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Pink Pakistan: Queering in Confusion

Pink Pakistan: Queering in Confusion

by Shaheryar Ali The problem of LGBT rights in Pakistan becomes especially complex taking into account, the “combined and uneven development” of the Islamic Republic , the conflicting influences of westernization, and Islamisation, the post-modern conditions and the “queer” turn of the “world Wide LGBT movement” itself. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Politics, Society

SWAT: Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl

SWAT: Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A Pakistani seventh grade schoolgirl is writing a diary after Taleban militants in the troubled north-western Swat district ordered schools to close as part of an edict banning girls’ education. Militants seek to impose their austere interpretation of Sharia law and have destroyed about 150 schools in the last year. News of further attacks and a Taleban invitation to public floggings appears in the latest extracts of the diary, which first appeared on BBC … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Taliban

Making Sense of Obama's Pakistan Policy

Making Sense of Obama's Pakistan Policy

By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari President Obama “Our goal should be peace within and peace without” – Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 15th August, 1947 Even if you dismiss the grandeur of a self assured black man against the backdrop of the slave-built White House possessing highly superior oratory skills, Barack Hussain Obama’s inauguration address was still nothing short of majestic. He minced no words and said to the countries of the world, “we want peace.” The tone and manner … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, USA

Erdovan, Davos, and Dealing with Israel

This mornings Stratfor Podcast is titled “Erdovan’s Davos Walkout Lays Down the Marker“. I haven’t heard it yet (hoping to, on the exercise machine), but just from that title, you can see one thing: the recognition of Israel has been anathema in the Muslim world, but if you had wondered if any good could ever come out of recognizing them, this is it. The fact that Turkey is seen in the Western World as a “moderate” Muslim state and has respect for being one of very few Muslim states to recognize Israel gives Erdogan’s action much more weight than, say, a Pakistani or Indonesian leader doing the same. I am not saying Pakistan should up and recognize Israel, but it’s something for Pakistanis to think about in the debate of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, World

Obama's Vietnam?

Juan Cole writing for the Salon says that Friday’s airstrikes are evidence Obama will take the hard line he promised in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But he should remember what happened to another president who inherited a war. Jan. 26, 2009 | On Friday, President Barack Obama ordered an Air Force drone to bomb two separate Pakistani villages, killing what Pakistani officials said were 22 individuals, including between four and seven foreign fighters. Many of Obama’s initiatives … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, USA, violence, war

The Power of the Pulpit

From Newsline January 2009 issue…………… By Mohammed Hanif Maulvi Karim, who taught me to read the Quran and led prayers in our village mosque for 40 years, was one of the most powerless men in our community. The only power he assumed for himself was that of postman. The postman would deliver the mail to him and then he would walk from house to house distributing it. He would, of course, have to read the letters for a lot of families who couldn’t read. Click here to read remaining article Source: … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

My Brother Barack Hussain Speaks to Al Arabiya

When my son started First Grade, come the start of African-American History Month, he coolly informed his (predominantly East and South Asian) classmates that his otherwise very Pakistani-looking, and sounding “dad is an African-American”. I do not remember ever having used that phrase within earshot of him. But he knows that I was born in same region of Africa that is the origin of most of the people who came to this country as slaves. And thus I came to this country as an African-born grad student much like Barack Obama Sr. So don’t get me wrong; I love my brother Barack Hussain. I have been following his presidential ambitions almost form first buzz around a possible run–and have discussed it in my blogging and even Urdu podcasting. I am joyous at seeing him in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics, USA

"Perhaps it's time for yet another performance of Border Border in both countries"

THE HINDU notes: In 25 years, the noted Pakistani theatre personality’s group, Ajoka, has engaged with issues ranging from the ‘military-mullah nexus’ and brutalisation of society, to the construction of post-Partition identities. Following Ajoka’s recent performances in India in stormy times, Madeeha Gauhar reiterates the need to recognise the subcontinent’s unique lifeline — a shared cultural heritage which crosses all borders. With a dark shadow cast over bilateral ties following the Mumbai attack, and heightened by the high-decibel war on nerves unleashed on both sides, the stage had been set without their asking. But not only did acclaimed theatre director and actor Madeeha Gauhar’s Lahore-based group Ajoka, which turns 25 this year, perform thrice in India in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Citizens, India, south asia, Theatre

The Lawyers' movement and the PPP: an unnecessary confrontation

By Yasser Latif Hamdani It is important that we, as a nation, don’t forget history- especially that which is etched in our recent memory.  10 years ago Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was firmly ensconced as the Prime Minister of this Republic with a 2/3rds majority – largest ever accorded to any political leader in this country.  He overplayed his hand and was ultimately ousted by the Army.   He had acted against the Army only after having decisively tackled the presidency and then the judiciary. His actions against the judiciary should be of special interest especially the infamous assault on the Supreme Court building which looked to many at the time as nothing less than the storming of Bastille itself.  After all since 1955, the Supreme Court (or Federal Court as it … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, lawyers movement, movements, Politics

Robert Fisk on Obama

Robert Fisk: So far, Obama’s missed the point on Gaza (writing for The Independent,UK) 22 Jan 2009 … It would have helped if Obama had the courage to talk about what It would have helped if Obama had the courage to talk about what everyone in the Middle East was talking about. No, it wasn’t the US withdrawal from Iraq. They knew about that. They expected the beginning of the end of Guantanamo and the probable appointment of George Mitchell as a Middle East envoy was the least that was expected. Of course, Obama did refer to “slaughtered innocents”, but these were not quite the “slaughtered innocents” the Arabs had in mind. There was the phone call yesterday to Mahmoud Abbas. Maybe Obama thinks he’s the leader of the Palestinians, but as every … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

"Pakistan's Other Story – The 1968-69 Revolution”

Courtesy here on the inaugurations of captioned book in Pakistan Lahore People from all over the world should come forward to bring about a socialist revolution as the capitalist system has faced crushing decline because of its failure to solve the problems of the masses and provide them with any relief. These views were expressed by columnist Munnoo Bhai, former federal minister and founding member of the PPP Dr Mubashar Hassan, the singer Jawad Ahmed, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Books, Left

An letter of protest against the editorial policy of PTH : Stop Ideological Pinko-McCarthies Now!

Dear readers, it seems that the debate on PTH’s editorial policy is not over. After strong letters of protest from freethinker, Sheharyar Ali, our regular writer Yasser Hamdani has also protested against the editorial policy.  It is only fair to publish this. However, I hope that comments on this post will NOT be personal and only address the issues raised by Yasser.  RR (ed) Dear Raza, Before my piece titled “Brownies for Pinkos: Freethinking Paki style”, which was a rebuttal to a personal attack on me,   I had refrained from personalizing my articles.   I’d rather discuss history and ideas than discuss the perceived shortcomings of fellow interactors.  However things have come to such an impasse that I am forced to write a letter that is personal in nature to say the least but is one … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

The newage tribute

Benazir Bhutto’s daughter honors mom with rap song By GREGORY KATZ – 1 day ago LONDON (AP) — The teenage daughter of slain Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto has found an unusual way to honor her late mother — by placing a rap song on the video Web site YouTube. The song, called “I Would Take the Pain Away,” pays tribute to Bhutto’s bravery, intelligence and perserverance. “Murdered legendary mother,” sings Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari on the five-minute track. “She’s got crazy courage.” “You have beauty and intelligence, everything you did relevant,” the song continues. “Shot in the back of your ear, so young in 54th year, murdered with three kids left behind, a hopeless nation without you, you are in all their hearts.” In the song, Bakhtawar says she wants to say a few … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Does India have the legal right to strike?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Vigilance of the Pakistan Air Force in response to the Indian threat of a surgical strike has given many in our neighboring country a lot to be bitter about. One gentleman wrote to me calling the PAF the “Al Qaeda Air Force” for not allowing Indian strike to take place. Perhaps our eastern neighbors don’t understand that it is the PAF’s legal responsibility to ward off any incursions with the intention to cause harm or to use force on Pakistani soil. I use the word legal because PAF has a mandate from the sovereign government of this republic to do so. There is a proper procedure that must be followed and the principle states that in the territories and constituent units of Pakistan, it is the Pakistani … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All

Mr Evans of International Crisis Group has raised some phenomenal questions in his speech to Institute for Public Policy  Research. We have so far failed to resolve this ‘”lacuna” in our International Law and Politics. But we have to deal with this issue. Due to very serious nature of the issues raised by Mr Evans we have decided to share it here. we hope we can have a serious discussion.The International Crisis Group (Crisis Group) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental  organisation covering over 60 crisis-affected countries and territories across four continents, worki ng through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict. Shaheryar Ali Address by Gareth Evans, President, International Crisis Group, to the Institute for Public Policy Research, London, 15 December 2008[1] What is in issue here can be … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan