Jakob Steiner

... lived, worked and studied in Australia, Europe and Asia.
Jakob Steiner has written 76 posts for Rug Pundits

Data Darbar – On Current Data Based Writing at Rugpundits

On RugPundits there have recently been a number of posts on data analysis, mostly with a focus on the upcoming elections with more concerning the War and the Census coming up in the future as well. We are doing so, because we feel there is a lot of unexplored information lying around and these are … Continue reading

on migration in Pakistan

I have recently written on migration in Pakistan from different angles. The most recent is a book review for DAWN on Fragments of the Afghan Frontier by Hopkins and Marsden and Under the Drones which includes a number of contributions. I explain here, why the latter lacks in what one would expect from the catchy … Continue reading

from Pir Panjal to FATA – what people (also) worry about in areas of conflict

We have been working close to places in Pakistan where a lot of attention was focused towards from the media recently, mostly without clearing the picture but often rather muddying it with everyone having a say in things noone really knows how to interprete. I would like to briefly point out some observations from there … Continue reading

Lahore Observed (IV) – Churches


Lahore Observed (III) – Bulls of Eid ul Adha

Three cows were run over by a lawn mover today in Pakistan. That’s what Bruce Riedel says. He knows as much about cows or lawn movers as he does about the country. [pictures from Eid ul Adha 2006 opposite Walton Airfield Lahore]

Cosmic Rays of Pamir

Just south of Murghab, on the road to Osh, lies a compound that in its slightly derelict state looks more like a Ranch on the set of a Western. Guarded by the remnants of the Soviet past … … locals know it as a place they are still prohibited of entering. They claim that it … Continue reading

Hijacked Drones (II b) – Peshawarse pichai

Not only for our driver during work in Kashmir whom we knew very well and he equally knew and understood us, was I coming from a place ‘Peshawarse pichai’ [from behind/beyond Peshawar]. Continue reading

Hijacked Drones (II) – walking/mapping the unknown space

Apart from a number of other approaches, I think understanding the space the public debate is refering to when talking of ‘the lawless regions of Pakistan’, ‘the tribal belt’ or ‘the Northwest of Pakistan’ is a fundamental prerequisite to discuss the drone war and then taken further the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Continue reading

Hijacked Drones – History, Law and Ungoverned Space

The debate on the use of drones in the Afghanistan – Pakistan borderlands has been hijacked, by its defenders just like by those who condemn the drone war. Statistics, legal arguments and some dramatic personal accounts can all be used to argue for or against. What these debates all fail to do is to describe what significance the drone war actually has for the population in the targeted areas – they are largely used to keep people who are far away from the Predator’s impact busy. People like me. I am just acting in perfect bhutto/zardari-like fashion – have a say in it all while keeping my assets save here in Switzerland. Continue reading

Leaving Pakistan behind for good – the Ahmadiyya in Zurich

It is noteable with what unease and regret the Pakistani community members talked about their (former) homecountry when I adressed it. Even returning for visits of relatives or their place of upbringing is not an option anymore. Continue reading


January 2023