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then they toodled off for a bowl of sushi at the noddel house

hope glimmered like the tempered steel of a kodachi blade in the nightlight, full two and a half watts of ether-like reality, and meandered along a timeline of unwarranted darkness and despair and dismal misery, much like that other silvery lining, the glow worm that you used to want to play with, but in the end just sliced in two with a glimmering blade. minos – may 2008 … Read entire article »

Filed under: poetry

Takht-i-Bahi – (The Water Throne)

Exists in our minds, this place and its past Well trodden paths, from Alexander to Asoka In those avenues of history and of its times Brings you the old Buddhist monks Their stories of old donation and its marks Of eyes and of purification from desire The grand purpose, the grand donation Descends into that place, Takht-i-Bahi An old water throne, the old reference Murmurs to these fields of green To become a part, of an old civilization As it became from Amar Daan to Mardan The land of toil and the land of resolve My home, where rests my remains Of an old existence of time and of mine As the memory flows into Takht-i-Bahi Out comes the rain, of loss and in despair As the sadness dwells like a morning mist In all who live, and of all who are gone Only the prayers, only the hopes For … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, poetry, Politics, Society

The Last Encounter: Subverting the discourse of exclusion – part 1

by  Shaheryar Ali The problem in front of the great Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci in the fascist prison was the “problem of sustenance of capitalism” in Europe despite its great logical contradiction. Why the Revolution was not coming when all the conditions were right? In his famous “prison notebooks”, he takes the question into the realm of ideology. This was the start of analysis of “ways of thinking”. He gave the concept of “cultural Hegemony”. Capitalism Gramsci suggested, maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion , but also ideologically , through a “hegemonic culture” in which the values of the bourgeoisie became the ‘common sense‘ values of all. Thus a consensus culture developed in which people in the Working-class identified their own good with the good of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, History, Pakistan, Society, Writers

The Muffled Rage

PTH author Kashkin wrote this article in October 2007. He believes that it is valid even today and “holds true the message” and “how we portray ourselves as a nation and society”. Hope the readers would enjoy this piece. Raza Rumi (ed.) =================================================================== There we go again- the arrival of Benazir Bhutto after 8 years of her self-imposed exile, (the exile which meant that all her family with her, no dependency on anything, and enough money in millions, enough homes, etc- if this is exile, then what it means to be in your own homeland, only she can imagine!!!!!), numerous statements from herself on media repeatedly how poorly she had been treated in the past, her concerns on her safety, voicing opinions based on her discussions with the Western governments, displaying sense of arrogance … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Democracy, History, Islam, Media, Pakistan, Politics, Society, Writers

Hydraotes

Met a character from 1947 Only six at that time, To recite his tale Story of his sacrifice Lost he all His mother and objects of play As they travelled Through days of migration To the river hydraotes The river of many names From Greek to Vedic times Stands there he now, In the land of pure To look back At the purpose and Of sacrifices – him And of his ancestors Of what they left In their deaths As they travelled For vision and for home With the promise Then comes the separation From what remained in his life For years he begged, Not out of choice but Through subjugation Forced upon him Cost of separation No regrets he says As years went past One day he returned To see what was left Of him and his world The final reunion More years went past As life brought its pearls Happiness at times and pain No regret he says, I am at peace Now an old man, Through thick … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Democracy, Pakistan, poetry, Politics

A CASE OF EXPLODING MANGOES – the new Pakistani novel

“When was the last time we heard that what this country needs is another Zia?” - Mohammed Hanif By Nadir Hassan Born in Okara in 1965, Mohammed Hanif served in the Pakistan Air Force before deciding to take up a career as a journalist. Hanif worked as a reporter for Newsline for six years and is now the head of the BBC’s Urdu World Service. He also graduated from the creative writing programme at the University of East … Read entire article »

Filed under: Books, culture, Fiction, History, Literature, Writers

A beautiful Ghazal by Ghulam Ali

A blast from the past: a relic of the great works of a musical legend of the Subcontinent – Ghulam Ali. Rafi Mohammad ka Kalaam: Hum ko kiss kay ghum nay mara, yeh kahani phir sahi, Kiss no tora dil hamara, yeh kahani phir sahi [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSBCCB6_r6g] … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Media, Pakistan

The Old Oasis

Open up these balconies Scratch away the dust Gathered for years In and out From formation of time And confrontations Of humans and their lives As I move around, From one room to another In gathered dust and shadows In residence, the old objects Of my mother and her belongings Years of solace and view Of the desert and possession In a land, now only in dreams As I move around, Those mystical potions Of memory and absence Of existence and of passion Of dreams and of living Like writings on the wall “I was here”, there lived me As I move around, With whispers and games With tiny steps and mischief In gathered dust and shadows The old voices speak to me In its walls, in its surroundings As I am greeted by this old oasis! Kashkin … Read entire article »

Filed under: poetry, Society, Writers

Shoaib Akhtar – a fallen hero

by Raza Rumi I am not concerned with the technicalities of Shoaib Akhtar’s sentence, which have been the subject of much debate across Pakistan and indeed wherever cricket is played and followed. There have been some avoidable outbursts by both Akhtar and his disciplinarians. Akhtar has a chequered past in the conventional sense; and perhaps his tragic flaw is the cavalier attitude that is now a hallmark of his persona. But he is a star … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Cricket, culture, Pakistan, Politics, Society, sport

12th May

Only a hope we all have our only possession; to offer through years of trial and error Only a day we all have Our only celebration, To remember Through years of our formation Only a life we all have our only existence; to bring peace and comfort through years of blood and terror Only a nation we all have entangled in crisis; to gather through years of evil and hatred Only a dream we all have our only friend; to have freedom and justice through years of struggle & protest Only a word we all have in darkened nights; through years of abuse for salvation and peace Only a hope we all have the intangible spirit; through years of hunger & sufferings to ignite, our drowsy conscience! Kashkin … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Democracy, History, Pakistan, poetry, Politics, Society, Writers

The Establishment's B-Team : The PPP

By Samad Khurram and Aqil Sajjad PPP sympathisers complain about the mysterious “Establishment” and their alleged role in destroying democracy in Pakistan for decades now. The Establishment, as defined by them, is a collection of dark, mystifying hands that apparently have many vested interests in upholding the status quo. This inexplicable group comprises rich army officers, the intelligence agencies and foreign hands who scheme together for their own economic and geo-strategic interests. To support this argument, examples of the Mullah-Military Alliance from the 1980s are repeated. The Establishment supposedly destroys institutions, murders politicians, blackmails judges and leaders, and sustains the Military Inc. One major threat to the Establishment’s hold would be an independent judiciary – a judiciary that will not bow down to pressure, sticks or carrots. Historically, many verdicts of our … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Rule of Law vs. Rule by Law

by Feisal Naqvi  The Supreme Court of Pakistan has recently held that the graduation requirement for members of Parliament is unconstitutional. Since the Court has yet to release the detailed grounds for its judgement, an analysis of the merits of the decision is impossible. But there are many other things about the decision which can be discussed. The first point to note is that opposition to the graduation requirement was led by the current Attorney General who vigorously, and publicly, denounced the requirement as “discriminatory”. In normal circumstances, Government lawyers vigorously defend all legislation, even when it is patently asinine. But in this case, the learned Attorney General opposed the law, even though that law had been validated by Parliament through a constitutional amendment and had already been upheld by a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Democracy, Pakistan, Politics

War, Inc.

posted by kinkminos John Cusack is one of my favourite Hollywood actors, having won me over with roles in films like Hi Fidelity, Grosse Point Blank and Being John Malkovich. The following is an excerpt from a review of Cusack’s new film War, Inc. — a film depicting the corporatisation of the war in Iraq. Where will it end, this commoditisation of humanity in the name of progress? War, Inc. is a radically different kind of movie. In fact, it really defies genre. It is sort of like this generation’s Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange and The Wizard of Oz mixed together with the un-embedded reporting of Naomi Klein, spiced up with a dash of South Park. It is a powerful, visionary response to the cheerleading culture of the corporate media and … Read entire article »

Filed under: drama, Iraq, Media

Side Effect

     Our poor minorities Harris Khalique Hats off to both our government delegation and the permanent mission at the UN in Geneva. They defended the human rights record of the country in the past four years with remarkable audacity. It was the working group meeting of the UN Human Rights Council to discuss the Universal Periodic Review of human rights situation in different countries. There was a report submitted on behalf of our government, a speech made by the head of the delegation and subsequently an open house. The shadow reports and commentaries by stakeholders other than the governments of countries being discussed were restricted to obscure websites and private circulations in accordance with the questionable modalities set forth by the Human Rights Council. During the session, only official delegations of UN member … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Democracy, Pakistan, Politics, Society