Newtonian Prodigies

Muhammad Shaheer Niazi has been making heads turn with his ground-breaking research on the electric honeycomb phenomenon

By: Editorial Team

Experts Weigh In

Hockey Revival Possible   By: Islahuddin Siddique, Olympian   2018 is going to be a very important year for Pakistan hockey. There are four major tournaments lined up, with the Commonwealth Games in Australia posing the first challenge in April, followed by Asian Games in Jakarta, the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, and finally […]

By: Editorial Team

Shunning Ignorance

Unfortunately, we in Pakistan lag far behind developed countries in the crucial area of innovations and discoveries

By: Sajid Hasan

Tackling Sexual Abuse Against Minors

Kasur Tragedy Another innocent child abused and killed, another few days of hue and cry on television screens, high profile visits and inquiries, and then it is business as usual. The demand for justice for Zainab, the seven-year-old from Kasur who was raped and killed, and her body thrown in the trash, will just become […]

By: Editorial Team

Electoral Reforms Imperative

The Election Commission of Pakistan should work as an independent institution absolutely free of any and all governmental influences and pressures

By: Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad

The Future of Channels

The unknown future for channels may well be like a heavy dumpster driven at top speed about to turn a corner and hit existing reality with brute force

By: Javed Jabbar

Census Blues

The latest census has become the most controversial in Pakistan’s history, because of the alleged undercounting of the population of Sindh, particularly Karachi

By: Dr Mehtab S Karim

Fighting for Peace

Caught in the maelstrom of fast crystallising contours of the latest Great Game, we are bewildered, confused, and yet as self-centered as always

By: Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Ghulam Mustafa

Fire and Fury

Unlike Americans, we do delve into history, but like them we also don’t learn any lessons. It’s our fault we trust them so much.

By: Humayun Gauhar

Some Good News Copy

The market has been on an upward trajectory since 2002 and it has accelerated at a really fast pace in the last few years

By: Aqeel Karim Dhedhi

Who Blinks First?

Tactful but firm tackling only option

By: Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Tariq Khan

Punjab’s Dilemma

The PML-N’s future appears bleak because its leadership has not just become controversial but is seen as the main obstacle in any efforts to end the grinding political stalemate in the country

By: Babar Dogar

Sindh’s Chessboard

The absence of any alternative political force in the province, other than the MQM in urban Sindh, means the PPP has an easy road ahead

By: Faisal Aziz Khan

KP’s Erratic Electoral Patterns

FATA’s future, MMA resurgence likely to determine outcome

By: Zahir Shah Sherazi

Balochistan’s Cauldron

Balochistan has had a history of governance with weak coalition governments

By: Shahzada Zulfiqar

Judiciary to the Rescue

Elections and accountability will go along in tandem

By: Amir Zia

Dirty Politics

Sharif and Co. are trying to use the suo motu action against the disqualified premier’s loyalists to stoke anger and hatred against the honourable judges

By: Editorial Team

Policing the Police

Pakistan has a long and brutal record when it comes to extrajudicial killings, custodial deaths and police torture nationwide

By: Editorial Team

A Wish-list

The culture of a few families running the show should end. For far too long, the poor have been at the mercy of the rich. We will only be able to progress if we get rid of corruption – both financial and moral.

By: Siraj Haq

No Major Change

I see the PTI gaining an upper hand in Punjab; the disclosure of Panama Leaks and Imran Khan’s campaign against corruption and bad governance has indeed damaged the PML-N.

By: Farooq Sattar

‘A Hung Parliament’

The current government has miserably failed in presenting Pakistan’s actual narrative before the world. Instead, the PML-N government contributed in weakening our national narrative by its inaction and wrong choices.

By: Asif Ali Zardari

Banking on Institutions

The rumblings about the elections are everywhere but, in my personal view, 2018 cannot be the election year.

By: Pervez Musharraf

Widening Trade Gap

Pakistan needs to expand its export base, which mainly revolves around ten conventional products of ten markets

By: Mirza Ikhtiar Baig

Some Good News

The market has been on an upward trajectory since 2002 and it has accelerated at a really fast pace in the last few years

By: Aqeel Karim Dhedhi

Rupee Woes

Feeling the Pulse of Business in Pakistan for the year 2018

By: Editorial Team

Towards Stagnation

The new government in Islamabad will be faced with very difficult choices. If it goes to the IMF, as happened in 2013, then the required actions could include steep devaluation, a hike in tax rates, a big cut in development spending, escalation in power tariffs, etc.

By: Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha

Avoiding the Crisis

Stabilisation measures, such as curtailing current account deficit by raising the price of imported goods, can choke off the incipient growth momentum; while increased external borrowing to finance 5 to 6 percent of projected current account deficit would affect debt sustainability.

By: Ishrat Husain

Learning to Protect

Did Zainab’s face ignite a visceral sense of wanting to protect a vulnerable child? Why did the equally devastating torture, rape and murder of eleven children previously not strike a chord?

By: Editorial Team

The Toxic Mix

National and international experts have warned that absolute water scarcity would entail a colossal threat to food security, economic growth and health. Agriculture and livestock, the lynchpin of our economy, will be the first to collapse.

By: Quatrina Hosain

Great Expectations

For the new chief of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the job at hand is indeed an unprecedented and Herculean one. Justice (retd.) Javed Iqbal has to oversee investigations mainly against the top guns of the sitting government and not the opposition – an unthinkable and unheard of assignment at least for his predecessors. Justice […]

By: Editorial Team

Another Mega Failure

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government’s handling, or rather the mishandling of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah’s Islamabad sit-in in November, is yet another manifestation of the fact that when authority and power are concentrated in the hands of an incompetent, insecure and insincere few, even resolvable issues become complicated and can stoke fires of chaos […]

By: Editorial Team

A Gathering Storm

Is the curtain about to fall on the current political dispensation? The opposition believes that the days of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government are numbered and the final countdown for its ouster has already started. Some opposition leaders, including the flamboyant Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, are claiming that the government could collapse before the dawn […]

By: Editorial Team

Filling the Vacuum

All through the outgoing year Pakistan remained gripped in high-voltage politics of confrontation, and the resultant instability affected almost each and every sector of the country. In the aftermath of the Panama Scandal, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) government remained solely focused on defending the corruption cases against Sharif and family, ignoring its core responsibilities […]

By: Editorial Team

The Case For New Provinces

For most mainstream political parties, the creation of new provinces in Pakistan is not an option at all. Nonetheless, there are some powerful voices who have been increasingly advocating this cause. Those seeking the creation of new provinces in Pakistan, believe that it would improve governance, devolve power to the grassroots level and help deal […]

By: Amir Zia

The Looming Crisis

Uncertainty is at its peak today in Pakistan. This uncertainty predominantly has four dimensions – political, economic, security and foreign relations. Seldom in the country’s history have all these negative developments occurred, more or less, at the same time. On the political front, the government appears to have lost the fiat and willingness for implementing […]

By: Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha

MQM’s Hard Choices

In Pakistan’s chequered history, perhaps no party has seen as many ups and downs as the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). Military operations, mass arrests, violent deaths of workers and leaders in shootouts with the law enforcers and while in custody, bloody feuds with rivals and dissidents, exiles, splinter groups and charges ranging from extortion, torture, […]

By: Faisal Aziz Khan

Challenges to Social Discourse

In this day and age, when Pakistan faces severe challenges to its security and economy, there is a need for a joint effort by all stakeholders including academia, politicians, military and civil society to take the country forward. External and internal threats, such as one posed by the country’s eastern neighbour and by followers of […]

By: Editorial Team

The Battles Within

Pakistan’s electoral landscape has consistently been ruled by a handful of clans and families, particularly over the past five decades. Even as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto blazed across the political firmament, the seeds had already been sown for a dynasty of the Bhuttos by his father Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto. But in the vacuum created by the […]

By: Babar Dogar

Closing Economic Window

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League government has traditionally considered itself superior to others in the domain of finance and the economy. So a recent keynote address to the business community by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa, was an unexpected thunderbolt. At a seminar entitled ‘Interplay of the economy and security’ […]

By: Dr. Salman Shah

A Disaster Called Trump

Dear America, Instead of writing about Pakistani politics, in which change happens everyday reinforcing uncertainty, I will write about you instead, where, thanks to a disaster called Trump, things change every week also riving America in uncertainty. In addition, there’s the fraying Pakistan-America relationship, the Middle East, Iran, India, North Korea, Brexit and Ireland and […]

By: Humayun Gauhar

Enter the Playwright

Gracious and indefatigable, Haseena Moin is the consummate professional and one of the few living legends who played an instrumental role in forging PTV’s golden era of drama. In this candid chat with Narratives, she reminisces upon her illustrious career in the Pakistani media industry. *** You have had a very intense relationship with the […]

By: Mashal Usman

The Quintessential Dramatist

Years ago when I started out as an actor, Anwar Maqsood was already a household name in the media industry. Never before had a writer been simultaneously as notorious or as revered as Anwar Bhai. Today, younger generations don’t know of the impact he has had on Pakistan’s creative arts and on changing creative paradigms. […]

By: Sajid Hasan

Challenge from Within

Terrorism is a global challenge, but it is the Muslim world which has suffered, and continues to suffer, the most at the hands of terrorists. Extremist mindsets and terrorist ideologies are not just spreading death and destruction in many Muslim lands, but tearing them apart, as violent non-state actors try to force regime changes or […]

By: Amir Zia

Census Contradictions

The provisional results of the 2017 census have taken most political commentators, the media, members of civil society and policy makers by surprise. Senior demographers, who served as members of a technical sub-committee to oversee the census exercise, are also concerned about the validity of the results, since several of their recommendations were not accepted […]

By: Dr Mehtab S Karim

Palestinians Betrayed

US President Donald Trump’s announcement, in early December, that the United States would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, by moving its embassy to the historic city, was yet another salvo from the volatile and unpredictable US president, who is developing a track record for ignoring the delicacies and sensitivities of global diplomacy. The […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

From Kabul Without Love

India has been Pakistan’s arch rival since its inception and the South Asian neighbours have battled each other on multiple fronts – ranging from three wars to continuing hostilities along the border. In 1971, India played a key role in splitting Pakistan apart. Decades later, it is clear that while Pakistan’s political and military leadership […]

By: Zahir Shah Sherazi

Afghan Imbroglio

The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan has multi-dimensional implications for Pakistan, ranging from an unstable border and continuing terrorism, to a decrease in the volume of bilateral trade, as well as the plight of both refugees and those who returned to Afghanistan. But more ominous consequences loom on the horizon, if peace and normalcy do not […]

By: Rustam Shah Mohmand

Sharif’s Reckless Course

Nawaz Sharif’s third, truncated stint as prime minister has left Pakistan foundering in stormy seas. His failure to address critical issues, from the very start of his third term, polarised Pakistan’s body politic, underscored poor governance, deepened the economic crisis and spurred demands for his resignation. But Sharif clung to power like a limpet, until […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

A Complex War

General (retd.) Raheel Sharif, Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, recently delivered a keynote address at the Middle East Military Alliances and Coalitions (MEMAC) Conference held in Bahrain. Extracts from his paper exclusively for Narratives… *** Our World today is evolving at a faster pace than ever before due to the current geo-political […]

By: General (R) Raheel Sharif

Will 2018 be an election year in Pakistan?

Siraj-ul-Haq, Ameer – Jamaat-e-Islami:   “It is definitely the election year. There is no reason why there shouldn’t be elections. The instability of this year has geared the county towards the only solution – elections. Now this depends upon the government whether or not they chose create conditions for peaceful elections and not disrupt the process. […]

By: Editorial Team

NAB Amps Up the Heat

The past few months have seen a flurry of activity as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) opens up anti-corruption investigative proceedings against several high profile individuals, including the Chaudhry brothers and Sharjeel Memon. There is an increasing awareness about how state functionaries are involved in perpetuating corrupt practices and the impact this is having on […]

By: Editorial Team

Population Politics

The provisional data of the 6th census, which puts Pakistan’s population at 207.77 million – a jump of 57 percent since the last headcount done in 1998 – has become yet another source of discord and conflict in an already charged and polarised political atmosphere. The loudest and fiercest voices challenging the 2017 census data […]

By: Editorial Team

A Pyrrhic Victory

Kulsoom Nawaz’s victory in the by-election for the National Assembly seat number 120 should not surprise supporters or opponents of the House of Sharifs. The constituency comprising old parts of Lahore, including Anarkali, Temple Road, Laxmi Chowk, Nisbat Road, Sant Nagar, Krishan Nagar, Beadon and Hall Roads, is a stronghold of the thrice-elected and thrice-ousted […]

By: Editorial Team

Sharif’s Reckless Choices

Even as disqualified premier Nawaz Sharif and his family members face a new, bitter round of legal battles on corruption charges, he appears to be on a collision course with not just the judiciary, but also the armed forces. There is a method behind Sharif’s seemingly reckless decisions of confronting State institutions. He wants to […]

By: Editorial Team

The New Normal

Endemic corruption has been raised to a new art form in Pakistan. The very word ‘corruption’ itself has been corrupted, morphing into the new normal or business as usual. We know that routine transactions and actions, such as obtaining a basic document, will involve bribing a clerk in a government office. Companies actually budget for […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

Arts and Media in Retrospect

Veteran thespian Talat Hussain recalls Pakistani media’s days of yore     Known for his signature baritone voice and stellar screen presence, Mr. Talat Hussain has graced the media industry for more than five decades, winning hearts and minds with his power-packed performances. He forayed into radio in the early 1960s when Pakistan’s media was […]

By: Mashal Usman

Dangerous Brinkmanship

Nawaz Sharif is out of the Prime Minister House, but the dark shadow cast by his politics keeps Pakistan seething in a cauldron of uncertainty. In fact, the Sharif factor has now become the biggest cause of continuing instability, conflict and discord in the land of the pure. The deepening polarisation in Pakistani politics is […]

By: Amir Zia

Sacrifices, Struggles and Hope

The highpoint of Defence and Martyrs’ Day indeed remains the grand event of September 6, held at the General Headquarters (GHQ), Rawalpindi, in which families of the martyrs participated as guests of honour. The top-tier of the Pakistan Armed Forces, including Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, select civilian leaders and prominent personalities […]

By: Editorial Team

A Soul Like No Other

Dr. Ruth Pfau: September 9, 1929 – August 10, 2017 Dr. Ruth Pfau was just 31 when she came to Karachi in 1960. A nun of the Catholic order of Daughters of the Heart of Mary, Dr. Pfau dedicated her life to the treatment of leprosy patients in the country through her Marie Adelaide Leprosy […]

By: Umer Bin Ajmal

A Dismal Picture

The Human Development Index (HDI) is considered as a better measure of development than just per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The HDI has three components – measures of health, education and per capita income (in purchasing power parity terms) respectively. It is computed annually for 188 countries by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). […]

By: Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha

Waiting for the Phoenix to Rise

My objective is to acquire the Phoenix, the mythical firebird that rises out of the ashes. Our poets call it ‘Anqa’ or ‘Huma’, mythical birds which, if they fly over one’s head, change destinies for the better. My objective is not the change of this prime minister, or that, for it makes little difference. My […]

By: Humayun Gauhar

Durand Line Complexities

The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is one of the world’s most volatile areas. From the Great Game to the war on terror, for centuries this area has been the site of many battles fought by armies from around the globe. Yet curiously enough, the border is still referred to as the Durand Line, a […]

By: Juma Khan Sufi

Economy in Doldrums

I will start with at least three major challenges that Pakistan faces today. The first being the low economic growth that has been persisting since 2008-09. Pakistan’s economy is growing at an average rate of 3.0 to 4.0 percent per annum, notwithstanding what our honourable finance minister has claimed about the growth accelerating to 5.3 […]

By: Dr. Ashfaque H. Khan

Pakistan’s Aces Can’t be Trumped

Pakistan’s turbulent and often fractious relationship with the United States has traditionally been underpinned by an awareness of the symbiotic nature of the partnership. This was thrown into stark relief after September 11, 2001, when Pakistan once again became a frontline state to channelise American actions in Afghanistan. But the election of Donald Trump as […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

PSL Undersold?

Two years ago when the Pakistan Super League began its operations, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) operative mantra was: get it done, or keep trying. The big challenge that league officials faced in 2015 was convincing the corporate sector to come on board – instead of finding a horde of investors, as was the case […]

By: Umer Bin Ajmal

Politics of Dynasty

The by-election in NA-120 was billed as a political clash that would decide the future of the Sharif family after the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, by the Supreme Court. It eventually evolved into a battle of wits between the Sharif clan, defending their Lahore citadel, and challenger Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) […]

By: Babar Dogar

Defending the Future

The heroics of the Pakistan Armed Forces in the 1965 war against India are now part of folklore in the annals of history. The undeclared attack by an enemy, several times bigger in size, on Pakistan’s international frontiers was not just resisted, but repelled during the 17-day war. Even after the passage of 52 long […]

By: Editorial Team

Not an Easy Road

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has taken the reins of the country at a time of political turmoil and deepening uncertainty following the disqualification of his party leader Nawaz Sharif. But perhaps more important are the economic challenges that he faces, thanks to the flawed policies of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in its […]

By: Editorial Team

A Fearless Voice for Justice

Investigative journalist Rana Ayyub jolted the world by writing about the Indian government’s complicity in the atrocities committed during the Gujarat genocide of 2002. Ayyub launched an eight-month long sting operation on the behest of Tehelka, a famous Indian news magazine known for investigative stories, by posing as Maithili Tyagi, a student of the American […]

By: Editorial Team

Unifying Pakistan

Senator Sirajul Haq is the Ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami. He recently appeared in Bol News’ talk show Real Politics and shared his views on Pakistan’s current issues We don’t need a new Pakistan. Neither do we need to look left or right or take dictation from anyone outside the country. We have the country we […]

By: Editorial Team

Four Years of Economy Under PML-N

Dr. Salman Shah, a former finance minister, examines the state of the country’s economy since the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government came to power in 2013 with the promise of putting the country on road to progress and prosperity. Narratives’ Grading Policy! A– Excellent   B– Average   C– Weak   F– Fail

By: Editorial Team

Realising Jinnah’s Dream

As the nation celebrates 70 years of independence, it is important that we remind our youth – as well as ourselves – of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan. Our elders sacrificed their lives, youth, possessions, properties and even beloved ones so that future generations can be free and live with honour and dignity. […]

By: Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri

Reclaiming the Vision

For every Pakistani, the teaching and ideas of Allama Iqbal are scared. But like most other things sacred, they make for a good bookshelf and little is done to understand and practice them, and develop the nation as envisioned by one of the greatest philosophers of the era. We all have read in our school […]

By: Imran Khan

Pages from History


By: Editorial Team

The Quaid’s Vision

“Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a Nation State. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” – Stanley Wolpert August 14, 1947 will forever remain etched in the mind of every Pakistani as a day of pride and nostalgia. […]

By: Pervez Musharraf

Destroying Institutions

In the Kingdom of Sharifs, there is no room for dissent. And Riaz Riazuddin, the acting governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) till recently, learnt this the hard way. His decision to allow the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar came as a welcome surprise to the market as well as economists, […]

By: Editorial Team

The Plight of Kashmir

These brutalities have intensified since the Hindu extremist government of Modi came to power in May 2014 Skim through the Twitter timeline of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (@MirwaizKashmir)  –  one of the most powerful voices of the freedom movement in Indian-held Kashmir – for five minutes and get a tiny glimpse of the kind of terror […]

By: Editorial Team

Defending Corruption

Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif – the ousted prime minister – has found some unlikely allies among Pakistan’s westernised liberals and former leftists, who are lashing out against the Supreme Court’s historic verdict, which disqualified the thrice-elected premier from holding public office. These self-proclaimed scions of the civil society too have joined hands with the Pakistan […]

By: Editorial Team

True Freedom

The crisis that has been fomenting after the revelations in the Panama Papers reached its apogee on July 28 when the five-member bench of the Supreme Court, in a momentous decision, disqualified Nawaz Sharif – the 18th prime minister of Pakistan – from holding any public office. It has been a long and arduous period […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

Trade Imperatives

It was the dawn of a new age in 1947. The end of the World War II, the beginnings of the Cold War, Pakistan comes into being, Israel follows. There were dizzying moments, complicated, confusing and ambiguous for a world emerging from a protracted global war and the end of colonialism. There were stark choices. […]

By: Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Tariq Khan

Artistic Reflections

When I stepped into Rahat Kazmi sahib’s office, thick spirals of smoke were billowing towards the ceiling and the tiny, dark room was entirely submerged in a sheen of grey. For a fleeting moment, I felt like the spectator in a theatre who waits with bated breath for the stage fog to settle and the […]

By: Mashal Usman

Squandered Opportunities

The past decade has been one of the worst for Pakistan’s economy because the weak and unprofessional economic teams of the two successive governments have led to a dramatic slide in almost all key economic indicators. The governments of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have not only damaged the […]

By: Dr. Ashfaque H. Khan

Game Over for Sharif

Is Nawaz Sharif’s unanimous disqualification, by a five-member bench of the Supreme Court on corruption charges, an attack on the country’s faltering democracy or does it strengthen the system? Is the ousted prime minister ‘struggling’ for the supremacy of Parliament, or does he just want to perpetuate his power and dynastic politics? Does holding corrupt […]

By: Amir Zia

E-commerce: A New Frontier

Every invention – from the wheel to the steam engine – has transformed trading mediums. In the modern age, perhaps, nothing has impacted communication more than the internet which has completely transformed purchasing methods by bringing the marketplaces to the fingertips of the consumers. Though a bit behind the curve, businesses in Pakistan are now […]

By: Editorial Team

Nerves of Steel

For Mirwaiz Mohammad Umar Farooq – one of the most prominent leaders of Indian-occupied Kashmir’s All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) – politics is not the traditional game of power, but a high-risk mission in which all the dice are loaded against him. Farooq, along with his fellow political leaders and followers want to free their […]

By: Amir Zia

A Troubled Takeoff

For those who want to study how not to execute a mega project, the new Islamabad airport is a great example. More than three decades have passed since the idea was conceived, but the project continues to remain a work in progress. And while the construction of the airport –likely to be called Quaid-e-Azam International […]

By: Faisal Aziz Khan

The Butterfly Effect

Those who don’t believe in God the Almighty Creator should not read this article. They will find that their time has been wasted. An American scholar/analyst of sorts recently wrote that he fears a ‘Black Swan’ event in Pakistan. Americans love giving fancy names to things, especially to nefarious things in which they often play […]

By: Humayun Gauhar

Karachi’s Mega Transport Mess

Arif Hasan is one of Pakistan’s leading architects and urban planners. He is a recipient of the prestigious civil award, Hilal-i-Imtiaz. Following are extracts of Hasan’s detailed conversation with Narratives on the protracted public transport and traffic problems of Karachi A troubled history When Pakistan came into being, Karachi had an estimated population of 450,000. […]

By: Editorial Team

Films At Last?

When Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb unveiled a new plan for the film industry, one didn’t know whether to celebrate or mourn. Simply put, it is too little too late. Although it is evident that the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government is attempting to channel popular opinion in its favour by introducing such measures, […]

By: Sajid Hasan

On ICJ’s Sticky Wicket

When Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested during a counter-intelligence raid, near Chaman in Balochistan on March 3, 2016, and discovered to be an Indian intelligence operative, perhaps no one was surprised. For years, Pakistan has known that India has been fomenting terrorism and violence in Balochistan. As far back as July 2009, the then prime minister […]

By: Editorial Team

Cornered Tigers Again

Who would have thought that a team, which till last year was in danger of missing a Champions Trophy berth and which ranked lowest among the eight contesting teams, would go on to become title holders? This is the Pakistani cricket team, mercurial and unpredictable. Imran Khan’s ‘cornered tigers’. Just when the odds were against […]

By: Editorial Team

Judging the Budget

Another budget, another set of promises by the government, but very little hope of achieving anything. As has been the case for many years now, a lot of promises are made in every single budget, but not much is done to generate the resources needed to fulfill these promises and achieve the targets set out […]

By: Editorial Team

Mishandling Relations

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri is a veteran politician and  diplomat, who served as Pakistan’s foreign minister from 2002-07. Excerpts of his interview with Narratives are as follows: Our Afghan dilemma There is no denying the fact that Pakistan’s Western border has been relatively secure over the past decades, compared to the Eastern side. But the fact […]

By: Editorial Team

The Writing on the Wall

The Panama Scandal has been bedevilling Pakistan’s politics for more than a year now and remains the main cause of continued political uncertainty, confrontation and instability in the land of the pure. The sooner this scandal gets a closure, the better it will be for the country, which desperately needs a healing touch to end […]

By: Editorial Team

King or Country?

My articles, I am told, fall in the category of ‘musings’. Nice. Muse away, I say, but try as I might, when one’s muse, my wife in my case, is far away in London for more than a year with nary a sign of returning, what to do? Even my friend Maverick the Monkey, Commander […]

By: Humayun Gauhar

The Young Generation

Pakistan is poised on a crumbling plateau, with a sheer cliff rising up on one side and a precipitous abyss on the other. And buried within the plateau is a ticking population time bomb. There has been much debate about Pakistan’s burgeoning population, but less attention has been paid to the composition of the population. […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

A New Waziristan

Not long ago, North Waziristan Agency was known only for bombs and bullets. Terrorists controlled the area and called the shots, the writ of the government was non-existent and the green and white Pakistani flag was only visible flying over military compounds or a few State buildings Things have now come a long way. The […]

By: Zahir Shah Sherazi

Criminalised Politics

The fallout of the Panama Scandal has affected almost everyone – even those who were not incriminated in it directly and had no immediate bearing on the case. Political storms have erupted in several countries since the International Union of Investigative Journalists leaked a massive list damning the rich and the powerful, with undeclared offshore […]

By: Ikram Sehgal

Faltering on the World Stage

The weight of a good or bad decision rests squarely on the shoulders of the men and women who are tasked with the toughest challenges. And leaders are forged by trials of fire. “A leader is a lonely man and the moment of decision is the loneliest,” wrote Allied Supreme Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower […]

By: Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Ghulam Mustafa

Understanding Dar’s Budget

The government of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) presented the fifth and final budget of its five-year term in the Parliament on May 26 in an atmosphere of extreme political uncertainty. Since the revelation of the Panama Leaks in April last year, the clouds of uncertainty on the political front have rendered the government virtually dysfunctional. […]

By: Dr. Ashfaque H. Khan

Hard Choices

Pakistan may find it increasingly difficult to maintain its posture of neutrality in this new round of the Middle East crisis. In the ongoing diplomatic spat, Pakistan walks on a tightrope. On one side is Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – both home to millions of Pakistanis, who contribute more than $10 billion […]

By: Editorial Team

Misguided Trump Decision

Did Syed Salahuddin – the supreme commander of Kashmiri guerrilla group Hizbul Mujahideen –  ever kill any US soldier or citizen? Did he or his group ever target American interests in any part of the world? Did he ever express intentions of linking his armed struggle with any global militant movement, or declare an agenda […]

By: Editorial Team

Reading the Trends

This article focuses on Pakistan’s long and short-term economic and social trends in relation to other countries. Unfortunately, most trends identified here paint a dismal picture of Pakistan’s economy and are even shocking in some cases. The analysis of short-term developments has been facilitated by the recently-released Pakistan Economic Survey (PES) for 2016-17. In the […]

By: Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha

Performance of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police

Inspector General of Police, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Salahuddin Khan Mehsud, evaluates the KPK provincial government’s performance on security and policing. We asked him to evaluate the capability of the KPK police and assess its capacity on several fronts, including combating terrorism. Narratives’ Grading Policy! A– Excellent   B– Average   F– Miserable/Fail

By: Editorial Team

The Indefatigable Khan

Imran Khan’s face has flashed across our television screens for more than four decades. First in black-and-white as he debuted for Pakistan’s national cricket team, then in vivid colour as his smiling face became the symbol for Pakistan’s historic 1992 World Cup victory. And in recent years, he has been seen live on television screens, […]

By: Amir Zia

Playing with Numbers

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, as expected, presented an election-year oriented budget for the fiscal year 2017-18 (July-June). The budget is big on promises, but again failed to introduce the much-needed and oft-delayed reforms to address the structural problems of Pakistan’s debt-burdened economy. As usual, the budget speech set improbable targets and ignored any assessment […]

By: Amir Zia

Tackling Extremism

Not all extremists are violent or end up becoming militants or terrorists, but extremism is certainly the first step which leads towards this gory path and remains the biggest challenge of our times. Those who adhere to extremist ideologies are also more likely to be drawn into the support network for terrorists, in terms of […]

By: Editorial Team

Sharif Besieged

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has survived round one of the Panama Papers scandal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, but his political future continues to hang in the balance, as a resurgent opposition continues to build up pressure and the trust gap widens between the civil and military leadership. In fact, the three-time elected prime […]

By: Amir Zia

Victimising Bol

The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) wants to muzzle the Bol Media Group and all its channels. The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) – where the same faces run the show who call shots at the PBA – has the same agenda and is urging the government to ensure that the Bol Group remains barred from […]

By: Editorial Team

From Panama With Love

The five member bench of the Supreme Court announced verdict on Panama Papers case with the close margin of 3-2, enabling Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to stay in office, but with reservations. Two judges ruled he was neither ‘sadiq’ nor ‘ameen’ and wrote he should be disqualified, but the other three judges expressed doubt regarding […]

By: Babar Dogar

The Ideological Baloch

Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch is the former chief minister of Balochistan. He is the President of the National Party and the first non-tribal CM of Balochistan. He recently appeared in Bol News’ talk show Real Politics to discuss the issues facing the province. Narratives presents excerpts from the discussion. On governance When we talk about […]

By: Editorial Team

Creating Legacies

The departure of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq have dealt a double blow to Pakistani cricket, coinciding as they do with our slide in Test rankings – from top position to fifth in six months. They will truly be missed. They will be missed during overseas tours, they will be missed whenever our batting flounders, but […]

By: Zaheer Abbas

Morning Sickness

A way from the reportage of politics, poverty, human rights violations and other crises that plague humanity is a world that is a universe unto itself; the realm of morning shows on Pakistani news and entertainment channels. It remains unclear what these shows are designed to achieve, other than perhaps escapism from admittedly difficult lives […]

By: Sajid Hasan

What Next?

The Panama Papers case has riveted the nation for months, with all eyes focused on the Supreme Court (SC) awaiting the verdict. But for those following the court proceedings from the start, it was clear that the respected judges were not wholly convinced by the evidence and material produced before them, especially by lawyers defending […]

By: Bilal Shaikh

Connecting the Dots

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has become the buzzword for Pakistan’s projected economic outlook for the future. To be fair, the approximately $50 billion project has the solid potential of becoming a true game-changer for Pakistan. While $50 billion may not seem like much, in comparison to other major economic projects currently being undertaken […]

By: Ihtashamul Haque

Democracy Dividend?

The destiny of a nation rests in the hands of its leaders and, in a democracy, the power to elect the leaders rests in the hands of the people. Why then, has Pakistan’s democracy gone awry? Many will attribute repeated military interventions as the major factor for Pakistan’s weak democracy. But our political parties have […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

Four Years of PML-N Rule

The Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, evaluates the performance of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s over the past four years and rates their achievements, or lack thereof, in 12 critical areas. His sharp observations are a cause for concern. Narratives’ Grading Policy! A– Excellent   B– Average   F– Miserable/Fail

By: Editorial Team

Shrinking Exports

Pakistan’s exports have been sharply declining since 1990 with our share in the global market shrinking and the gap between imports and exports steadily widening. In the same time-frame, our closest competitors, India and Bangladesh, have improved their market share exponentially. The crisis is not related to one particular period, or one particular policy. The […]

By: Ishrat Husain

Collective Madness

The horrific public lynching of Mardan University student Mashal Khan, on alleged charges of blasphemy, is not the first incident of vigilante justice in this land of the pure and, notwithstanding all the public outcry and outrage, it certainly won’t be the last. Just after a few days of Mashal’s murder, another man – accused […]

By: Editorial Team

A Private Emissary

In Pakistan’s entire history, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has emerged as the only ruler, who is viewed with suspicion and distrust by many of his countrymen whenever he gets in touch with the Indian leadership – directly or indirectly and at any level. His unannounced meeting with Indian business tycoon Sajjan Jindal – a close […]

By: Editorial Team

Water Imperatives

All of Pakistan’s critical problems – ranging from terrorism and financial crises to unemployment and social inequality – are directly or indirectly linked with water and electricity. Our problems began when India, soon after the creation of Pakistan, blocked the water from Ferozpur and Madhupur Head Works. Pakistan and India negotiated over water rights for […]

By: Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Muzammil Hussain

Former President’s Exclusive Interview

Whether you love him or hate him, you can never ignore him. Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s 11th President from 2008 to 2013, took over after the assassination of his wife, Pakistan’s charismatic and two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The country was in turmoil following Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in December 2007, weeks before national elections. Zardari […]

By: Nazir Leghari

On a Sticky Wicket

An analysis on the partial verdict on the Panama Papers corruption case against the acquisition of properties in London by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family would, perforce, have to be very long if one is to do it justice. And how does one write on a partial verdict anyway? Perhaps it is better […]

By: Humayun Gauhar

Of Crime & Business

Everyone is usually inextricably linked to the place where they were born. But Karachi is a unique city that draws in not only native born residents but even those who migrated here from other parts of the country. The city gets woven into the very strands of their DNA and, for better or for the […]

By: Editorial Team

From Panama to Pakistan

Pakistanis were glued to television screens at 2 pm on April 20 in anticipation of the Supreme Court verdict of the Panama Papers case, which was widely expected to make history. The verdict itself did not hand a victory to either party. The bench, comprising five honourable judges, was split 3/2. But the SC’s announcement […]

By: Editorial Team

Two fronts – one mission

In his first-ever interview to any media outlet, Air Chief Sohail Aman shares his thoughts and vision about the external and internal challenges faced by the country, the PAF’s modernisation plans and its efforts to acquire state-of-the-art technology. He also gives us a glimpse of how he copes with the demands of his high-pressure job. […]

By: Amir Zia

A Man for All Seasons

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has been looking for a capable and popular successor to the party’s legendary leader Qaim Ali Shah to guide the party in Sindh. In Murad Ali Shah, the party has found the man who has been entrusted to lead the party into the next general election. Belonging to the party’s young […]

By: Nazir Leghari

‘Imposing India’

Advertising pervades everything. It impacts all spheres of society – from individuals and organisations to arts and religion. Propaganda that fuels and incites wars, be it arms for peace or weapons of mass destruction, all begin with a message that first needs to be sold to its intended consumers. Therefore, to sell any idea you […]

By: Sajid Hasan

The CPEC Question

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has taken centre stage in Pakistan’s economic landscape and is being described by nearly everyone as a game-changer. The country is becoming increasingly attractive for investors and economic partners, with everyone seeking a windfall from the changing dynamic. With a population of 1.3 billion, China has recently become the second […]

By: Editorial Team

Impending Crisis

One does not have to be an astrologer to predict massive financial troubles looming up for the State in the near future. The indicators are crystal clear. Wholesale sovereign guarantees, being churned out by the government on behalf of the haemorrhaging Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs), are mounting up massive contingent liabilities. These liabilities currently stand […]

By: Ihtashamul Haque

Bovine politics

Hindu extremism and militancy have always played a crucial role in Indian politics since the days of the British Raj but in recent years, religious bigotry, intolerance and hate have become decisive factors in shaping the direction of the second most populated country in the world. The rise of Hindu extremism has scraped off the […]

By: Editorial Team

Performance of the Punjab Police

Maj. Gen. (R) Hussain Mehdi is the former Director General of the Rangers in Punjab and has closely observed the situation in Punjab. We asked him to evaluate the capability of the Punjab Police and assess the capacity of the police on several fronts, including combating terrorism and tackling issues like hate speech. His honest […]

By: Editorial Team

FATA Reforms Under Fire

After decades of neglect, much-needed reforms for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been given a nod by the federal cabinet on March 2. But it remains unclear whether the complex reforms will serve as the correct mechanism for mainstreaming the tribal areas into settled Pakistan. Nonetheless, it could prove to be a fundamental […]

By: Zahir Shah Sherazi

Warring over Water

Water, the very source of life, is increasingly becoming the central point of dispute between Pakistan and India, along with the Kashmir crisis, especially after some incendiary remarks made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As expected, the Permanent Indus Water Commission talks between Pakistan and India on March 20-21 ended in failure, highlighting the […]

By: Editorial Team

The Custodian of Trust

In Memoriam 1931 – 2017 Mr. Kassim Parekh’s iconic life as a banker began in 1949, when he joined Habib Bank Limited at the age of 18. In a career spanning over six decades, Mr. Parekh rose to the upper echelons of Habib Bank, becoming the President of the bank before leaving in 1988. In […]

By: Sirajuddin Aziz Sirajuddin

Crisis of Leadership

What is the biggest crisis or fundamental challenge facing today’s Pakistan? Many Pakistanis would cite rampant corruption responsible for most, if not all, the ills that bedevil this land of the pure. Others may moan or groan about the country’s economic troubles that are holding back the country from marching forward on the road towards […]

By: Amir Zia

Fearless Dragon

China has achieved in three and a half decades what nations take nearly three hundred years to achieve. The Chinese have been very modest in acknowledging their own success. Beijing does not seek the limelight, nor does it desire global leadership. But China’s success story should not be hidden from the international community because of […]

By: Syed Hasan Javed

Loyalists Rule the Roost

The appointment of a woman as Foreign Secretary, a first for Pakistan, should have been seen as a feather in the cap of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but unfortunately his choice – like most of his other appointments and promotions – has become highly controversial from the start. The reason; Tehmina Janjua has been handpicked […]

By: Editorial Team

Defining Poverty

The latest Pakistan Economic Survey by the Federal Ministry of Finance contains some very good news. Apparently, the incidence of poverty has been declining sharply in Pakistan since 2001-02 and by 2013-14, it had more than halved. The latest estimate is that 30 percent of the population is poor, equivalent to 60 million people. These […]

By: Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha

‘Denying Our Potential’

Dr Farooq Sattar now leads the new-look Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan) after breaking ties with party founder Altaf Hussain in Aug 2016. He recently appeared on Bol News’ talk-show ‘Real Politics’ and shared his views about MQM’s future and national politics. Excerpts from his interview: Politics is a highly sensitive field. In politics, respect for […]

By: Editorial Team

Disquiet on the Western Front

Suspicions, some genuine and some unfounded, throughout history have caused irreparable damage in inter-state relations, especially when policies are formulated, or decisions made, on the basis of unverified assumptions or uncorroborated beliefs. A classic case is how Japan was induced into attacking Pearl Harbour in December 1941, in a carefully orchestrated trap, that was designed […]

By: Rustam Shah Mohmand

Awaiting the Verdict

All eyes are turned towards Islamabad, awaiting the verdict of the Supreme Court bench in a case that history will remember as the Panama Papers scandal. The five-member bench heard arguments from all the lawyers on petitions filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and its allies against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family. What is […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

Transport dilemmas

Politics Versus Public Interest When the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) introduced the metro bus service in Lahore, Punjab’s capital and the stronghold of the Sharif brothers, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, launched a diatribe against the government. He accused Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s provincial government of corruption, citing statistics of how similar projects in […]

By: Editorial Team

Governance, Efficiency and Delivery

The 2013 general election ushered in a new dimension in people’s voting pattern in the history of Pakistan. A majority of the people sought to dismantle the system of governance, replacing it with a changed one for efficient service delivery. The overall election scenario painted by independent observers of international monitoring organisations, in their analyses […]

By: Pervez Khattak

Nawaz Sharif government

What do leading politicians predict about the future of Nawaz Sharif and his government over the next three months? Narratives presents their analyses.

By: Editorial Team

The Shrouds of Silence

Over the past six months, the valley of Kashmir has witnessed one of the bloodiest uprisings in its history. Across the length of Kashmir, from the north to the south of the picturesque valley, mass protests have erupted everywhere. For a state, that measures its success on its ability to silence dissent, its policies have […]

By: Muhammad Faysal

The Face of Resistance

Yasin Malik, the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and amongst the most recognised faces of the Kashmiri struggle, was born in Srinagar on April 3, 1966 in Srinagar. Part of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), the JKLF has, from its inception, sought an independent Kashmir, a stand not widely accepted […]

By: Editorial Team

The JuD Quandary

Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) is once again in the eye of the storm and faces an uncertain future following the arrest of its chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and his four associates on January 30. Saeed’s arrest is not a surprise move, given that for the past several months, a number of senior government officials had been hinting […]

By: Editorial Team

Karachi Wants More

A select group of top business leaders and bankers of Karachi talked openly and candidly to the Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, when he visited the port city in January, 2017 to review the law and order situation. The business community leaders lauded the paramilitary Rangers-led operation, which brought relative peace […]

By: Editorial Team

Balochistan: Staying the course

Over the last two years more than 1,150 insurgents from various militant nationalist groups in Balochistan have returned to the national mainstream and resumed their normal lives after giving up their armed struggle. Those who surrendered include several mid-level operational commanders, along with ordinary tribesmen who were being used by vested groups sitting abroad to […]

By: Editorial Team

Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth

Fiscal policy is an important tool for modern governments to steer the economy in the right direction. All governments endeavour to align their fiscal policies in a manner that ensures there are sufficient revenues available to the government for fixed, non-developmental expenses and ever-expanding development expenses. Furthermore, governments seek adequate disposable personal income, generating enough […]

By: Syed Shabbar Zaidi

On the Road to Prosperity

Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zahri, the Chief Minister of Balochistan, writes about his vision for a prosperous Balochistan and why Gwadar Port and CPEC will change the fate of Pakistan *** My goal is to make Balochistan a peaceful and prosperous land, where education is easily accessible and compulsory for every child and healthcare and potable […]

By: Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zahri

APHC: Representing the Will of the People

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) is an alliance of several political, social and religious organisations seeking Kashmir’s freedom from Indian occupation. Formed in July 1993, the Hurriyat provides a political platform to the people of Indian occupied Kashmir. The APHC brought together parties of different ideologies but with a common stance against the occupation […]

By: Editorial Team

Coastal Crises

Our coastal waters are being polluted from a number of sources. Rapidly increasing quantities of untreated industrial effluent and domestic waste have degraded the marine environment, as a result of which there is a constant threat to both human health and biodiversity. Karachi, with a population of approximately 20 million, is the biggest trade and […]

By: Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo

Brutal Occupation

The situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) is simply catastrophic. Mere words do not fully capture the human rights and humanitarian crisis that has been unfolding in Kashmir over the past six months. Expressions like ‘violations of human rights’ and ‘international humanitarian law’ sound like bland euphemisms against the backdrop of the brutal killings and […]

By: Sardar Masood Khan

Securing Borders

Pakistan has been left with no option but to try and secure the over 2,430 kilometre porous Pak-Afghan border, as well as take other measures, as its own security is being frequently undermined by frequent cross-border attacks. Behind the hyped ‘do more’ mantra echoing from the US-led coalition, with an ever increasing demand to check […]

By: Zahir Shah Sherazi

Talks Cannot Fail

Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, former prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, appeared in Bol News’ Real Politics and shared his thoughts on key issues confronting Indian-occupied Kashmir. Narratives presents some excerpts from his wide-ranging discussion Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah referred to Kashmir as Pakistan’s aorta. It’s such an all-inclusive, such a comprehensive statement that […]

By: Editorial Team

Dwindling Revenues, Increased Borrowing

When the Pakistan Muslim League government, led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, took charge in June 2013, Pakistan’s economy was already facing serious challenges. Central Bank foreign exchange reserves had declined to a level barely sufficient to provide cover for 45 days of imports and the country was heading towards an external payment default. Under […]

By: Dr. Ashfaque H. Khan

Defining the Dream

At the turn of the 20th century, there was a dream. A dream that the Muslims of the subcontinent would one day have their own homeland, free from the subjugation of the British Raj and dictates of the Hindu majority. It took another four decades for this collective dream of Muslims to articulate itself. Between […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

A Revolutionary’s Wife Speaks Out

Hum dekhain ge We shall see Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhain ge Certainly we, too, shall see Wo din ke jis ka wadah hai That day that has been promised to us Jo lauh-e-azal mein likha hai Which is written with God’s ink Hum dekhain ge We shall see Jab zulm-o-sitam ke koh-e-garaan When […]

By: Mushaal Mullick

Politics and Policing

Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Suddle Former Inspector General of Police in Sindh and Balochistan who spearheaded Police Act 2002 Police reforms Police reforms are needed on an urgent basis. Our long-needed transformation from colonial policing, meant to perpetuate ‘rule of the ruler’, to democratic policing, mandated to uphold ‘rule of law’, can only be realised by […]

By: Editorial Team

Punjab’s Economic Woes

Multiple factors come into play when assessing the business climate in Punjab. Given the complexity of problems affecting Pakistan’s economy, the effects are having a similarly negative impact on business and investment in the largest province in terms of population. Terrorism alone is not the only contributing factor to Pakistan’s dismal economic picture. Government short-sightedness […]

By: Editorial Team

The Art of Saying Nothing

Pakistani airwaves were once ruled by Pakistan Television (PTV) dramas. Powerful serials by Pakistan’s top writers, producers and actors kept the entire nation glued to the television screen each night, all week long. News was served up at 9 pm with Khabarnama, a standard ode to the glory of the government. But the glory days […]

By: Sajid Hasan

Breaking the Stalemate

For any state, an internal war or conflict without an end is a worst case scenario. This aphorism remains true for Pakistan, which remains locked in a seemingly endless war against religiously-motivated terrorists for the last 17 years. The full intensity of the backlash followed the start of the US-led forces Afghan campaign on October […]

By: Amir Zia

Think Big Philosophy

My first meeting with the legendary Shaukat Tarin was under tough circumstances – I had come in to be interviewed by him for the position of Managing Director of the Karachi Stock Exchange (now Pakistan Stock Exchange) in 2007. I had heard stories about this ‘larger than life’ person with a booming voice and was, […]

By: Adnan Afridi

Choices We Make

The next few years remain crucial for Pakistan. The ‘road taken’ (or not taken) will determine where the country will stand at the international level.

By: Editorial Team

Turning Karachi Around

  The metropolitan, seaport city of Karachi has entered a very difficult era. It is the prime city of Pakistan and has traditionally acted as the economic, financial and commercial hub of the country. After Partition, it absorbed almost 1.5 million migrants from India. Historically, hospitality was the distinguishing feature of the city. It provided […]

By: Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha

Renegotiating Strategic Alliances

Way forward Donald S. Trump, who takes oath as the 45th US President on January 20, has been making headlines the world over. Almost all countries are analysing the impact of his Presidency on their respective relations with the United States and on the ‘Washington Consensus,’ which forms the basis of not just economic institutions […]

By: Khursheed Kasuri

Unfair Practices?

In Pakistan’s chequered history, inquiry committees rarely expose complete facts or nail down high-profile culprits accused of any criminal act, corruption, or breach of national security. If, by a stroke of luck, a politically-connected person lands in trouble, it is only a matter of time before the accused manages to wriggle out of the tight […]

By: Editorial Team

Tentacles of Terrorism

After more than a decade of simmering ethnic and sectarian violence in the restive Balochistan province – long considered the soft under-belly of Pakistan – the situation has started to stabilise, particularly in the provincial capital of Quetta in the last couple of years. The credit of restoring a relative peace – which does get jolted […]

By: Shahzada Zulfiqar

Treacherous conspiracy?

Q: The publication of October 6th’s “fabricated” story against the Pakistan Army in Dawn has triggered a storm, which refuses to die down. As a former Dawn veteran, how do you see the editorial treatment of the story, including the way it has been sourced? A: To be fair, the story itself was not as […]

By: Editorial Team

Used or abused?

Q: Is Dawn’s controversial October 6 story an insider account of the civil-military leadership’s meeting or a fabricated, false report aimed at discrediting Pakistan’s Armed Forces? A: All top national security meetings discuss these issues and it depends on whether there is consensus or divergence of views. But this particular story has been exaggerated to […]

By: Editorial Team

Crime, separatism and terrorism

Narratives: How was Balochistan’s security situation when the Pakistan Muslim League took power in the province following the 2013 elections? Bugti: When we took over, the war against terrorism was at its peak. I myself was the target of at least four armed attacks. Balochistan was facing three types of challenges – organised crime, the […]

By: Shahzada Zulfiqar

Empower the people

On Islam and Pakistan Pakistan, indeed, is in a bad shape. Since 1948, not a single civilian government ran the country effectively, which is unfortunate. We have to think where Pakistan is headed and which direction it should take. Pakistan is an Islamic Republic and religion is the basis of its creation, but I firmly […]

By: Pervez Musharraf

Pakistan’s Trajectory Rising

Against all odds, Pakistan is thriving and progressing and has the prospects of becoming a vibrant nation of the South Asian region in the near future. What we have to do is to infuse in ourselves the same spirit of national resolve, collective strength and personal integrity, which we demonstrated during the pursuit of our […]

By: Dr. Samar Mubarakmand

Half the picture

The Panama Papers are indeed modern history’s biggest ever leak making public nearly 215,000 confidential documents, that gave eye-opening details of offshore companies and secretive bank accounts belonging to the world’s high and mighty, including politicians, their close relatives, business tycoons, outright criminals, drug smugglers and extremely corrupt individuals. The financial and attorney-client information of […]

By: Ikram Sehgal

New COAS to Finish the Job

With the promotion of General Qamar Javed Bajwa to the powerful position of Chief of the Army Staff, on November 29, a section of the mainstream media has started predicting an improvement in ‘civil-military’ ties. The routine reshuffle in the Army’s top command is also being interpreted as a good omen for Prime Minister Nawaz […]

By: Amir Zia

The People’s General

General Sharif is hailed as a hero of Pakistan because he stood against the challenge of terrorism and extremism at a time when the civilian government was wasting time in futile “peace talks” with local terrorist groups The erstwhile Chief of the Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, indeed remained the most popular, trusted and loved […]

By: Editorial Team

Diplomatic ignominy

Pakistan must stop giving repeated calls for the resumption of bilateral talks with India and concentrate instead on internationalising the Kashmir issue. It should also further scale down trade and other ties with India to protest against State terrorism in occupied Kashmir and fanning terrorism in Pakistan The so-called Heart of Asia Conference, held in […]

By: Editorial Team

No Quick Justice

The Sharif family can easily exonerate themselves by providing details of their offshore wealth and property if they raised the finances legally. But they plan to drag the case on rather than give clean answers to simple questions With hindsight, Imran Khan’s November 2 ‘thanksgiving’ celebrations after the Supreme Court’s announcement that it would hear […]

By: Editorial Team

The Poetic Banker

Pakistanis generally excel in banking and there is one man who, single handedly, trained generations of bankers. The sometimes unassuming, other times flamboyant, Agha Hasan Abedi, has been the guru to many of today’s senior banking tier. The legendary banking hero was born on May 14, 1922, in Lucknow – the ‘Golden City of the […]

By: Sirajuddin Aziz Sirajuddin

Economic downturn

The PML-N is traditionally very harsh on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa businesses. The tax incentives given to the Gadoon Industrial Estate by the Pakistan Peoples Party government in 1988 were immediately withdrawn by Nawaz Sharif when he became prime minister in 1990. Gadoon is now a graveyard of our dead industries There has been no investment and […]

By: Editorial Team

Smuggling menace

The de-industrialisation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is now a bitter reality. The industrial sector and traders are also worried because of the impact of the CPEC and the influx of Chinese goods. Many are planning to sell out their businesses, disinvest and move to other places According to a recent provincial government report, Reclaiming Prosperity in […]

By: Editorial Team

Sluggish economy

Being the representative of the whole country, the PML-N government should have shown magnanimity and announced a special economic package for KP’s business community, even if it is at daggers drawn with the provincial government The general trend of KP’s economy has remained sluggish even after the recent improvement in the law and order situation […]

By: Editorial Team

Sinking KP economy

Marred by decades of continuing terrorism and militancy, rampant crime, lawlessness and the apathy of successive federal governments, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) economy is performing well below its potential. More than 60 per cent of the industrial units of the province have been shut down in recent years due to security concerns. The closure of these […]

By: Editorial Team

IMF Stabilisation Policy Now Dated

“The longer demand weakness lasts, the more it threatens to harm long-term growth as firms reduce production capacity and unemployed workers are leaving the labour force and critical skills are eroding. Weak demand also depresses trade, which adds to disappointing productivity growth”. Christine Legarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), September 2016. The above statement […]

By: Dr. Ashfaque H. Khan

Stars Weigh In

Narratives asked several Pakistani stars and producers how they felt about the ban on Indian content on Pakistani television screens Samina Peerzada Film and television actor/Producer While one feels that a retrogressive step taken by one person should not be emulated by another, yet reciprocity is a must. The recent banning of Indian content in […]

By: Editorial Team

Content Wars

Entertainment is all about choices and I, for one, am pro-choice. But the issues are far more complex than that. Growing up in Lahore, when very few households had access to television, we thought Indian movies and programmes were way ahead of us. At that time, it was all about our own stars. Pakistani superstars […]

By: Sajid Hasan


By: Editorial Team

Performance of the Punjab Provincial Government

Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, the former Punjab chief minister and the provincial President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, examines Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s eight-year rule and issues a report card, giving him a thumbs down on every front. Narratives’ Grading Policy! A– Excellent   B– Average   F– Miserable/Fail

By: Editorial Team

Trends Improving

Is Pakistan’s economy back on track or is it still struggling in choppy waters? Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his financial managers claim they have stabilised the economy and are now set to gradually achieve higher growth in the short to medium-term. The Opposition maintains that the story of an economic turnaround is nothing but […]

By: Muhammad Zubair

Miserable Performance

Falling exports The main reason for falling exports is the fact that since this government came to power in 2013, it has increased the cost of doing business. Our export industry has become less competitive in the world. The government policy, created in collaboration with the IMF, raised indirect taxes and controlled (Asad used the […]

By: Editorial Team

Plunder and Pillage

Axact House stands in a battered and dilapidated condition. It appears that a horde of looters and plunderers descended upon these premises like locusts and took away all its valuables, electronic equipment and most of the computers. Just 16 months ago, Axact ¬ Pakistan’s leading IT company – boasted one of the best-managed corporate offices […]

By: Editorial Team

Banking on Pakistan: Arif Habib – the Group, the Man

Arif Habib is a man on a mission. He hopes his years of financial acumen will help steer his businesses to further prosperity and sustainable growth, enriching Pakistan’s wider economy in the process. From his days as a young stock broker, today he heads a conglomerate of 10,000 employees. With a widely diversified portfolio, the […]

By: Nasim Beg

Uncertainty grips investors

Pakistan’s investment and business climate continues to remain grim as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government drifts from one crisis to another, in the wake of growing opposition against his rule, tainted with allegations of massive corruption and bad governance. The key factors damaging the overall confidence of foreign and domestic investors include tensions between the […]

By: Editorial Team

‘Economic gimmickry’

The Government must change its policy direction towards job-rich growth as proposed by the G-20 leadership other than the stabilization policy alone, which stifles demand and chokes growth. The policy direction should not be fixated towards managing the budget deficit alone. The last eight years of the so-called “stabilization policy” has suffocated Pakistan’s economy. It […]

By: Dr. Ashfaque H. Khan

An economic nightmare

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s highly touted economic Dream Team has, in three years, created a nightmare that needs swift remedial measures if Pakistan is to claw its way out of an economic quagmire. Mr. Sharif was sworn in for the third time as the chief executive, amidst great expectations of a quick turnaround of an […]

By: Dr. Salman Shah

‘Altaf Hussain gets the votes’

You defended the MQM’s case single-handedly after Altaf Hussain’s controversial remarks. What forced you to abandon ship? Firstly, I didn’t defend Altaf Hussain sahib’s controversial and anti-Pakistan statement at any level. I wasn’t present during that particular speech because of professional responsibilities. When I learnt that ARY, SAMAA and Neo channels were attacked, I (initially) […]

By: Faysal Aziz

The Litmus Test

Q:The MQM has dissociated itself from Mr. Altaf Hussain. It condemned his speech, changed the party constitution and expelled four Coordination Committee members for violating discipline. In response, the London Secretariat dissolved the MQM Pakistan’s organisational structure. Yet, your critics believe that all this is aimed at deflecting pressure. Why is there so much distrust […]

By: Faysal Aziz

The MQM in disarray

The hitherto inconceivable has finally come to pass. And the unimaginable has happened. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) stands divided as never before in its more than three-decade long history. The once seemingly impossible task of isolating and alienating the MQM founder, Altaf Hussain, from the rank and file of his party’s organisational structure has […]

By: Faysal Aziz

12 cases of malfeasance and misrule

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government continues to lurch from one crisis to another, with key party leaders and Cabinet ministers in apparent denial. The federal government seems to be perpetually teetering on the brink, in the wake of growing political and economic instability and discontent from Karachi to the Khyber. As resistance and opposition to […]

By: Editorial Team

Leadership matters

For the “politically correct” – those who thrive on imported ideas, phrases, and expressions – it may be hard to digest that in Pakistan a man in military uniform is seen by many as the most popular and reliable public figure rather than the man, who made it to the Prime Minister House riding on […]

By: Amir Zia

Realising Jinnah’s vision

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah gave a vision for Pakistan when it was created in 1947. This vision later became the preamble of Pakistan’s Constitution, as reflected in its first 40 articles, which deal with the rights of the people. The Quaid-e-Azam envisioned Pakistan as a true democratic state, where elected representatives would act as trustees […]

By: Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri

In Comes Imran..

Challenging the status quo Critics call him hungry for power, others criticize him for harbouring a soft spot for the local Taliban and fascination for an archaic tribal system. But even his bitterest rivals cannot accuse him of stealing public money or of corruption – charges that haunt many top leaders of other mainstream political […]

By: Amir Zia

The Practical Sufi

My father, Abdul Sattar Sattar was a simple man. He had strong beliefs and always had hope that things would get better. He wasn’t happy with the way people were being treated in the Third World, the way they were kept hungry, the manner in which they were exploited to earn wealth but not given […]

By: Faisal Edhi

Dying to live

Global community knows that the Bangladeshi government has been using this tribunal to target and eliminate political opponents On September 3, Bangladesh executed the sixth Jamaat-e-Islami leader – Mir Quasem Ali, 63, — who stood by Pakistan during the 1971 separatist war in the former East Pakistan. Ali’s hanging in Kashimpur Jail, Gazipur — a […]

By: Editorial Team

Shah of Sindh

Resource-rich Sindh suffered badly due to continued weak governance and rampant corruption under PPP rule since 2008. Syed Murad Ali Shah, the newly minted 24th chief minister of Sindh, has definitely tried to energize the lethargic provincial administration and cabinet colleagues he has inherited. Now, many provincial government officers try to reach their offices on […]

By: Editorial Team

Not on the same page

Will the Army Chief’s expression of dismay over the government’s poor performance on NAP motivate it to step up its role? The terrorist bombing at the Civil Hospital in Quetta, in August, which killed more than 70 people, has once again highlighted the unstable fault line between the military and civil leadership on combating the […]

By: Editorial Team

Performance of the Sharif Government

Sirajul Haq is the Ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami whose party has formed a coalition government with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Historically, the Jamaat-e-Islami has usually allied itself with conservative political parties like the Pakistan Muslim League (N). The Jamaat-e-Islami wields considerable street power and is one of the oldest political parties in […]

By: Editorial Team

Two Faced India

Kashmir is the festering sore in the retina of the world. Perhaps that is why everyone has turned a blind eye to the sufferings of the Kashmiri people. For decades, the question of Kashmir has been relegated to the back burner by the global community, viewed only in the prism of a bilateral territorial dispute […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

The Arbiters of News

The desire to communicate has been a primeval imperative throughout human history. From the time primitive man sought to capture his world in cave paintings. to the art of oral story-telling and eventually the development of hieroglyphics and the written word humankind has sought to communicate ideas, beliefs, politics and faith. The development of the […]

By: Quatrina Hosain

Constitutional Anachronism


By: Editorial Team

Dangerous Game

The Modi doctrine has intensified tension and heightened prospects of war in
South Asia to dangerous new levels

By: Editorial Team

Performance of the Sharif Government

President of the Awami Muslim League Shaikh Rashid Ahmed is one of the key opposition figures and an ardent critic of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government. He speaks in the language of the masses and is seen as a politician who has his finger right on the pulse of the people. We asked Shaikh Rashid […]

By: Editorial Team

Year of Resistance

The first small protest outside Karachi Press Club to condemn the government’s crackdown on Axact and the Bol Media Group was staged on the sweltering afternoon of May 27, 2015 . There were just about two dozen journalists in attendance. At the time, none of them could have imagined that this small event was the […]

By: Faysal Aziz

Pakistan’s great economic challenge

The PML-N government says that the economy is finally out of troubled waters and all set for smooth sailing. But many well-known and respected independent economists have challenged the government’s claims. Some major red flags have been cited — from the fast-rising expensive public debt to the falling exports. Each side has its own figures […]

By: Editorial Team

A Complex Challenge

The government must implement NAP to defeat terrorism The March 27, 2016 bombing at Iqbal Park, Lahore — killing more than 70 people and wounding at least 300 others — is another stark reminder that Pakistan’s war against terrorism and extremism is far from over. The deadly bombing should also serve as a reality check […]

By: Lt. Gen (retd.) Moinuddin Haider

The new foes

The self-defeating and dangerous trend of political violence in Karachi must come to an end Splits and dissensions within the ranks of major political parties in Pakistan are an old story. Sometimes these splits are the result of genuine differences or intra-party struggle for leadership; at other times they are orchestrated by the civil and […]

By: Editorial Team

Budgeting Failures

PMLN govt’s fourth budget again fails to push the reform agenda It was just another one of those long-winding and illusive budget speeches that play on fudged figures and lack vision orsubstance. Presenting his fourth budget since the PMLN government came to power in 2013, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar tried his best to portray himself as a champion who managed to turn around the country’s […]

By: Editorial Team

A Criminal Silence

“PM Sharif has given a message that those who side with Pakistan and its armed forces will eventually be abandoned” A few days before the execution of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Bangla- desh’s septuagenarian leader Motiur Rahman Nizami, the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan’s head, Sirajul Haq, approached Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and urged she has violated a 1974 agreement […]

By: Editorial Team

An Endless War

PM Sharif is letting Pakistan down on the diplomatic front With the killing of Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor in a drone strike in May, chances of engaging the Afghan Taliban in peace talks have further receded. The 2016 fighting season in Afghanistan has already been one of the bloodiest since Taliban’s ouster from Kabul […]

By: Editorial Team

Forecasting The Next Few Years

The next few years remain crucial for Pakistan. ‘The road taken’ (or not taken) will determine where the country will stand at the international level. Pakistan is the world’s sixth largest nation and one of the eight countries of the world that are recognised nuclear powers. It also boasts one of the world’s most battle-hardened […]

By: Dr. Samar Mubarakmand

The next two years

The PML-N came to power three years ago on the platform of the three E’s – Economy, Energy and Education. This article focuses on the midterm assessment of the economy, its challenges and agenda for the next two years. On the economic front, the government compiled a mixed record so far. The economy has stabilised […]

By: Ishrat Husain

Learning from Others

Poor-quality of leadership is blocking Pakistan’s transformation into a ‘knowledge economy’ One of the most important factors to ensure rapid socio-economic development in today’s world is knowledge. Only those countries have managed to progress and prosper that have invested in human resource. These countries successfully managed to offset the constraints of the smallness of their […]

By: Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman

Feeling the pulse of business in Pakistan

Not so friendly There were high expectations from Nawaz Sharif — especially among traders, business persons and industrialists — when he took oath as prime minister on June 5, 2013 for the third time in his political career. Being a businessman himself, Sharif was seen as a pro-business leader. He seemed to possess all the […]

By: Editorial Team

Misguided by data

  Who directs and dictates the narrative on Pakistan’s electronic media? The general impression is that the owners of the leading private channels are the ones who decide what goes on the cable and what doesn’t make the cut. Many others believe that the government has the power to drive the agenda through its regulator […]

By: Nazir Leghari

Resetting the system

Pakistan lacks a mechanism to hold the corrupt accountable and prevent their rise to the top   Pakistan’s fragile and flawed democracy again seems to be struggling for survival. There are questions not just over the efficiency of the entire system, but its credibility and moral authority remains at stake as well in the wake of the Panama […]

By: Amir Zia

Translating vision into reality

Pakistan has no dearth of super-rich, influential and powerful business gurus, but only a few have managed to eclipse their products or companies to become a brand in their own right. In that sense, Aqeel Karim Dhedhi — chairman and CEO of the AKD Group — falls in that tiny category of individuals who are […]

By: Ahmed Chinoy

Sharif’s Indian Gamble

Shelving the core dispute of Kashmir is not an option People get the impression that India has been successful in sidelining the core Kashmir dispute and giving centrality to the issue of terrorism. At least, the initial engagements of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with his Indian counterpart gave this impression, triggering massive domestic outrage and […]

By: Khursheed Kasuri

Dirty Wealth from Lahore to Panama

How the Sharif family used its political clout to make megabucks This is no ordinary tale of financial crimes and corruption that involves only a handful of illegal deals, a few acts of theft of public money or fraud. It is a sad, continuing story of loot and plunder spanning over more than three decades. […]

By: Asad Kharal

A wish-list for the economy

No quick fixes for Pakistan’s battered economy; it needs holistic, tough reforms We all want a Pakistan that is economically prosperous and inclusive, institutionally robust and strategically focused. In essence, we aspire towards an economic welfare state. In my view, a key pre-requisite for such a state is to ensure that a country experiences strong […]

By: Shaukat Tarin

Mega Injustice

Closing down any company and throwing its top management in prison without formal investigations, trial or conviction is not possible in any civilised country around the world. But in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan, this can happen with any business concern if it is on the wrong side of the ruling family, their friends and […]

By: Editorial Team

A False Report

Can an investigative report be deemed credible if based on an unreliable or single source? Should any reputed newspaper publish a story without verifying the credibility of the people quoted in it? Will any so-called exposé carry weight if it is primarily based on anonymous sources — cited as ‘former employees’? And can hurling unsubstantiated […]

By: Editorial Team

The bill & the people

The PMLN government passed the controversial Prevention of Electronic Crime Bill (PECB) in April this year without consulting the opposition, the IT experts, members of the civil society or any of the other stakeholders. No wonder, then, that instead of enacting a law that may help fight cybercrime, it passed a bill that curbs freedom […]

By: Editorial Team