Pakistan: Now or Never?

Guest contribution-Will Pakistan go the Middle East way?

By Guest Contributor
April 20, 2011

jinnah flag

(The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the author’s alone. The writer is Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK)

Pakistan and the taboo of secularism

January 8, 2011

graveFor everyone trying to understand the implications of Salman Taseer’s assassination, this essay from 2007 is good place to start (h/t Abu Muqawama).  “The Politics of God” is about why Europe decided, after years of warfare over the correct interpretation of Christianity, to separate church and state.  But it is also relevant to Pakistan, where the killing of the Punjab governor over his opposition to the country’s blasphemy laws has shown that what was left of Pakistani secularism, is, if not dead, at least in intensive care.

Claiming Jinnah’s mantle: Musharraf joins the queue

October 2, 2010

jinnah flagThe minute I entered the elegant book-lined club in central London where Pervez Musharraf was about to launch his political career, it was clear who was to dominate the proceedings – Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Quaid-e-Azam, Founder of the Nation, Father of Pakistan. In his trademark peaked Jinnah cap, it was his photo alone which was hanging prominently on the platform where the former military ruler was to speak; and his photo on the little entrance ticket they gave you to get past security.

Guest contribution-Pakistan’s conspiracy theories

By Reuters Staff
September 30, 2010

floodphoto(The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the author’s alone. The writer is Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK)

Fake degrees stir fear of ‘mini mid-term polls’ in Pakistan

June 29, 2010

punjab universityPakistani education authorities are verifying university degrees of members of parliament amid fears that scores of them could be disqualified for holding “fake degrees”, leading to “mini mid-term elections” less than three years after general elections were held in the country.

from India Insight:

From across the border, books and bats

April 8, 2010

This week, while one Pakistani was being questioned by the Indian police and hysterical reporters on an alleged marriage to an Indian, another Pakistani, composed and smiling, fielded questions from an admiring audience on dynasty and politics in the country that every Indian has an opinion on.

Pakistan’s Sharif seen isolated after ‘U-turn’

March 29, 2010

Nawaz SharifFormer Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is used to being Pakistan’s most popular politician, but lately he has become the country’s most criticised.

Punjab minister asks for mercy from Taliban, earns woman’s scorn

March 17, 2010

After the chief minister of Pakistan’s biggest province reportedly asked the Taliban to spare his region from attacks, he kicked off an uproar and earned the scorn of a woman member of a provincial parliament, who sarcastically offered him her scarf and said “the women of the frontier province” would protect him.

Pakistan: Through the eye of a needle

December 21, 2009

lawyers celebrateFor the first time in many months, the future of Pakistan is being determined not in the fight against Islamist militants, but within its institutions — its judiciary, its political parties, its government and its military.  Last week’s decision by the Supreme Court to strike down a 2007 amnesty given to politicians and bureaucrats has provided Pakistan with a rare opportunity to remodel itself as a civilian democracy based on the rule of law.  But the way forward is so fraught with difficulties that assessments of its chances of success are at best sober, at worst ominous.

Pakistan’s political pandemonium

December 18, 2009

sharifzardaridubaiA Supreme Court ruling striking down an amnesty given to politicians and officials by former president Pervez Musharraf has created havoc in Pakistani politics.  Among those affected on a list of 8,000 politicians and bureaucrats who were protected by the amnesty are the interior and defence ministers, who are now no longer allowed to leave the country until they clear their names in court.