No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Opinion Pieces at the News International Pakistan

Twenty Years Later – Published March 28, 2023

I recently listened to a New York Times podcast titled ‘First Person’ in which journalist Lulu Garcia-Navarro recounts her years of reporting from Baghdad following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003

Twenty years on, the US and much of the world have moved on. The Iraq war barely registers on the radar screen of a vast majority of Americans or the world at large.

In the podcast, Garcia-Navarro talks to Ali Hamdani who was her local guide and interpreter while she worked as an American journalist in Iraq. Garcia-Navarro reports Hamdani saved her and her colleagues’ lives several times during her multiyear deployment in Iraq. Working for the US-based ‘National Public Radio’ at the time, she received numerous journalistic awards for her reporting from the war zone. Read more…


Double standard? – March 1, 2023

On January 24, Twitter took down links to a two-part BBC documentary titled ‘India: the Modi Question’, at the behest of the Indian government. The documentary presented the role Narendra Modi – the then chief minister of Gujrat – played in the 2002 massacres in his state. About 2000 people, mostly Muslims, were reportedly killed

Coming from the BBC, it was a well-researched production. YouTube also quickly followed suit, making it difficult – though not impossible – to access the films. The BBC documentary tracks “Mr Modi’s career-long efforts to demonize India’s 200 million-odd Muslim” minority, reported ‘The Economist’.

It appears that Elon Musk’s free speech absolutism only goes so far. The BBC is not exactly known to be some extremist fringe outfit, and yet it was effectively silenced with cooperation from US social media sites. Just a few days later, BBC offices in India were raided by Indian tax authorities, pursuing alleged tax law violations – an often-used tactic to silence unwanted opposition. “After silencing critics at home, Narendra Modi goes after foreign media”, read the headline from a recent editorial, also in ‘The Economist’. Read more…


Fraught relationship – Feb. 15, 2023

On February 1, a very large balloon was spotted over the US state of Montana; the balloon was determined to have originated in China. Why exactly China would resort to flying a balloon over US airspace remains somewhat of a mystery. The US allowed the balloon to fly across the country and then shot it down

The wreckage has now been recovered by American authorities who have announced the balloon was designed to gather intelligence as it flew across. China has continued to assert it was a weather balloon that had strayed off its intended course.

This incident comes at a time when US-China relations are already extremely tense. The US feels China’s growth and assertive posture in many parts of the world is a threat to American security and commercial interests. China on the other hand appears in no mood to apologize for its economic and technological progress. Read more…


American Allure – Feb. 1, 2023

In 2022 the population of China declined for the first time in decades. It is now estimated that India may have surpassed China, becoming the most populous country in the world

China has now started to suffer the consequences of its decades-long one-child policy. Its demographic impact may take generations to correct. Some are projecting a real risk now that the Chinese economy may never catch up to the size of the US economy.

Western Europe has also been suffering from similar declining birth rates, partly due to high cost and difficulty of raising a child. The prime minister of Japan has also noted that for Japan to remain a robust, growing economy, its birth rate must increase. Read more…


Ethics and politics – January 17, 2023

Last August, the FBI raided former US president Donald Trump’s resort home in Florida. They searched for and confiscated a large number of classified documents that were in the former president’s possession and that he had refused to turn over to the National Archives as required.

This was followed by the expected reactions from both political parties – Republicans condemning the unprecedented raid on a former president’s home and Democrats criticizing the former president’s refusal to turn over the documents. Read more…


Global order upended – Jan. 4, 2023

Over the past several decades there have been a few years that really stand out for having an impact that resonates for many years to come. One such year was 2001 when Americans’ view of threats faced by their country was fundamentally altered. The financial crisis of 2008-09 devastated the American and global economies for years to come.
This past year, 2022, will go down in history for shaking the established global security order to its core. What was believed to be the post-World War II era of stability and security is no more. It was broadly accepted that the age of major wars, particularly ones that sought to change national borders was in the past.  Read more.. 

Unintended Consequences – December 22, 2022

The dust has settled on the American midterm elections. It was widely expected the Republican Party would make major gains, as has been typical of past elections when one party controls the White House and both chambers of Congress

Instead, the Republican Party has been able to pick up only ten additional seats in the House of Representatives, giving them a very slim majority and the speakership of the House. In the Senate, on the other hand, the Democrats kept control and picked up an additional seat in Pennsylvania. Many candidates endorsed by Donald Trump, all supporting extreme positions including 2020 election results denial, were defeated. The Republican Party performed poorly among centrist, non-partisan voters, whose support is needed to win any statewide election. Read more…


Minority Rule – Published on Dec. 22, 2021

In the last nine elections for the president of the United States stretching across 30+ years, the Republican Party candidate has only twice been able to get a majority of the votes cast – yet the candidate for the Republican Party has won four of these nine elections

Winning the election with a minority of votes cast in a two-party system is due to the quirks of the US electoral system. Such a result is possible because the US constitution calls for indirect election of the president and vice president with disproportionate weightage to the smaller states.

While the intent of the founding fathers may have been to balance out the power dynamic between smaller and larger states, the net result is a system increasingly out of step with the will of the voters. Read more…


Backsliding Democracy – Published on December 8, 2021

International IDEA, a European think tank which tracks progress of democracies across the world, has in its recently released report assessed the US as a ‘backsliding democracy.’

This assessment was based on a study of 28 indicators of democracy during 2020-21. The five core pillars studied by IDEA to assess the state of democracies are: representative government, fundamental rights, checks on government, impartial administration, and participatory engagement.

Other countries listed as ‘backsliding democracies’ are Brazil, India, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia; all countries considered functioning democracies at different levels that are seen to have taken a step back in the last year or two. Read more…


Biden’s Ten Months – Published on November 24, 2021

The US political scene continues to be rife with acrimony, and negativity. Discussion in the political press these days is mostly focused on how much Joe Biden’s approval ratings have dropped in recent months. While this discussion started with the ill-conceived US withdrawal from Afghanistan back in August, lately the focus of the press has been on how the Democrats have been unable to deliver on their promises.

With the recent approval of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the passage of the $1.8 trillion Build Back Better (BBB) plan in the House of Representatives, the criticism is starting to temper down a bit. The infrastructure bill represents badly needed funding for projects that have been neglected for years. Promises made by former president Trump to improve the US infrastructure yielded nothing except boastful meetings with more empty promises. Now that the funding has been approved and signed into law, instead of applauding the accomplishment, the rightwing press is urgently looking for other Biden priorities to criticize. Read more…


Posts by Date