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The Attack on Hamid Mir and Need for Proper Civilian Oversight

The Attack on Hamid Mir and Need for Proper Civilian Oversight

A few weeks ago, the prominent journalist Raza Rumi was attacked. Now another prominent journalist and one of the most famous anchorpersons, Hamid Mir too has had a close encounter with death. As these sentences are being written, Mr. Mir still remains in critical state. PTH strongly condemns this cowardly attack. Journalists are the intellectual torchbearers of the society and therefore … Read entire article »

The dangers of being a journalist in Pakistan

In Pakistan, it is said that discourse is dominated by one kind of narrative. That narrative is primarily right wing in its orientation and is characterized by fusion of religion and ultra nationalism and is further supplemented by hatred and deep mistrust of the outside world. Countering such narrative is essential if we have to get out of this quagmire. However, those who can present arguments against this narrative are few and further more do not get adequate space in the media, particularly Urdu press and electronic media. But even those who do get access, have to face a lot of dangers. Raza Rumi, a prominent journalist and TV anchor,  was recently attacked and barely survived. Some … Read entire article »

Middleclass and its Desire for a “Benevolent” Dictator

Raza Habib Raja Right now, as it was being expected by many before the elections, army and the government of PML (N) are in a skirmish. PML (N) has come with a very heavy mandate and since it is the beginning of its tenure, therefore it is in confrontational mode with the powerful military. The case on Musharraf has morphed into a litmus test for the government’s resilience and for its ability to bring armed forces under proper civilian oversight. As the “battle” rages on and civil-military relations once again, look set to be redefined, some quarters, namely TV media and sections of their captive audience, continue to back army. These quarters, though not explicitly wanting a coup, … Read entire article »

Are You Sure Nothing Can Change?

Are You Sure Nothing Can Change?

Raza Habib Raja Imran Khan and Modi are two very different politicians. Yet there are some commonalities. Both enjoy support from largely well intentioned white collar class and also other groups, who want better governance and control over corruption. Both politicians have a nationalist outlook with a stress towards “standing up” against the outside world. Both have generated a halo effect … Read entire article »

A Dysfunctional State

by Saad Hafiz Pakistan’s societal, economic and political travails place it in a category of deeply dysfunctional and nearly ungovernable states. Generally speaking, dysfunctional states exhibit high degrees of institutional inconsistency, social malaise, ideological confusion, political malfunction and national paranoia. As a consequence, such states are unable to leverage their people’s histories and traditions to construct effective formal institutions with wide legitimacy; nor can they draw on the social capital embedded in cohesive groups to facilitate economic, political, and social intercourse; neither are they able to employ the established governing capacities of their citizens to run the affairs of state. Moreover, national development is much dependent upon the quality of a nation’s human capital. Dysfunctional states do … Read entire article »

Good Luck India

Raza Habib Raja I have written before also that for me India holds a special place in my heart and I feel connected to it emotionally. Besides that as a student of politics also, India for me is an enigma with respect to its ability to sustain a balanced combination of democracy, secularism and stability over almost seven decades. It has to be understood that even in relatively homogeneous countries, these factors are difficult to combine and balance. And yet, India despite being so diverse and complex, has so far done well. It has not been a smooth ride but political will has always been there. I sincerely hope, that in the zeal of voting incumbents out of … Read entire article »

The Legacy of Bhutto: Hero or Villain?

The Legacy of Bhutto: Hero or Villain?

Raza Habib Raja I remember going through Stanley Wolpert’s very good book on this enigmatic politician. The first sentence more or less defines Bhutto’s legacy. Wolpert while researching his book on Jinnah wrote that during his stay in Pakistan, he found out that people either hated or loved Bhutto. He also wondered about the amazing contradictions in the personality of this … Read entire article »

Jewish candles in the window

Fishel Benkhald To be honest, these thoughts are not from an expert, but are heartfelt wishful thinking. Besides the reality of extremism and debate on lack of law and order, let’s share which candles Pakistan might put in the window for the lost Pakistani Jewish community. At this hour of night while we all await for that sun to shine again on all of us which Pakistan’s non-Muslim and Muslim founding fathers and mothers thought of. Jews have lived among different Islamic cultures and got accustomed to it, at times total assimilation of different cultures and religions may not be completely possible but multicultural societies while keeping their distinctive individual identities intact exist and are doing well. This … Read entire article »

