JI

Opinion

Opinion

After India’s Skirmish with China, Is Pakistan Next?

by: Fahd Humayun

The worst border skirmish between India and China in the Himalayas for decades has abated for now, but the potential for crisis still looms large over a nuclear-armed South Asia....
Opinion

Managing the Stand-Off

by: Sherry Rehman

News of a border stand-off between two restive nuclear neighbours is always worrying. Yet when US President Donald Trump’s offer of mediation between India and China met with a studied...
Opinion

Ripple Effects of a Changing Oil Market

by: Saad Rajput

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some bizarre distortions in markets across the globe. One such aberration occurred on 20th April, when the price of a barrel of WTI crude –...
Opinion

Will Covid-19 Reshape Afghan Peace?

by: Sherry Rehman

Pandemics have a way of sharpening existing social trends and political faultlines. As the Covid-19 virus sows its deadly harvest both in Pakistan and South-Central Asia, the prospect of renewed...
Opinion

Democracy and the Pandemic

by: Fahd Humayun

Pakistan still has a long way to go in the fight against Covid-19, with almost 20,000 confirmed cases, and doctors and hospitals facing a harrowing shortage of testing kits and...
Opinion

Labour Interrupted

by: Mariam Bokhari

Perhaps no one has featured as prominently in the Prime Ministers frequent addresses to the nation since March as daily wagers. The precarious condition daily wagers find themselves in has...
Opinion

Dear World, How is the Lockdown?’ Kashmir.

by: Victoria Schofield

A year ago I was in the Valley of Kashmir. Although much had changed since my last visit, with new houses under construction, some roads repaired, there was still the...
Opinion

The Future of Global Governance

by: Fahd Humayun

As the death toll from Covid-19 mounts, disrupting lives, livelihoods and much of the free market, global leadership is in short supply. This is clear from America’s intention to suspend...
Opinion

Parliament and the Pandemic

by: Sherry Rehman

As global coronavirus cases passed the million mark on Thursday, the world struggles to cope with containment and mitigation without any roadmaps for such a pandemic. With the situation in...
Opinion

Will the Pandemic Bring Peace?

by: Sherry Rehman

A global pandemic that moves with lightning speed to spread its deadly payload across borders, communities and class, demands a reconsideration at many levels. Even as we struggle to shape...
Opinion

Lockdown? Pakistan Not Convinced

by: Mariam Bokhari & Ayesha Mushtaq

When a global pandemic burns through a country it first tests both its leadership as well as its national public resolve. In Pakistan much more is being tested, including the...
Opinion

Modi’s Hubris

by: Hassan Akbar

Has India finally woken up to the need for SAARC? Or is its latest reincarnation an attempt to reposition Modi as a regional leader? While collaboration is welcome in the...
Opinion

Womansplaining Rights

by: Sherry Rehman

As millennial women join every year now to celebrate their womanhood on 8th March, and to bond in solidarity for defining the rights to their lives and choices, many people in...
Opinion

Three Tsunamis for Pakistan

by: Sherry Rehman

Like many parts of the world, Pakistan is going through a populist moment. A key trait of such campaigns is big-ticket promises of transformational reform in stark contrast to regime-outcomes....
Opinion

The Promise Of 29 February

by: Riaz Mohammad Khan

The 29 February Agreement may well set in motion a process bringing peace to Afghanistan and an end to America’s longest war. The agreement marks a formal reversal of the...
Opinion

The Struggle Continues

by: Sherry Rehman

As dawn breaks across the besieged valley of Kashmir this February 5, millions of Kashmiris will wake up to six months of virtual lockdown. A blood-stained arc of diminishing freedoms...
Opinion

Human Rights in an Imperfect Democracy

by: Tahira Abdullah

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the...
Opinion

Corridor of Peace?

by: Fahd Humayun

Writing about India’s role in the India-Pakistan conflict a decade ago, South Asia expert Stephen Cohen put forward the following proposition: “As for India, it is both part of the...
Opinion

Partition Redux

by: Syed Hassan Akbar

It has taken a tale of two cities to remind us of how deeply the legacy of partition continues to afflict the conscience of India and Pakistan. In the past...
Opinion

Tolerance as a Political Value

by: Radha Shah

November 16th marks the 23rd UN International Day for Tolerance, an occasion commemorating coexistence and diversity among communities across the world. In the quarter century where tolerance has been commemorated...
Opinion

Beyond Kartarpur

by: Zahid Hussain

In the midst of the worsening stand-off between Pakistan and India, the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor has been a remarkable feat. The historical event may not break the ice,...
Opinion

CPEC 2.0: The Promise and the Peril

by: Sherry Rehman

As Pakistan navigates changing power equations in the world, and the crisis in Kashmir, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) stands out as the one possible silver lining for Pakistan....
Situationer

Kashmir on the Front Lines

by: Hassan Akbar

  What Has India Done? After days of troop surges, arrests, speculation and denials, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah introduced a presidential order and a bill in Parliament on August...
Opinion

The Path Forward

by: Zahid Hussain

The headway made in the recent talks between India and Pakistan on the Kartarpur corridor marks a way forward towards normalization of relations between the two nations. The two sides...
Opinion

Budget 2020: Popular Misconceptions & Economic Reality

by: Saad Rajput

Debates about Pakistan’s economic stewardship have become a core feature of public discourse since the PTI government assumed power last year. Two mini-budgets and the removal of a finance minister...
Opinion

Budget Blues

by: Hassan Akbar

In what is being billed as Pakistan’s most austerity laden budget in decades, new taxation and fiscal retrenchment measures are set to herald a difficult era of economic contraction. The...
Opinion

At Modernity’s Door

by: Fahd Humayun

Shortly before Eid, an android application for moon sighting was made available on Google Play. A calendar that can be accessed through Pakistan’s first official ‘moon-sighting’ website now indicates scientifically...

Who’s Afraid of Mr. Jinnah?

by: Fahd Humayun

India’s election is over, and the BJP has won in a landslide that is nothing short of historic. The Opposition has been delivered a crushing defeat, turfed out of its...
Opinion

Saffron Sweep, Again

by: Hassan Akbar

For the first time since Indira Gandhi, an incumbent prime minister has returned to Delhi with an even greater majority after completing a five year term. Narendra Modi, who was...
Opinion

Childhood Deserves Better

by: Meera Nadeem

Another gruesome murder and rape of a minor has caused wide public outcry across Pakistan. Pakistan’s civil society, as well as the Prime Minister and military leadership have condemned the...
Opinion

Pathways to Détente

by: Hassan Akbar

The fifth phase of voting in India’s behemoth election is over. The winner in New Delhi will shape, in part, the future of arguably the most tense bilateral relationship in...
Opinion

Leveraging CPEC; Investing in Human Capital

by: Nazish Afraz

As Pakistan navigates a burgeoning deficit crisis, there is renewed focus on leveraging CPEC for growth. With government-to-government CPEC infrastructure upgrades well underway, all sights are set on business cooperation...
Opinion

Committing to Equality for Street Children

by: Madeeha Ansari

Madeeha Ansari April 12 is a day for the invisible. As the International Day for Street Children, it is a time to extend recognition to young people who are too...
Opinion

From Journalism to Jingoism

by: Meera Nadeem

Meera Nadeem Prospects for dialogue between Pakistan and India now appear bleak as the two nuclear armed neighbours faceoff in what is perhaps the worst diplomatic bilateral stalemate since 1971....
Opinion

Where Do India and Pakistan Go From Here

by: Fahd Humayun

For a region that until a month ago was on a collision course for war, India’s decision to boycott Pakistan Day celebrations at the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi...
Opinion

After the Crisis

by: Sherry Rehman

Although the 2019 India-Pakistan standoff may have passed its immediate intensity, it is clear that the entire episode has left a slew of new worries for policymakers all over the...
Opinion

The Fight for Our Rights

by: Sherry Rehman

Today’s Pakistan has gone through several important transformations, most notable of which is the country’s default inclination towards some form of democracy, even if its current avatar manifests as illiberal....
Opinion

The Fault in Our Stars

by: Fahd Humayun

With the PTI’s saddle-adjustment over and a debt crisis (temporarily) averted, it may be worth refocusing attention onto the guardrails of Pakistan’s democracy. Will the next four years of PTI...
Opinion

Timeline of US Taliban Talks

by: Hassan Akbar

With discussions around Afghan reconciliation entering a critical phase, it’s worth looking at what is happening in Qatar and beyond. This short piece analyzes the push for a settlement and...
Opinion

Child Marriage and the Law

by: Sherry Rehman

Pakistan’s children are its future. Yet not only is this generation put to work in homes, fields and factories, they are the silent objects of abuse and violence in ways...
Opinion

Mobility and Politics

by: Fahd Humayun

It’s been an uneasy year for democracy in Pakistan. If there is a takeaway, it is that politics at the grassroots level continues to be an unequal game despite the...
Opinion

A Bridge Too Far

by: Fahd Humayun

The momentary goodwill rendered by Pakistan’s offer to India to open the Kartarpur Corridor has evaporated, reaffirming some of the bilateral relationship’s worst and more deeply ingrained pathologies. These include...
Opinion

The Connectivity Dream

by: Sherry Rehman

The Kartarpur corridor contains the seeds of more inclusive, people-oriented development in Pakistan and across South Asia   The Kartarpur corridor connecting two Sikh shrines divided by Partition has posed...
Opinion

