How Can a Country of 200 Million People Only Have Four Provinces?

By ADNAN RASOOL — As election season kicks off, once again we are starting to hear the evergreen demand before every election cycle: the creation of new provinces. Before taking a position on this issue, I am going to unpack this debate and allow the readers to make up their minds about what Pakistan needs. […]

The 4.9 Billion-Dollar Gaffe Which Could Have Been Avoided

Talking to Dawn on Tuesday, a spokesman for the SBP said the bank had issued a clarification twice in the past — in 2015 and 2016 — rejecting the World Bank report. Soon after the SBP clarification, NAB issued a brief statement and questioned: “If the World Bank report is not correct, why they have […]

Hindu Nationalists Disruption of Muslim Prayers and Demand for Removal of Jinnah Portrait in Aligarh

May 8, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — In India, where religion pervades every cubic inch of public space, the question of whether Muslims have the right to pray in the open has turned into a contentious debate, stirred up by Hindu nationalist groups and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Across the country, Hindu processions routinely tie up […]

The Six Biggest Challenges Facing Pakistan’s Urban Future

Hina Shaikh and Ijaz Nabi — With an urban population growing three percent per year, Pakistanis are flocking to cities faster than any other country in South Asia. By 2030, more than half of Pakistan’s projected 250 million citizens are expected to live in cities. The main drivers of Pakistan’s urban growth are high birth […]

Two Rallies, Two Cities: PPP, PTI Kick-Start Campaign for Change as Elections 2018 Nears

April 30, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — As of 9:00PM Pakistan Standard Time, over 50,000 people have assembled at PTI’s Minar-e-Pakistan jalsa in Lahore– capital of Punjab province and stronghold of PML-N, the ruling party in the country’s largest province and in the center. At almost the same time, close to similar number of people have thronged […]

Xi, Modi Summit in China Comes to an End With a Postscript: ‘It Takes Two to Tango’

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to undertake a joint India-China economic project in Afghanistan at their first informal summit, reports Indian news agency PTI citing official sources in Wuhan. IRSHAD SALIM (April 28, 2018) — China and India seek predictability and control in their bilateral relationship– both have […]

Khawaja Asif’s Disqualification: Trap of Politicians’ Own Making

LIKE a chain reaction, the dominos appear to be beginning to fall. After the Supreme Court’s judgements disqualifying Nawaz Sharif for life from public office on the basis of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, it was clear that others could be netted in the iqama and undeclared foreign earnings trap. To be sure, it is […]

Kashmir Solution Lies Not With U.N., But With India, Pakistan and Kashmiris

By MOHAMMED AZHAR ALI KHAN: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says that the United Nations is following developments in Kashmir “closely” – presumably the ceasefire violations in Kashmir by Indian and Pakistani forces and the unrest in Indian Kashmir. But the solution lies not with the United Nations – which arranged a cease-fire in 1949 […]

Chaos Order and Pakistaniat: Rooftop View

IRSHAD SALIM: In mid March, an Islamabad-based Think Tank called Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies launched a nationwide campaign themed “Nationalism & Pakistaniat”. The PICSS flyer said “through seminars, conferences, roundtables, interactive sessions and other tools of advocacy it seeks to help the Pakistani youth in comprehending the true concept of ‘Pakistaniat’ with […]

2018 Elections: Caretaker Govt and Race for Electables

There is a myth that the electables need political parties; but the fact of the matter is that it is the other way round, as to form government, political parties need winning candidates. By MOHAMMAD JAMIL: PRESENT government’s tenure ends on May 31, 2018, and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will ask the President to […]

PM Abbasi Receives a Book on ‘Subject of Great Importance and Relevance’

“The Golden Age of Andalusia can be attributed to knowledge. This legacy continues to have a positive impact on Andalusians even today.” By AKBAR AHMED: Last month, while collecting my mail in routine I received an extraordinary surprise – a personal letter from Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. In February, courtesy of the Pakistan Embassy […]

Lahore Blueprint For Karachi: Mother Of All Cities

By ASHA’AR REHMAN: IF my mother had been around I would have broken the news to her with a chuckle and a boast. There’s finally word that it is possible to turn Karachi into Lahore — long after she declared that my beloved Lahore could never become Karachi. Now it is not only possible that […]

Imran Khan’s Bold Move: Setting a Welcome Democratic Precedent to Eliminate Horse-trading

FINALLY, a political leader has taken action, going beyond the condemnations and lamentations of the political system that have become so common. In an extraordinary news conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, PTI supremo Imran Khan named members of his own party in the KP Assembly who allegedly sold their votes in the recent Senate elections. […]

A ‘Muslim Bogey’ to Unite Hindus in India

By AIJAZ ZAKA SYED: COMMENTING on Hindutva’s ambitious project to “unite all Hindus”, Aakar Patel, former editor and current executive director of Amnesty International, offers an interesting argument. While it shouldn’t take much effort and imagination to unify an 85 percent strong majority, Hindus are not a monolithic community. Far from it. While Hindutva insists […]

Middle East: a Threat to World Peace & Security, Warns UN Chief

UN Secretary-General António Guterres in an address to the Security Council warns of threat to world peace and security because of the situation in Middle East. By ANTONIO GUTERRES — The situation in the Middle East is in chaos — to such an extent it has become a threat to international peace and security. The […]

Amnesty: Chasing “Billions of Hidden Assets” Vs. “Trillion Dollar Net Worth Potential” of Overseas Pakistanis

(BE2C2 Report); IRSHAD SALIM — Some 9 million Pakistanis are now abroad and in two different broad categories: Pakistanis working overseas mostly in the Middle East (NICOP card holders), and those who have switched citizenship or hold dual nationality, and are living and working abroad over the years (Pakistani Diaspora holding POC cards). Almost 99 […]

Removing Hate from Sermons By Xenophobic Clerics

RAFIA ZAKARIA — It has been nearly 10 years since an angry mob raged through the streets of Gojra in the early morning hours of Aug 1, 2009. The trouble had begun the day before, Friday, when certain xenophobic clerics had incited Muslim villagers, citing rumors about the desecration of religious verses. On that grim […]

Islamabad Insight: Why Not Reboot the System?

SHAHEEN SEHBAI — IN today’s technology-driven world, the first solution that is offered, if something stops working, is to reboot: the computer, laptop, the phone, tablet or the operating system. Why not try it with our political, economic and power structure, while we have some little time and the working machine does not completely shut […]

Pakistan Part of New South Asia Economic Geography

Pakistan needs to quickly initiate a progressive model of economic reforms in line with the changing regional and global dynamics. This will not only ensure sustainability of economic growth but will also put Pakistan in a leadership position in the new South Asian economic geography. HAROON SHARIF – THE contours of a new economic and […]

Why Trump Administration Wants Saudi Arabia to Be Interlocutor Between US and Pakistan

IRSHAD SALIM: The White House on Wednesday said there is an opportunity for Saudi Arabia to be a key interlocutor between the US and Pakistan—their bilateral relationship has reportedly hit rock-bottom after the US President announced in August his South Asia policy to end America’s 16-year old conflict in Afghanistan which has cost taxpayers more […]