Moderate Muslims, Hard Line Islam

Raza Habib Raja Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) is a body whose job is to give recommendations to the government for making the legal framework more in line with Islam and right now it is actively reviewing several existing laws for that purpose. The impetus for Islamization is not only emanating from the constitution itself which declares Islam as a state religion but also from the general public’s desire to see religion play a greater role in Pakistan. It has been claimed that a huge majority actually wants religion to have a more prominent role in Pakistan’s legal framework. This is a claim I won’t dispute as many surveys have indeed confirmed it. For example Pew Research revealed that a … Read entire article »

Imran Khan’s USA Conundrum

Gohar Qureshi Having read Mr. Imran Khan’s recent statement about TTP, that they do not seek to enforce Shariah in Pakistan rather liberate it from the US war. I might be the only one who supports PTI manifesto for what it is and NOT because Imran Khan leads the party. Being a law abiding Pakistani American it is offensive to come across anti American narrative that Mr. Khan leads his followers with. Has he ever attempted to educate his followers on what led the US war on terror. The youth of today who must have been very young when 9/11 happened have no awareness whatsoever on how tolerant US was and still is. That we could … Read entire article »

Raza Rumi: Voice by Heart

Amir Abbas Turi These are the ruthless terrorists who are heartless and do not spare even the humanity lovers and peace-preachers such as Raza Rumi. Callous inhumane terrorists are taking lives of innocent people in this Land of Pure – Pakistan – and Mustafa, Rumi’s martyred driver, is the latest addition to this episode. On the eve of Friday, merciless culprits showered bullets on this non-violent team in the streets of ‘Takht-e-Lahore’. These murderers, who committed a slaughter in the name of Islam, forgot or ignored the teachings of this religion – which emphasises that killing a single human being is akin to killing the whole humanity, and that a single person or institution is not qualified … Read entire article »

Attacks on Raza Rumi, worship places represent new wave of intolerance: HRCP

Press Release: Lahore, March 31: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed alarm over a number of disturbing developments including the assault on journalist Raza Rumi and attacks on temples in Sindh and called these a new wave of intolerance. In a statement issued on Monday, the Commission said: “HRCP has grave concerns over a number of recent incidents, including an attack on Raza Rumi in Lahore, a spate of assaults at Hindu temples, the most recent one being in Hyderabad, and the death sentence for Sawan Masih in a blasphemy case. “HRCP believes that we are witnessing a new wave of intolerance and these instances stem from the same motivation. While the court’s verdict against … Read entire article »

Calling Us Dollar Hungry and Fake Liberals

Raza Habib Raja Raza Rumi, whom I consider a good friend, elder brother  and a mentor, was attacked two days ago. He survived whereas his young driver, Mustafa could not make it. When it happens to a person known well to you and to whom you owe a lot, the incident becomes personal at many levels. Suddenly, you realize that words which are being written and spoken are not just a harmless exercise but entail life threatening consequences. And it also makes you realize that in this country- where ironically you are mocked at by titles like “Pseudo Liberal”, “Fake Liberal”, “Dollar Khor”, “Indian and US Agents”- you are always risking your life and despite the risk, … Read entire article »

Raza Rumi: I’m Proud of You!

Kasim Osmani It is nothing but a stroke of luck when you happen to meet and start working with your most favorite personality. The very idea that you are going to work with country’s prominent political analyst excites the imagination. It fills you with high spirits and you feel like the luckiest person on planet. I felt so, when I met and started working with Raza Rumi. A day after I shared my profile, I found myself sitting across Raza Rumi, having kehwa and discussing how I could contribute to his bulging workload. Staring at him with almost static eyeballs, I expressed my earnest gratitude and determination for the given responsibilities. Raza Rumi entirely changed my views about … Read entire article »

Attack on Raza Rumi

Our chief editor Raza Rumi has been attacked today. He has luckily survived the attack whereas his driver, a very young guy, could not make it. This is a very serious incident and it highlights the deteriorating situation in Pakistan with respect to the safety of all those who are challenging the consistent erosion of freedom. Our chief editor was attacked because he symbolises freedom and courage in a society which is spiraling rapidly into abyss. When they can not argue and win on the basis of rationale despite the fact that they get the space on media also, they resort to violence. And this violence is not bravery but cowardice. And this will continue unless we … Read entire article »