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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Khaled Ahmed

Khaled Ahmed was born in 1943 in Jallandhar during the siege of Stalingrad. He has been an opinion writer based in Pakistan for the past 40 years. Over his decades of experience, he has worked for The Pakistan Times, The Nation, The Frontier Post, The Friday Times and The Daily Times, three of which have been closed down either permanently or temporarily. He is now consulting editor at Newsweek Pakistan, based in Lahore. Ahmed graduated from Government College Lahore during the 1965 war with India with an MA (Honours) on the roll of honour, along with a diploma in German from Punjab University. In 1970, he received a diploma in Russian (Interpretation) from Moscow State University. In 2006, he wrote the book, Sectarian War: Sunni-Shia Conflict in Pakistan at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington DC.

In Pakistan, the misfortunes of fundamentalism were foreshadowed
Sat, Dec 26, 2020

Khaled Ahmed writes: The US under Donald Trump, India under Narendra Modi, the UK under Boris Johnson, Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan — and most East European states who maltreat “refugees” and shun foreigners — foreshadow the misfortunes of tomorrow. Pakistan is no exception.

Pakistan’s blasphemy law is used to target the Christian community with impunity
Sat, Dec 19, 2020

Before India’s “love jihad”, Pakistan found its way to getting rid of its Christians. Blasphemy was pinned on them with the confidence that no judge would let them off the hook, with pious crowds demanding death outside his court.

In Pakistan, the media is intimidated by both state and non-state actors
Sat, Dec 12, 2020

There are many “parties” working as “non-state actors” who may dislike your reports and come after you. In the interior of the province of Sindh, a journalist can be kidnapped and killed by an offended landlord called “wadero”.

Pakistan state’s surrender to Hafiz Saeed embodies the perils of religious ideology
Sat, Dec 05, 2020

The surrender of the state to Saeed was a blend of two contingencies — the evolution of the ideology of the state under Islam, and the drive of a revisionist policy vis-à-vis India.

Kamala Harris is more likely to think of a new paradigm for South Asia
Sat, Nov 28, 2020

Kamala Harris is an American growing up in a milieu where racism was the first battle she had to fight. She is sure to look at the plight of human rights in both India and Pakistan under mounting religious discrimination.

Journalist Declan Walsh’s account describes exasperation, and hope, in Pakistan
Sat, Nov 21, 2020

Walsh sums it up like this: “To me, Pakistan resembled one of those old Japanese puzzle boxes, comprised of secret compartments and hidden traps, which can only be opened in a unique, step-by-step sequence."

Pakistan has not used its geographical advantage to become a trading nation
Sat, Nov 14, 2020

China, India’s largest trading partner — $94 billion both ways — has to use the roundabout route through Southeast Asia to transport its goods. Yet, Pakistan is on the verge of changing its identity from a war-fighting nation to a trading one.

Vituperation against political opponents marks Pakistan’s public discourse
Sat, Nov 07, 2020

Pakistan is going through a period of “verbal degradation”. Politicians for and against the government employ a language often described by themselves as gali-galoch.

Hekmatyar Redux: With US exiting Afghanistan, is the warlord of any use to Pakistan?
Sat, Oct 31, 2020

The dilemma for whoever deals with post-US Afghanistan is the fragmentation of the Afghan warriors divided into bands, Pakhtuns on the one hand and the non-Pakhtun on the other.

Struggling on eastern, western borders, Pak has hit a spot of political turbulence
Sat, Oct 24, 2020

Corruption has always been the main flaw of a state made unstable by its unrealistic revisionism. Imran Khan has added to that an abysmally low-grade political discourse.

The women of Afghanistan stand to lose the most if the Taliban return to power
Sat, Oct 17, 2020

Pakistan is putting up a wire-fence on the Durand Line while the Taliban — Afghan and Pakistani — take potshots at the soldiers assigned to erect the fence. Yet, when the deluge of refugees comes, fleeing the exemplary bravery of the Islamic soldiers, it will be the children and women who will suffer most.

