Pakistan and India at 70: Is this a moment to be proud or to mourn lost opportunities?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 16, 2017 / The National


India and Pakistan ran into the 70th birthday blues this week, which is to say a milestone that has none of the excitement or life-changing portentous of a 21st, 50th, 75th or a 100th anniversary. In fact, for a 70th birthday to be significant at all, it should have been achieved in the Mark Twain … Continue reading “Pakistan and India at 70: Is this a moment to be proud or to mourn lost opportunities?”

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Trump or not, Americans would nuke an Iranian city

by Rashmee

Posted on August 13, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Anyone who shakes their head over the insanity of US Presi­dent Donald Trump’s threatened “fire and fury” against nu­clear-armed North Korea might want to take a look at a rather dry paper in the Massachu­setts Institute Technology journal International Security. The paper is titled “Revisiting Hiroshima in Iran.” Academics Scott Sagan and Benjamin Valen­tino examine … Continue reading “Trump or not, Americans would nuke an Iranian city”

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Anyone, from any community, can be radicalised. That realisation has profound policy implications

by Rashmee

Posted on August 9, 2017 / The National


Normally when the words British and jihadi are used in the same sentence, the reference is to what the United Nations calls “foreign terrorist fighters”. That is, westerners who left their countries to fight for ISIL in Syria. But on Sunday, a prominent UK politician suggested a link between Britain and a different sort of … Continue reading “Anyone, from any community, can be radicalised. That realisation has profound policy implications”

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Search for justice in Iraq may not be totally futile

by Rashmee

Posted on August 6, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Realism, rather than cynicism, is the most appropriate response to the British High Court ruling that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair should not face prosecution for his role in the 2003 Iraq war. First, there is no crime of aggres­sion in English law under which the former prime minister could be charged. The British … Continue reading “Search for justice in Iraq may not be totally futile”

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Why the dismissal of prime minister Nawaz Sharif failed to generate shock and outrage

by Rashmee

Posted on August 2, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


In a post-truth world, consider a post-coup country — Pakistan. Its image is morbidly frozen in the global eye. This is why the ouster of a democratically elected prime minister by a bench of judges doesn’t shock so much as cause a ripple of sadness. As a country that has tried multiple models of political and military … Continue reading “Why the dismissal of prime minister Nawaz Sharif failed to generate shock and outrage”

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Why the Dome of the Rock belongs to us all

by Rashmee

Posted on July 30, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


After a tense couple of weeks, the centrist Jerusalem Post wearily turned to understatement to describe the com­plex known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif. It is, the Post declared, “the most sensitive piece of real estate on the planet.” Quite. It is certainly one of, if not the most … Continue reading “Why the Dome of the Rock belongs to us all”

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Why the Trump presidency bears more than a passing resemblance to an 80s TV series

by Rashmee

Posted on July 26, 2017 / The National


Washington’s political reality show is becoming more like Dynasty and less like The West Wing. Both were popular American television shows in the age before digital technology and Donald Trump became dominant forces. But in the struggle to explain the unconventional nature of current American presidential politics, journalists domestic and foreign are reaching for metaphors … Continue reading “Why the Trump presidency bears more than a passing resemblance to an 80s TV series”

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The aspirational significance of baby names in restless times

by Rashmee

Posted on July 23, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Baby names are a bellwether for the way people experi­ence politics: Intensely. Madly. Often times, precari­ously. So it was that in Canada, Justin Trudeau recently met Justin Trudeau. The first is a 2-month-old Syrian baby. The other is prime minister of the country that gave gracious refuge to the infant’s parents, Muhammad and Afraa Bilan … Continue reading “The aspirational significance of baby names in restless times”

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Globalism with a local accent is now officially on the political agenda

by Rashmee

Posted on July 20, 2017 / The National


When Canada’s prime minister recently made a special trip to the US to address the National Governors’ Association’s annual retreat, it was a sign that something unusual was afoot. In becoming the first foreign leader to formally engage with the group of 50 governors of American states and five US territories, Justin Trudeau was acknowledging … Continue reading “Globalism with a local accent is now officially on the political agenda”

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The region does not need another crisis

by Rashmee

Posted on July 16, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


It is tragic that the Middle East is faced with a new crisis in 2017. Old conflicts remain troublingly live and yet the region has added another altercation to the list — the row between Qatar and the Saudi-led bloc. Whatever anyone’s political sympathies, it is hard to seriously argue that disharmony is a produc­tive state of … Continue reading “The region does not need another crisis”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in eight countries in the past decade. She spent much of 2015 in the UAE and currently divides her time between the UK and Tunisia. Before that, she was in Haiti, the US, Afghanistan and India.