Bonded labour has been outlawed in Pakistan and most other affected countries in line with UN conventions on human rights. However, according to the 2014 Global Slavery Index, 2,058,200 people are enslaved in Pakistan.
In Punjab and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkwa, the shrinking mainstream (which now basically consists of the Punjabi urban middle to upper class with its influence into the rural areas and fragmented like-minded elements in the Seraiki belt and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) is facing a grave identity crisis. The level of their failures — economic, security and terrorism oriented — and obvious mistakes have become too high to be conscionable even by themselves.
Moreover, up to the East Pakistan debacle, the army was secular. Mr Bhutto was a case of someone outside the mainstream gaining control of the power structure; thus he faced a lot of criticism and was executed for his temerity.
This must be why the security establishment made a grand announcement last week that the militant group that carried out the sectarian attack in Shikarpur had been identified.
Nearly two months after the Peshawar attack, it is unclear if Pakistan’s direction has changed. The unprecedented grief and anger over the tragedy has now given way to business as usual.
The hawks will say that the government has been left with no choice given the recent ‘provocations’ of Indian military personnel. But even if one was to take at face value the claims that ‘they’ are causing all the mischief, border skirmishes have a long history, and getting overly worked up about them is a case of much ado about nothing.
In 2015, the major foreign policy challenge Pakistan is beset with is how to halt the downward spiral of its regional importance. Pakistan feels it has been demeaned by the second visit of US President Barack Obama to India in January this year.
After the Peshawar incident, banned terrorist outfits have been on the back foot in the wake of the counterterrorist response but if the recent attacks on imambargahs are any indication, we might have to face a very different kind of monster quite soon.
The meteoric rise of the Islamic State (IS) has transformed the Middle East’s political landscape and indeed that of the wider Islamic world. It is exceedingly difficult for such a movement to gain traction in Pakistan for a variety of reasons.
India remians the inflexible bête-noir for Pakistan, yet there are few books by Indian authors that have sought to interpret the prodigal neighbour in a holistic, informed and empathetic manner.
The line that Mortimer Durand drew across a small map in 1893 has bled the Pashtun heart ever since. More than a century later both sides of that line remain restless. But the mystery behind what actually happened on 12 November 1893 has never ...
What went wrong for the West in Afghanistan? Why couldn't a global coalition led by the world's preeminent military and economic power defeat "a bunch of farmers in plastic sandals on dirt bikes" in a conflict that outlasted b...
What will be Pakistan's fate? Acts of commission or omission by itself, in/by neighbours, and superpowers far and near have led the nuclear-armed country at a strategic Asian crossroads to emerge as a serious regional and global concern whi...
Some South African generals, allied with the British forces, sought segregation from the enlisted men, all blacks, after being taken prisoners of war. The surprised German commander told them firmly that they would have to share the same quarte...