Asia
Payback For Empire

Payback For Empire

Congress Party lawmaker Shashi Tharoor has gone viral with an Oxford Union speech in which he outlines a case for British reparations to India (and, implicitly, other South Asian countries.) Commentators have gleefully reproduced the Tharoor’s finest moments, including flamboyant insults against his opposition. More»

Pakistani Communist Teenager

Pakistani Communist Teenager

Malala Yousafzai is making news again, after urging world leaders to cut “eight days of military spending” in order to fund education. On Tuesday, the Malala Fund announced an estimate that $39 billion would be needed yearly to fund primary and secondary education for children worldwide. More»

Indian Frontier Policy

Indian Frontier Policy

For a few years subsequent to the Second Anglo-Afghan war, our frontier policy happily remained free from complications. It will be desirable to refer shortly to the progress of Russia in Central Asia, and of her conquests of the decaying Principalities of Khiva, Bokhara and Kokand. More»

Development Delusions in Pakistan

Development Delusions in Pakistan

The construction of major highways in four provinces, as well as pressure to designate the Chinese-financed Gwadar as a duty-free port, has breathed new life into ongoing efforts for Pakistani development. More»

The Allure of ISIS

The Allure of ISIS

When I called a father-in-law of one of the women who purportedly left Georgia to join fighters in Syria (along with a relative), he shouted angrily, saying that the “girls are simply” in Turkey, and that the gossip must stop. More»

The Uzbekistan Elections

The Uzbekistan Elections

On March 29, presidential elections were held in Uzbekistan. As expected, the current president, Islam Karimov, was reelected. The 77-year old  has been in power for over a quarter of a century, and just began his fourth consecutive term, despite the fact that Uzbek constitution limits presidents to two. More»

The Afghan Character

The Afghan Character

Modern Pakistan is filled with myths about “the Afghan character,” particular to its urban middle class. As a result, students of Pakistani politics frequently encounter bizarrely colonial appraisals of “culturally Afghan” groups in Pakistan. More»

Terrorists and Human Sacrifice

Terrorists and Human Sacrifice

It has been a few months since a major attack on Army Public School in Peshawar. As a result, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has signed off on additional state violence through the National Action Plan for counter-terrorism, and a faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban has taken responsibility for an attack on Lahore’s police headquarters in mid-February. The pattern is predictable. More»

Pakistan vs. Charlie Hebdo

Pakistan vs. Charlie Hebdo

According to the Centre for Research and Security Studies, 7,655 Pakistanis died in 2014 as a result of terrorism, militant attacks, drone strikes, sectarian violence, targeted killings, and security operations. Its report was released the same week as the Charlie Hebdo murders, which caused international outcry, and massive unity marches, in France. More»

Top Five Shariati Quotes for 2014

Top Five Shariati Quotes for 2014

Parisian-educated Iranian intellectual Ali Shariati has been severely discredited as an ideologue of the Islamic Revolution. Despite that, the turmoil of this year calls for a reexamination of his work. Shariati made critical insights that are necessary to move beyond 2014’s bloody malaise.  More»

Chinese Afghanistan

Chinese Afghanistan

For his first official state visit, newly-elected Afghan president Ashraf Ghani chose China. The move wasn’t surprising, considering that Kabul is looking for new foreign backers, and recognizes that China is seeking to reevaluate its relationship with Afghanistan. More»

Sunni Death Cult

Sunni Death Cult

Last March, in response to allegations of blasphemy from a Christian man in Lahore, a crowd of demonstrators torched over a hundred buildings in a Christian neighbourhood of the city. Authorities responded swiftly, reprimanding and arresting those who took place in the violence. More»