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Showing posts from January, 2013

Who Can Bridge The Rural, Urban & Ethnic Political Divide In Pakistan?

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By Sikander Hayat


Pakistan faces a distinct lack of a party which has a universal appeal in all parts of the country and which contest elections on issues not the ethnicity. Pakistan Peoples Party played this role for many years but due to rampant corruption by its rank & file and bad governance, its popularity is now limited to rural Sindh. 2013 elections will signal the way party goes in terms of its universal popularity but the current trends show that a heavy election defeat is on the cards for the party which will limit it to the rural areas of Sindh with some possible seats in South Punjab. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf has the potential to replace PPP as the party of all six provinces but until the electoral process proves this, we have to stick to the make up of the current parliament. Text books might not agree but Pakistan currently has six provinces & two federal areas: PunjabSindhKhyber Pakhtunkhwa BaluchistanGilgit Baltistan Azad Kashmir Federally Administered Tribal…

What Is The Future Of Afghanistan Pakistan Relations?

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After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Pakistan opened its borders and at least 5 million Afghans moves to Pakistan. Most of these people still live in Pakistan and social structure of the country has been greatly altered with the arrival of Afghan refugees as Pakistan government decided to practically abolish the border between Pakistan & Afghanistan with free movement of labour, capital & general population. Many Afghans have Pakistani passports and as well as Afghani passports. Currently there are more Pashtuns living in Pakistan, than Afghanistan as they have spread all over Pakistan. Awami National Party (ANP) is now the third biggest political force in Pakistan’s commercial capital Karachi after Pakistan Peoples Party & MQM. This is due to the fact that Karachi’s politics have turned into an ethnic number game where Pashtuns vote for ANP, Muhajirs vote for MQM & Sindhis vote for PPP. As the moment of America’s withdrawal comes nearer the property prices in Pes…

India & Afghanistan - Pakistan's Security Interests In Afghanistan

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By Sikander Hayat



Current crisis on the line of control in Kashmir could have been handled well by the Indian establishment but the fact that it did not morph into a full blown crisis augers well for the future prospects of peace but there is an open question of Afghanistan hanging over India & Pakistan relations. If India decides to have a footprint in Afghanistan than Pakistan will fight tooth and nail to keep the eastern & southern Afghanistan in its sphere of influence as it is vital for the security of Pakistan to have these areas in Pashtun hands. USA should have conceded this fact a long time ago and this Afghanistan war could have ended few years earlier rather than going on until now and ending with a potential humiliation for the Western alliance.
Pakistan has legitimate interest inAfghanistan and Pakistan has been trying to convey this message since the American invasion nearly 12 years ago. Pakistan & India need to reach a grand bargain in which following steps …

Who Is Responsible For Algeria Hostage Crisis?

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By Sikander Hayat
Algeria is battling a vicious attack on its oil & gas infrastructure from terrorists whose aims remain unknown. Many foreigners have been taken hostage which includes many western citizens. Given the history of Algeria’s militantpast and two decade insurgency (which started when Islamic Front won the elections but was forced away from taking over the government) , it is not uncommon for the country to face terrorist attacks. But it is the first time that an oil & gas installation has been attacked and such a large number of foreign hostages have been taken hostage.
There could be three possible reasons for this and any other attacks that are country happening in Islamic Maghreb.

1.The installation in question is near the borderbetween Algeria & Libya which gives rise to the possibility that attackers, though thought to be mostly Algerian nationals, came from Libya. Gaffafi’s government was staunchly against militant Islam and by killing him; West has left …

Can Balochistan Governer Do The Job After Hazara Deaths Forced Raisani Off Stage?

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By Sikander Hayat This is an open question as he has not been a very effective figure in the past. Given the fact that governor rule will last just 60 days & than care taker interim government will take over to conduct the general elections, in essence Mr Zulfiqar Magsi has less than 60 days to make any impact. I very much doubt that anything will happen in these 60 days as he is not in charge because of design but because of an accident which has left Quetta & whole of Pakistan in absolute shock. The nationalist elements in the province who are presiding over a dying insurgency may want to take advantage of this situation but that is also very unlikely to succeed as government of Mr Raisani was not actually very competent any way and Frontier Constabulary was dealing with the insurgents directly without any oversight by Mr Raisani in most of the cases. Whole of Balochistan is looking forward to the elections which will bring in the actual Baloch leadership into power. Mengals …

Who Is Responsible For The Killing Of Hazara Shias In Quetta?

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By Sikander Hayat



It has been a trend now for few years that Shias are killedin Pakistan. Their mosques are attacked and their general life & well being is under threat. Groups like Sipah-e-Sihaba & Laskar-e-Jhangvi are wreaking havoc all over Pakistan. But the killings of Hazras in Quetta have reached a level where it is no longer possible for the people or the government ofPakistan to ignore the problem. Pakistan is generally stuck in a downward spiral but sectarianism is reaching the heights where it should never have been allowed to reach. It is easy to blame this and that for this issue and some would say that army is responsible for Pakistan's ills. Mullahs are blamed. From A to Z, from heavens to earth everything is blamed for the ills of Pakistan. Some would blame Saudi Arabia & Iran for fighting a proxy war in Pakistan. I agree with all/most of these reasons but I also want of bring your attention to another very important reason for the ills of Pakistan. We th…

Is Pakistan Army Using Tahir Ul Qadri To Delay Elections?

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By Sikander Hayat Recently Tahir Ul Qadri announced that he is going to lead a 4 million march to Islamabad to change the political system of Pakistan. He has also said that until his demands are met, he will not return from Islamabad. Not a very pretty thought for the people of Islamabad. So who is acting behind the scenes here? Who has asked Allama Qadri to return to Pakistan after a fairly long period of self exile? Who is forcing MQM to back him in his quest to bring revolution to Pakistan? There are so many questions but very few answers. Two possible behind the scene actors here are Pakistan Army & guys from ISI but the puzzling question has to be this: Why now? Now that current government’s term is nearing an end and it will legally cease to exist from mid March 2013. Why end something which is ending anyway. It seems that army is terrified of the prospect that Nawaz Sharif might return to power and keeping in mind that this Nawaz Sharif is anti military activism in Pakistan’s…