it was the latest in a long series, that goes back to the 19th century, of elections based on mass suffrage and the secret ballot, but also because it showed one of the main problems with the first-past-the-post system it has followed, and which it has ...

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  • That the changes made by King Salman of Saudi Arabia in the succession are of interest to Pakistan is because of the situation in Yemen. Not only do those changes show that the Arab Spring came at a particularly awkward time for the dynasty, at the time that it was trying to manage the succession ...

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  • The by-election in NA-246 was supposed to be a game-changer. However, the result showed that there were not the changes expected, perhaps because the problems of the constituents have not been addressed by either the federal or provincial government.Perhaps the most interesting thing is that ...

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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