A Chequered Decade

by: Hassan Akbar

On Human Rights Day, Jinnah Institute looks at rights legislation from the past decade of democratic rule in Pakistan through an interactive timeline of rights legislation, and an accompanying opinion...
Opinion

The State and the Street

by: Fahd Humayun

Much has been said and written about the government’s handling of violent extremism. Recent events have made two things expressly apparent. The first is the growing capacity of religious zealots...
Opinion

Pak-US Terms of Engagement

by: Fahd Humayun

The region is once again in the spotlight. The only good news is that during the US Secretary of State’s visit to Islamabad, the two sides endorsed cooperation despite the...
Opinion

The Anatomy of a Taliban Ceasefire

by: Fahd Humayun

After months of regional stalemate, two events in June offer a potential roadmap for achieving a working peace. The first was the Taliban’s decision to accept Afghan President Ghani’s offer...
Opinion

How to Fix the Economy

by: Ehsan Malik

The biggest challenge for an incoming government two months from now will be how to stabilise the economy. Foreign exchange cover, currently representing two months of imports, would have been...
Opinion

Who to Listen to on the Indus Treaty?

by: Ahmad Rafay Alam

The World Bank earlier this week requested Pakistan to accept India’s referral to a Neutral Expert questions involving the design of the Kishanganga and Ratle dams.  This is the latest twist...
Opinion

A Legacy of Deficits

by: Fahd Humayun

The odds that the PML-N was going to be remembered for having contributed meaningfully to Pakistan’s foreign policy and reputation-building abroad were never high to begin with. But Nawaz Sharif’s...
Opinion

Muzzling the Press

by: Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari

Pakistan, as a democracy - albeit a faltering stumbling, tossing one – should allow the airing of public opinion. In fact it ought to do more than just allow it....
Publications

Prospects for detente

The Foreign Minister’s decision to criticize the National Security Advisor for meeting the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan in Islamabad last week was unfortunate and poorly timed. It was unfortunate because...
Opinion

Women Were Never Silent

by: Sherry Rehman

Every country’s story is incomplete without its women’s voices. Pakistan is no different. On International Women’s Day we should always take stock of the good, the bad, and of course...
Opinion

Indus Water Treaty: Don’t Lose the Game

by: Ahmad Rafay Alam

India and Pakistan have reached an impasse over issues of the Kishenganga and Ratle power plants. Their last meeting in the “good offices” of the World Bank last August and...
Opinion

Say No to Sexual Abuse

by: Sherry Rehman

As the news cycle inevitably shifts to politics, violent extremism, the national debt, we all know that little Zainab’s story will fade away into a niche issue until the next...
Opinion

An Existential Threat

by: Sherry Rehman

Half of Pakistan is enveloped in a nasty layer of toxic smog, as we speak. The problem is that smog is now an expected seasonal phenomenon rather than an anomaly....
Opinion

No Country for Doves

by: Fahd Humayun

In a recent report “Are India-Pakistan peace talks worth a damn?” strategic expert Ashley Tellis questioned the utility of sustained dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad. Diplomatic engagement, Tellis argued, was...
Opinion

High Drama: Retrogressive fictions and Pakistani soaps

by: Fifi Haroon

Soaps across the world survive on the echo effect of familiar stereotypes. This is not a phenomenon simply native to Pakistan – Indian soaps are wrapped in Kanjeevaram saris and...
Opinion

Women in the House

by: Marvi Sirmed

Greater representation of women in parliament has been a longstanding demand of the women's movement in Pakistan. In 2002, this demand was partially met when 17 per cent of seats...
Opinion

Inglorious Empire: Getting it Wrong in Afghanistan

by: Fahd Humayun &  Syed Hassan Akbar

When Soviet Foreign Minister Edvard Shevardnadze visited Kabul and Islamabad in 1989 to discuss a peaceful transition from the Afghan war, the militants he sought to meet refused to give...
Opinion

Endangered at Home: Domestic Violence and Provincial Legislation

by: Maliha Zia

The schism between Pakistan’s legislation and social realities is perhaps best reflected by domestic violence. It would be reasonable to assume that the enactment of legislation against domestic violence in...
Opinion

The Right to Public Space

by: Sadia Khatri

My 13 year old sister and I play a game when we commute in Karachi. I count the number of men I see in public spaces, and she counts women...
Opinion

Women in Politics: A Long Road Home

by: Aisha Sarwari

When a woman in Pakistan enters politics it is as though she has consciously decided to walk onto a minefield. Despite women parliamentarians enacting affirmative pro-women legislation and leading their...
Opinion

Revolutionizing Business: Women in Entrepreneurship

by: Sadaffe Abid and Babar Pal

More and more women are beginning to jump on to the entrepreneurial bandwagon. In the words of Melinda Gates, “when we invest in women and girls, we are investing in...
Opinion

Women in the TTP: Recruiting Across the Gender Divide

by: Meera Nadeem

Women in the TTP: Recruiting Across the Gender Divide In the course of carrying out its anti-state insurgency, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has  damaged or destroyed over 1,000 schools in...
Opinion

War Machine

by: Fahd Humayun

What does it take to win a $23 billion-a-year war? With DoD on the brink of recommitting up to 3,900 more American soldiers to the Afghan battlefield, and a possible surge...
Opinion

Between the Devil & the Deep State

by: Fahd Humayun

There’s no shortage of irony in the fact that Prime Minister Sharif’s diplomatic snub at the Arab-Islamic-American summit this month coincided with a decidedly rough patch in Pak-Iran relations. While...
Opinion

Bad Choices

by: Hassan Akbar 

President Trump is finally set to address his country’s longest running war with a ‘new’ policy for Afghanistan. With a troop increase in the mix and a visibly more muscular...
Opinion

How not to talk with India

by: Sherry Rehman

Talking to India is just as important as how not to talk. Starting from the premise that constructive dialogue is the first step towards untangling a history of vexed relations...
Opinion

Silencing Kashmir

by: Meera Nadeem

India’s blanket ban on 22 social media websites in Jammu and Kashmir has brought to fore the agency of social media in the latest struggle for rights in the disputed...
Opinion

The Rise of Vigilantism

by: Daanika Kamal

Ten days and three acts of vigilantism – the murder of Mashal Khan in Mardan, three burqa clad sisters gunning down a man accused of blasphemy in Sialkot, and Shehbaz...
Opinion

From Moscow, with love

by: Fahd Humayun

As Islamabad grapples with the uncertainties of a new Trump administration, a recent timeline of Russian advances to Pakistan is not inconsequential. In 2016 both sides reaching a price accord...
Opinion

Curtain to the East

by: Fahd Humayun

If there is to be a regional policy takeaway from 2016, it is that New Delhi’s apathy for a rapprochement with Islamabad has only served to veer the bilateral relationship...
Opinion

Smoke and Mirrors

by: Fahd Humayun

As Pakistan looks to draw a line under 2016, the scar tissue from this year’s security miscarriages is unlikely to heal overnight. The success of Islamabad’s national security turnarounds, old...
Opinion

Moving out of Foggy Bottom

by: Fahd Humayun

As Hillary Clinton moves into the Oval, the question in Islamabad is whether a fresh administration will bring with it the promise of a Pak-US reset. Given the PML-N’s growing incapacity at...
Opinion

The Fragility of Nuclear Stability in South Asia

by: Dr. Rabia Akhtar

To state the obvious, strategic stability in South Asia is fragile. While India and Pakistan have satisfactorily achieved the technical requirements for ensuring strategic stability by institutionalizing their nuclear command...
Opinion

Our Brand is Crisis

by: Fahd Humayun

At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the chances of escalation to war were assessed to be ‘between 1 in 3 and even’. A decade and a half since...
Opinion

Advantage Taliban

by: Fahd Humayun

The war in Afghanistan is showing little sign of a seasonal let-up. As a successful Taliban campaign quashes hopes for a quick and easy settlement, the jury is still out...
Opinion

Taxing the Poor

by: Ali Khizar

There is a worm at the heart of the Pakistan government’s strategy on enhancing tax revenue. The tax to GDP ratio in Pakistan continues to remain abysmally low and while...
Opinion

Subcontinental Drift

by: Fahd Humayun

As global players reorient their power calculus, Pakistan’s maritime rim land is experiencing new cartographic anxieties. In Tehran this summer, President Rouhani, President Ghani and PM Modi heralded the Chabahar...
Opinion

Stabilisation Straitjacket: Budget 2016 and the Growth Bottleneck

by: Sakib Sherani

Backdrop A nation’s budget and its overall economic policy framework are situated within a certain macroeconomic context.The mix of fiscal and other policies pursued by a government should respond to...
Opinion

Smokescreen in South Punjab

by: Fahd Humayun

Back in May the Punjab Assembly unanimously carried a resolution hailing anti-terror operations in the province. On paper, the numbers look impressive: 10,000 intelligence-based operations have been carried out across Punjab since...
Opinions

The NSG and South Asian Security

by: Zamir Akram

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an informal cartel of 48 countries that regulates nuclear commerce for civilian uses and prevents nuclear weapons proliferation met in Vienna on 9 and 10...
Opinion

Things Fall Apart: The Politics of US Aid to Pakistan

by: Sauleha Kamal

In a clear case of déjà vu, the United States has blocked $300 million in military aid to Pakistan, making the release of the funds contingent on Islamabad taking demonstrable steps...
Opinion

A Primordial Gender Binary

by: Daanika Kamal

The recent death of Alisha, a 23-year old transgender activist from Peshawar, has brought in stark relief the continuing neglect and lack of entitlements faced by the third gender in...
Opinion

Missed Opportunities

by: Fahd Humayun 

As Tehran shakes off the morning-after effects of its international comeback, regional powers are lining up to cash in on the new Iranian moment, taking advantage of credit lines and...
Opinion

D-Penalty to D-Chowk

by: Daanika Kamal 

The protests that followed Qadri's execution were not instituted on a remonstration of capital punishment There is a disconnect (and at times an overlap) between those rallying against the death...
Opinion

Representational Deficits in Electoral Reform

by: Daanika Kamal

A functional democracy requires public ownership of the electoral process. In Pakistan, making these processes inclusive of women, persons with disabilities and minorities is even more important. The recently released...
Opinion

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

by: Fahd Humayun

In what has been an erratic few months for an India-Pakistan relationship still grappling with how to steer clear of diplomatic reversals, the capture of Kulbhushan Yadav in Balochistan has created...
Opinion

Gender & Security: Why Women’s Voices Matter

by:  Sauleha Kamal

This October, it will be sixteen years since the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 1325 affirming the importance of women in peace negotiations, peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction. Despite this,...
Opinion

Fringe Power?

by: Fahd Humayun

As large tracts of Iraq and Syria hover between Westphalian meltdown and militant takeover, policy pathways for Pakistan in the Middle East remain piloted by Islamabad’s foreign policy equation with...
Opinion

Winter of Discontent

by: Fahd Humayun

For President Ghani, it’s been a harsh winter, and one that has laid bare the key capacity deficits and constraints of an Afghan state on the defensive. As Afghanistan’s winter...
Opinion

Bringing NAP to South Punjab

by: Fahd Humayun

Two developments in early 2016 – the Punjab government’s move to detain Jaish operatives, and a high-profile Taliban attack on Bacha Khan University – have worked to refocus parliamentary debate...
Opinion

Birthday Diplomacy

by: Fahd Humayun

A month ago, the odds of Prime Minister Modi surprise-landing in Lahore on Christmas Day to meet his Pakistani counterpart were next to nil. But thanks to what has arguably been...
Opinion

Pakistan’s Hard Choices in the Middle East

by: Fahd Humayun

When Pakistan’s parliament adopted a resolution to stay out of a Saudi-led war against Yemen this April, consternation across the Gulf was palpable. Until this year, the most compelling reason...
Opinion

After Kunduz

by: Fahd Humayun

As the dust clouds settle over Kunduz, Afghan peacemakers once again find themselves pitted against domestic public opinion. At home President Ghani is confronted with a tough new reality: that...
Opinion

Institutionalizing Electoral Reform

by: Zahid Hussain

Beyond the headlines and Constitution Avenue blockade, there is growing consensus among political parties on the need for electoral reforms to strengthen democratic processes in Pakistan. This consensus stems from...
Opinion

The Kids Are Not Alright

by: Rimmel Mohydin

There exist at least 400 videos of drugged and weeping children who, if able to talk, are begging not to be touched. 280 children have a story, which can’t be...
Opinion

Achilles Heel

by: Safwan A. Khan

Of all the strategic assets that Pakistan can currently use to propel itself forward, the most discussed is its demography, comprised of a young and vibrant working age population. Left...
Opinion

‘JI President Sherry Rehman ‎asks if Islamabad can Leverage the China-Iran Opportunity’

by: Sherry Rehman

As the big global strategic picture shifts on its axis, Pakistan has opportunity knocking in two broad gradients, if not more. The only worry is that even if the knocks...
Opinion

Hard Talk

by: Fahd Humayun​

There was always going to be a lot riding on the first direct meeting between the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) and the Afghan Taliban. Two years after Hamid Karzai flew...
Opinion

Bring back the Moratorium

by: Reema Omer

Pakistan has executed more than 170 people since it discarded the country’s informal six-year moratorium on the death penalty. At risk of imminent execution are a further 400 people that...
Opinion

Beyond Highways and Corridors

by: Safwan A. Khan

When the federal government confessed to committing a ‘typo’ in the official economic growth rate figure announced last year, it didn’t come as a surprise to many who have now...
Opinion

Bus to Islamabad

by: Fahd Humayun​

When Indian Defense Minister Mannohar Parrikar spoke of ‘neutralising terrorists through terrorists,’ on a private news channel last week, his comments threw into sharp relief the time warp that the...
Opinion

Long Road to Peace

by: Fahd Humayun​

The war may have been won, but Afghanistan’s warm-weather fighting season is just getting started. As the Afghan Taliban fan out into the northern province of Kunduz, looking to take...
Opinion

Changing State of Play

by: Fahd Humayun​

When Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov landed in Beijing earlier this month, he drove directly from the airport to meet his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. The meeting – less than...
Opinion

Not out of the Woods, Yet

by: Fahd Humayun

Days after the US-Pakistan Defence Consultative Group’s meeting last month, Congress quietly green-signaled the National Defence Authorisation Act 2015. The new bill includes an extension of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF)...
Opinion

Childhood Under Attack

by:  Madeeha Ansari

For a while, the silence following Zarb-e-Azb had been unnerving. Then,the apparent success in quelling terror began to be taken for granted, and national attention was diverted to dharnas and...
Opinion

Polio: A Policy Predicament

by: Palvashay Sethi

The government's response to Pakistan’s impending polio crisis has been near negligible and characterised by apathy. The Pakistani public and children are especially at risk as the government seems unable...
Opinion

Militant Hydra

by: Fahd Humayun

For militants sharing the inhospitable Pakistan-Afghanistan border, winter is coming. Structural changes in the militant landscape have left terrorist game plans in a state of flux. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)...
Opinion

What about the IDPs?

by: Asad Hashim

You would think automatic gunfire in a crowd of thousands would herald more of a reaction. As the shots rang out, though, the majority of the thousands of internally displaced...
Opinion

11 August: Jinnah’s Promise Betrayed

by: Yasser Latif Hamdani

On 11 August 1947, the Pakistan Constituent Assembly (“PCA”) met for the first time. The inaugural session was presided by Shri Jogindranath Mandal, president of the Scheduled Caste Federation and...
Opinion

Afghanistan’s Presidential Election 2014

by: Fahd Humayun

The Long Road to April  In less than a week, Afghanistan will be heading to the polls to elect a new President. This will be the country’s first democratic leadership...
Opinion

Looking Beyond India’s Chabahar Option

by: Fahd Humayun

The ‘Bali Package’ unveiled at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Indonesia this December backed new mechanisms for lowering global trade barriers, including an agreement between members (yet to be ratified...
Opinion

Cosmetic Changes

by: Sehar Tariq

“Desperate times call for desperate measures” was a common refrain in the post 9/11 world, as security establishments across the globe geared up to supposedly combat unprecedented levels of terrorism. The...
Opinion

Trojan Tactics

by: Fahd Humayun

Last week the PM teetered on the knife-edge of launching a full-scale military operation in North Waziristan. For the first time in months it seemed as if the PML-N had...
Opinion

Honoring Aitzaz Hasan: Fighting the Demons of Sectarianism

by: Sehar Tariq

On the morning of January 6th, Aitzaz Hasan lost his life while preventing a suicide bomber from entering his school. The only thing standing between the 2000 children enrolled in...
Opinion

India-Pakistan trade relations: Current and Potential

by: Rohit Kumar

  In recent years, efforts towards promoting peace in South Asia have pivoted around the idea of improving trade relations as the best bet in forging a lasting relationship between...
Opinion

Helping Pakistan’s Rural Women Help Themselves

by: Bina Shah

Pakistan’s rural women are slowly enacting change in their lives. Women perform a significant amount of labor in the fields, but that they still struggle to be recognized as equal...
Opinion

Papering Over Faultlines – The Fall Out of the Peshawar Church Bombing

by: Anthony Permal

  As I write this, Christian families in Peshawar, Pakistan are preparing to bury their dead, who were massacred in a suicide bombing at their church on Sunday. This isn't all...
Opinion

She’s More than a Slogan

by: Ahmer Naqvi

  In a few hours, we will know if a young girl will get to become what one commentator described as the reason the Nobel Peace Prize gets its credibility...
Opinion

Report says “Depoliticising the Youth will Derail the Nation”

by: Salman Zaidi

The peace process between India and Pakistan is often like a snakes and ladders trope. The recent flare-up across the Line of Control (LoC), with daily reports of cross border shelling...
Opinion

Challenges of Political Transition

by: Raza Rumi

  Pakistan’s next general election, due in a few months, will be the first where civilian forces are in charge of the transition from one elected government to another. Throughout...
Opinion

A Game of Thrones in Waziristan: The Return of Fazlullah

by: Fahd Humayun

Maulana Fazlullah was always the wild card. As Hakimullah Mehsud’s last rites were being read, and emergency conclaves were being summoned across six other tribal agencies to deliberate upon the militant...
Opinion

Moment of Opportunity

by: Sherry Rehman and Amitabh Mattoo

As co-chairs of the Chaophraya dialogue between opinion makers from India and Pakistan, we are encouraged by reports of resumption of the official dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi, and...
Opinion

Time to Move on

by: Raza Rumi

Why India's leadership needs to break with the past, reimagine Pakistan India-Pakistan relations are once again in the spotlight and for the usual reasons. The two states have perfected the...
Opinion

Can the Peace Process Move Past the Doha Collapse?

by: Syed Baqir Sajjad

As the 12th year of the Afghan war draws to an impasse, there are signs of an abstract convergence about peace in the country, although many of the components of that...
Opinion

Karzai in Pakistan – Tailoring Great Expectations

by: Fahd Humayun

He flew into Pakistan from Kabul on Monday with a tightly scheduled ten-hour itinerary in hand, only to later announce his decision to extend his visit until Tuesday and lunch...
Opinion

Pakistan-India: What Next?

by: Salman Zaidi

The peace process between India and Pakistan is often like a snakes and ladders trope. The recent flare-up across the Line of Control (LoC), with daily reports of cross border shelling...
Opinion

Navigating the Currents of Pakistan’s Water Debate

by: Ahmed Rafay Alam

The amount of water on our planet has been the same since the beginning of time.  The same water is either in the atmosphere, in clouds and rain; on the...
Opinion

New Assembly Faces Big Challenges

by: Shahzad Raza

The general elections held on May 11 have led to decisive shift in the composition of the National Assembly of Pakistan, in favor of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz....
Opinion

Hate-Speech and Social Media in Pakistan

by: Jahanzaib Haque

Pakistani media is an agent of CIA and RAW, Shariat ya Shahadat (Shariah or Martydom), Maslak-e-Deoband (Cult of Deoband) and Shias are unbelievers. This is not a list of slogans chanted by extremists on the streets...
Opinion

What Will We Ban Next?

by: Jahanzaib Haque

Censorship, when undertaken in the name of vague, ill-defined and subjective concepts such as ‘national interest’ or religion and morality, is a slippery slope with disastrous consequences – and this...
Opinion

Invoking the Morality Clause

by: Nadir Hassan

In the years gone past, Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution had been treated like adverbs in an elaborate sentence – there to make things look comprehensive, but ultimately...
Opinion

Resurgence of Polio virus in Pakistan is a national emergency

by: Faris Islam

Pakistan is one of the three countries in which polio remains endemic. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has recently reported that there are six sanctuaries for the polio virus:...
Opinion

Federalism: The Journey Continues

by: Mian Raza Rabbani (NI)

  Federalism has thus far been poorly understood in Pakistan. It is a system that respects diversity, promotes pluralism, and balances national with state powers. Federal governments promote stronger institutions...
Opinion

The Education Landscape – Bridging Gaps

by: Madeeha Ansari

The year 2011 was the “Year of Education” for Pakistan. The Pakistan Education Task Force, drawing upon Article 25A of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, created a sense of urgency...
Opinion

Participants in Peace

by: Ayaz Wazir

  The entire 2012 passed without any positive development taking place relating to Afghanistan, except the very last month, which witnessed some encouraging signs in the shape of two conferences,...
Opinion

Overcoming the Livelihood Crisis in Flood-Affected Areas

by: Asad Sayeed

Perhaps one of the most formidable challenges facing the state and society in Pakistan today is the reconstruction and rehabilitation after the damage caused by the recent floods. While there...
Opinion

Navigating the Currents of Pakistan’s Water Debate

by: Ahmed Rafay Alam

The amount of water on our planet has been the same since the beginning of time.  The same water is either in the atmosphere, in clouds and rain; on the...
Opinion

Flood Updates: February 2011

by: Erum Haider

Jinnah Institute: Update from the Pakistan Floods Six months after the devastating floods hit Pakistan, early evaluations of the crisis indicate that the challenges are far from over, and that...
Opinion

Prioritizing Women and Children During Flood Rehabilitation

by: Mishael AliKhan

10 million women and children were affected in last year’s catastrophic floods that caused the largest humanitarian crisis in Pakistan[1]. The areas most impacted by the floods were among the...
Opinion

Is democracy threatened by governor’s rule in Balochistan?

by: Syed Baqir Sajjad

With the federal government set to end Governor's Rule in Balochistan to set up an interim administration for elections, it is time to evaluate if the move helped improve the...
Opinion

Sherry Rehman, JI Executive President, on the “Malala Moment”

by: Sherry Rehman

She didn't win the Nobel Peace Prize. That's totally ok. The award nomination is a milestone among many. Malala Yousafzai, 16, is still proud and hopeful that she will move bigger...
Opinion

Moving Past the Crisis Metric

by: Salim Raza

  Salim Raza, Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan, poses key questions on Pakistan's crisis-ridden economic trajectory and points to a path forward for embedding the model in sustained macro...
Opinion

An Anatomy of Sharif’s First 100 Days

by: Zahid Hussain

For a third-timer it’s been a laborious start; a triumphant return to power notwithstanding, the first 100 days of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government have been decidedly short on deliverables....
Opinion

Will Pakistan’s devolution reform lead to pro-women policies at the sub-national level?

by: Mishael AliKhan

Punjab has shown the way forward after the devolution of women's development ministry; however, implementation will remain a challenge The past two years have proved to be significant with the...
Opinion

