Sarmad Ishfaq

Sarmad Ishfaq is an independent researcher and writer whose work has been published by Harvard Kennedy School Review, the Diplomat, Open Democracy, Paradigm Shift, Mondoweiss, and Eurasia Review to name a few. He has also been published by several international peer-reviewed journals such as Taylor and Francis' Social Identities. Before becoming an independent writer, he worked as a research fellow for the Lahore Center for Peace Research. He has a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Wollongong in Dubai where he was recognized as the 'Top Graduate'.

Are Early Elections Inevitable after PTI’s Landslide Victory in Punjab?

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 11:35 am

Given PTI’s landslide victory in Punjab’s by-elections and the confidence of the masses in Imran Khan and his party, Sarmad Ishfaq states that PTI’s return to the federal government is imminent. He states that Imran Khan can now force early elections by either of these options: 1. Using his new majority in Punjab to pressurise PDM into dissolving the National Assembly 2. Resuming his ‘Long March’ & forcing PDM to step down 3. Dissolving the KPK & Punjab Assemblies. One thing is for certain: it has become untenable for the PDM to sustain its contentious stay in power.
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Exposing Western Propaganda: How Russia is Winning the War

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 6:07 pm

The Russia-Ukraine war has been portrayed by the West with extreme prejudice. The American-European media has been demonizing Russia, while Ukraine, the second-most corrupt country in Europe (behind Russia), is being showcased as a champion of liberty and democracy. Where Russian war crimes are discussed ad nauseam, Ukraine’s Azov Regiment and its war crimes are obfuscated. Sarmad Ishfaq notes that despite Western sanctions and propaganda, the Russian ruble is surging and after re-orienting the war efforts towards the Donbas, Russia is indeed winning this war.
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The Untimely Deaths of Dr. Rizwan, Malik Maqsood Chaprasi & Others: Coincidence or Conspiracy?

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 1:02 pm

Pakistan is a country where uncanny coincidences are commonplace. The sudden deaths of key figures in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case like Dr. Rizwan and Malik Maqsood Chaprasi have raised a few eyebrows. Sarmad Ishfaq details a few of these recent ‘sudden’ deaths and then discusses how such ‘random convenient coincidences’ have also taken place in the past.
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The Instability in Pakistan & Afghanistan: How the US & India Benefit the Most

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 6:11 pm

Since the Taliban takeover, the situation in Afghanistan has continued to deteriorate to the point where the country is not only facing a humanitarian crisis but also an insurgency in the shape of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP). Moreover, Afghanistan’s neighbor – Pakistan – has experienced an increase in terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Amid the political crisis in Pakistan, these attacks have soured Pak-Afghan relations. The author, Sarmad Ishfaq, notes that the continued instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and their strained relations, are benefitting India and the United States the most.
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Imran Khan vs the Supreme Court: Analyzing the Apex Court’s Verdict

Written by Aleena Imran and Sarmad Ishfaq 4:15 pm

Imran Khan’s premiership ended last night by a no-confidence vote. The events leading up to this have stirred a debate about the Supreme Court’s decision, with many people citing their dissatisfaction with the disregard for the letter and the court’s micromanagement of the Parliament’s proceedings. Aleena Imran and Sarmad Ishfaq explore horse-trading, the letter, the relevant articles of the Constitution, and what’s next for Imran Khan.
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PTI vs PDM: Why Imran Khan Will Win Whether He Stays PM or Not

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 6:49 pm

All eyes were on Imran Khan during his historic jalsa in Islamabad on the 27th of March. In Pakistan’s recent political history, Imran Khan’s party has been the only one that has consistently garnered massive numbers, and this jalsa exceeded expectations. It transcended others not just because of the sheer volume of people but due to the impetuous political context that surrounds it. The author, Sarmad Ishfaq, believes that in either case, Imran Khan will win — and that the vote against him could embolden him more.
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The Pakistan-Russia-China Bloc: A Consequence of US Actions?

