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Our Internal Demons

By Adnan Syed It has been 30 years since Pakistan took the fateful steps of sponsoring the Jihad on a state level. The fight against the Russian aggression in Afghanistan was probably justified. It was a blatant attack on a sovereign nation by a teetering super power. However when Pakistan went on to label the fight as a state sponsored Jihad, flock of die hard Islamists started congregating in Pakistan to fight the godless communists. This was precisely the turning point in Pakistani history when all the internal confusion of Pakistan’s relationship with Islam translated into a thoughtless action by the state that still haunts us to this day. We can blame General Zia-ul-Haq or Jamaat-e-Islami, or our dreaded indescribable “establishment” for pointing out the path of state sponsored armed Jihad. General … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Benazir Bhutto, Constitution, Democracy, FATA, Islamabad, Jinnah, Justice, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Pakistan, psychology, Religion, secular Pakistan, state, strategy, Taliban, Terrorism

Pakistan Weighs Attack on Militant Lair

By SABRINA TAVERNISE, CARLOTTA GALL and ISMAIL KHAN Published in The New York Times: April 29, 2010 ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Pakistani military, long reluctant to heed American urging that it attack Pakistani militant groups in their main base in North Waziristan, is coming around to the idea that it must do so, in its own interests. Western officials have long believed that North Waziristan is the single most important haven for militants with Al Qaeda and the Taliban fighting American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan has nurtured militant groups in the area for years in order to exert influence beyond its borders. The developing shift in thinking — described in recent interviews with Western diplomats and Pakistani security officials — represents a significant change for Pakistan’s military, which has moved against Taliban … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, FATA, India, Islamabad, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, USA

Traitors and Reactionaries

Dedicated to Hameed Gul and Nadeem Farooq Paracha   By Raza Habib Raja The political spectrum in our country is polarized between two extremes: patriotic conservatives and the liberals. Both these extremes are often in complete conflict and accuse the other of naivety and even fanaticism. While conspiracy theories of the rightwing are well known, I have seen that liberals are not at all far behind and churn out their own conspiracy theories in which they try to absolve the PPP government of everything under the sun. Following are the “pearls” of wisdom uttered by both sides.     The Patriotic Brigade   1.      We are patriots and love our motherland like hell. We are macho and believe in jingoism. Our favorite terms are: Islam; nationalism; traitors; baigharat liberals; strategic location; CIA; Mosad; RAW; corruption; and independent judiciary.    … Read entire article »

Filed under: dynasties, Humor, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, Society

Pakistan's Constitutional Reform (CRF analysis)

Jayshree Bajoria The Council on Foreign Relations has produced this brief – we are sharing it with the Pakistani readers with profound thanks to the CRF. Raza Rumi In a significant move to strengthen its democratic institutions, Pakistan’s political leaders have signed into law constitutional reforms (BBC) that include limiting the power of the presidency and restoring power to the provinces. Many hope the reforms will help the country tackle its many crises–security, economic, and political. Some … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Giving credit where it is due

Published in the Daily Times Giving Credit Where it’s Due (Daily Times 04/26) By Agha Haidar Raza Pakistan recently had two major delegations visiting the US. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi led the first contingent under the auspices of a new ‘Strategic Dialogue’ with the US. In the second trip, Prime Minister Gilani led his team to President Obama’s first Nuclear Summit. Attended by over 47 heads of state, the summit was the largest gathering of world leaders to descend upon the US soil since the 1940s. Recognised as one of the world’s safe-keepers of a nuclear stockpile, Pakistan gained a nod of approval from the world’s seven nuclear bomb carriers. I am unaware if many journalists or citizens in Pakistan read foreign newspapers, magazines or even blogs, but over the course of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Benazir Bhutto, Constitution, Democracy, Economy, Egalitarian Pakistan, India, Islamabad, Judiciary, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Pakistan, public policy, state, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, Yusuf Raza Gillani, Zardari

Pakistan: Clear and present danger

Raza Rumi If the parliament and judiciary want to continue exercising their newfound powers, they have no option but to act strictly within the framework of the Pakistani Constitution Pakistan is a surreal country. Only here we have long, protracted struggles for democracy and only here we are almost always ready to scuttle democracy. Perhaps Iskander Mirza was not all too wrong while making the assessment that democracy does not suit the genius of our people. An added qualification is that it does not suit the genius of the elites, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Constitution, human rights, Judiciary, Justice, Law, lawyers movement, Media, minorities, Pakistan, Politics, public policy, Rights, secular Pakistan, Society, state

