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Opinion Pieces at the News International Pakistan

An Unusual Ramazan – published May 5, 2020

These are very difficult times across much of the world, but particularly so in the US. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases here are well past 1,100,000 and the death toll is closing in on 70,000.

We have been in near total lockdown since mid-March. The Greater Washington DC area where I live has been hit very hard. While many states in the US are starting to slowly lift their lockdowns, my state is not there yet. In fact, the federal guideline is to wait till there are 14 days of declining cases before relaxing restrictions. According to media reports, none of the 30 or so states that are starting to open up have yet reached this milestone. Read more…

Test of Leadership – published April 21, 2020

In the US, it is hard to watch or read any news these days that isn’t focused on the novel coronavirus. The total number of confirmed infections in the country is almost at 750,000, and the number of dead is over 40,000 and growing.

Yet, the impact across the country has been uneven. Large metropolitan areas such as New York, Detroit and Chicago are badly affected while rural areas have had much less health impact so far. These cities also happen to be areas with majority Democratic Party supporters. Read more…

The virus and the U.S. – Published March 26, 2020

I have just returned to Washington DC after a month-long trip to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Concerns about the coronavirus had started to emerge when I left home. But coming back to the US now feels like we have returned to a completely changed landscape. Having traveled through several airports we are self-isolating for 14 days at home. It is hard to turn on any TV or radio channel without being deluged with facts and figures about the spread of the virus…..Read more

Is Trump Good for Pakistan? Published on February 12, 2020

Last week the US Senate acquitted Donald Trump of charges of Abuse of Office and Obstruction of Congress. A few weeks earlier the House of Representatives had impeached Trump by a majority vote, an act that will remain on the books for all times.

Trump has led an abusive and corrupt administration. He allegedly sought and received help from Russians in the 2016 election and is seen to be seeking to do the same in 2020, this time from Ukraine. Read more…

Polarisation in America – Published on January 30, 2020

Extreme polarization in American society is a rapidly emerging phenomenon, both in how people assess the performance of their elected leaders as well as in how much they trust or distrust various media sources.

A recent survey shows that 89 percent of all Republicans say President Trump is doing a good job, while only seven percent of Democrats approve of his performance. This is the largest gap in a president’s approval rating between supporters of the two parties in the last 50 years or so since such data has been reported. Read more…

About 2019 – Published on January 1, 2020

As the year 2019 drew to a close, many of us were reflecting on what the just passed year brought; in fact, what the decade of the two-thousand-teens brought to the world.

Progress has been made in many areas. People have put new technologies and high-speed internet to many good uses. There is greater awareness and concern for the environment. New business models are flourishing and along with that a large amount of wealth has been created. The total value of US stock market has grown by $5 trillion just in 2019. Read more…

Eventful Week – Published on December 18, 2019

We have just witnessed an eventful week in which far-reaching extraordinary events took place in many different corners of the world, many unrelated to each other yet head-spinning in their import.

On December 13, the Judiciary Committee of US House of Representatives approved two counts of impeachment against US President Trump and sent it to the full House for a vote. This is only the fourth time in history of the US that a president has been recommended for impeachment and removal from office for having committed “high crimes and misdemeanours”. Read more…

American Thanksgiving – Published on December 4, 2019

Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in the US on the fourth Thursday of every November. Many people travel on this holiday to spend time with family. Consequently, most employers also give Friday off, creating a four-day weekend. It is a non-religious holiday designed for people to enjoy food and fun with family, showing thankfulness for what they have achieved and been blessed with in life. Read more…