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Khuda kay Liye and Ramchand Pakistani: A Comparison

By Zia Ahmad   Ramchand Pakistani has come and gone and has made another addition to the slowly and lets hope surely upward struggle for the revival of Pakistani cinema. With the lack of any other appropriate banner for these films to be categorized under, no room for “New Pakistani Cinema” or “Reasonable/Sensible Pakistani Cinema”, “Revival of Pakistani Cinema” is the nomenclature that has been agreed upon and Shoaib “Showman” Mansoor’s Khuda Kay Liye has been accorded the privilege of ushering in this revival. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Cinema, culture, drama, Pakistan, Reviews

Ranjit Singh : The Quintessential Indus Man

Ranjit Singh :  The Quintessential Indus Man

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Today (29th June) is the 170th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Bismarck of Punjab and Pakhtunkhwa,  whose great Indus state was the forerunner of Pakistan. Narrowminded ideologues – writing in the aftermath of bitter communal bloodletting accompanying the birth of  Pakistan-  have not been able to fully appreciate the significance of this great statesman to the state of Pakistan.   If they were to apply their minds to the history of the Punjab from … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Michael Jackson's Mark on Pakistan

Michael Jackson's Mark on Pakistan

Michael Jackson Made his Mark in Pakistan By Catherine Maddux Islamabad Voice of America       Pakistani fans of Michael Jackson say they are shocked and saddened by the news of his sudden death. Jackson, who was often described as the most popular musician in the world, made his mark here in Pakistan, too. Michael Jackson’s death led many of Pakistan’s local television channels Friday morning, knocking the near constant coverage of the military campaign against Taliban militants off the top … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Obama echoed Benazir Bhutto in his Cairo Speech

By FAIZ AL-NAJDI President Barack Obama’s historic address of Thursday 04 June-09 from Cairo is certainly talk-of-the-town now.  A great speaker that he certainly is, he was surely able to leave some good impressions especially in the Muslim world and the results are showing already. The elections results of Lebanon, where a pro-West coalition has been able to trounce the Hezbollah-led coalition, and those in Iran, where street protests go on with full fervor, may be termed as the testimony to the same. His speech continues to resonate all over and is already winning praises from his foes and friends alike. The pundits say, in his 55-minute address he was able to connect to the Muslim world largely because of the fact that he was bold enough to speak the truth. … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, human rights, Identity, Islam, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Religion, USA

Ali Sethi's "Wish Maker"

The debut of a major new international literary talent is a rare and heartening event. THE WISH MAKER (Riverhead Books; Publication Date: June 11, 2009; ISBN: 978-1-59448-875-7; Price: $25.95), the first novel by twenty-four-year-old Ali Sethi, combines classic storytelling instincts, an eye-opening portrait of a suddenly important nation that Americans are intensely curious about, and a remarkable back story. THE WISH MAKER has already been highlighted in USA Today’s “Book Buzz” column and foreign rights have been sold in six countries to date. At once a fresh and affecting coming-of-age story, a riveting family saga, and a hip, witty social commentary, Sethi’s novel vividly evokes the pungent texture of daily life in his native Pakistan, particularly for women, as well as his country’s roiling social and political currents. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Writers

A Postmodern Wedding

By Zia Ahmad  “Hope is a dangerous word” – just like any other pearl of wisdom that I am only too eager to pass on to the next available ear, this too has been derived from the ever-wise and reflective dream factory that is Hollywood. Do we ever pause to consider how drastically films have affected our humdrum lives, and how in moments of joy and sorrow some of us look up to movies as templates that our real-life actions and words should subscribe by?  No other art form in human history has provided us with as many pertinent points of comparison in our lives as films (or for that matter TV shows) have. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cinema, culture, musings, Society

Reform or Perish

By Raza Rumi On the face of it, the Pakistani state with the clear endorsement of political parties and the majority of its citizenry is fighting a battle against militant Islamism. However, it is not as simple a formulation as it appears to be. The state is also cracking under extreme pressure for having lost its capacities and effectiveness a long time ago. The central tenet of state policy and implementation is adhocism that keeps a mammoth, oversized, under-paid and snail-paced elephant going. With Mughal and pre-industrial social structures reflecting in a colonial organisation, the Pakistani state is an unattended patient lying on an Elliotesque table, waiting for a surgery. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Sarkozy is Right! Burqah is NOT an Islamic Requirement!

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Thank God for Nicholas Sarkozy who said what Muslims should have been saying in the first place:  Burqah is NOT a sign of religion.  It is a sign of subservience. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam

An Ahmadi Major lays down his life for Pakistan

By a Pakistani The contribution of Ahmadis to Pakistan starting right from Zafrulla Khan (the full measure of whose service to Pakistan one can get from reading the Jinnah-Isphahani Correspondence and Begum Abida Sultan’s memoirs)  has been first rate.  Our only Nobel Prize Winner is an Ahmadi,  Dr. Abdus Salam,  a man who has served Pakistan and humanity much  better than we can imagine.  In the 1965 war amongst those who were left unsung were two courageous Ahmadi brothers who laid down their lives. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Pakistan More Than a Battlefield

PITY the Nation is a book on Lebanon by renowned journalist Robert Fisk. However, these days many articles on or reports from Pakistan seem to have similar titles. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Defining ourselves

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Kamal Raza, a character in Quratulain Hyder’s renowned novel Aag Ka Darya who has migrated from India to Pakistan,  writes a letter some time in the 195os: Islam has had a rough ride here. If the Pakistani team begins to lose at cricket, Islam becomes endangered.  Every problem becomes reduced to Islam.  Music, art, civilization, learning are all being viewed from the perspective of the Mullah” … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Remembering Bashir Ahmed MSP

Bashir Ahmed Member Scottish Parliament. Bradistan Calling I first saw Bashir Ahmed on UK’s Pakistani channel (Pakistani channel was a result of the split between Pakistani TV Asia and Zee TV Europe). Second time I saw Bashir Ahmed was on BBC Parliament channel giving a speech to Scottish Parliament about Pakistan and its economy. A few days ago, I saw his Picture on a News website with a notice of his death and the news item that his seat in parliament has been filled by female deputy from his party SNP. Bashir Ahmad MSP, politician and businessman, born 12 February 1940; died 6 February 2009 of a sudden heart failure. In 2007 Bashir Ahmed became the first Asian (Pakistani) and first Muslim member of the Scottish Parliament when he was elected one of the four … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Citizens, culture, Democracy, Economy, Education, Elections, Europe, Heritage, History, human rights, Identity, India, Islam, Languages, Left, minorities, movements, Pakistan, Parliament, Politics, poverty, Punjabi, Rights, Society, south asia, Travel

Looking for history in all the wrong places

By Zia Ahmad Notable scholar Frederic Jameson famously put forward the idea of the disappearance of a sense of history in his indictment of postmodernism, fitfully titled Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991). The idea briefly referred to the way in which the entire contemporary social system has little by little begun to lose its capacity to retain its own past consequently refusing to learn any lessons from it. In forming a critique of the postmodern condition, Jameson essentially pointed out the disconnection with history and the subsequent fascination with the present. This broad interpretation holds true for the collective human experience and rings ever so true for Pakistan. It is interesting to note how seamlessly the above mentioned idea blends in with the rhetorical whining knowledgeable Pakistanis indulge in, whenever given … Read entire article »

Filed under: Colonialism, culture, Heritage, History, Identity, India, Media, Multinational Corporations, Pakistan, Society, urban, Writers

Iran: overthrow the fundamentalist cabal

Ali Abbas Inayatullah has authored this exclusive post for PTH. We welcome him to this e-zine and hope that he writes more. This rather radical article is a fresh and unconventional analysis of the Iranian crisis. PTH does not agree with all the contents but welcomes pieces that make you think. (Raza Rumi) After watching the hundreds of thousands of protesters in Iran being dismissed as Westernized toffs from Northern Tehran by Islamist groups and self-declared leftists, one could not initially help wondering at the number of elites in Iran. If one is to take the Islamist critique, than Iran must be a very rich country if it has hundreds of thousands of elites who can turn up to march in the capital square! Surely, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

King of Pop Michael Jackson (1958-2009) Rest in Peace

King of Pop Michael Jackson (1958-2009) Rest in Peace

We at PakTeaHouse join the rest of the world in mourning the passing of the King of Pop.   For many of us,   he was the only face of western music in Pakistan the 1980s.   We grew up admiring him, trying to moonwalk like him and trying to scream like him.   The King led a tormented life.  May he rest in peace now.   As for us,  we were lucky to have lived in the era of the King … Read entire article »

Filed under: Music