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Frustrated Strivers in Pakistan Turn to Jihad

By Sabrina Tavernise and Waqar Gillani Published: February 27, 2010 Cross Post from The New York Times LAHORE, Pakistan — Umar Kundi was his parents’ pride, an ambitious young man from a small town who made it to medical school in the big city. It seemed like a story of working-class success, living proof in this unequal society that a telephone operator’s son could become a doctor. Lahore has enduring social problems like chronic unemployment. But things went wrong along the way. On campus Mr. Kundi fell in with a hard-line Islamic group. His degree did not get him a job, and he drifted in the urban crush of young people looking for work. His early radicalization helped channel his ambitions in a grander, more sinister way. Instead of healing the sick, Mr. Kundi went on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Army, Economy, FATA, Islamabad, Lahore, Pakistan, poverty, psychology, Taliban, Terrorism, USA

Taking on the Taliban, by Steve Coll

Cross Post from The New Yorker The Taliban’s jihad, like rock and roll, has passed from youthful vigour into a maturity marked by the appearance of nostalgic memoirs. Back in the day, Abdul Salam Zaeef belonged to the search committee that recruited Mullah Omar as the movement’s commander; after the rebels took power in Kabul, he served as ambassador to Pakistan. “My Life with the Taliban,” published this winter, announces Zaeef’s début in militant letters. The volume contains many sources of fascination, but none are more timely than the author’s account of his high-level relations with Pakistani intelligence. While in office, Zaeef found that he “couldn’t entirely avoid” the influence of Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence. Its officers volunteered money and political support. Late in 2001, as the United States prepared … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, India, Islamabad, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence, war

Lawyers torture cops in Lahore

This is a disturbing report. Rule of law will remain a distant dream when officers of the court start behaving in this manner. PTH Lawyers torture cops, Geo team Friday, February 26, 2010 By Numan Wahab LAHORE: In yet another act of hooliganism, lawyers tortured the Anarkali Police SHO and a Geo News correspondent on the premises of the District and Sessions Court on Thursday. The Samanabad police arrested two people — Sajid Hussain and Nisar Hussain — who happen to be brothers of a woman lawyer, Mohsina Javed, on Wednesday night in a case. On Thursday, ASI Akram of the Samanabad police produced the accused brothers in a court where Anarkali police Naeem Anwar Bajwa and Inspector Zaheer of the Islampura police were also present in connection with different cases. A group of lawyers attacked … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Our new co-editors

PTH is lucky to have attracted the time and commitment of two formidable co-editors. I am most grateful for BC and AZW to contribute their writings and take the time to edit, moderate and upkeep this cyber-zine. With our formidable YLH, the trio have been helping me in keeping the elusive ‘fine [im]balance here. Please welcome them  – I am sure that their identities are not new to the readers. Here are brief profiles that reflect their interests, pursuits and more – Raza Rumi (founding editor, PTH) B. Civilian escaped from an unpopular political history as a libertarian into the world of Dilbert. He has recently liberated himself from this refuge and has become a student of Law, not the texts that are taught and qualify a student for a degree, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Pakistan: democratic governance is the only way forward

Pakistan: democratic governance is the only way forward

by Raza Rumi Given the average shelf life of any civilian government, it is almost miraculous that the incumbent government has survived and there are signs that its removal is not immediate. The longevity of civilian order has less to do with the inherent strengths of its style of governance or delivery of public goods that it had promised in its manifesto. The survival of this government is an outcome of the lack of options … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Pakistan, Politics, public policy, state, Yusuf Raza Gillani, Zardari

Intelligence ?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani I was  invited yesterday to a get together at the Islamabad Club by the Indian High Commission because- as I was informed by the political officer of the High Commission- of my articles on the life of Quaid-e-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah,  the founding father of Pakistan,  in particular my piece titled “The Future Belongs To Jinnah”.    I went wearing a Pakistani flag on my chest. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Global Water Trends Afloat Pakistan’s Water Crisis

By Halima Khan Water is necessary for human survival and development while water is a scarce good. Conclusively lack of water hinders development and also dignified life. This assessment is obvious from global trends, as well as from Pakistan’s national and local struggles for better access to water.  According to figures available by the United Nations and other international organizations, 1.1bn people are devoid of sufficient access to water, and 2.4bn people have to live with no sufficient sanitation. In keeping to current trends the projection is that about 3bn people of a population of 8.5bn will experience water shortage by 2025. 83% of them will belong to developing countries, more often than not in rural areas where even today now and then only 20% of the population have contact with sufficient … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Science

Fashionistas Not Revolutionaries

Fashionistas Not Revolutionaries

Lahore Fashion Week has brought Pakistan Fashion Debate back in international media.   The first piece is from  CNN: Lahore, Pakistan (CNN) — Bare backs, plunging necklines and high-cut hems. Western media recently reported that the bold statements made by Pakistan’s fashionistas at Lahore Fashion Week demonstrated how designers were rejecting conservative dress in the South Asian nation. But the country’s top designers and models say that last week’s four-day fashion extravaganza wasn’t about defying extremism. “I won’t go as … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fashion, Pakistan

Pakistan’s Newspaper Owners Must End Stalling on Fair Wages

PTH supports the cause of Pakistani journalists whose employers – big, powerful, political and corporate magnates – keep their critical workforce underpaid and thus open to manipulation and vulnerable to economic needs. It is time that an independent Supreme Court provides complete justice to this group. Raza Rumi The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned to learn of a new effort by Pakistan’s newspaper owners to secure a judicial order that declares the law on wages and working conditions in the industry contradicts constitutional freedoms. According to reports received from the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate, a bench of the High Court of Sindh in Karachi held one hearing of the petition brought before it by the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) and the Herald Newspapers group yesterday and will resume hearings tomorrow. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Judicial Coup in Pakistan

Judicial Coup in Pakistan

The views expressed in this piece are not those of PTH. This article was sent to us as a contrarian viewpoint and in the interest of promoting a debate, we are posting it. Some of the contents are controversial; and we hope that the readers will correct the perceptions about the judicial activism that is supported by many people in Pakistan. (PTH Editors) Once a democratic champion, the Chief Justice now undermines the elected government. (WSJ-OPINION … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Pakistan's first winter olympics skier….

Posted by Raza Rumi Pakistan’s Muhammad Abbas, left, arrives for a free skiing session at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. Abbas, Pakistan’s first Winter Olympian, started skiing by strapping two planks of pine wood to his shoes with thick rubber bands. He honed his skill through observation, studying other skiers on a tiny slope near his home. Look at Abbas now. He’ll have real ski boots and real skis as he heads down the same slope as Bode Miller, Ted Ligety and Aksel Lund Svindal in the giant slalom race Tuesday at the Vancouver Games. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer) Read article: Pakistan’s Muhammad Abbas skis to the finish area … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, sport

From India to Pakistan, 1961

Here is something worth a look. A glimpse into the past – Queen’s visit to Karachi sadly reflects how embedded colonialism remained in the foundations of Southasian societies. click [and well] enjoy. Raza Rumi L/Ss of buildings and large crowds. Several shots of Queen Elizabeth II being driven through the streets in open topped car with President Ayub Khan. M/Ss Ladies seated at table. M/S Another group at table. Several shots of young women wearing Pakistani fashions. L/S Karachi ladies lining up to greet the Queen. M/S Three women seated at table. L/S Women lined up. C/U feet of girls pan up to C/U of girl. C/U pan down girl in national dress holding pot. C/U Girls feet with rings on her toes. C/U Pakistan girl in national costume. C/U Girls hands smothered … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Pakistan: A Shift in Dealing With the Afghan Taliban?

We are publishing this interesting analysis by a respected think tank. However, it should be clarified that the views expressed here are not those of PTH. The purpose of this post is to inform the readers and elicit responses and debates that may not be possible within the confines of conventional media. Raza Rumi STRATFOR – February 19, 2010 | 2143 GMT Summary Pakistani security officials said Feb. 19 that Mohammed Haqqani, son of Jalaluddin and brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani (the leader of the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan) , was killed in an unmanned aerial vehicle missile strike Feb. 18. The strike comes just after the arrest of Mullah Baradar, the Afghan Taliban’s second-in-command, in Karachi. These two actions against the Afghan Taliban on Pakistani soil could be part of the ongoing shift … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Jinnah And Urdu-Bengali Controversy

By Yasser Latif Hamdani This is a quick blog to correct a historical fallacy.  A false impression persists – thanks to people like Amar Jaleel and the like who in the right royal Urdu press fashion have a hard time sticking to the facts- that Jinnah- who according to Jaleel was drugged or cornered into making the speech in question- somehow told Bengalis to outlaw Bengali language when he declared Urdu to be the state language of Pakistan.  This is historically inaccurate. This blog is not to discuss whether Jinnah’s declaration was politically suave or naïve but to set the record straight about what it was that Jinnah said which laid foundations for the Urdu-Bengali discord in Pakistan and led to Pakistan ultimately declaring both Urdu and Bengali the “national languages” … Read entire article »

Filed under: Bangladesh, History, Languages, Liberal Democratic Pakistan

MFA Creative Writing Program in HongKong: The Best Writers for Asia

The Department of English at City University of Hong Kong are looking for the top creative writers who want to write Asia.  This summer, the University is starting a ground-breaking Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing specialising in Asian writing in English, the first programme of its kind in the world.  Based in the Department of English, the innovative 45-credit, two-year programme will accept a limited number of students in creative non-fiction, fiction & poetry.  The degree is benchmarked to international standards for the MFA.  The Hong Kong-born author Xu Xi has assisted in the design of the programme and is joining the Department as their first writer-in-residence on March 1. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan