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Ajoka Theatre and the Caucasian Chalk Circle

Raza Rumi Who is entitled to keep the child – one who is a better, nurturing mother, or the one who may be the natural mother but could not care for the child? The larger question then haunts the audience: who is entitled to ownership – the one who has the deed or the one who tills the land? Ajoka Theatre has revived a production that was first staged twenty … Read entire article »

Filed under: movements, Theatre, Writers

Balochistan quake survivors await relief

By Beena Sarwar (writing for IPS) KARACHI, Oct 29: Poor infrastructure and communications are making it difficult for rescue and relief teams to scattered hamlets in the mountainous plateau area affected by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Pakistan’s south-western province of Balochistan bordering Iran at early morning on Oct. 29. Relief efforts were thrown back by a second earthquake that struck the area barely 12 hours later at about 5 pm, followed by at least four significant aftershocks including one measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Where to begin

by Mozaffar A struggle of the common concerned Muslim is the concern of wondering where to begin? We have problems in our neighborhoods. We have problems in our nations. We have problems overseas. We also witness the contradictions. We know brothers and sisters who are so dedicated to certain causes related to people far, far away, yet when we — their friends for some 20 years — beg for their help, they are dead silent, except when giving phony excuses. The following are good responses: … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Balochistan (The Earthquake Poem)

THEY NEED OUR HELP, SUPPORT AND ALL WHAT WE CAN DO, AS THEY ARE US, AND WE ARE THEM in this hour of their need (Kashkin) I am beyond those limitations Of suffering and indifference Years of neglect, and its toll The divine gifts and its effect All in presence, all to witness The land is barren and dry Full of life, are humans , carries The message and its formation All there to be seen, to witness Through years of neglect In me, marks of civilization Remain in me, the natural reservoirs Carry they with me with pride The people of my land Carry they with me hate The rulers of this land, … Read entire article »

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

Science & religion

We are publishing a guest post by Abbas Zaidi, an acclaimed writer. We hope that this thoughtful piece leads to a reasoned debate on this blog-zine. (RR, ed.) The cocoon of science around our lives is so comprehensive that it has become more than a sine qua non for the world to go on today. Not only that. In the non-material, non-day-to-day affairs too science is the inevitable, formidable player. Science is a magic wand that gives credibility and validity to a concept or a methodology. It is rational and logical, and its findings and results are predictable. In the groves of Academe, anything “unscientific” stands to lose; from government funds to simple acceptability. That is why, those subjects that not long ago were purely “humanities” now proudly claim to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Religion, Science

Obama Presidency is better for Pakistan

Obama is better for Jinnah’s Pakistan By Yasser Latif Hamdani Between rock and a hard place, between devil and the deep blue sea- there are countless ways of describing how stark a catch 22, we in Pakistan are forced to see the current US election. On the one hand we have the charismatic and eloquent Obama, who most Pakistanis have taken a strong liking to because he promises a break with what are generally conceived by the common people here as pro-military dictatorship policies of the Grand Old Party. But Obama has also engaged in rhetoric that scares most Pakistanis. The idea of a US attack on NWFP isn’t so much an issue of sovereignty as of repercussions. Already Pakistan is facing the brunt of terrorism in the world with our lives … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Ijtihad, Freedom of Expression and Contemporary Politics

By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (Translated by Yoginder Sikand) Muslims today suffer from a bizarre sense of loss. Perhaps no other community faces this sort of predicament to the same extent. They have failed to make use of the myriad opportunities provided by modernity. One of these valuable opportunities is freedom. The ideologues of the French Revolution claimed that man is born free but everywhere is in chains. This became the slogan of the modern world, and now freedom has been accepted as the basic right of every human being. Everyone has the right to adopt what he or she thinks is right and to act accordingly. There is only one limit to this unfettered freedom: in the exercise of one’s right one should not harm someone else, and in the pursuance of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Islamism, south asia

Everyone is an economist

By S. Akbar Zaidi (The DAWN): PAKISTAN’S economic crisis and confusion, exacerbated primarily on account of unforgivable delayed responses by the incumbent government, has also revealed the rather sad state of Pakistan’s media and of its economists. The huge media explosion, particularly in the electronic media but also the English newspapers, has revealed how bare Pakistan’s scholarly cupboard is, and how charlatans have been crowned kings. These days, given the deserved interest in both the global financial crisis and the domestic economic meltdown, all television channels have been giving extended time to information and views pertaining to such issues on their channels. Today, the electronic media has made bankers, businessmen, stockbrokers and journalists experts on the intricacies of economic and financial issues of which most know very little. Personal anecdotes, and not even … Read entire article »

