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Rethinking Karzai in Kabul

Posted by YLH All is not well in Kabul these days.   US Government has become increasingly disenchanted with the way Mr. Karzai has run his affairs in Kabul.  Now if the corruption charges were not enough,   he is alleged to have backed an effort to legalize marital rape under some false religious pretext.   One still remembers when Mr. Karzai was touted as the president of Afghanistan.  He was presented as the “George Washington” of Afghanistan- a chivalrous figure on a horse out riding on the crestwave of American military might to deliver democracy to Afghanistan. It has been almost eight years since he has remained in power achieving pathetically little and all he has given people are excuses.  Afghanistan is run by war lords who now call themselves governors. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Taliban

With Obama at the "most dangerous place in the world"

By Akbar S Ahmed Seated a few yards in front of President Obama as his invited guest at the White House on Friday, March 27, I heard him describe the areas I had been in charge of–including Waziristan–as “the most dangerous place in the world.” Obama was laying out what I suspect will become the signature foreign policy effort of his presidency. He had shifted the American focus of the last eight years from the Middle East to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ultimately he will be judged by the success or failure of the objectives he laid out in his speech. As if to confirm the sentiment of Obama’s speech, at the same time as he delivered it, a suicide bomber in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan blew himself up and seventy … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Z.H. Zaidi has passed away

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Barely a few months after he was forcibly evicted (only to be restored) from his official residence,  Z H Zaidi, the renowned researcher and the curator of Jinnah Papers has passed away. In a country where people are left unconnected to their heritage,  the loss of great men like Ahmed Hassan Dani,  Khalid Hasan and now Zawar Hussain Zaidi is accutely felt.  Z H Zaidi, as he was known,  was a lone crusader who spent last decade and a half liberating Quaid-e-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah’s Papers from government’s stranglehold.  His is a profound loss though the work he has done shall remain easy reference for generations to come and one day when Pakistan will relive the legacy of Mr. Jinnah as a progressive and modern republic,   we shall honor Zaidi … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Saving Pakistan from conspiracy theorists and hate mongers

Bilal Qureshi The terrorist attack on Police Academy in Lahore must have been a wake up call for those who have been arguing that ‘war on terror’ is America’s war. On the contrary, it is a war that is being fought in Pakistan and for a majority of Pakistan, it is heart sinking to realize that men, driven to insanity by different reasons, are blowing themselves up, just to inflict pain on the country. This unfortunate attack in Lahore could be, and it should be the beginning of a new resolve by the country to not let anyone, either domestic, or foreign to unnecessarily exert pressure on Pakistan. The country belongs to the people who live in Pakistan and it is up to the Pakistani public to decide their future, their alliances … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Domestic Violence in Expat Indian/South Asian Community

Domestic Violence in Expat Indian/South Asian Community

  Videsh: Heaven on Earth By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari Any film on domestic violence is not an easy one to make; Deepa Metha is getting some vitriolic reviews from India for directing a film limited in technique, plot and dialogue. This barrage of misguided critique is in fact the very essence of the reactionary logic Indians, and South Asians largely, adopt when faced with a complex problem – shoot the messenger. … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Punjabi, south asia, Women

Minorities' Demands and the Government

By Yasser Latif Hamdani It is a step in the right direction that minorities’ quota is being restored and August 11 will be celebrated as the “Minorities Day” but not nearly enough.    For one thing it may be remembered that in Pakistan’s initial days the quota of 5% was for Scheduled Caste Hindus alone.   Secondly Pakistan is notorious for under-reporting religious minorities.  If the various Catholic groups are to be believed,  Pakistan’s Catholic population alone is somewhere in the range 8-10 million.  10% would be a fair calculation for minorities for the time being and therefore as a first step the quota should be around 10%. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

What do Kaiser Bengali and other nay-sayers want?

The well written and well argued  but sadly misdirected piece by Mr. Kaiser Bengali in Dawn today  is exactly what is wrong with us in Pakistan in my view.  The Lawyers’ Movement has won a victory which is bigger than ideology- it is about independence of judiciary.  The logic of a nation state based on institutions ultimately leads to constitutionalism which in turn – no matter how diluted – results in a polity aware of its rights.  It is true that the Lawyers’ Movement had elements from all sections and ideologies including the right wing but to try and make it into some sort of a “quasi-theocratic right wing movement” is an insult to a truly people’s movement on a purely secular issue.   The writer takes great pains to point out that some of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Lahore is burning even as the anti-terror operation is successful

Raza Rumi [reportedly] 27 dead and dozens injured – no respite for us. Once again, in less than a month Lahore has been ravaged by terrorists. Who said that Pakistan was a hub of terrorism – we are now the greatest victim of terror and militancy. The residents of Lahore are scared and the vibrant city seems to be enveloped in a mist of uncertainty and fear. The Mumbai and later Lahore 3/3 model seems to be in vogue now. Extremely well trained commandos, with sophisticated weapons  and not afraid of death are let loose on the society. The media is hysterical as well and following the Indian media’s cue[s] is now a participant and embedded in the so-called operation. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Lahore attacked … again!

Yasser Latif Hamdani This Monday morning has turned out to be another bloody one in Lahore.  It is the same determined foe which attacked Bombay in November and then attacked the Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Lahore earlier this month.   It is said that as many as 25 gunmen are currently engaged in a duel to death with the authorities. According to last reports there were eight confirmed casualties and more than 100 injured.   It is alleged that the reinforcement did not arrive till an hour later. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Happy Muslim Men and Women Who Confuse You

By Mona Eltahawy Published in Arabic in Qatar’s Al Arab and in English in Metro Canada There’s something wrong with the pictures coming out of Pakistan these days. Ever since Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari reinstated the country’s chief justice, I’ve been trying to figure out what it was. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Urdu and I

IN FIRST PERSON Noted filmmaker MAHESH BHATT makes an impassioned plea to save Urdu from extinction here Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash Man is memory, and memory is sound. The first sound that resonates in my heart is the Urdu word “Shireen”, meaning sweet; the name of my mother, who was by birth a Shia Muslim and remained one till the end of her days. Shadowing that sweet memory is a bitter one. My mother couldn’t marry my Hindu … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Urdu

US drone attacks in Pakistan – canon don't kill mosquito

Qandeel Shaam writes on the infamous drone attacks in Pakistan and raises some pertinent questions. We hope that this voice is heard in the blogosphere and elsewhere. (PTH) Is it me or have Pakistanis been conspicuously quiet about US drones buzzing about in their territory? On January 27, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates vowed to continue carrying out missile strikes “against al-Qaeda in Pakistan.” A few days ago, on 28 March 2009, US National Security Adviser Gen. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, FATA, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Taliban, USA, violence, war

Bridging the wide gap

Source: “Writers of Pakistani origin find themselves wedged between readers of two countries that share similar tastes, interests and a common pre-Partition history. Kalindi Sheth tests the connection between India and Pakistan through literature.” India and Pakistan are in the strange situation of being so close — more than just geographically — yet also being filled with misconceptions and stereotypes about each other, so there’s a particular pleasure when fiction starts to dismantle some of those stereotypes,” says Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie, whose works include In the City by the Sea, Broken Verses and the latest, Burnt Shadows. Pakistani writers, or writers of Pakistani origin, find themselves wedged between readers of two countries that share … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Zahida Hina: From Sufi-ism to Taliban-ism

Zahida Hina: From Sufi-ism to Taliban-ism We are posting a piece in Urdu authored by Zahida Hina. Apologies to non-Urdu readers. Thanks to this blog for alerting us to this piece.  RR … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Amaresh Misra, the candidate of Ulema Council from Lucknow Lok Sabha constituency

We are posting an excellent statement released from Lucknow that slams communal forces for attacking the Election commission on the Varun Gandhi issue. Amesh Mishra the candidate is backed by the Ulema Council.  PTH posted several pieces on Varun Gandhi and many communal visitors sent us email and some also left comments. The purpose of the earlier posts was not to denigrate India or Indians but to condemn what needs to be condemned. As South Asians we immediately get encouraged by such trends. We have to counter intolerance and bigotry of all kinds. Raza Rumi While speaking at election rallies in the old Lucknow town area on 23-4-2009 and 24-3-2009, Amaresh Misra, the candidate of Ulema Council from Lucknow Lok Sabha constituency, slammed communal forces for attacking the Election commission on the … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Religion