Ishtiaq Ahmed

Ishtiaq Ahmed holds a PhD in Political Science from Stockholm University where he taught from 1987 to 2007 and retired as professor. He is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) at the National University of Singapore. His research interests cover as diverse fields as political Islam, ethnicity and nationalism, human and minority rights, and partition studies. His is the author of "The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed: Unravelling the 1947 Tragedy through Secret British Reports and First Person Accounts" and "Pakistan, a Garrison State: Origins, Evolution, Consequences."

Why Punjabis in Pakistan Have Abandoned Punjabi

Jul 14, 2020

When Pakistan was formed in 1947, it included two parts: West and East Pakistan. These two parts of the country were approximately 1,600 kilometers apart. Between them was India. The two parts of Pakistan were divided by more than distance. The biggest linguistic group in East Pakistan were Bengalis who...

India’s Muslim Minority Should Join the National Mainstream

Feb 17, 2020

Ever since the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enacted the Citizenship Amendment Act that discriminates specifically against Muslim asylum seekers, India’s Muslim minority has been protesting and agitating. It is reacting against what it perceives to be majoritarian tyranny that has been exacerbated by the rise of the “Saffron brigade.”...

The Indian Supreme Court’s Verdict on the Ayodhya Dispute

Nov 12, 2019

I recently reviewed commentaries on the Indian Supreme Court’s decision regarding the right to the title (ownership) over a piece of land in Ayodhya where the Babri mosque was built under the Mughal rule of Zahiruddin Babur more than 400 years ago. It is a spot that Hindus believe was...

15 Facts About the Kashmir Conflict

Sep 06, 2019

Fact 1: The June 3, 1947, partition plan announced by the British government and its 1947 Indian Independence Act pertained only to the directly-administered British provinces and other territories. Note that there were 565 princely states that covered 40% of the area of pre-independent India and 23% of its population....

Persecution of Rohingya: A Tragedy of Minorities

Sep 12, 2017

The fate of the Rohingya reflects the plights of ethnic minorities throughout history and across the world.  The Rohingya are a persecuted Muslim minority living mainly in western Myanmar. Their origins are a subject of immense dispute and controversy. Some views hold that they are the progeny of Muslims who...

Multiculturalism and the Curious Case of the South Asian Diaspora

Jun 26, 2017

South Asian diaspora in the West is often trapped by the idea of homeland, turning socially regressive, culturally reactionary and politically right-wing. A phenomenon rooted in the ancient past has acquired new complexion in modern times. It pertains to immigrants who, for all practical purposes, live in the West but...

Pakistan: Time for Reform in the Garrison State

Mar 01, 2017

It is now entirely up to Pakistan’s leaders to opt out of ideological politics and choose enlightened pragmatism.  In December 2008, I met General Pervez Musharraf at the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) house in Rawalpindi. The meeting was arranged by a mutual friend, retired Colonel Aslam Cheema. Musharraf had...

Fidel Castro: The Last Great Revolutionary

Nov 30, 2016

With the death of Fidel Castro, the last great leader in the revolutionary movements of the 20th century has gone. It is with sadness that I learned about the death of the founder of modern Cuba, Comandante Fidel Castro. For the younger generations his may not be a familiar name, but for...

Pakistan: An Historical Class Comparison

Jun 01, 2013

Sharif is best suited to lead Pakistan out of the current situation, but he will have to make a clean break with the legacy of corruption and right-wing appeasement, argues Ishtiaq Ahmed.

Pakistan: The Task Ahead

May 16, 2013

No state can tolerate a challenge to its monopoly of power from within; in other words, a state within a state is a contradiction in terms of state sovereignty 

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