PTH Exclusive: Interview with J. Jawwad Khawaja

PTH Exclusive: Interview with J. Jawwad Khawaja

Posted by Raza Rumi We are grateful to Babar Mirza who has translated an interview given by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja to Sohail Waraich in June 2007 which is recorded in Waraich’s book ‘Adlia ke Arooj-o-Zawaal ki Kahani’. The interview is a must read for all those who are interested in Pakistan’s politics and institutions. A biographical note is also available for those who wish to know more about the life and times of J. Khawaja. The latter resigned when J. Iftikhar Chauhdry was illegally … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Judiciary, Justice, Law, lawyers movement, movements, Pakistan

The More Things Change…

…the more they remain the same The ISI – a proxy for the Army, since Z.A.Bhutto’s creation of ISI’s infamous Political Cell – seems to be making it clear that it (too) is beyond accountability. After Malik Qayyum tried to show he still had some nuisance value by declaring to Hamid Mir that ‘a former head of a powerful intelligence agency had confirmed to him that (the missing person) Mr Janjua was dead’, there were news items about the police (possibly) investigating a handful of former and serving intelligence and army officers in relation to missing persons. Mrs Amina Janjua promptly responded to the possible muddying of the intelligence agency’s name by writing to The News. She declares in this letter that she does not seek investigation against any ‘valuable’ national agency … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Al Qaeda, Army, baluchistan, Citizens, Democracy, human rights, journalism, Judiciary, Justice, Pakistan, Taliban, USA

The Fight for Pakistan's Future: Violently Reflected on Campus

The New York Times, Published April 20, 2010 By SABRINA TAVERNISE; Waqar Gillani contributed reporting. April 21 (New York Times) — LAHORE, Pakistan – The professor was working in his office here on the campus of Pakistan’s largest university this month when members of an Islamic student group battered open the door, beat him with metal rods and bashed him over the head with a giant flower pot. Iftikhar Baloch, an environmental science professor, had expelled members of the group for violent behavior. The retribution left him bloodied and nearly unconscious, and it united his fellow professors, who protested with a nearly three-week strike that ended Monday. The attack and the anger it provoked have drawn attention to the student group, Islami Jamiat Talaba, whose morals police have for years terrorized this graceful, century-old … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Islam, Left, liberal Pakistan, Politics, psychology, Punjab, youth

Remembering Allama Iqbal- Storm from the East

Remembering Allama Iqbal- Storm from the East

In weltering moment of olden times, devoid of fortune and direction Cometh forward this man, we all know of him and his mind This man Iqbal, the old Sufi from mystifying corners of Kashmir The old hands that chalked, the old mind that walked in places different Remembers him the old philosophers and their works, in the old city See you him at Cordova, the old eyes of submission and grandeur Hands that deployed wizardry of nature’s gaze and its remains Not … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Routines of Conscience

Routines of Conscience Carries this man with himself different books In moments of reflection and ponder Through moments of protest and anguish In times of trance and its great elation The past in his hands and mind affixed, At times, the words float through the space At times, the words reside in heavy heart See him I at different places, in different zones In different disguises, from one to another The constant struggles, the constant battles As the situation demands, as the moments seize This old heart and soul, this old conscience See him often in conversations in diversity bounded in duty and honour and its desires For his country and for its people, occupied In moments of madness and despair As the cry for change  drips into the molten passions Recites he poems, in travels through its distance Strange but common and simple are the goals often we talk … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Philosophy, poetry, Politics

Objectives Resolution And Secularism 3

Objectives Resolution And Secularism 3

From Aaj Kal … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

What lies in yesterday?

What lies in yesterday? Only the dust and its fumes Ignore and move on To paths new and not trodden What lies in yesterday? Only heartache and dreams Forget, and move on, To the oceans new and its trance What lies in yesterday? The old music and rhymes Of the old days and nights The desert and its moonlit skies What lies in yesterday? The old note books and poems Remember and move on With your past and what lies ahead What lies in yesterday? The old childhood and places The old dreams and birth of life Travel through it like an adventure What lies in yesterday? Only the dust and its fumes The old existence of mine The old mirrors and its reflections! Kashkin … Read entire article »

Filed under: poetry

Objectives Resolution And Secularism 2

Objectives Resolution And Secularism 2

  Part 2 (Aaj Kal) proves that Mr. Jinnah stood unambiguously and clearly for a secular state-YLH … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Objectives Resolution And Secularism 1

Objectives Resolution And Secularism 1

For the benefit of our Urdu readers, we are reproducing in full the multi-part series by Lahore-based writer and intellectual Wajahat Masood who writes in Daily Aaj Kal.  -YLH … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan