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Meet Nadir Khan, the Cobbler from Bajaur

by Aasem Bakhshi Nadir Khan, the cobbler from Bajaur who sits at the corner of my street, carries the kind of iconic baggage usually associated with cobblers from Sufi folklore and mystic literature. His character inspires me, his sensibilities vex me and his paradoxes keep me engaged with mine. Being well aware of each second he lives, Nadir Khan spends a quarter of the year with his family in village, another quarter busy earning on a footpath in this metropolis, and another in the way of Allah, as he finds it to be. My self proclaimed wisdom and religious pragmatism is forced to zilch in front of his embodied response to time. … Read entire article »

Filed under: musings, Pakistan, Religion, Society

Asma Jahangir's victory is a cause for celebration

Raza Rumi Asma Jahangir’s victory in the Supreme Court Bar Association elections is a major development in the legal and judicial history of Pakistan. She is the first woman to hold this office, and a progressive rights activist as well. Her struggles against injustice, discrimination and oppression have spanned over nearly forty years and are globally acclaimed. PTH wishes her all success and hopes that she is able to fulfil the mandate for which she has … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Judiciary, Justice, Lahore, Law, lawyers movement, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, movements, Pakistan, Rights

Are there any moral standards independent of God's will?

By Aasem Bakhshi Socrates: If that which is holy is the same with that which is dear to God, and is loved because it is holy, then that which is dear to God would have been loved as being dear to God; but if that which dear to God is dear to him because loved by him, then that which is holy would have been holy because loved by him. [...] But you still refuse to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Philosophy

RETIREMENT-A DYSFUNCTIONAL STAGE OF LIFE

A man is considered as a microcosm of the world. He has to play his Destined role as an actor on the cosmic stage of life. A day, after all, comes when he has to retire from the routine working process of life. Retirement, therefore, is a turning point in one’s ongoing routine of life. But the term retirement has got different for different men or women due to the pattern of one’s working conditions. A retired man or woman of a private organization, a professor, a teacher, a civil servant or a military man will be having quite different approach in one’s social circle, behaviorism and attitudes. One gets rid off already set views, plans and procedure of daily routine. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Infrastructure of anti-Muslim Hate in the US

From the Washington Post The dismissal of Juan Williams’ from NPR once again exposes the difficulty America is having discussing Islam in a cool or rational manner. Williams’ exchange with Bill O’Reilly featured much of the usual ignorance, with both agreeing that, although undefined “good Muslims” do exist, all Muslims must be considered potential soldiers in an Islamic war against America. This ludicrous belief is not only a distortion of reality, but also poses a serious threat to the well-being and security of the United States. In adopting this position, Williams and O’Reilly were reflecting the climate of hatred against Muslims that is fueled by prejudice and lack of knowledge. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

A 'desi' desire for Aman ki Asha

by Adnan Shahid (Courtesy: The News) I am a proud Pakistani. I wear my national identity openly. But I am also a strong advocate of Indo-Pak peace. In 2004, I had the opportunity to work on a short term consulting assignment for a multinational oil and gas company in Delhi. Relations between the two countries were then lukewarm at best. But I still felt the warmth at the personal level, which reinforced my belief in the need for people-to-people contact. … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process

APPEAL: DAWN TV should re-consider hiring Talat Hussain

APPEAL: DAWN TV should re-consider hiring Talat Hussain

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Strong title? Well I suggest you read Talat Hussain’s ridiculous piece in an Urdu newspaper. To respond to his article: Angelina Jolie is a hundred times more respectable than you . She has done more for this country than you will do in another 5 lifetimes. However I am more worried about Dawn TV. Dawn News – when it was in English- was the only hope for sanity and good sense in journalism in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

18th Amendment Order – more questions than answers

By Raza Rumi The short and interim order has disappointed many quarters that had been lobbying for a grand showdown between the judiciary and the parliament. Institutional conflicts could engineer systemic breakdowns. However, the apex court has avoided the route of appeasing its core constituency — the activist lawyers and bars — which for some odd reasons have been arguing for a governance paradigm that locates judicial dominance at its centre. Pakistan’s quest for parliamentary democracy has sought representative rule and no unelected institution, howsoever effective or popular, can appropriate that space. The interim order on the petitions challenging the 18th Amendment to the Constitution has tacitly acknowledged this reality. The bone of contention in this saga has been the insertion of Article 175-A which revised the mode of appointments in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Where Is The Change Mr. Obama?