Courage in the Face of Great Adversity

by: Sehar Tariq

  Malala Yousufzai has helped Pakistan remember what courage in the face of great adversity looks like. She has helped remind our fractured nation that there are still some lines...
Opinion

Rimsha’s acquittal: a new beginning?

by: Raza Rumi

  An Islamabad court has acquitted Rimsha Masih, a Christian child accused of blasphemy. Her trial showed that a local Mullah tried to frame her, and she is now free....
Opinion

Women in Pakistan – Battling the Odds

by: Mariam Kizilbash

For many decades in Pakistan, an entire architecture of laws has been used to persecute and marginalise women, most potently symbolised by the Hudood Ordinances and other discriminatory laws instituted...
Opinion

Pakistan’s Floods One Year On: Flood Victims Continue To Face Long Term Challenges

by: Mishael AliKhan

This month marks a year since Pakistan faced the worst floods in its history. The deluge devastated and submerged entire villages, roads, bridges, water supply and sanitation infrastructure, agricultural lands,...
Opinion

Strengthening democracy through access to information

by: Raniya Khan

The recent introduction of Rule 46 in the Punjab Government Rules of Business 2011 disallows all government employees in Punjab to speak about official business to media, non-officials, or to...
Opinion

Repeating History: Floods in Sindh create devastation for over 7.4 million people

by: Mishael AliKhan

A tsunamic deluge of monsoon rains threatens Pakistan once again, floods have affected another 7.4million people this year, while twenty million people are still struggling to cope with the devastation...
Opinion

Balochistan File

by: Saba Imtiaz & Madeeha Ansari

The roots of violence in Balochistan can be traced to multiple sources, from political unrest, to sectarian strife, to a severe development deficit. In two parallel analyses, JI provides an...
Opinion

Year in Review 2010: Pakistan’s Continuing Flood Crisis

by: Erum Haider

The monsoon floods that hit Pakistan in July 2010 killed 1,752 people and affected nearly 18.1 million across the length of the country. Many of the deaths were reported in...
Opinion

Rule of Law

by: Erum Haider

No society has ever attained a perfect realization of the rule of law. But when plotting 35 countries on an objective scale, Pakistan is dangerously close to perfect failure, scoring...
Opinion

National Plans for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation

by: Nadeem Ahmed

In the days and weeks after the floods it has been suggested that the government's response was lacking, or that coordination mechanisms were weak. These are unfair remarks - the...
Opinion

A guilty witness to the flood exodus

by: Nasim Zehra

It was around sunset and I was watching the floodwater spread to Tando Hafiz Shah. The small town in southern Sindh with an estimated population of 50,000 was almost completely...
Opinion

Pakistan Flood Recovery: Can Zardari Deliver Aid?

by: Shuja Nawaz

The current flood in Pakistan is the worst ever-natural disaster to strike that country even as it is fighting an existential threat from a major Taliban insurgency inside its Western...
Opinion

Democracy at the brink?

by: Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi

Daily Times 26th September, 2010 Democracy is a joint exercise of different state institutions and the political class with an emphasis on constitutionalism, the rule of law and respect for democratic...
Opinion

Year in Review 2010: Attacks on Shrines and Education

In 2010, Pakistan witnessed a startling increase in the scale of attacks on shrines of Sufi saints throughout the country. Attacking shrines is not a new phenomenon in Pakistan "”...
Opinion

Year in Review 2010: Militancy and the fight for internal security

by: Erum Haider

Pakistan’s struggle for internal security entered a new phase in 2010 as the US and its allies increased pressure on Afghanistan with the announcement of the deployment of 30,000 troops...
Opinion

Policies Without Direction

by: Fahd Humayun

Anyone in Pakistan who dabbles in the lexicon of urbanomics will be the first to admit one of two things: that cities are like living organisms that need sophisticated delivery...
Opinion

Spitballing the endgame

by: Fahd Humayun

The picture is depressingly familiar: with another warm-weather fighting season upon Afghanistan, efforts to crowd-source an international fall guy for a war gone south is disingenuously pitting public opinion against...
Opinion

Jinnah’s Pakistan cannot be abandoned

by: Raza Rumi

This August has been cruel. Haunting images of Sindhi Hindus, essential to the cultural reality and demography of the province, leaving the country [i] shook those who believe that Pakistan belongs...
Opinion

Anatomy of a Gang Rape

by: Urooj Zia

After almost nine years spanning multiple courts of Pakistan, gang-rape victim Mukhtar Mai’s legal battle against her rapists finally came to an end on 21 April 2011 in the apex...
Opinion

Pakistan: A Transitional Polity

by: Raza Rumi

Pakistan’s existentialist crisis is no longer a strictly Pakistani issue. Its potential repercussions have emerged as a cornerstone of global debates on regional stability and international concerns on terrorism and...