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Pakistan's Civil Service Entry Exam Fails to fill Vacancies

Raza Rumi Is it the case that finally the centuries old steelframe is getting irrelevant in the fast changing urban Pakistan. In a country of 170 million, there were not enough competent and interested candidates to fill up the vacancies for the competitive examination. If on one hand, this trend betrays the decline of institutions, on the other it spells doom for the future of Pakistan’s governance. There can be no compromise on a capable civil service to manage and implement policies. Singapore and many other countries attract the best and here we are, with massive unemployment, not finding enough people to fill the vacancies. Yes the private sector is more attractive and perhaps should be but what about state’s regulatory and redistributive functions? CSS Exam fails to fill 100 vacancies – Daily … Read entire article »

Filed under: Civil Service, Economy, public policy, state

The Rainbow Catchers

One in combination of blue with straight hair The other draws her picture in search, For objects of life, around her and its sounds The other in rainbow colours, with curly hair As the animals come into existence- alive With elaborations by hands and gestures The rainbow colour, says through expressions Close to their mountain, as both play As eyes shifts its gaze from one corner To another, as the view unfolds The one with curls, with flowers on her skin As butterflies invite them to play blue with her elephants and learning alphabets with dinosaurs and her language broken as life pours out innocence from their eyes on the movement, the caravan of colour daggers are the pencils in their hands as the paper turn into planes, as pictures turn into animals in air, the rainbow and hands that join in appreciation, and in fury for more as circles and … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, poetry, Writers

Justice in Pakistan – some disturbing reflections

Posted by Raza Rumi An anonymous contributor at the Friday Times talks about how the murder of a family member raised painful questions about Pakistani society When an incident occurs which should never have taken place – an anomaly, a tragedy – the first question that springs to mind is, who is to blame? It has been two years since my uncle’s body was found, decaying in his own blood, two years since he was murdered in his house, in his own sanctuary. I have had enough time to distance myself from the tragedy and view the events in a more rational way. But is there anyway to rationalise the murder of an innocent man, whose only crime was that he could not afford to live anywhere but in a small … Read entire article »

Filed under: Karachi, musings, public policy, Society, state

Pakistan: What other kind of change?

By Ayesha Siddiqa adding to the debate on the changing Pakistan… IN a recent article titled ‘Another kind of change’ Akbar Zaidi tried to make us believe in changes occurring in Pakistan without properly contextualising them. According to the writer, Pakistan is no longer feudal, traditional and rural nor is its economy agrarian. Although it is not stated in this fashion, the underlying tone of the article is that the country has moved to become a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Pakistan, Society

The smile on your face

Once before you knocked at my door, while i stood outside in the pouring rain, like i am today. Only this time you don’t see me. Perhaps cos the clouds are darker, or your parasol more enchanting, or my sorry state less pitiful. Perhaps the smile on my face is really actually yours at the thought of losing me to Mother Earth, though i’m not too sure what the old biddy would have to say, what with her trips to fertility clinics proving unproductive thus far. minos – april 2008 … Read entire article »

Filed under: poetry

Memoirs of Mistakes

Come they all to see this land Forgetful and distant, from its past The long walks and adventure In search for peace and comfort Lend me your ears my friend Let me recite words of freedom, In ways different than yours, From a distant land As I write in its abate Memoirs of mistakes! Kashkin … Read entire article »

Filed under: poetry, Writers

"Musheer" Video- when music articulates politics

by Raza Rumi A group of young firebrand revolutionaries – alas what an alien word it has become these days – has created this fabulous music video. The inspiration is a poem by Habib Jalib called “Musheer” (advisor) that Jalib composed as a satire against Hafiz Jalandari during Ayub Khan’s era. As the man on the guitars, Taimur Rahman says, “It is equally valid today”.  [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPsr1RnEfWo] The vocalist is ”comrade” Shahram Azhar and Mrs Rahman is in the background. Of course the trio are activists of the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party. Taimur Khan helped them produce it. I must say that Shahran’s voice is quite soothing. At least the Left is not dead in Pakistan – we need plural voices against neo-liberalism for an egalitarian and more just Pakistan. A detailed introduction is below: … Read entire article »

Filed under: Left, movements, Music, Pakistan, Politics, video, youth

Martyr, my dear

And if my mind really was in the gallows, what then? Would you think of me disdainfully? I certainly hope so. I’d be among the living dead, my grey matter turning hoary, and what else is there that really matters? Are we creatures of any substance without our admittedly limited intellect? And if we were would we care to know ourselves socially? Sadly, i think the answer to that is a resounding yes! So quit this transparent dissimulation and admit that your fundo mentalist anthemising atheism is really nothing but a knee-jerk reaction to abbaji’s habit of flying his post-colonial ass up the gleaming flagpole of gratuitous martyrdom. minos – april 2008 … Read entire article »

Filed under: poetry

Was it like this for the Irish?

posted by kinkminos In a recent piece in the London Review of Books, Gareth Peirce, a celebrated civil rights lawyer in Britain, compares the current plight of British Muslim “terror” suspects with that of their Irish counterparts during the latter part of the last century. In it she recounts a number of high and low profile cases involving Muslims, and the way in which, according to her, the precepts of habeas corpus are being steadily eroded in the name of “freedom.” (If only the legal “problems” in our own benighted land were of such nature!) The piece is typically LRB-long, but well worth reading (to the bitter end). Some excerpts below. —– Was it like this for the Irish? Gareth Peirce on the position of Muslims in Britain The history of thirty years of conflict in Northern … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Islam, Justice, Law, Terrorism

Fooling the people once again

by Samad Khurram The band of rejected and convicted politicians, popularly known as the Q-League invited the people for a mass dinner at their house on the election eve. Little did the poor people know they would be fooled once again. Funny video though: must watch! [youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=kgMJlPauvkc] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

An Immortal question

As I scratch my head in pain and disbelief With all the questions and of all this existence What has befallen me and its mechanics? As I see my world in disappearance From faces to memories, all absorbed By this quest, for peace and comfort What shall I adapt fate or destiny Or the wisdom from the books and experience Will it hold the meanings of my meanderings? An age old hunger, an immortal question Where do I belong, what shall I pursue In this world of greed, hunger and pride As I see my world in disappearance From faces to memories, all absorbed By this quest, for peace and comfort At times I question, when I am alone In collision these moments and myself Of all what is resident in me and the world Outside and inside, as it turns me around The moments and its effect – … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, History, Islam, poetry, Society, Writers

Blasphemy and persecution

By Ishtiaq Ahmed The barbaric murder of Jagdeesh Kumar, accused of blasphemy by some of his workmates at a garment factory in Karachi, brings out in sharp focus once again the exposed and vulnerable situation of non-Muslims in a Pakistan still wedded to the legacy of General Zia-ul-Haq. When the police finally intervened, the body of the 22-year-old victim had been mutilated and disfigured beyond recognition: among other things the eyes had been gouged out. The reports published indicate that he was a quiet man, from a poverty-stricken Hindu family belonging to some obscure village in the Sindh desert. People with such a depressed and vulnerable background come to factories to eek out a miserable living, not to engage in religious controversies. In the days and weeks ahead, we will learn that … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Islam, Justice, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Society

Dealocracy

by Faisal.K When we were having elections in this country, the mood was tense but upbeat. Everyone was watching Pakistan and its politics to see what leadership would emerge from the great ashes of one-man rule, or what we frequently refer to as “dictatorship.” I am sure the truth is quite stark and shining in front of all now. I often have arguments with my friends because i insist that democracy, in the very western form of the word, is not applicable to Pakistan. It’s not that i do not want the average person here to have any rights or a good living standard, but that we need to have leaders who would listen and actually engage in some work to solve the various crises at hand in Pakistan. The people who have … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Elections, Pakistan, Politics

Four Stories

Promise me One day Let’s travel to Everest Frozen inside Our fears To melt Lives there An old poet Amidst chaos And dissection, In peace As the dance begins In rain, As they stand, To celebrate The beginnings Of life Just happiness Later to come The old pain In its trail, Awaits, The desert Its voice The caravans Disappeared! Kashkin … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, poetry, Society, Writers

last night's performance was grand

i think i might have known her way back then, when she goes by the name of honney rose in another language, another tongue if you’ll believe the neighbours, who never tire of calling attention to the fact that you and some guy had set her up in collusion with each other and her selfless attendant. i was there the day you told her not to be herself that night, and how she’d better wisen up to the fact that accommodation was the only honourable option open to her. i was there, but you do not hear me. she was there, and she did. minos – april 2008 … Read entire article »

Filed under: poetry, Society, urban, Women