D Asghar Politics is a strange game of “imagery.” There is no doubt that Show Business and Politics has a lot in common. On the silver screen, the movie makers have to have the right ingredients to keep the audience captivated for a few hours, or else their flick gets literally “canned” for ever. On the political scene, the aides and advisors serve that purpose and make sure that the persona of the leader, clicks with the masses or the leader is not electable. In the Post 9/11 America, we live in a hyper sensitive world, which is nothing less than paranoid about any and everything Islamic or Muslim. It is sad that in a country like US, there are deliberate attempts by … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Brilliant PTH editor Raza Rumi and contributor AK Chishti demolish Fareed Paracha of Jamaat e Islami

By Yasser Latif Hamdani [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcwTORU0120&feature=related] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Basic structure myth

—Yasser Latif Hamdani From Daily Times Thank heavens the apex court in our country has shied away from answering the question of basic structure and binding, as it were, the dreams and aspirations of the future generations of this great state of ours to what is essentially a hackneyed idea. Does the Pakistani constitution have a basic structure? Could the general will of a people be suspended cryogenically in a period of our choice? The founding father of this nation at least answered this question with an emphatic no when he vetoed a resolution by some Muslim League quarters to commit Pakistan to an Islamic polity. He sternly told them that this would amount to “censure” on every Leaguer and that the people of Pakistan alone would decide what their constitution would be. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Baba Farid's shrine and the barbarians within us

This morning arrived with the shocking news of the recent barbarity played out in Pakpattan (formerly known as Ajodhan) when two criminals left bombs outside the shrine of Baba Farid. Eight innocent people, returning from morning prayer, lost their lives and about 2o were injured. Baba Fariduddin Ganje Shakar’s shrine was the latest victim of terrorism. We have now entered into a decisive phase of the ongoing battle. What is the purpose of attacking a shrine other than the fact that it defines the historical reality of a peaceful and secular Punjab. Baba Farid is revered by Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus of the subcontinent. He is the leading light of Chishti school of Sufism in Indo-Pak subcontinent. Other than his status as a mystic, Baba Farid is the pioneer of modern … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

The Wars of the State.

By Feroz Khan The reality has a way of obscuring the obvious. As the nation of Pakistan deals with the multiple threats facing it, it seems doubtful if it even understands the full gravity of the existential challenges, which face it. For too long, the state of Pakistan has identified the identity of its problems in terms, which seemed alien to the nature of the problems themselves. This article is not about Pakistan’s “place in the sun” or why the dreams of greatness, nourished for so long and wished upon so fervently, never materialized, but rather it is about an explanation that seeks to answer, why Pakistan is tottering on the brink of failure as a nation. This article is not about Jinnah or what Jinnah wanted and neither is it a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Royal Confusion: An interview with Ali Azmat

PTH is publishing this exclusive interview of Ali Azmat, Pakistan’s popular pop singer who has gained inordinate attention due to his controversial views and suggestions for the country. We are grateful to Fazeelat Aslam for sharing this interesting narrative that sheds light on the royal confusion that permeates the urban middle classes of this country. Raza Rumi I recently interviewed Ali Azmat, former long locked rockstar, turned peace activist, turned conspiracy theorist and on occasion political analyst. Azmat has been a proponent of the Zaid Hamid school of thought, but wants to clarify that his views extend beyond what the public currently percieves. Azmat insists on stating his autonomy and that while he collaborates with Hamid, he stands on his own. Azmat tells me he stopped drinking branded beverages twelve years … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

In August of this year.

In August of this year, owner Daryll Mann lost his cat in Coventry, England. The animal was discovered 15 hours later when Mr Mann heard her cries from inside a wheelie bin. After checking his security cameras he discovered a woman, Mary Bales, had grabbed the feline by the neck and thrown her in the bin. The police and the RSPCA were called into investigate the incident. The public outrage was swift and brutal. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg expressed his shock while a concerted media campaign led by Britain’s notorious tabloids condemned this act of ‘inexplicable cruelty’ and called on Miss Bales to serve the maximum six month prison sentence. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan