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London

The Murder Of Yasser Arafat

In 2004, shortly after the mysterious death of PLO leader Yasser Arafat, I wrote a column stating my strong belief that he had been murdered by poison. I recalled Stalin’s favourite line, ‘no man, no problem’. Poison had been a favourite…

Gets Funnier All The Time

Go to YouTube, through a proxy server if you must, and click ‘Pak Tower in Ilford’ and you’ll see two tall tower blocks (plazas as we like to call them here) rising into the East London sky – proud possessions, as you would have guessed, of…

An Anything Goes Society

While some are celebrating the peaceful transfer of power from one elected civilian regime to another, many feel their stomachs churning. We claim to exalt noble ideals, honesty, justice, transparency and truth in government and, at the…

Precision Wars

THE month of September has brought war before. It was on Sept 7, 1940, that the sustained bombing of London by Germany`s Nazi regime began. Known now as the Blitz, this bombing campaign would last 267 days, or nearly 37 weeks. Night after…

What Ghalib Saw And Syed Understood

In the late 19th century when Sir Syed Ahmad Khan translated Ain-e-Akbari (the constitution of Akbar) into Urdu, he wanted Ghalib to pen the foreword to his translation. Ghalib said, “What is the point of celebrating Akbar’s rule at a time…

Achebe

Chinua Achebe, who has died at the age of 82, was more than a novelist. He was a total man of letters, who wrote poetry and essays and oversaw a trailblazing series of books by African writers. But he will probably always be most famous for…

Peace By Piece

Despite its diplomatic pageantry the tripartite summit held at Chequers last week between the leaders of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Britain hardly broke any new ground. The joint statement issued after the meeting on February 3-4 called for…

Sardars To The Sarkar’s Rescue

In the slow burn of Balochistan, why did Sardar Akhtar Mengal decide to enter now: to rouse the flames further or to douse them? There are at least three theories about what he was up to in Pakistan, and interlinked to that, what the…

The Happy Games

For sixteen days London – and much of the rest of the UK – had a smile on its face. The Olympic Games, 2012, went off with barely a hitch and ticked like clockwork through to the idiosyncratic but jolly-good-fun finale on Sunday night. They…