Trump-Kim summit can set off nuclear dominoes game

by Rashmee

Posted on June 17, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Ten years ago, in the closing months of George W. Bush’s presidency, the United States legitimised India’s status as a nuclear weapons state. Washington bent the rules and signed an agreement that allowed India to buy US dual-use nuclear technology, including materials and equipment that could be used for nuclear bombs. India (like Pakistan, Israel … Continue reading “Trump-Kim summit can set off nuclear dominoes game”

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Pakistan has a new self-confidence, and it has Chinese characteristics

by Rashmee

Posted on May 7, 2018


What’s happening with Pakistan five months into a year that began with Donald Trump’s first tweet of 2018 accusing the country of “lies and deceit”? Well, just days ago, Pakistan opened a shiny new international airport and advertised it as a sign of pleasantly evolving prospects. Pakistan continues – stubbornly and successfully – to resist … Continue reading “Pakistan has a new self-confidence, and it has Chinese characteristics”

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In Pakistan, teens are at risk from Taliban. In US, from the guns their leaders protect

by Rashmee

Posted on February 16, 2018


  Listening to the shocked tearful accounts of teenage survivors of the latest school shooting in the United States, I couldn’t help but recall another frightened adolescent’s retelling of his brush with death. That was in Pakistan, thousands of miles away from America. The 15-year-old Pakistani boy was being urged to become a suicide bomber. … Continue reading “In Pakistan, teens are at risk from Taliban. In US, from the guns their leaders protect”

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There is nothing so absurd as just one day of love, Valentine’s Day

by Rashmee

Posted on February 15, 2018


I’m not a culture warrior but Valentine’s Day does seem rather an odd reason to either feel threatened or liberated. Every year, there are extreme observations of the so-called day of love – a profusion of roses, candlelit dinners, or as a pitched battle against a western siege of ideas. Valentine’s Day has become a … Continue reading “There is nothing so absurd as just one day of love, Valentine’s Day”

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How Trump set the stage for more gripping drama in the US-Pakistan relationship

by Rashmee

Posted on January 10, 2018 / The National


Donald Trump’s first tweet of the year bashed Pakistani perfidy and had Indians cheering his perspicacity but it should really only be read for what it is: a snarling America First salute to 2018 and meaningless beyond a few weeks. Only the naïve would expect Mr Trump’s tweet — and Pakistan’s response of injured innocence — to have lasting … Continue reading “How Trump set the stage for more gripping drama in the US-Pakistan relationship”

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Sufism’s tragedy is how imperfectly it is understood today

by Rashmee

Posted on December 3, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Before Egypt, it was Pakistan. In South Asia’s most populous Muslim country, for more than a decade, militants have been picking off worshippers at shrines dedicated to Sufi poets and pirs or spiritual guides. They have killed dozens at a time, leaving a bloody gash along paths normally strewn with red rose petals. In February, … Continue reading “Sufism’s tragedy is how imperfectly it is understood today”

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In Afghanistan, Trump’s grand strategy begins to fall apart

by Rashmee

Posted on October 25, 2017 / The National


Coincidence, a leading science fiction writer once said, is the word we use when we can’t see the levers and pulleys. In the context of  Afghanistan , where the current conflict has decimated lives and hope for 16 years, coincidence is generally a sign of changing realpolitik. It is no coincidence that  US secretary of state Rex Tillerson … Continue reading “In Afghanistan, Trump’s grand strategy begins to fall apart”

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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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Brexit chaos? Think of the bloody commotion when Britain left India in 1947

by Rashmee

Posted on August 15, 2017


I suppose it should be no surprise that chaos rules Britain’s attempt to exit from the European Union. When Britain left India – a country it had ruled for hundreds of years – a bloody commotion followed in its wake. Britain left India (and the newly-created Pakistan) after giving a seven-week notice. Some might say … Continue reading “Brexit chaos? Think of the bloody commotion when Britain left India in 1947”

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Rwanda, DRC etc are all beset by PLEP, the Pakistan Low Expectations Phenomenon

by Rashmee

Posted on August 7, 2017


Roughly 17 African heads of state have either already rolled back or are in the process of rolling back term limits, a dismal reality that I’m going to call the Pakistan Low Expectations Phenomenon or PLEP. Which is to say, that low international expectations mean the costs of bad behaviour are low. And that the … Continue reading “Rwanda, DRC etc are all beset by PLEP, the Pakistan Low Expectations Phenomenon”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US