The Joy of parenting siblings – by Asif Zaidi

We know one another's faults, virtues, catastrophes, mortifications, triumphs, rivalries, desires, and how long we can each hang by our hands to a bar. We have been banded together under pack codes and tribal laws. - Rose Macaulay

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A season for grief’s pursuing – and now Mirza Abbas Arif - by Asif Zaidi

As a warm August morning wore on in Karachi, Mirza Abbas Arif, a young man of 25 years in his glorious youthful prime, left for work.

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When the country’s birthday has become a “media circus” and an “Islamic day” glorifying our horrors and mistakes to children, then we would be remiss to skip the sideshows.

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Syria’s War, Another Tragedy on Euphrates that nobody wants to end - by Asif Zaidi


It has been well over two years since the Syrian opposition, propelled by long-held and varying grievances, rose against Bashar al Assad.

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Corruption? Nepotism? Lack of meritocracy? Low GDP growth? Yes, all of these and more. But in the final analysis two factors are more responsible for the widening gap between the rich and poor than anything else.

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Almost every day I hear analyses from cricket pundits in Pakistan that the standard of the game in Pakistan is going down because of the lack of international cricket in the country. This is. Indeed, very far from the truth.

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Is There a Religiously Designated Islamic Political System? By Asif Zaidi


While political movements that function in the name of religion have been a world phenomenon for centuries, in the modern age it is only Islam that, in the recent times, has become associated with radical fundamentalism in an essentialist manner. Hence the world view of the traits of this radical fundamentalism gets transferred to Islam itself. These radical Islamists espouse exclusivity in both moral and political domains and have converted political activity into a purified theology of politics without which, according to them, a society or an individual cannot function in entire conformity with Islam. This is what signifies political Islam in today’s context. Tarek Fatah, in his book ‘Chasing a Mirage’ correctly points out that “the issue of succession and the incessant and obsessive urge to establish the Islamic State has made the Muslim Ummah a prisoner of its own delusion”.

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‘Women in Hiding’, Directed by Taliban, Running Successfully in Dark Corners – by Asif Zaidi


The above production has now hit the marketplace of Karak, a town in KPK, which is ruled by the PTI. Karak is the district headquarter of Karak District, whose population is almost entirely comprised of Khattak tribe. This news can be seen in the following article in the country’s arguably most respected newspaper.

According to this piece, a committee of local clerics (ulema) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Karak district banned the entry in markets of women who are not accompanied by a 'mehram' (a family member not eligible to marry the woman in question). We wait to see how the PTI’s government in the province reacts to the news.

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