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Is Article 227 indispensable?

 By Naeem Sadiq                The News, January 28, 2010   If the Taliban were to come to power in Pakistan (which is what their struggle is all about), what would they do to the Constitution? The answer is: they would retain Article 227 and discard the rest of the Constitution. This single article of the Constitution would be sufficient for them to run the country. Their interpretation of this Article would be: “All laws to be brought in conformity with the injunctions of Islam – as perceived by the Taliban.” They could arguably use the article to make laws to kill a barber for a haircut, bomb a school if it was attended by females, gouge the eyes of those who watched television, lash people for wearing shorts and cut off hands for theft, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Islamism, Justice, Law, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Pakistan, Parliament, Religion, Rights, secular Pakistan, secularism, state, Taliban

Nahid and the Secretary: Liaison d’Amour

By Pervaiz Munir Alvi It is London, June 4, 1953. The official delegation of the Dominion of Pakistan, headed by Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Bogra, who also holds the portfolio of Ministry of Defence, is staying at the Claridge’s Hotel. Included in the entourage is the Secretary Ministry of Defence. Only two days earlier the Secretary, as part of the delegation, had attended the pomp and show filled coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II. Today a telegram from the office of Air-Vice Marshal Cannon, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Pakistan Air Force arrives stating that the Secretary has lost his twenty year old son in a tragic plane accident. The Secretary is devastated. Comforting him in this moment of grief are his few close friends and a thirty-nine year old women named … Read entire article »

Filed under: Civil Service, Pakistan, Partition, Politics

The tender tea house

Thanks to our excellent team at PTH, we are being noticed and written about. Above all, without our readers and visitors at PTH, this e-zine would be meaningless (Raza Rumi) The tender tea house (The National, UAE) From Partition onward, Nasir Khan writes, a dusty cafe was the centre of Lahore’s literary life. Pak Tea House sits on Mall Road in Old Anarkali, nestled between tyre suppliers and motorcycle workshops. Before Partition it was the India Tea House, but 1947 and a quick paint job changed that. No one knows why it became – along with several similar shops on the same street – a favourite haunt of so many intellectuals. Maybe it was the cheap but good milky tea, or the extra-sweet biscuits. Perhaps it was the literary sensibility of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pak Tea House, Pakistan

Farewell Haqqani Saheb – forgive your peers and colleagues

Farewell Haqqani Saheb – forgive your peers and colleagues

Raza Rumi A personal favourite, Irshad Ahmad Haqqani is dead. This is a huge loss to Urdu journalism as he was the last of sane voices in the vernacular industry. I often disagreed with his centre-right views but his tone was measured and he remained a staunch supporter of democracy. May God bless his soul. I stumbled on this post at Cafe Piyala that also talks about Haqqani but the best part of it was what Haqqani’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: journalism, Media, Urdu

SMS Dawaa: The Last Hurrah Of Religiosity

I came across this hilarious piece by the great Nadeem Farooq Paracha called the Holy SMS and thought I’d share it with all of you.   The truth is that this SMS trend is indicative of a growing insecurity vis a vis religion.  As society is confronted with modernity and becomes increasingly integrated in the information age,   it creates guilt pangs in people who are otherwise going about their business of living life just like anyone else in the world.   This ladies and gentlemen is the last hurrah of religiosity. -YLH … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

No priests needed – search of a Pakistani identity

Raza Rumi wonders why we remain in search of a Pakistani identity Half-truths are what we love to indulge in. One of the countless crimes committed by President Asif Ali Zardari is that he wears a Sindhi cap instead of a Jinnah cap. That by preferring a Sindhi topi and thundering at the occasion of late Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary, he undermined his Pakistani identity, is truly mystifying. After all, what is a Pakistani identity and why is the Jinnah cap being elevated to the level of an article of national faith? If anything, Mr Jinnah’s patronage of Muslim identity mark was an afterthought. His usual attire was a well-tailored pucca-sahib-like suit. It was only in the nineteen forties and that too close to India’s independence that Mr Jinnah started donning the … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Identity, Pakistan

Moving Towards a Global Afghan Taliban Settlement

Stratfor Analysis January 25, 2010 will be remembered as the day when much of the planet buzzed about diplomatic talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban movement. The chatter comes in the context of a number of conferences that will be held over the course of the next week that focus on dealing with Afghanistan’s jihadist insurgency. The countries being represented at the meetings — including the United States, the Central Asian states, Europe, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, India and China — have a stake in what happens in Afghanistan. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, FATA, Great game, India, Iran, Islam, Islamabad, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, quetta, Religion, strategy, Taliban, Terrorism, USA

