Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Kunwar Khuldune Shahid is a Pakistan-based correspondent for The Diplomat

Christian churches are under attack in Pakistan

On Wednesday, 19 churches and more than 80 Christian homes in Pakistan were ransacked after the inhabitants of the city of Jaranwala were accused of blasphemy against Islam. Perhaps the most unacknowledged aspect of the violence was just how expected it was.  Nationwide, non-Muslim places of worship, especially churches, have been on high alert for the past month following

Nigeria’s Christians are relentlessly under attack

Dozens of Christian worshippers, including several children, were killed in a gun raid on a church in Nigeria’s Owo town on Sunday. Initial estimates place the death toll at around least 70 parishioners but that number is set to rise, given that the church in question, St Francis Catholic Church, has one of the largest

Why terror groups are targeting Chinese nationals in Pakistan

A female suicide bomber killed three Chinese teachers and a local driver at Karachi University in Pakistan this week. The separatist militant group, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), claimed responsibility for the attack which targeted a Chinese language centre at the university. The Confucius Institute, the BLA said in a statement, was a ‘symbol of

What next for Imran Khan, Pakistan’s ousted leader?

On Sunday, Imran Khan became the first prime minister in Pakistan’s history to be ousted by a no-confidence vote. Followers of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party naturally took to the streets; much of their anger has been directed at the generals who engineered their leader’s downfall. It was a clash with the all-powerful military that, like

Is this the end of Imran Khan?

Imran Khan’s innings as the Pakistani Prime Minister may be coming to an end. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, one of his coalition partners, has split from the government. Khan has now lost his majority in the National Assembly, which is set to meet for a no-confidence vote on Sunday. And while all this falls perfectly

Pakistan’s Christians are living in terror

A Christian priest was shot dead by gunmen in Pakistan’s Peshawar town on Sunday. Pastor William Siraj was gunned down as he headed home from mass with two fellow priests, one of whom, Naeem Patrick, was also wounded. While no one has officially claimed responsibility for the attack, the killing – carried out by two men

It’s not cricket: should we ban Afghanistan from playing?

The Taliban takeover in Kabul left the west flailing. But when it comes to cricket, the new ruling regime in Afghanistan is being shown little mercy.  Cricket Australia has announced that it will almost certainly cancel the historic Test match with Afghanistan, which was scheduled to start in November. The reason? The Taliban’s mooted ban on women’s cricket. Australia’s

Pakistan is relishing its role as kingmaker in Afghanistan

The details of engagements involving the head of MI6 are, unsurprisingly, usually kept secret. But not so Richard Moore’s meeting with the head of the Pakistani army, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Officers from Britain’s intelligence service are also said to have met the Taliban, both in Kabul and Qatar. How do we know? Because hours after Moore met Bajwa, the

Pakistan’s masochistic support for the Taliban

Taliban flags are already flying in Islamabad. Among those hoisting the white flag of the group is the women’s madrassa Jamia Hafsa, affiliated with the adjoining Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), which has also released a song celebrating the Taliban as ‘the symbol of Islam’. Lal Masjid, a few miles from Pakistan’s military headquarters and parliament,

Pakistan’s profane blasphemy laws

An eight-year-old Hindu boy is currently in custody in the southern Punjab. He is the youngest person in Pakistan to be charged with blasphemy. The boy, accused of urinating in a local madrassa, was released last week on bail — in retaliation, a Muslim mob vandalised a local Hindu temple. Meanwhile, on Thursday, a day

China is the latest victim of Pakistan’s Islamist problem

Nine Chinese engineers were killed in an explosion near Pakistan’s Dasu hydroelectric dam last Wednesday. The government initially said that their bus suffered a ‘mechanical failure’ after it plunged into a ravine, but officials eventually admitted that the incident was a terror attack after Beijing decided to send its own investigators. China has now postponed work

Nigeria’s abduction epidemic and the silence of the West

Every day, more and more children are going missing in Nigeria. At least 140 schoolchildren were kidnapped in Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna city yesterday. A day earlier, another eight people – including two nurses and an infant – were abducted in Zaria, around 50 miles north of Kaduna. This marked the fourth attack on a Kaduna state school and the third

Austria’s ‘Islam map’ is dangerous

Austria’s government has unveiled a map detailing the locations of mosques and other Muslim associations all over the country. The publication has been swiftly condemned by Austrian Muslim groups, including the Muslim Youth Organisation which announced a lawsuit in response. But Austria’s government is so far refusing to back down.  The ‘Islam map’ is a project of the government-backed Political Islam

Boko Haram’s demise will only strengthen Isis in Africa

Multiple reports have confirmed that the Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau is dead. Shekau’s demise came after Boko Haram last week clashed with Isis in Sambisa forest in northeast Nigeria. Some reports suggested that the Boko Haram leader detonated a suicide vest rather than be captured by the Isis militants. Isis’s West African Province (ISWAP)

Richard Dawkins is an ally to the oppressed

Richard Dawkins is no longer a humanist. At least, not one that deserves to be honoured as such, according to the American Humanist Association (AHA), which excommunicated him from the Humanist of the Year award last week. The fatwa issued by the AHA, which generously includes ‘critical thinking’ in a list of its own Ten

India’s selective Covid crackdown

India’s Covid crisis is raging out of control. Over the past two months, the country has witnessed a staggering ten-fold increase in infections. On Monday alone, 259,167 cases were reported. And there are fears the true infection rate might be much higher. Yet India’s government is turning a blind eye to certain religious festivals which may be fuelling the