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Pervez Hoodbhoy: India’s Nuclear Fizzle – What Should Pakistan Do?

 SUSPICION has now turned into confirmed fact: India’s hydrogen bomb test of May 1998 was not the fantastic success it was claimed to be. Last week’s dramatic revelation by K. Santanam, a senior RAW official with important responsibilities at the 1998 Pokhran test site, has essentially confirmed conclusions known from seismic analysis after the explosion. Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Preventing A Taliban Victory

(Dawn, 20 June, 2009) — Now that the army has turned serious, Baitullah Mehsud cannot expect to stroll down Constitution Avenue any time soon, nor hope to sit in the presidency. A few thousand mountain barbarians, even if trained by Al Qaeda’s best, cannot possibly seize power from a modern, well-armed state with 600,000 soldiers. Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: World Bank Help For Pakistan’s Higher Education – A Poisoned Chalice?

Rumor has it that the World Bank is on its way back to Pakistan with a bagful of loans, together with plans for how we must spend the money. A major focus of the Bank’s efforts will be higher education reform. No one doubts the desperate need for reform of Pakistan’s education sector, or the Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Anti-Americanism & Taliban

THE recent killing of eleven Pakistani soldiers at Gora Prai by American and Nato forces across the border in Afghanistan unleashed an amazing storm. Prime Minister Gilani declared, "We will take a stand for sovereignty, integrity and self-respect." The military announced defiantly, "We reserve the right to protect our citizens and soldiers against aggression," while Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Ten Years Later

It’s May 1998 and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulates wildly cheering citizens as the Chagai mountain trembles and goes white from multiple nuclear explosions. He declares that Pakistan is now safe and sound forever. Bomb makers become national heroes. School children are handed free badges with mushroom clouds. Bomb and missile replicas are planted in Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Where Billions Vanish

General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, aided by his trusted lieutenant and chairman of the Higher Education Commission, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, lays claim to a ‘revolutionary programme’ that has reversed the decades-old decline of Pakistan’s universities. The higher education budget shot up from Rs3.9 billion in 2001-02 to an astounding Rs33.7 billion in 2006-07. But, in fact, much Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Musharraf’s Coup Ð Seven Years Later

Some had feared – while others had hoped – that General Pervez Musharraf’s coup of October 12, 1999, would bring the revolution of Kemal Ataturk to a Pakistan and wrest the country from the iron grip of mullahs. But years later a definitive truth has emerged. Like the other insecure governments before it, both military Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Musharraf’s Coup – Seven Years Later

The requirements for survival of the present regime are clear: on the one hand the Army leadership knows that its critical dependence upon the West requires that it be perceived abroad as a liberal regime pitted against radical Islamists. But, on the other hand, in actual fact, to preserve and extend its grip on power, Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: India Through Pakistani Eyes

Few Pakistanis get to visit India, the so-called “enemy country”, and fewer still to independently assess the development of science and education across its hugely diverse regions. I had the exceptional good fortune to make such a visit recently, made possible by the award of UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science. One part Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Terror In Okara

On 11 May 2003, Amer Ali, a 60-year old peasant of Chak 4-L of Okara district, made his last good-neighbourly visit to the adjoining village, Chak 5-L. As the old man hobbled out of his hosts’ house to see what was going on, he was cut down by a hail of bullets. Amir Ali was Read more…

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