A Win for the Women of Pakistan

by Dr. Fouzia Saeed I would like to congratulate all the women in Pakistan on the passage of two significant pieces of legislation. The issue of sexual harassment had pained us for just too long. I learnt from my mother and other elders, and I am sure all the other Pakistani women learnt it from their mothers that, Ghar se bahir niklo gi to aiesa to ho ga” (If you will go out of the home you are bound to face it). Sexual harassment, every time we went out anywhere, was taken as a given phenomenon, a constant in our lives.  The burden was always on us to devise ways to handle it. Of course, these ways only restricted our own lives. No one in my life ever said that it … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Justice, Pakistan, state, Women

The Human Journey

The Human Journey

The mystery of Universe and the journeys taken by humans has had an immense impact upon different civilizations of the time. How humans have traversed from one civilization to another; how languages were developed and their attributes transferred to others. How architecture, culture, and everything that defines the very “fabric of civilization” created the need to survive, to transfer the knowledge and wisdom through the feathers of time. The modern times and era owes everything … Read entire article »

Filed under: ancient civilisations

Attention Madam Speaker Of The National Assembly Of Pakistan

Attention Madam Speaker Of The National Assembly Of Pakistan

I received this email and an appended letter to the honorable Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan,  Dr. Fahmida Mirza.   This is not being posted here for sectarian debate or any other kind of debate but for right of information- any attempts at introducing a theological debate on the issue shall be subject to automatic deletion.   Surely the geniuses who believe that the second amendment to the constitution was justified should not have any problem bringing to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Parliament, People's Pakistan, secular Pakistan

Pakistani Fashion Keeps The Flag Flying High

Pakistani Fashion Keeps The Flag Flying High

Lahore to display its style streak Young designers will display a total of 62 unique creations based on specific themes * Workshops for young fashion designers to train them for the upcoming KFW By Ali Usman LAHORE: ‘Step Fashion Montage’, a one of a kind fashion show, being organised by the Step Institute of Professional Development is all ready to set the ramp on fire. The event will begin on Monday at the heart of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Music vs. Militancy

Cross Post from Dawn Blogs By Salman Siddiqui on January 21, 2010 Even though Pakistan is bleeding from terrorism and suicide bombings, no mainstream , pop music artist has come close to condemning or questioning the spread of militancy through music and lyrics. A recent video from The New York Times highlighted this issue, showing how pop acts such as Ali Azmat and Noori were keeping quiet on the subjects of terror, religious extremism, and the Taliban, while railing against America through their songs. In this context, 25-year-old Daniyal Noorani‘s debut effort ‘Finding Heaven,’ which was released on YouTube a few days ago, is encouraging. The daring single takes the Taliban and religious extremists head on, creating quite a buzz online. speaks with Noorani to find out what prompted him to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Blogging, culture, Left, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Media, Music, Pakistan, video

Pakistan: Military Undermines Government on Human Rights

Battling Taliban No Excuse for Complicity in Abusive Counter-terrorism Practices (New York, January 21, 2010) – Pakistan’s military actively undermined the civilian government’s human rights agenda in 2009, Human Rights Watch said today in its new World Report 2010. The 612-page report, the organization’s 20th annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarizes major human rights trends in more than 90 nations and territories worldwide. The report says that Pakistan’s military publicly and privately resisted the government’s reconciliation efforts in the troubled province of Balochistan and attempts to locate people “disappeared” there during General Pervez Musharraf’s military rule. The military also opposed the international community’s attempts to end military intervention in the political and judicial processes through aid conditions. “The Pakistani military continues to subvert the political and judicial systems in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Army, baluchistan, human rights, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence, war

Shahrukh You Rock !

Shahrukh You Rock !

IPL fiasco threatened to further worsen Pakistan-India ties.  Now the great King of Bollywood has stepped up to the plate and spoken on the issue. -YLH The team owners of the India Premier League (IPL) have so far stood together on the issue of not bidding for any Pakistani players in the third edition of the event. They had come out in the media denying any foul play. But now a prominent voice among them has … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cricket, India, Pakistan

Cricket: Is anyone in Pakistan fed up?

I received this email from a reader in Australia. Happy to note that we are allowed to post it. Readers are invited to comment and offer their views (Raza Rumi). Dear Raza I’m a lover of cricket in all its forms. I played it, my son still plays it as do two of my grandchildren. I like to see tough contests, and unlike many other Australians I don’t mind if we lose if the opposition is clearly better (OK, may not quite so with England). I was strongly looking forward to the current tour by Pakistan, but I’m almost breathless at the way the teams shoots itself in the foot, the toe, the mouth and whatever else they can find. I remember the Pakistani greats – Imran, Javed, Wasim, Waqar and so on, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan