Fingerprint Verification


I have written about it before. Earlier. It was on how the majority of votes cannot even be verified. You can check that out here, and please read it before reading this post. Let’s start with hearings of complaints at Election Tribunals. Firstly, they are beyond the purview of the executive. Imran keeps on demanding the government or the challenged ... Read More »

Some questions about the North Waziristan operation


I do not know the answers to these questions: 1. Which groups are being targeted? 2. Which groups are not being targeted? What does it say that the likes of JuD have explicitly come out in support of the operation? 3. What are the strategic goals, if any, meant to be accomplished by this operation? Is this employment of force ... Read More »

Thinking out loud about what a “Taliban victory” in Pakistan looks like


I’m using this post mostly to think out loud about something I have been thinking about for a few months, so please bear with me if some of it is dumb. Mostly I’m trying to think through the tension between two narratives that seem reflexively acceptable: The TTP is a loose coalition of fighters with varying degrees of attachment to ... Read More »

The Windies Shootaround

So, I watched the West Indies-Australia match only a few hours after reading this week’s edition of NBA Shootaround (and too many articles by Ahmer), this is the result.   A sporstman’s celebrations are a necessary part of his armory for some fans, and Pakistanis are particularly finicky when it comes to such things. I think that one of the ... Read More »

A Selection of Pakistani Media Scandal Remixes


Sometimes, it feels impossible to take stock of the world we live in. In 2007, when I was doing a degree of assorted topics referred to as social sciences, one of our professors brought a wanted ad to class one day. It asked for the sort of skills we were meant to have, and according to him, the ad was ... Read More »

You Make My Finger Hover


He does it as a reflex, grabbing the remote as the first shouts of “out hai” fill the room. He had already stood up a few seconds earlier, and now he reaches out to the table and picks up his escape route. His holds the remote from the top, and his fingers instinctively align themselves around it. This is not ... Read More »

This is not our war (Syria edition)


Well if things weren’t bad or stupid enough, they’re about to get worse and stupider. Here’s a graph of Muslim countries, ordered by the percentage of their population that is Shia (I averaged the numbers here, here, and here). What you will see is that of the countries that have non-trivial numbers of Shias (above 15%), they are either majority ... Read More »

Terrorism Report 2013


Data is from SATP, as all of PIPS’ stuff is behind paywalls now. SATP data is sometimes inaccurate and their casualty counts are higher than PIPS. Terrorist fatalities have been excluded. Total means civilians + law enforcement and security personnel. Summary Fatalities in terrorism remained on the same levels as 2012. There was only a 1.65% reduction in total fatalities. ... Read More »

Who Won 2013 In Pakistan?


A few days ago, fellow blogger @mediagag showed me a rather unique way of looking back at the year. It was a link to a series of posts on the American website Grantland, where the author Rembert Browne has asked the question “Who won the year” for several years now. The methodology is fairly simple and the rules and bouts ... Read More »