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Our July issue is slightly slimmer due to the extended Eid holidays and the amazing time we all had with our families. But welcome back to the hot, hot, hot heat of July and elections are in full swing as all parties have put their Sumo wrestlers into the ring and the mud is flying high – on each other as expected and on every institution that dares to carry on with their work this month.

So be it the ECP, NAB, Judiciary and of course the Media – we are all aligned somewhere! In this issue, Dr Moeed Pirzada, prominent anchor and strategic analyst, discusses why these elections will be Pakistan’s most important since 1970. He gives an insightful analysis of why elections have taken different trajectories in India and Pakistan.

While mainstreaming of FATA was not done in time for these elections, Rustom Shah Mohmand, ex-Chief Secretary KP and former interior Secretary of Pakistan, warns us that the most important element in the mainstreaming of FATA should be about socio-economic development of the region and not get lost in extending Pakistan’s ‘erratically performing’ legal system to the tribal areas.

Mani Shankar Aiyar, former diplomat and Cabinet Minister during Manmohan Singh government, who was born in Lahore tells us once Pakistan’s elections are over and those of India in 2019, both countries need to stop playing snakes and ladders and decisively put aside their fears and work to break the deadlock and enter an ‘uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue’ with each other and take on the most difficult issue, Kashmir.

July 8th, is the second death anniversary of Burhan Wani, Murtaza Shibli, a Kashmiri from Srinagar and author tells us that renewal of India’s ‘muscular policy’ in the state can never help. In light of the death of the esteemed journalist Shujaat Bukhari and the June OHCHR report on human right violations, India needs to engage with the Kashmiris to bring peace in the region.

GVS would also like to congratulate Archbishop of Karachi, Joseph Coutts who has just been appointed Cardinal by the Pope, he is known for his work promoting dialogue between Muslims and Christians. Do read our interview with Prof. Akbar S. Ahmed on his work on interfaith relations. For those of you looking for something lighter to whittle away the evenings – I can highly recommend to read our review and watch Ocean’s 8.

Women power is here to stay and this all female star studded cast, with Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and other amazing women, have given George Clooney a run for his money in this version of the movie. Don’t forget to check out the whirling dervishes in Shafique Farooqi’s latest exhibition as catalogued in our magazine. Do share your comments and thoughts with us.

Najma Minhas

Managing Editor

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