Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

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

Imran Khan’s cowardly response to Pakistan’s rape crisis

Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan has once again blamed women for an appalling rise in rape cases. Khan used a televised question and answer session this week to say that sexual violence was a result of ‘increasing obscenity’. Women in Pakistan should remove ‘temptation’ because ‘not everyone has willpower’, he added, urging females to cover up to help

How terror took over the African continent

Eight law enforcement officials, including three policemen and five members of a local anti-jihadist force, were killed in a jihadist attack in Burkina Faso on Tuesday. Jihadist raids on two military bases in Somalia, using suicide car bombers, killed 23 on Saturday. On Friday, South Africa decided to deploy its troops in bordering Mozambique, days

The triumph of Bangladesh’s third gender

Tashnuva Anan Shishir last week became the first transgender person to read the news on Bangladeshi TV. The 29-year-old broke down in tears, overtaken by the momentous occasion, after delivering her first three-minute bulletin on March 8. Shishir reached this milestone after facing years of marginalisation, bullying and sexual assaults. A 2015 study of the

Are Switzerland and France really ‘Islamophobic’?

Is Switzerland ‘Islamophobic’? Critics of the country’s decision to outlaw face coverings think so. The ‘Burqa ban’, which passed into law this week as a result of a narrow vote in a referendum, applies to any form of face covering in a public gathering, unless worn for health reasons, at religious congregations, or carnivals. The legislation is not, at

Indonesia’s mandatory hijab ban is a triumph for women

Last week, Indonesia banned schools across the country from forcing girls to wear the hijab, after the parents of a 16-year-old Christian schoolgirl uploaded a video of their daughter being forced to wear the headscarf in Padang, in West Sumatra. According to the Education Minister, schools that now fail to comply with the order will

When will Pakistan take a stand against terror?

Last week, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the release of UK born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh who was accused of kidnapping and beheading the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The verdict came after Sindh High Court overturned the death penalty for Sheikh and three alleged abettors last year, ruling that there was insufficient evidence to find them

The empty promise of Turkey’s charm offensive

On Thursday, Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will land in Brussels to meet with European Union officials to start to ‘build Turkey’s future in Europe’. Next week, Turkey is expected to resume talks with Greece to resolve their maritime disputes after a five-year hiatus. The clash in the eastern Mediterranean between Ankara and Athens has

Are we witnessing the birth of an African Islamic State?

On Monday, 13 soldiers were killed by the Islamic State in northeastern Nigeria. A week ago, just after midnight on Friday morning, a Boko Haram suicide bomber blew up 14 villagers in northern Cameroon. These attacks — passing us by, as they do, in a stream of news and information — are becoming increasingly common in the beleaguered

Islam must adopt the Moroccan model

After becoming the latest Arab state to formalise ties with Israel, the fourth in as many months, Morocco has gone a step further; it will start teaching Jewish history as part of the school curriculum. Morocco is now the first modern Arabic state to embrace its tradition of religious pluralism — a pluralism that has

Could Saudia Arabia and Pakistan soon recognise Israel?

Mohammed bin Salman and Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting – albeit denied by Riyadh – shows it is surely only a matter of time before Saudi Arabia and Israel formalise their covert relations.  Israel’s recent peace deals with Bahrain and the UAE could not have materialised without Saudi backing. MBS is also arm-twisting Pakistan to help ‘normalise normalisation’ by extending

A third of Muslim voters backed Trump. Why?

Donald Trump’s defeat in the US election was widely predicted, but what was less anticipated was the level of support Trump received from Muslim voters, a third of whom backed him, according to the AP VoteCast survey. It seems many Muslim voters reflected on Trump’s tumultuous time in office and liked what they saw: there was an almost

Pakistan’s lockdown gamble appears to have paid off

Pakistan’s stock exchange isn’t typically seen as one of the world’s best, but in recent weeks it has outperformed almost every other rival market. In terms of weekly profit, the Pakistan stock market was among the world’s top-performing last week. In August, it was Asia’s best and the fourth-best globally. For many, this has been a surprising turnaround

Pakistan has transformed into a covid-19 success story

As the covid-19 pandemic rages on, Pakistan is emerging as an unheralded, and unlikely, success story. Despite having the fifth highest population in the world, Pakistan’s cumulative covid-19 cases at 281,136, and 6,014 total deaths. rank the country 14th and 19th in the world. However, most remarkable of all is Pakistan’s progress over the last month,