M A Niazi

  • TThat there was virtually no doubt about the decision in the Avenfield flats reference was not so much a tribute to the strength of the prosecution’s case, as it was a criticism of the country’s courts. The only element of doubt was the sentences that would be passed on the defendants. ...

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  • TIt almost seemed as if US President Donald Trump had gone too far. The reaction at the world’s grassroots to the separation of children asylum seekers from their parents at the US border with Mexico showed up President Trump for what he was: someone with power who was feeding on prejudices ...

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  • TOne of the most complicated challenges that Pakistan will face in the not-too-distant future is the opioid epidemic, which is not just wreaking havoc in the USA, but is also threatening to break out and become a worldwide epidemic. There is a definite problem in the USA, with 50,000 deaths there in ...

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  • TOne of the less noticeable distinctions between India and Pakistan has been the latter’s reluctance to change internal boundaries. While one of the first things India did after independence was to merge the princely states into it, Pakistan did not do so until 1958, when it formed one unit, ...

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  • TOusted Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif seems to be offering proof that no civilian Prime Minister can remain long enough without having the label of ‘traitor’ pasted on him. Or her, because this was first used against Beanzir Bhutto during her first term almost 30 years ago. Mian Nawaz ...

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  • TThe bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx was celebrated last Saturday much more quietly than the first, which was actually the first big occasion that was faced by the USSR, which had not yet taken shape, with the concatenation of dates meaning that the centenary came just after the new state ...

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  • TWhen Miftah Ismail rose to present the 2018-19 Budget to the National Assembly, it was as a Finance Minister in search of a seat in either House. His personal controversy did not eliminate, but accentuate the controversy over whether he should present a Budget for the whole of next year, or just ...

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  • TThe Cambridge Analytica affair was messy enough to force Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg into testifying to a US Senate committee. That the founder, and CEO of Facebook, which with two billion users is global, had to testify about the doings of a British firm in a US election, before a US ...

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  • TIt began as something in a spy thriller rather than real life, the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in UK, allegedly with a nerve agent. However, as the drama played out, fears were being raised of a new Cold War, what with the blasts of expulsions and counter-expulsions ...

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  • TSaudi Arabian Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman touched base with the USA and UK in his first trip abroad after his father had made him the first son of a reigning monarch to be designated heir to the throne since his grandfather Abdul Aziz made his uncle Saud Crown Prince. Another parallel with his ...

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  • TThe election of the PPP-backed panel for the Senate Chairmanship and Deputy Chairmanship showed that the PML(N) had failed to get a majority in the Senate, and thus unless it scores an overwhelming majority in the provincial assemblies in the coming two elections, it will not obtain the two-thirds ...

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  • TThat the law permitting disqualified persons to hold office in political parties would be struck down was perhaps inevitable. However, by declaring that all actions taken by Mian Nawaz Sharif as PML(N) President were illegal since his disqualification as an MNA, the Supreme Court did something ...

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  • TUS President Donald Trump is in his second year of office, but he continues to be dogged by the issues that arose during his campaign, and which illustrate the problems that are inherent in democracy. First came the first indictments recommended by the special prosecutor appointed to investigate ...

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  • TLet’s get things straight. The PTI lost the Lodhran by-election. That could only happen if there was rigging, which was what Jahangir Tareen, whose unseating caused the by-election, said. There was a theory that Imran Khan deliberately threw the election because otherwise the hereditary ...

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  • TSenate elections are not supposed to present a problem not just because they are held on the basis of a single transferable vote, but because they are indirect. The problems that face parties over candidate selection at the time of general elections are supposed to be over, having taken place then, ...

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  • TA census is an important event in a nation’s life, as it provides the basis for planning. The purpose of a census might be different from the use to which the information is put, and perhaps no example is better than the census which has just been conducted. The origin of censuses in the ...

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  • TThe catching of Zainab’s killer was supposed to bring some closure to the case, but the display of national outrage at the brutal rape-cum-murder in Kasur showed up some of the cracks in Pakistani society, and more particularly in its justice system. The arrest of a neighbor of the murdered ...

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  • TPAT’s Lahore protest and the Karachi police encounters apparently have nothing in common, except that the protest was against the killing of eight PAT workers by police firing, and the incidents in Karachi were of men alleged to have been killed by the police in fake encounters. However, the ...

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  • TThe scenes from Kasur were heart-rending – but not unfamiliar. The rape-cum-murder of seven-year-old Zainab was horrifying, but this was not the first time that Kasur had been associated with child abuse. Only two years before, a child pornography ring, involving as many as 280 to 300 ...

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  • TThe USA’s drawing away from Pakistan, is like its disengagement from Pakistan in the late 1980s onwards, though the dedication of the Pakistani establishment to the US alliance makes it seem Pakistan is being punished for something heroic. Another factor is US President Donald Trump. To what ...

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  • TI think it would be impolitic to intrude on PTI chief Imran Khan at this moment of grief. No, not because of the passing of Zubeida Apa, who had elevated household totkas to an art form. The only totka he would be interested in would be how to get hold of the Fountain of Youth. Or something to help ...

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  • TThe storm raised by a section of opinion in India over the removal of Mrs Kulbhushan Jadhav’s shoes when she met her husband is not the result of frustration at the effectiveness of Pakistan’s gesture, so much as the search for a casus belli, resembling nothing more than the cutting off ...

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  • TThe passage of the Twenty-Fourth Amendment by the Senate paved the way for the coming elections to be held for constituencies delimited according to the Census held this year. The passage reflected the sort of posturing typical of elected politicians, as well as the fact that it was so basic to the ...

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  • TUS President Donald J. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his accompanying decision to shift the US Embassy to it from Tel Aviv, might convulse the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world, but it primarily reflects the exigencies of US domestic politics. That ...

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  • TIt is essential this year to mark the anniversary of the 1962 India-China War for reasons other than that it is the 55th, as because it provides indications of where the Indo-China relationship is going. A closer study of that conflict is relevant because the two countries have once again come into ...

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  • TThe Tehrik Labbaik Ya Rasoolallah sit-in at Faizabad has proven a headache for anyone travelling to Islamabad, or between it and Rawalpindi, and has claimed at least one victim, the child who died because he could not make it to PIMS in time, but it has sent out a number of messages, and scored a ...

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  • TThe example of Catalonia should show that there seems to be a tendency to split that prevents states getting too big. Not only has there been a referendum even though the central government tried to prevent it, but now there has been a declaration of independence. The fleeing of the head of the ...

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  • TThe Sharif Family saga began when Mian Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as an MNA, and thus as Prime Minister. Previously a sort of sub-story of the Nawaz Sharif Story, it assumed centre-stage. Though Mian Nawaz himself did not look it, he is 68 on his next birthday, in December. He was obviously not ...

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  • TUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Swami Adityanath, of the BJP, has it in for the Taj Mahal, but not as much as his MLA Sangeet Som, who set off a controversy by describing it as a ‘blot on the landscape’ and ‘built by traitors.’ His list of traitors is interesting, for it ...

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  • TThe passage of the Election Reform Act 2017 was most prominently criticised for allowing Mian Nawaz Sharif to be re-elected as President of the PML(N), a position he had had to vacate after he was disqualified from membership of the National Assembly, something which cost him the Prime ...

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