Filed under: Economy, Media

Civil Society Political Islam & Shariah Law

This is a thoughtful guest contribution for publication here at the Pak Tea House. We may not agree with all the arguments presented but this could be an excellent vehicle for engendering debate on these issues. (Ed. Raza Rumi) Bradistan Calling is a proud Pakistani in Bradford, West Yorkshire (Little Pakistan). Background: In order to understand the development of Islamic theocracy in Pakistan, we have to understand the different political forces present in pre partition North West India. It is prudent to restrict the analysis to right wing Muslim parties as, regardless of their stance on independent Pakistan; in post partition political spectrum ring wing became the mainstream. The left wing parties (nationalist and communists alike) were pushed to margins either banned from elections or went into collective involuntary underground to escape persecution … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Islamism

Seize the moment

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Ours is a mismanaged country but one with potential to amply fulfill the needs of its citizenry.  In so far as our economy goes, there is nothing that is wrong with it structurally. Prima facie Pakistan’s current economic difficulties emerge out of high import bill and corresponding lack of investment.  The huge rise in the oil price internationally over the last few years along with an international crisis of agriculture production has affected this country just like it has affected all countries around the world.   For us, it also has to do with the unique geo-political role that we are forced to play without an effective negotiator on the top. The recession in the West has given us breathing space. The oil price on Friday came down to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Economy, Pakistan, Politics

Death to Infielders, Chapter IV

a shortish story by kinkminos —– Hashim leaned back against the slimegreen wall of the Government hospital, straring blankly at the fluids flowing through the various IV-lines hooked up to his brother’s battered body, and this one line kept looping inside his head: “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!” He’d been trying and trying to remember where he’d heard that line. A childhood memory? For sure. A good memory, too. A happy one. And it sounded so… familiar. If his brother could speak right now, this may well be the first thing he would say to Hashim. “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into, bhai jaan!” And Hashim had to admit that he would have a point. After all, whatever the state of the cause-and-effect cycle in the broader scheme … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islamism, Karachi, Pakistan, Terrorism

Science and Islam

by Mozaffar There is a misused myth among Muslims that there is no contradiction between science and Islam. Muslims assert that not only is there no contradiction between science and Islam, the Qur’an also makes claims that are proved by science to be correct. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

A house, Partitioned?

By Ahmad Rafay Alam I was born into one of those families that presumes one completes their studies in a Western university.  And so it was that I found, like the many other Pakistani law students who read law in the United Kingdom, preparing for my bar qualification as a student barrister at Lincolns’ Inn.  Though the bar was dreadfully boring and, as I later discovered back home, totally irrelevant to the Pakistani legal system, I … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Confronting militancy in Pakistan

Raza Rumi The unedited version of my op-ed published in the NEWS today: It is time that the vocabulary introduced by the global imperial projects is changed in Pakistan. The infamous and rotten coinage – war on terror – needs to be trashed. It was constructed by an imbecile global leader, whose vision defies basic standards of human intelligence. And, in our case the frontline-state status is a passé title as well. The war has now entered the Pakistani consciousness, has consumed thousands and continues to destabilize the country to a point where its citizenry is insecure and bereft of hope. We have to now protect Pakistanis and Pakistan first. All else is secondary. The gravity of the situation is however not shared by many. The rugged militants are artfully backed by the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Taliban, Terrorism, violence, war

Enemies are everywhere

Raheel Raza writing for the The Ottawa Citizen Friday, October 17, 2008 My annual visit to Pakistan is full of surprises. What change will I find this time, I asked myself as I landed at Karachi airport a few weeks ago? The situation in Pakistan is more complex than I’ve ever seen. The economy is in crisis with basic food costs so high that one wonders how the ordinary person feeds a family. The elite don’t care because most of them have taken dual nationality and siphoned their money out of Pakistan. The poor keep getting poorer and complain that no one in power has ever cared about them, so why should they care this time? What bothered me most of all was the attitude of educated middle class Pakistanis. In the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan