Author Archives: Arif Nizami


Arif Nizami

On the ropes

In the wake of consistent ‘army bashing’ by the politicians and the media in the past few weeks, the military high command has been forced to come up with a detailed response.


Arif Nizami

Not working

The TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) are on a rampage. Their proclamation in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden by the Americans early last month that the Pakistani military will be


Arif Nizami

The China syndrome

Completion of sixty years of diplomatic relations with China was a befitting occasion to recall the ties in a historical context. Of course, traditional friendship between the two neighbours has withstood the


Arif Nizami

Time to rethink

The dastardly suicide attack on Shabqadar Fort, killing scores of Frontier Corps recruits, brings the conundrum facing the Pakistani state into sharp focus. Who is the existential enemy: the United States, terrorism


Arif Nizami

Method to the madness?

The power-sharing deal struck between the Chaudhrys of Gujrat and the PPP virtually changes the political landscape of the country. The PML(N), the erstwhile ally of the PPP has finally got what

Bracing for the budget

The rumpus in the national assembly the other day was perhaps a taste of things to come. The debate, meant to be a precursor to the finance bill for the upcoming fiscal

Breaking bad

The fighting between the PPP and PML(N) is gradually degenerating into the type of the no-holds-barred struggles that characterised their relations between 1988 and 1999. On Wednesday, the National Assembly resounded with

Droning on

The boiling cauldron of public opinion against the drone strikes in the tribal areas has crystallised in a protest movement spearheaded by Imran Khan’s PTI. While those who mounted a blockade of

Jagged alliance

They don’t call it the art of the possible for nothing. An alliance between the PPP and the Q League would have been hard to imagine a couple of years ago. Today,

Haven’t beaten them

Breaking the terrorist’s back. A popular term used by militaries the world over when they are describing a measure of success against shadowy militant outfits. The term’s popularity stems from the fact


Arif Nizami

‘Frenemies’ or Friends?

Despite being one of its foremost allies in the so-called war on terror, Pakistan is being increasingly referred to as America’s ‘frenemy’ rather than a friend. Even the Chief of Army Staff General Kayani while complaining about Washington’s consistent arm-twisting has often called Pakistan “the most bullied ally”.
And this was before relations hit an all time low after the Raymond Davis fiasco. The ostensibly fruitless visit to the US of the ISI chief General Shuja Pasha is


Arif Nizami

Beyond the ‘Crisis State’

The volume Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’ in the words of its editor, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, is a product of a ‘virtual’ conference – in cyberspace – that has led to a meeting of minds amongst some of Pakistan’s top media practitioners and scholars. The book is based on the optimistic assumption that Pakistan’s problems are solvable and its challenges can be overcome.
Resilience of the Pakistani nation is the central theme of the book. Dr Lodhi, journalist, diplomat, scholar and


Arif Nizami

The Ides of March

President Zardari having the sole distinction of addressing the joint sitting of the parliament for the fourth consecutive year, the PPP government has completed three years of remaining in power. It is a rarity in our political milieu that elected governments are allowed to complete their terms. Most, except those under the wings of a military strongman, have lasted less than three years.
One of the reasons why Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed Benazir Bhutto’s government in November


Arif Nizami

Reality check

As if walking free of the rogue CIA agent Raymond Davis under a clandestine deal was not enough to inflame anti-American feelings in Pakistan, US drone attack targeting a peaceful jirga in North Waziristan has proved to be the proverbial last straw.
General Kayani, perhaps already under pressure owing to the perceived role played by the Army and the ISI in brokering a deal to whisk Davis away to the US scot free, has unequivocally condemned the attack. In an unusually harsh


Arif Nizami

Troubling times

The Supreme Court sending the NAB chairman Deedar Hussain Shah packing and the virtual breakdown of ongoing talks with the IMF for setting new benchmarks to revive the stalled $11.3 billion standby arrangement are not good news for the already beleaguered PPP government. Its talks with estranged coalition partner, the MQM, virtually deadlocked and having been already ousted from the PML(N)-led coalition in the Punjab, the PPP-led government is in all kinds of trouble.
The gunning

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