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Mehreen Zahra-Malik

Did the Government Miscalculate?

ISLAMABAD: While the government’s announcement of ‘Yaum-e-Ishq-e-Rasool’ (Love the Prophet Day) on Friday was intended to officially lend support to Pakistanis protesting against the anti-Islam film and be a national expression of love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as the day unfolded and much of the country was engulfed in violent and fatal protests,…

The Economics of Hate

Predictably, it began much before little Rimsha was accused of the incomprehensible – much before torn little pieces of religious paraphernalia were bandied about and their desecration decried. Venal mullahs, jilted neighbours, greedy influentials – the usual cast of characters that surround most sordid tales of blasphemy are, unsurprisingly, on the set of the Mehrabad…

Humpty Dumpty’s Pakistan

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” Mr Dumpty, meet Mr Zardari   This week, for the umpteenth time, the president got to invent his very own reality about what the law of the land…

The last(ing) tango

If abused patience runs the risk of turning into fury, has American patience with Pakistan finally run out and should we expect a major falling-out? By Monday, it was clear Pakistan had been shipwrecked on the rocks of its own intransigence, reduced to a hangdog at a summit at which it had thought it was…

Polygraphing Pak-US ties

More than deploying a Sigmund Freud of international relations to understand what’s going on in the kooky world of Pak-US ties, perhaps all we need is a lie detector. So who’s lying? They all are. The federal government has been holding ‘parallel negotiations’ with the Americans for the last several weeks, all the while vending…

Why the courts won't do the expected, or the logical

Pakistani politics is an endless procession of surprises. The expected never occurs and hardly ever in the expected manner. So, those of us who thought Nawaz, the judges and the khakis combined would pull a genie out of a BlackBerry and Husain Haqqani would be hanged are, well, a tad disappointed. But don’t bow your…

The Obsolete Prime Minister

Why has Prime Minister Gilani suddenly found himself on the precipice of utility?  Once upon a time, in the eighties, Gilani was a young minister in Prime Minister Junejo’s cabinet. At that point, Junejo wasn’t quite getting along with his Punjab chief minister, Nawaz Sharif. Most worryingly, even Ziaul Haq was convinced Nawaz was getting…

Is President Zardari replacing Gilani with Aitzaz as PM?

ISLAMABAD: In an intriguing political development, PPP leader and former president Supreme Court Bar Association, Aitzaz Ahsan, is being tipped as the likely replacement of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Highly informed sources close to President Asif Ali Zardari told The News that barring certain procedural hiccups, the decision to bring in Aitzaz may be…