Marvi Sirmed

  • TIn my last article on these pages, I tried to raise academic question on the circumstances that lead to rejecting militancy as ‘terrorism’ or sanctifying it as ‘freedom struggle’. Much of it, I had argued, would depend on which political side you are. For the people who ...

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  • TEdhi has left a country behind in which his funeral prayers in absentia were offered jointly with those for Burhan Wani, the slain leader of an internationally designated terrorist organisation. Many educated and progressive Pakistanis passionately defended Wani for being a ‘freedom ...

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  • TDuring his recent tour of Germany, where he was accompanying the Chief of Army Staff, the Director General of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) gave an interesting interview to Deutsche Welle (DW). In the sixteen minutes interview, the DG was posed a range of questions including the overall ...

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  • TMore than twenty people were killed in separate bomb attacks in Afghanistan on Monday, including at least 14 when a suicide bomber struck a minibus carrying Nepalese security contractors in Kabul and Hours later when a bomb planted in a motorbike killed at least eight civilians and wounded another ...

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  • TDuring a current affairs TV show last Friday, I for the first time personally experienced what it takes to face an aggressive, violent misogynist. Not that one had not come across misogyny before, it was still appalling to be in a same room with the violent patriarch and be at the receiving end of ...

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  • TBlasphemy, a concept otherwise little known to the South Asian religions, started percolating in the social fabric, after it was introduced in statute by the British in colonized India back in 19th century. The criminalization of blasphemy, however, did not start with the British India. Muslim ...

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  • TAfter the death of Mullah Mansour on the soil of Pakistan, if some geniuses think that Pakistan would either be embarrassed or would introspect over its ‘support’ to Afghan Taliban, they need help. Taliban are the only friends Pakistan has in the region as of now. The obsession with ...

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  • TAfter prolonged bids to convince Mullah Mansour to come to the negotiating table, a ‘precision airstrike’ by the US has mostly likely killed him over the weekend. Wanting to talk to Mansour yet tracking him for the kill was duplicity, but a good idea. Publicly admission of not only ...

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  • TAnother tranche of the names of offshore company holders is unleashed as are ear-piercing noises of what some journalists like to call ‘accountability’. All of it started a couple of weeks ago with the Panama Papers leaked to media by the media organisation, ICIJ. Much of what we have ...

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  • TProject democracy is once again stumbling and politics is echoinga la 1990’s. Before its harbingers convince everybody that it is at the verge of plunging into oblivion, someone has to put the project accountability in context. History is witness to the fact that every time a democratic ...

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  • TLast week was dominated by the two Sharifs. One was defensive while trying to sound tough, while the other was trying to fan the fire with higher moral ground. The change-mongers tried to get on the high horse. All in all, what did this all accomplish? A visibly tilted civil-military equation in ...

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  • TSeems Kulbhushan Jadhav was not the last RAW man in Pakistan. Nor he was the first. But everyone seems to be, apart from being really excited, so bewildered and shocked over this ‘discovery’. Following Jadhav’s arrest two “RAW agents” were reportedly arrested from a ...

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  • TIn an unprecedented development, Pakistan’s security forces arrested a “RAW agent” from Balochistan. Looking at the subsequent developments, it appears that the story was mainly for domestic consumption.This perception is reinforced by the facts that neither a substantive protest ...

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  • TOn March 27 when the terrorists were bleeding Lahore, the religious zealots were creating havoc in the federal capital celebrating a convicted killer. This hints at different layers of the scourge of religious terrorism in Pakistan. On one hand is the Deobandi-Ahl-e-Hadith-ideology-inspired ...

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  • TOur major paranoia since decades has been towards India. Trying to neutralize its influence has become our national goal. Born out of this distrust are our regional policies towards our neighbors, we share long borders with i.e. Afghanistan, Iran and China. Born out of this paranoia is our ...

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  • TAfter a much-hyped series of high-level meetings of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), Afghan Taliban came with an expected rejection of peace talks last Saturday. The Murree Process was busted in the wake of Mullah Omar’s death reports last year. The peace agenda was subsequently taken ...

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  • TWhat would make one celebrate death? Who would support a murder – the execution – at the hand of a state? A democratic state killing people in the name of justice would actually be making its entire population responsible for that execution by way of being of the people, for the people, ...

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  • TThey certainly have rooms with the best view. Only if they could rid their windowpanes of the lenses they have been using since decades. The world has changed, so should the view. They must know it well for they are not Mike Harding’s Wazzocks. Why is it that the more things are changing, the ...

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  • TOn Kashmir Solidarity Day this year, Islamabad remained comparatively calmer compared to last few years. The underlying message could have been that a greater space for and commitment for peace between Pakistan and India is now possible. Alongside, it would have been embarrassing for the leadership ...

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  • TThe good General at the top of the information factory of the military continues to keep his chief in the headlines, making him appear as the savior of the nation and the last hope for the conflict ridden fateful country. The civilians however, still have to learn several bits. Represented in media ...

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  • TWhat Indians had started saying within hours of the Pathankot attackers fired first shot, is now visible to most. When Prime Minister Sharif assured his Indian counterpart of his government’s cooperation on the ‘actionable intelligence’ shared by India, he actually conceded the ...

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  • TLess than a week after India’s Prime Minister Modi dropped by at Lahore to offer a birthday wish to his Pakistani counterpart, Pathankot Air Force Base in Indian Punjab was reverberating with explosions and gunshots. While the year 2015 ended on a note of hope and optimism for peace between ...

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  • TThis Friday’s call-on on Mian Nawaz Sharif was just one of the surprises Prime Minister Modi loves to drop. His ‘surprise tactic’ started right after he won office and wanted the entire galaxy of SAARC heads around him while taking oath of office. Alongside his shockers, he likes ...

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  • TOn December 18, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan made a very important policy speech from the floor of the National Assembly of Pakistan. Our country’s Interior Minister, who by his own admission at the beginning of the same speech, remains central coordinator of Pakistan’s ...

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  • TThe dreadful day that it was. The December 16th, 2014 when apocalypse happened in broad day light in Peshawar’s Army Public School that we all watched and wept.For about 155 families, today is the day of heart wrenching pain, grief, anguish, angst and anger that they have been living for last ...

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  • TBeyond the structural issues affecting the progress of National Action Plan (NAP), there are broader conceptual issues that shape the broader framework as well as the counter terrorism narrative. Whether the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) is activated or not, whether the Joint ...

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  • TOn 24th of this month, country’s National Action Plan for countering terrorism would be aged one year. Members of NAP-Watch Pakistan, an alliance of over one hundred noted citizens and experts, have been raising concerns over the slow pace of implementation and narrow scope of the ...

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  • TLast Friday proved to be one of Malakand’s bloodiest in recent months. Going by media reports, Dir received twenty-one coffins that day.The coffins had arrived Upper and Lower Dir from Afghanistan’s eastern Province of Khost near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border when US forces carried ...

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  • TThose heavy moustaches, naughty eyes and an I-mean-it-dude smile are just everywhere. Even the BBC could not miss it. The civvies experienced the rather hard side of it after last week’s CCC issued a public rebuke of not doing enough of the needful. That was hardly news. That’s because ...

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  • TThe lynching of Abdul Khaliq in Indian village Dadri on allegedly keeping the beef was probably a shocking reminder of the change India had undergone in 2014 after her general elections. The common inference in Pakistan is that Mr. Modi oversaw the pogrom in Gujarat that ended up in the killings of ...

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