Mahmud Ali (right), then minister of social work in Pakistan, is greeted by then Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai in Beijing in 1972

Mahmud Ali: Generals wrecked Pakistan

MAHMUD ALI’S BIRTH centenary on September 1 reminded me of a comment Jawaharlal Nehru made during his meeting with George Bernard Shaw in London. Independent India’s first prime minister, a driven Fabian socialist, had been invited to attend the June 2, 1953, coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. That was “a formal occasion,”...

Bhutto is hosting visiting Kissinger to dinner at his home in October 1974.

India’s empty threat to Pakistan

Pakistan was protesting, vociferously, India’s decision to wipe out the “special status” of the part of the Jammu and Kashmir state under its occupation. Rajnath Singh, the Indian defense minister, told Islamabad to hush up. He said New Delhi may be changing its “no-first-use” policy on firing nukes. India adopted the policy of not using...

Bangladesh, Pakistan trade luck

I FEEL GOOD about living to see this day.  Bangladesh, whose creation I once opposed, is belying my forebodings about its future. It has surpassed Pakistan and, in some cases, the economic behemoth of India in economic development and well-being. Bangladeshi economic performance glows brighter when you compare that with the near-meltdown of the Pakistani economy. Here’s...

Is Democratic Party festering in a rut?

AS I WAITED yesterday for the second Democratic presidential debate, I tossed out a question to Facebook. Could Joe Biden “get up before the referee counts to 10”? Some friends liked it, but none offered a response. I had thought that the former vice president, so far the clear front-runner in the polls, would get...

War on terror winding down

ON EASTER SUNDAY a bunch of Islamic State terrorists bombed several Sri Lankan churches and hotels, leaving more than 250 dead and nearly 500 wounded. The terrorist group said the carnage was meant to avenge the March 15 shootings at two New Zealand mosques by an Islamophobic Christian, Brenton Tarrant. Forty-nine people had died in...

Saudi betrayal of Palestinians

AS I NOTE the Saudi, Israeli and American governments coming together on the same platform to confront Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah, I wonder how my father would’ve reacted to the event. Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has been prodding Israel to go to war with the pro-Iranian Hezbollah organization, apparently...

Kurdish fiasco ‘America first’ cause

WHEN PATRICK HENRY vowed to “live free or die,” he couldn’t have known about today’s Kurdish dilemma in Iraq. Two weeks ago 92 percent of Kurdish voters in northern Iraq voted in a referendum to create an independent state, consisting of the three Iraqi provinces where they’re in a majority. Unfortunately for them, the outcome...

No ‘cakewalk’ to Pyongyang, please

ON WEDNESDAY I was about to head out to a seminar on cyber security at Wilson Center in Washington when I peeked into the Internet to check the latest news. “U.S. quietly plans to occupy North Korea after war,” a banner headline in London’s The Sun newspaper screamed at me. I remembered that President Trump...