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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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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From Pakistan to Poland, democracy can have difficulties with the courts

by Rashmee

Posted on August 1, 2017


Democracy can have a testy relationship with the courts. Sometimes judges can save democracy. Other times, they can subvert it. And then there are situations in which the courts can’t do much about the executive’s decisions. Poland is a case in point. There seemed to be no legal way for judges to deal with the government’s … Continue reading “From Pakistan to Poland, democracy can have difficulties with the courts”

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Could Modi gain much in US with bear hugs?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 29, 2017 / The National


Did the relationship between the United States and India change ever so subtly as a result of president Donald Trump’s interaction with prime minister Narendra Modi earlier this week? Their cheerleaders obviously say yes to that and claim that the outlook is indeed sunnier, but a slightly more reliable way to judge may be the … Continue reading “Could Modi gain much in US with bear hugs?”

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How will Pakistan fare with the new US administration?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 2, 2017 / The National


On January 30, the late Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s son Bilawal found himself in an unexpected position. He was unwitting proof of the new United States administration’s claims that its brand new travel restrictions on the citizens of seven, mainly Muslim, countries were not a blanket “Muslim ban”. For Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was sitting … Continue reading “How will Pakistan fare with the new US administration?”

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Pakistan’s Mr Bhutto goes to Trumpistan: What happens next?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 1, 2017


On Monday, January 30, the late Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s son Bilawal went to the Mecca of political hopes – Washington, D.C., capital of Trumpistan. Mr Bhutto was visiting the US Institute of Peace in his role as chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, the country’s main opposition. He was welcomed by Heritage Foundation … Continue reading “Pakistan’s Mr Bhutto goes to Trumpistan: What happens next?”

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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