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 11:45 am

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has stirred up bloc politics once again, pitting the West against the Russia-China bloc. Pakistan’s current government is clearly leaning towards the idea of a Pakistan-Russia-China bloc, but that foreign policy truly rests on the domestic political situation of the country. Amid the political uncertainty. the author, Mr Sarmad Ishfaq, illustrates how future policies pivot on the results of the no-confidence vote.
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The United States of America: The Superpower of War Crimes, Terrorism, & Hypocrisy

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 11:47 am

When it comes to human rights and democracy, the United States of America tends to place itself on a high pedestal. The US’ false sense of righteousness and its tendency to ignore its own crimes while calling out other states has allowed it to remain on its high horse. The author, Sarmad Ishfaq, notes that the US has actively supported insurgencies and covert regime changes, initiated a nuclear arms race, and killed 22,000 civilians in airstrikes. No incident can better represent the US’ war crimes and hypocrisy than its bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet, despite it killing hundreds of thousands of people, the world turns a blind eye to America’s transgressions.
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The 2008 Gaza Massacre: Israel’s Previous Incursion

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 11:47 am

This is a review of a study on the ‘Gaza Massacre’ which was launched by Israel in 2008 – where they killed over 1400 Palestinians. The study uses the Just-War Theory to delineate how Israel acted immorally and illegally during this operation – and many times in the past. Many human rights violations of the Palestinians were cited by international overseers, where they noted the cruelty of the Israeli forces.
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Post-2020 Elections: The Looming U.S. Civil War

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 10:47 am

With the culmination of the U.S. elections, the ineluctable civil war seems like a reasonably credible follow-up to the grim developments of 2020. America might not even get to experience the calm that is before the storm.
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Is Military Force Effective in Responding to a Terrorist Insurgency?

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 7:02 pm

Military force becomes mandatory when a deadly insurgent group, the likes of an ISIS or the LTTE, is present in a country. However, contemporary history reaffirms that the role of the military should be limited to defeating an insurgency militarily only. In other words, military force is one part of a larger counterinsurgency framework and is thus a means to an end. A true victory is achieved when the causes of an insurgency are addressed.
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Pakistan and India Will Go to War Again

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 6:47 pm

The paper describes the major reasons why Pakistan and India will go to war again. It asserts that while Pakistan has reduced extremism in the country by vanquishing Islamist groups, India’s Hindutva agenda, spearheaded by the ruling BJP, will push both countries to another war.
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Recommendations for the Intra-Afghan Peace Process

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 6:47 pm

Although the intra-Afghan peace process sounds promising on paper for Afghans and vested parties alike, fulfilling it will require serious work. The author considers five possible recommendations that could help achieve the objectives of the Intra-Afghan peace agreement.
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Holy Places of Sikhism: The Guru Nanak’s Gift to Pakistan

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 6:47 pm

The legacy of the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak, can be felt throughout the subcontinent. Pakistan, in particular, is blessed with some of the most spiritually significant places for Sikhs. The Guru’s birthplace, his iconic handprint, the place where he miraculously made a spring appear, as well as where he passed on are all present in Pakistan. Thousands of Sikhs come from India to perform pilgrimage to these sites and since the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, many more will join them.
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The Demise of the Indian Media Under BJP Rule

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 1:22 am

India’s media today is characterized by prejudice & jingoism. The BJP is cited as the main culprit for this sordid state of the media. From the use of threats and violence to the use of bribery and fame, the BJP and its trolls have succeeded in making the media its veritable arm.
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Pakistan-India Trade: Potential and Pitfalls

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 6:44 pm

Despite the massive potential, trade between Pakistan and India has historically been plagued by many problems – which have increased further in recent times. The article expounds the trade-related problems between both countries from high tariffs to sub-par infrastructure. It also discusses the potential and problems of the intra-LoC trade in Kashmir.
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CPEC: A Game Changer for Pakistan’s Energy Sector

Written by Sarmad Ishfaq 11:35 pm

The article details the energy projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The thesis is that the Chinese-led CPEC could finally resolve Pakistan’s energy crisis.
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