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Opinion Pieces at the News International Pakistan

Democracy in Crisis – Published on September 24, 2020

The United States continues to move with trepidation towards national elections on November 3, while the country continues to bounce from one crisis to the next. Over 200,000 Americans are dead from Covid-19 and over 6.5 million have been infected. Tens of millions are unemployed and several universities had to move to online teaching only within a week of reopening as Covid cases spiked.

Messages from the Trump administration about the pandemic are confusing at best. He continues to contradict his own science experts on a daily basis. Read more…

The worst yet to come – Published on September 10, 2020

Both parties’ political conventions have now concluded. The Democratic Party convention was followed by the Republican convention last week.

It turned out to be a very Trump-family focused four days. All members of his family including his children spoke, as did Melania. Needless to say, all of them recounted how good the president has been for the country.

There was hardly any mention of the pandemic the country is suffering through or the economic collapse that has followed. Vice president Mike Pence set a new standard in ‘smoke and mirrors’ politics. He talked about the 8-10 million jobs that had been gained in the last four months, failing to mention that more than 20 million jobs had disappeared immediately before this weak recovery. Read more …

Election Season – Published on August 27, 2010

US political party conventions have now concluded, and campaigns are in full swing. The country nervously moves towards November 3. Kamala Harris, senator from California and former presidential candidate herself was chosen by Joe Biden to be his running mate.

Harris with her biracial background broke many firsts – first woman of colour to be on a presidential ticket, and first child of immigrants to be selected for this position. Daughter of an immigrant mother from India and father from Jamaica, she rose in politics in California over the years, being elected attorney general of the largest state and then as US senator. Read more …

Law and Order President? – Published on August 13, 2020

In the wake of recent protests in the US, Donald Trump has declared himself to be the ‘law and order’ president.

This term comes with many layers of meaning for Americans. Richard Nixon had declared himself to be the same when he ran for office in 1968 — a time of much turmoil in America. There were wide-scale protests against the Vietnam War, and three prominent leaders — John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy — had all been assassinated. There had been major race riots in several large cities in the aftermath of the King assassination in April 1968 and most white Americans had fled urban areas in fear. The country was in turmoil and Nixon promised to smack down any protests. Read more …

Dereliction of Duty – Published on July 30, 2020

Five months into the coronavirus pandemic, the US continues to be one of the worst affected countries. With five percent of the world’s population, it has 25 percent of all coronavirus deaths. There is still a battle raging in the country as to whether this is a real threat, or not. Or whether face masks really help or not. And even whether the reported numbers of infections and fatalities mean anything.

One would think dead bodies piling up, and ICU wards filled beyond capacity wouldn’t be a matter of debate. Yet this is where America stands today. Over four million confirmed infections, deaths closing in on 150,000, and no end in sight. Read more…

US Elections and Muslims – Published on July 14, 2020

The Democratic candidate for president, Joe Biden, has recently appointed Farooq Mitha, an American of South Asian heritage, as his director of outreach to the American Muslim community. The election is less than four months away. Normally, campaigning would have been in full swing at this time, but the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on it.

Systemic Racism – Published on July 1, 2020

Donald Trump decided to relaunch his presidential campaign in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 19th, 2020. June 19, also known as Juneteenth, celebrates the end of slavery in America, about 150 years ago.

A few decades later, formerly enslaved blacks had managed to build a thriving community in a place called Greenwood on the outskirts of Tulsa. Here they had reached a level of prosperity that caused this place to be called the Black Wall Street. Sadly, this island of black prosperity was turned into ashes when white mobs attacked and killed 300 Blacks and burned down over 1,000 homes in the year 1921. Read more…

America in Turmoil – Published on June 18, 2020

Over the last two weeks many US cities have seen large protests that were sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man at the hands of police in Minneapolis. These protests have continued to grow, under the now familiar banner of ‘Black Lives Matter’.

This is not just about the killing of one man by police, but about the increasing realization that anti-black hatred has brutally subjugated the black population of America for centuries. For those not paying attention, it is a simple matter: America had slavery for a long time and it was abolished 150 years ago, problem solved. Hardly so! Read more…

A Dark Chapter – Published June 2, 2020

Just a few days ago the US reached the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths from Covid-19. Even as the country was grappling with these losses, many more disturbing events have taken place.

Just in the past week, while the nation was coming to grips with Covid-19 losses, President Trump announced the US will leave the WHO and withdraw the special trading status that had been granted to Hong Kong, following Beijing’s announcement of curtailing many freedoms in the territory. A full-blown cold war between the US and China is now on the cards. Read more…

Politics in a Pandemic – Published May 20, 2020

The rapid deterioration of the US economy due to the novel coronavirus pandemic has started to make President Trump very nervous.

After all, the presidential election is less than six months away. After continuously downplaying the threat, he was ultimately forced to confront reality as the number of infections and deaths kept climbing. As of mid-May, the number of infections in the US were approaching 1.5 million and deaths were closing in on 90,000. Read more…