Pakistan is vulnerable to the impending ideological storm in Afghanistan
Sat, Oct 10, 2020

If the Taliban take over from the Afghan government, they will have a tough time deciding which group of warriors will have the lead in governance.

In Pakistan, protest over a rape turned into an anti-government movement
Sat, Oct 03, 2020

In the first 60 days of 2020, as many as 73 incidents of rape were reported in Lahore, including five gang-rape cases — 10 cases of gang-rape were registered in the whole of 2019.

Pakistan may not be intellectually flexible enough to deal with Arab-Israel thaw
Sat, Sep 26, 2020

Nuclear but economically bankrupt, Pakistan needs a lot of “flexibility” during this period of the grand split within the Muslim world.

The symbiosis of religions under the singing saint in Sindh lasted three centuries
Sat, Sep 19, 2020

Not long ago the mausoleum of Data Ganj Bakhsh was suicide-bombed in Lahore, where not long ago Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims lived peacefully together and accepted the mystic saint as the guardian spirit of the city.

Jhulelal And Peace
Fri, Sep 18, 2020

The symbiosis of religions under the singing saint in Sindh lasted three centuries.

Pakistan sees its face in the mirror and doesn’t like what it sees
Sat, Sep 12, 2020

Stalin fought against fascism but then created an ideological state, which was not much different from Hitler’s Germany. Pakistan is like Caliban. It sees its face in the mirror and doesn’t like what it sees.

Two years of Imran Khan: His sheen has worn off, but a decimated opposition keeps his power intact
Sat, Sep 05, 2020

Khaled Ahmed writes: Imran Khan must worry about Pakistan’s poor-quality manpower and consequently its poor-quality industrial base. Chinese projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor face this problem while Saudi Arabia is persuaded to ignore Pakistan and invest in India to diversify its oil-based economy.

Pakistan’s attempts to get Islamic countries to condemn India over J&K have had mixed results
Sat, Aug 29, 2020

Khaled Ahmed writes: Pakistan and India have changed their maps, if that gives any satisfaction to the affected people, but they must strive for the normalisation of relations needed in the region.

Pakistan needs to grasp that pragmatism, strategic realities lie behind Arab-Israeli detente
Sat, Aug 22, 2020

Khaled Ahmed writes: Pakistan has been in two minds about recognising Israel, especially after India revived its almost dead relationship in 1992 and proceeded to trade with it in the high-tech sector without creating any negative reaction among Pakistan’s Arab friends.

Why Pakistan bans books
Fri, Aug 14, 2020

The general directive for textbooks implies that Pakistan is for the Muslims alone

Pakistan’s education ‘reforms’ are privileging the madrassa system
Sat, Aug 08, 2020

Teachers labelled “liberal” and “secular” are the first to be rendered jobless under the looming reform. Nuclear physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy and another “science” teacher have been sacked from a Lahore university as a foretaste of what is to come.

Rather than shoring up national identity, religion creates schisms
Sat, Aug 01, 2020

Pakistan has constitutionally ousted the Ahmadi Muslims from state nationality. They are not Muslims in Pakistan. They become Muslims the moment they step into, let’s say, India that has not apostatised them.

Confessions of a dreaded don are a reminder of crime-politics nexus in Pakistan
Sat, Jul 25, 2020

Khaled Ahmed writes: Uzair is hopefully the last of the Baloch dacoits of Lyari, Karachi’s largest district. If he gets his comeuppance, it will be the end of a classic Sindhi interface with the Baloch legend that linked Karachi to Balochistan on both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border.

A Mandir in Islamabad: Why Imran Khan government must aid, not stall, the project
Sat, Jul 18, 2020

Khaled Ahmed writes: Pakistan must recall the golden age when Muslims and Hindus benefited from each other. Religion has got Muslims their Pakistan but mathematics remains the weakest subject taught in their schools and universities.