Articles Comments

Pak Tea House » Archive

The Terrible Silence of Peace

The Terrible Silence of Peace Omair “The earthy and cold hand of death Lies on my tongue” (1 Hen. IV 5.4.84) What has happened in Mumbai is tragic. Mass murder of unsuspecting victims, a life of grief and fear for those left behind who feel powerless, and scars upon the memories of those whose beloved Amchi Mumbai has been ruthlessly defiled.What has happened in Mumbai is tragic. Mass murder of unsuspecting victims, a life of grief and fear for those left behind who feel powerless, and scars upon the memories of those whose beloved Amchi Mumbai has been ruthlessly defiled.But the worst of it is captured by the master of tragedy Shakespeare as quoted above: the silence that comes after, when the hand of death binds our tongues. What silence, angry Pakistanis point out … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Pakistan

Zafarul Islam Khan on Indian Muslims, Media and Terrorism

Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan is the President of the All-India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, a platform of several influential Indian Muslim organizations. He is also the editor of the New Delhi-based fortnightly Milli Gazette, one of the few English-language Muslim news magazines in India. In this interview with Yoginder Sikand he talks about terrorism in India, about how the media projects Muslims and what he feels Muslims should do in the current context. Q: Increasingly, Muslims and Muslim organizations have been singled out by the media, wrongly or rightly, for being behind the escalating incidence of terrorist acts across the country. This has led to Muslim organizations focusing much of their energies simply on countering the charges against them. How do you think this has impacted on their work for the development … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

The Half-Burnt Cigarette : A Short Story

by Awais Aftab He took a puff of his cigarette, blew the smoke and observed with purposeless acuteness the amorphous wisps of smoke diffusing into the air, thinning out of existence. His lifted his gaze to a yellow taxi, a few cars ahead of his at the traffic signal, to make sure it was still there. ‘Yellow, yellow like guilt,’ he thought, taking another draw. His eyes fell on the rear-view mirror, and he saw a partial reflection of his own face: black, warm eyes; a handsome charming face in the early thirties. His wife, his former college fellow, had often told him how he used to be the crush of a dozen girls during the college days. He had felt a strange, meaningless pride in that revelation by his wife … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction, Literature, Pakistan, Writers

Freedom and Lights : Ode To Bombay

by Shaheryar Ali Once again they have attacked, at the heart of Bombay. Bombay is every thing which they hate. Bombay is Freedom, Bombay is Life, Bombay is Music, Bombay is Light. This is the  attack on city of Lights. 100 people have been killed in cold blood. The attack is an attempt to over throw Indian democracy and secularism. The madness which has engulfed this world due to George Bush’s and OBL’s war of Terror … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Pakistan

The Collapse of Muslim Marriages

by Mozaffar I used to be of the view that Muslim marriages have been collapsing because we have these couples that are being pulled in multiple directions.  They are being pulled in one direction by the perceptions of Islamic obligations.  They are being pulled in another direction by the culture they were raised in in their homes.  They are being pulled by the culture they were raised in outside of their homes.  They are being pulled by the requirements of professional advancement. That is definitely true for many.  … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Tufail Niazi – Pakistan’s Greatest Folk Singer

Fawad Zakariya It was in my teens, almost 25 years ago, when I first heard Tufail Niazi singing “MeiN naiN jaaNa Kherian de naal” from Heer Waris Shah in that uniquely rustic and melodious but exceptionally virtuosic voice that has brought tears to my eyes many times over the years. Of all the wonderful music I grew up with (mostly because it was what my parents played in the house) this song … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Music

Who Cares about Education in Pakistan?

You know, it’s a good time to talk about education in Pakistan–especially with the op-ed in the New York Times by Nicholas Kristoff a couple of days ago that’s been so much the talk of the Pakistani chatterosphere (online and off) since. But this morning, the talk of the town is a piece of news that the Chief Justice (not Iftikhar Chaudhry, the person currently occupying that office) used his influence to get his daughter’s grades/marks in High School “improved”, to give her a better shot at various things one wants to do after High School and which are based, in Pakistan, often even more on that performance than it is in other places. [I pretty much started my journalistic career with a piece about that process; back in ... oh, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Education, Justice, Law, lawyers movement, movements, Pakistan, Politics, Society, state

untitted poyum #159

serpentine along the wooded path a groove laid down in time to you and your inter-cendiary altercations with ahmetergun and the man from la mancha and his own man eeyore. legendary altercations spun into ever twining tailgating of threadbare impulses frayed at the centres but not at the seam and i a dull and muddle-headed curse upon all and no one in particular to look on it later in retrovian vanity you might be excused your bad taste but not your deplorable vulnerability to charm me, noss! – nov 2008 … Read entire article »

Filed under: poetry

Tariq Ali is wrong on the Taliban and Hezbollah

I read this insightful comment by Imtiaz Baloch on an internet platform. The piece argues in a more nuanced  manner the issue of national question and the struggles. In particular, it challenges the linear and [ironically] misinformed views of Tariq Ali who praised the Taliban and Hezbollah while mocking the Baloch and Sindhi national movements. I am grateful to Imtiaz Baloch for having agreed to this cross-posting at the Pak Tea House. Readers may or … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

The asinine media commentators

By Freethinker At long last, Aamer Liaquat Alim Online (aka Jaahil Online) has caught up on the ‘Holocaust hoax’ conspiracy theory. Of course conspiracy theories are a staple when it comes to the Jang newspapers, and our columnists also love to lay bare the nefarious lies of the Jews, so you can just imagine what a disappointment it was for me to have to wait so long for a good Urdu read on ‘the Holocaust hoax’. Well, our slick-haired, smooth-tongued Aamer Liaquat has done a commendable job on accomplishing no less than a classic in Urdu conspiracy theory writing. Entitled ‘Yahoodi Dramay Holocaust’ (Roznama Jang Lahore, 21st Nov, pg.8), the column starts by arousing the reader’s sympathy for all those denizens of truth who, for speaking about the Holocaust, can actually be … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Hope for an inclusive society stalled

Imaduddin Ahmed has contributed this post exclusively for the Pak Tea House. The piece deals with an appointee of the US President-elect Barack Obama whose track record is a cause of concern. We are grateful for Imaduddin for the interesting arguments supported by due investigation. (Raza Rumi-ed.) “And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.” President-elect Barack Obama’s November 5th acceptance speech acknowledged forgotten voices around the globe, inspiring hope to be heard among marginalised communities. To live up to this pledge, Obama needs administrators who share this vision. One of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: India

On the coronation of Good King Obama the First

cartwheeling along my merry way to parts hitherto unknown, i paused for a moment to collect my thots, which had been jostling around my half-fried bheja in all the upside-down-and-all-arounding, happy (my thots) to be allowed a chance to go walkabout, instead of gathering dust amongst the farther reaches of my greying matter. i had lost my bearings, which in and of itself was not a worrying thing, for as i told you up above, i had started out by putting on my explorer’s hat (lost somewhere along the way, i have to say). my thots, though free, stayed jumbled, but my eyes were captivated by the sight of mother T and chandragupta … Read entire article »

Filed under: poetry

Don’t squirrel away the babes!

Feisel Naqvi I first became involved with journalism in the summer of 1987 as a sub-editor at the Nation. After two weeks I was promoted/kicked out into the reporting room where I spent most of my time learning how to properly structure a Punjabi sentence (i.e., pick a close female family member, state something about her body and/or sexual proclivities, and finally, insert result into whatever it is that you actually wanted to discuss, which could be anything from economics to anthropology). The reason I mention this ancient history (besides boosting my journo-cred) is because one of my first assignments as the junior-most sub-editor was to edit an APP wire story in which it was alleged that James Bond liked his orange juice shaken not stirred. I was 18 and green … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Society

Oppressed Populations are the Battered Wives of Civilization

by Mozaffar When a people are oppressed and suppressed it is remarkably easy to abuse them enough so that they abuse themselves. Keep them psychologically marginalized and they will soon compose themselves in a manner reflecting the way they are treated. If they are treated with hate, they will self-identify with hate. They will be consumed with enough self hate that they will destroy their own selves. If the powerbroker ghettoizes them, they will soon self-ghettoize further. That is one nature of human nature: if it is beaten enough, it will start beating itself. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Int'l Performing Arts Fest Spotlights Liberal Pakistan

By Beena Sarwar (IPS) LAHORE, Nov 18 (IPS) – Some 370 foreign actors, musicians, dancers and puppeteers have defied the warnings of their friends, families and governments to participate in an international performing arts festival in Lahore, cultural capital of the world’s `most dangerous country’. The privately organised 12th World Performing Arts Festival, Nov 13- 23, showcases Pakistani and international dance, theatre, film, music, and puppetry in the largest such event in the region. This is the 26th international festival organised by the Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop (RPTW), a group launched in Karachi in the early 1980s by the family of the late Rafi Peer, the Germany- educated `grand old man’ of modern Pakistani theatre who died in 1974. His youngest sons, twins Faizaan and Sadaan, started out with puppet and theatre performances in Karachi. In 1992, they organised the first international festival in their native … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, culture, Dance, drama, Pakistan, Society