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Halal Media or Free Media?

Ahmad Nadeem Gehla Over the last weeks, television screens have broadcasted the growing and angry media sentiment against government over ban on a talk show of a private TV channel by Dubai authorities. Freedom of expression denotes not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and delivering information or ideas.  Freedom of expression is closely related to the concept of freedom of conscience and freedom of thought. Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan gives powers to the state to restrict the freedom of expression in interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defense of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, or incitement to an offense. It is the jurisdiction of the judiciary, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media

Pakistani Rock Comes of Age

By Zia Ahmad Summer 1995 The world was young, so was I. Still in my teens, my head ran on a brew of boundless enthusiasm and hope for tomorrow. The teenage optimism extended itself to Pakistani pop bands I was listening to back in the day: the MCC (Music Channel Charts) stable bands, Pepsi Top of the Pops confetti we were served week after week, Junoon and Vital Signs defining the musical landscape of Pakistan. Good times. Then again, there was only this much I could take of tuneful melodies and slick pop melodies. The thingness of things felt a tad incomplete. Lucky for me I had already discovered grunge that perfectly filled the void. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Music, Pakistan

Are sections of Pakistani media destabilising democracy?

Bilal Qureshi has contributed this piece for PTH. We do not necessarily agree with all the contents of this article but the issue is important enough to be debated. (RR – ed PTH) Journalism 101, that is, the very first lesson of journalism is impartiality. In other words, journalists, at least in civilized societies don’t take any position on issues. And editors make sure that personal opinion don’t seep into the work that the journalists are assigned. This is common practice, and even in India, if you read the papers or watch their talk shows, it is impossible to associate journalists with any particular political party. So, in this light, it is utterly nauseating to see media in Pakistan, both electronic and print (especially Urdu media) engage in efforts to destabilize … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Media

Claim: Pentagon tried to ‘intimidate’ journo covering Blackwater

By Daniel Tencer Thursday, November 26th, 2009 — 9:22 pm The office of Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest-ranking soldier in the US, tried to intimidate a reporter working on a story about security contractor Blackwater’s operations in Pakistan, the reporter claims. Jeremy Scahill — whose story alleging secret assassination and bombing campaigns inside Pakistan run by Xe Services, formerly Blackwater, appeared in The Nation on Monday — said he received a phone call from Adm. Mullen’s office the day before the story appeared, informing him that his story “didn’t match up with reality.” … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Balochistan: too small an olive branch

Cross Post from By Qurratulain Zaman, 27 November 2009 “They ordered me to rape her. She was so thin and was crying when they brought her in the room. I was terrified to look at her, as I thought she was a spy or an agent”, says Munir Mengal, a 33- year- old Baloch, living in forced exile in Paris. Munir Mengal spent 16 months in underground jails of the Pakistani intelligence agencies. “The low rank officers came back to the room and started beating me because I didn’t obey their orders. They took off my clothes by force and hers too, and left us alone. In her sobs I heard her praying in Balochi language. She was praying for someone named Murad. That’s how I got to know she is my … Read entire article »

Filed under: baluchistan, Democracy, Heritage, Islamabad, journalism, Pakistan, Politics

A Tale of two Stories

By Cyril Almeida Cross Post from and   MILITARY men have been up to some very bad things, we’ve learned this week. But the very different reactions to two seemingly unrelated stories in the media tell us at least one thing: things aren’t going to get better any time soon. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Democracy, Islamabad, journalism, Law, Pakistan, Parliament, Zardari

Extracting Political Decisions from the Judiciary in Pakistan

By Ahmed Nadeem Gahla A study of transformation from military dictatorship to democracy around the world would reveal that there are two possible ways. Either it is achieved through a popular revolution or by negotiations between political forces and dictators. The former invariably demolishes the entire system and mostly involves bloodshed putting a new system in place while the later allows the change to happen within the prevailing system based upon certain negotiated terms. These terms might not necessarily meet the international laws and judicial norms as it is always a middle path.   … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Democracy, Elections, Islamabad, journalism, Pakistan, Parliament, Zardari

Marking 26/11… A Letter To Our Neighbors

Dear Indian friend, I am sorry for the tardiness in marking 26/11.   It was not deliberate but as we fight daily battles with terrorism, it is not easy to tell what date it is.  Don’t consider this letter a sign of weakness because I am a member of proud nation which will one day prove its potential and take its rightful place in the comity of nations as a progressive and modern country at peace within and without.   … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Maulana Azad's interview given to Shorish Kashmiri

Raza Rumi I was intrigued by this interview of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad given to the famous journalist Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine, Chattan, in April 1946. This interesting document has been discovered and translated by a former Indian minister Arif Mohammad Khan. Covert Magazine and newageIslam website have recently published it. The contents of this interview are difficult to agreed with. Azad is speaking from a nationalist angle, anti-Pakistan movement platform. However, the narrative has some interesting observations and predictions for Pakistan that cannot be rubbished simply because Azad was a Congressite. This interview was conducted over a period of two weeks (parallel to the proceedings of the Cabinet Mission) and has not been documented in any book except that of Kashmiri’s book on Abul Kalam Azad, … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, India, Pakistan, Partition

When Ayub Khan Accused Fatima Jinnah Of Being An Indian And American Agent

When Ayub Khan Accused Fatima Jinnah Of Being An Indian And American Agent

  This story is from the Time Magazine datelined Christmas Day 1964.  It sheds interesting light on how far back this game of the security establishment conjuring up images of US-India collusion go.   Ayub Khan actually accused Fatima Jinnah of being pro-Indian and pro-American.   Oldest trick in the security establishment’s book. -YLH “They call her the Mother of the Nation,” sniffed Pakistan’s President Mohammed Ayub Khan. “Then she should at least behave like a mother.” What upset … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Jinnah, Pakistan

The Illegitimate Messiah Syndrome

The Illegitimate Messiah Syndrome

Many Pakistanis are still not prepared to develop the patience required to see democracy through its early, evolutionary stages – especially difficult stages as a result of the violence done to it by military dictatorship after military dictatorship. They still look for and believe in personalities, not for a sustainable and equitable system. Many will tell you that the only cause for all of Pakistan’s woes is “humain aaj tak koi ddhang ka  leader nahin mila (we never found … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, India, Jinnah, Pakistan

The Text of Balochistan Package, presented to the Joint Session of the Parliament\11\25\story_25-11-2009_pg7_29 Islamabad: The government on Tuesday presented the Aghaaz-e-Huqook Balochistan to a joint sitting of parliament. The landmark package contains several initiatives to address the problems of the Baloch people and bring them into mainstream. Following is the text of the Aghaaz-e-Huqook package presented by Senator Raza Rabbani. Preamble “Conscious, that the provinces have a sense of deprivation, in political and economic structures of the federation; Recalling, that the provisions of the 1973 constitution in particular relating to the federation-province relationship have been circumvented; … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, baluchistan, Economy, Islamabad, Pakistan, Politics, Rural

General Kiyani Stick To Soldiering And Stop Concerning Yourself With Pakistan's Ideology

By Yasser Latif Hamdani General Kayani chose Peshawar to reaffirm his faith in the officially ordained “ideology of Pakistan” by declaring that no one could separate Pakistan from Islam.  The message was quite clear:  he was using reports in the media that ANP had proposed a change in Pakistan to drive home that Army was the defender of the country’s ideological borders. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Ahmad Shah Durrani: A King of High Rank

Ahmad Shah Durrani: A King of High Rank

Eighteenth Century Ruler of Modern Day Afghanistan & Pakistan By Pervaiz Munir Alvi                 [ We are delighted to publish this essay written exclusively for PTH – Ed.]             Ahmad Shah Durrani was born in 1722 as Ahmad Khan Abdali at the city of Multan. By the age of twenty five he had become ruler of the vast territory stretched from Mashhad in the west to the Punjab in the east; the land mass that today roughly forms the modern twin countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, History, India, Pakistan

Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons: How Safe Are They?

ISAS Brief No. 140 – Date: 18 November 2009 by Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed Introduction With the assault on the office of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Peshawar on 13 November 2009, which left at least 20 people dead, including 10 ISI officials, the Taliban-Al Qaeda nexus has once again demonstrated that it is capable of hitting the supposedly well-guarded targets representing the power and authority of the state. A few weeks earlier, they were able to deceive the guards at the entry of the citadel of the Pakistan army, the General Headquarters, in Rawalpindi. On that occasion, more than 40 people were taken hostage, of whom 37 were rescued due to a daring operation by the commandos of the elite Special Services Group. The Head Office of the Federal Investigation Agency in Lahore … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan