Hassan Javid

  • TIt looks like it will be an interesting few months for the legal system in Pakistan. The New Year has brought with it two different questions related to the reform and efficacy of the judiciary, and the resolution of these issues will have serious repercussions for Pakistan in the years to come. ...

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  • TOne of the casualties of the hyper-partisan turn taken by contemporary political debate is meaningful and substantive debate of the actual issues being confronted by the people of Pakistan. Online and in the traditional media, what passes for political discourse is little more than superficial ...

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  • TA generation ago, people asked each other where they had been when Neil Armstrong made his giant leap for mankind by stepping on the moon. In years to come, the question will be repeated but with reference to a different event of arguably even greater importance. I refer, of course, to the spat on ...

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  • TWhat a year it has been. 2018 began with three events that, in retrospect, really set the tone for what was to follow. On the first of January, Donald Trump greeted the new year with a tweet that lambasted Pakistan for its alleged treachery, claiming that the $33 billion given to the country by the ...

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  • TThe latest diplomatic kerfuffle involving the Land of the Pure relates to the release of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest report on gender disparity around the world in which Pakistan has been ranked second-to-last. The WEF Gender Gap report is not simply a collection of different ...

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  • TIt has been over two years since a narrow majority of the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union and now, as the Brexit saga enters what might be its final chapter before the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU on 29 March 2019, it is becoming increasingly clear that ...

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  • TAnyone who has ever spent time in a Pakistani archive will tell you one thing: there have rarely, if ever, been any points in the country’s history when it was not passing through a critical juncture. That is the impression one receives when going through old news reports and official ...

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  • TOn the streets of Pakistan, and in its shops and offices, it is not uncommon to find people refusing to engage in the seemingly commonsensical act of standing in line. The constant elbowing and jostling that characterises most attempts to buy goods, enter a building, or receive a service of some ...

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  • TOn Friday night, on the eve of protests and rallies planned for the 25th of November, Khadim Rizi and other leaders and activists of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) were taken into ‘protective custody’ after a law enforcement operation launched across the country. At the time of ...

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  • TWe stand on the cusp of a new machine age. If current trends and predictions are anything to go by, the next few decades will see a fundamental transformation of economy and society on a scale not seen since the first industrial revolution as artificial intelligence, autonomous machines, and big ...

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  • TWhatever else might be said about the current PTI government, it cannot be denied that its first few months in office have been wildly entertaining (albeit in morbid, dark kind of way). When the government’s representatives are not fulminating against their predecessors, loudly vowing to ...

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  • TOne of the more interesting, if counter-intuitive, facts about many civil wars and ethnic conflicts is that the number of combatants involved is usually much smaller than is often assumed. In Rwanda and Bosnia, for example, it was not uncommon for small groups of perhaps a few dozen well-armed men ...

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  • TIt is a pattern that has become all too familiar. An utterly innocuous occurrence, one that would pass without any mention whatsoever in virtually any other part of the world, ignites a moral panic of apocalyptic proportions, sending with raging fanatics frothily baying for the blood of those whose ...

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  • TNumbers are thrown about with gleeful abandon; $10 billion is laundered every year, $200 billion is stashed abroad, $180 billion exists to be spent on housing, $30 billion is about to be invested by one company. As the figures fly thick and fast, they are met with the cacophonous applause of the ...

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  • TThis is now starting to get out of hand. After a series of weeks in which the government and the courts have outdone themselves in their efforts to silence dissent and stifle free expression, flinging allegations of treason at political opponents, journalists, and ordinary people who merely ask ...

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  • TIt has been a fascinating few weeks in American politics. Brett Kavanaugh, the conservative federal judge nominated by Donald Trump to replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy on the US Supreme Court, has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by three separate women, all of whom claim that the ...

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  • TCredit should be given where it is due. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s announcement that his government would work to provide citizenship to Afghan and Bengali refugees in Pakistan is a welcome one, and the proposal will go some way towards addressing the blatant injustice and marginalisation ...

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  • TA populist leader comes to power promising to disrupt a moribund status quo dominated by corrupt and out-of-touch elite. On the campaign trail, this leader vows to resolve one of the most pressing problems facing the nation by investing in a massive infrastructure project. Critics of the plan decry ...

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  • TWell, that did not take long. Just two days after the Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry took to the airwaves to demonstrate that the PTI has a spine, defending its decision to appoint Atif Mian to the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), the government showed its true colours by backtracking and ...

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  • THere we go again. Somewhere in Europe, a group of far-right demagogues decide that the best way to win support is to dress hate up as free speech and draw blasphemous cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), knowing full well that their provocation will generate a backlash that will allow them to cast ...

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  • TIt is a familiar script. Two groups of young men get involved in an altercation. Things get heated, tempers flare, and there is an eruption of violence leaving injuries and property damage in its wake. This is what happened on Eid in Faisalabad earlier this week, when around 30 people were injured ...

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  • TIn a recent study published in the American Political Science Review, academics from Harvard, Stanford, and UC San Diego estimated that the Chinese government employs hundreds of thousands of people to pose as ordinary users and post 448 million comments on social media a year. The study argues ...

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  • TWhat seemed inconceivable a year ago has come to pass. With its leader and his daughter in jail for corruption, its government dissolved, electoral candidates defeated, and ranks in disarray, the PML-N increasingly looks like a spent force destined to fade into political irrelevance. If the results ...

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  • TIn trying to understand the outcome of the July 25 elections, there are two narratives that have been advanced by the winners and the losers respectively. For the former, the PTI’s emergence as the largest party in parliament after capturing 117 seats is nothing less than the triumphant ...

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  • TSomething remarkable happened this week. During a corner meeting in his constituency, social activist and electoral candidate Jibran Nasir was confronted by a group of angry provocateurs who demanded that he declare Ahmadis to be non-Muslims and, furthermore, hurl abuse at that entire community. At ...

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  • TIf there is one good thing to be said about the events of the past few weeks, it is that the façade has finally crumbled and even the pretense of the elections being free and fair is no longer sustainable. For those willing to see, the writing has been on the wall for some time; the ...

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  • TWhy is Nawaz Sharif’s conviction by an accountability court so troubling? Why is it that people with impeccable democratic credentials and a history of fighting for the rule of law find it worrying that the former Prime Minister and current head of the PML-N has been sentenced to ten years in ...

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  • TUsually, by this point in time, the contours of the contest have been relatively clearly defined. Candidates have been awarded tickets, manifestos have been published, and leaders have taken to the streets of Pakistan as they swing into campaign mode. There are always some issues that continue to ...

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  • TIt’s a tale as old as time. Idealistic man decides he wants to change the system, is frustrated by the structure of the system and the hurdles in puts in the way of challenging the status quo, decides to fight the system by using its own weapons against it, and in doing so becomes the same as ...

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  • TThis week, three women were in the news for three very different reasons but were nonetheless subjected to the same depressingly familiar torrent of abuse and misogyny that tends to be directed towards women who step out of line in the Land of the Pure. Excerpts from Reham Khan’s forthcoming ...

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