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Thinking about Public Reasoning – The Engine of the Democratic Process

AA Khalid On PTH we were blessed to have a thoroughly engaging and nuanced discussion on the nature and scope of religion in a democratic society thanks to Feroz Khan’s intersting post. I took a lot of points away from the debate and realised that when we are discussing the prospect of faith in society we have to consider a vast array of issues. There is no one model of secularism, so we must have a separate debate on what type of secularity do we wish to see. In conjunction with a discussion on secularism, we need to debate the prospect of liberalism and what it’s relation to democracy must be. Linked in with this crucial point there has to be a discussion on what type of ‘’State’’ does Pakistan need. … Read entire article »

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Nazeer Akbarabadi: The Hindustani Poet

This is a very interesting article sent to us by Ms Razia Hussain. Apart from a brief biography of the poet, it is an excellent analysis of language as well as the social circumstance prevailing at that time. It talks about a language which later on evolved into two major languages, i.e. Urdu and Hindi. A must read for language buffs and also for those who want to have a look at history through a completely different perspective By Razia Hussain Nazeer Akbarabadi (1735-1830) was one of the first ‘Hidustani’ poet – unfortunately he turned out to be the only one. In early 1700s a new language was emerging in and around Delhi. This language was a mixture of some local dialects (Hindvi and Bhaashaa) and Persian, the language of the royal court. … Read entire article »

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VIEW: The Ilam Din fiasco and lies about Jinnah

 —Yasser Latif Hamdani Courtesy Daily Times In the recent debate over the blasphemy law, a group of Jamaat-e-Islami-backed right-wing authors have come up with an extraordinary lie. It is extraordinary because it calls into question the professional integrity of the one man in South Asian history who has been described as incorruptible and honest to the bone by even his most vociferous critics and fiercest rivals, i.e. Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The lie goes something like this: ‘Ghazi’ Ilam Din ‘Shaheed’ killed blasphemer Hindu Raj Pal and was represented by Quaid-e-Azam at the trial who advised him to deny his involvement in the murder. ‘Ghazi’ and ‘Shaheed’ Ilam Din refused and said that he would never lie about the fact that he killed Raja Pal. Quaid-e-Azam lost the case and Ilam Din was … Read entire article »

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Naturalizing’ Blasphemy Laws

Nadeem A. Butt If you have wrapped some thing like fruit, samosa or sweet in a newspaper, if you deliver (throw) or print a newspaper which has any Quranic Reference or the names like Ibrahim, Kareem, Wakeel, Shafi, Ismail or even Dera Ismail Khan, Lala Musa, or Fazl-ur-Rehman, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh etc. (because they have direct or attributed holy names in them), or you some how express that Muhammad (SAWW) was a “Bashar” and not “Noor” or otherwise, then you should be worried, very worried, because it may cause you to be put to death or at least death trial which may haunt you for years. This is not just an assumption, this has actually happened to several people, Muslims or Non Muslims alike! Any crooked mind can go to … Read entire article »

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The Giant in the East – I

By Adnan Syed This three part series examines the rise of India as an economic giant, the threats that India faces in this remarkable rise, and implications for Pakistan. (AZW) Before the Twenty First Century As the twentieth century dawned, the world had continued to consolidate the technological boom during prior two centuries. This technological progress started with the invention of the printing press in fifteenth century. This invention quickly enabled mass availability of knowledge. Man began exploring the world around him more intently, by compounding the knowledge already gained by the earlier pioneers. As the scientific renaissance kicked in, man began accumulating more wealth by producing, discovering and innovating further. With the arrival of the scientific renaissance, the human output growth rate that had remained close to zero for thousands of years … Read entire article »

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A prominent Pakistani scientist is stoking conspiracy fires

Salman Hameed On my recent visit to Pakistan, I was amazed at the number of conspiracy theories floating there. Everything was blamed on a shadow conspiracy. And I heard these statements from very very (yes, the second very is not a typo) educated people – and many of these people have close connections to policy makers. Some of the craziest things I heard was that the recent crash of a commercial plane, despite the fact that the weather was bad and the plane was flown by a pilot two years beyond his retirement age, was actually caused Blackwater agents trying to crash it into Pakistan’s nuclear facility at Kahuta. That American President Harry Truman, soon after the end of World War II declared that we may think that Soviet Union is our (United States) … Read entire article »

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Indian circus comes to town!

Courtesy Express Tribune Ivan Petrovich Pavlov is famous for his research on conditional reflexes, though he did much else to serve the cause of scientific inquiry. The phrase “Pavlov’s dog” has come to describe someone who merely reacts to a situation rather than using critical thinking. Famous English writer, Aldous Huxley, used the idea of Pavlovian conditioning as a major theme in his dystopian novel, Brave New World. … Read entire article »

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The Tyranny Of The Idiot Brigade

By D. Asghar I was flabbergasted by the recent statements of Sunni Ittehad Council of Pakistan, warning of complete anarchy, in case if any blasphemy laws were repealed. It is downright ridiculous to expect anything different from these idiots. Enough has been said and written about the recent case of Asiya Bibi. Of course any and everybody has weighed in on the case to gain maximum political mileage. As much as it is denied, the hyper sensitivity of the religion in masses has brought us to this deplorable condition. It is rather comical to see us in such a disarray in presence of such councils, which supposedly should bring various religious parties under an umbrella to create harmony. But in our country the words, clergy and harmony, are supposedly never aligned, no matter what. … Read entire article »

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Ideological confusion amongst Neo-PPP diehards

By Yasser Latif Hamdani (This post is solely my opinion. Other PTH editors, in particular maker-founder Raza Rumi and leading editor Raza Raja, have nothing to do with it. I want to make it clear so that they do not feel compulsively compelled to apologise on my behalf again- YLH) A blog that is (un)critical of PPP, supports (un)secularism, defends organised religion and PPP’s policy of imposing Maulana Sherani- a right wing Islamo-fascist- on the nation has further exposed just how confused these ”critical” supporters of the PPP are.  In an interview with Nadeem Farooq Paracha, a liberal par excellence and a real hero to all people fighting for sanity in Pakistan, they asked a question that laid bare just how terribly ignorant of history and how bankrupt their ideas are. PTH’s leadership has in the past surrendered to this blog. … Read entire article »

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The RGST melodrama

by Husham Ahmed The recent coverage of RGST issue by a section of media has been distasteful to say the least. Instead of presenting facts, at times many news anchors and hosts of TV shows have been found slanting the news reports to fit their own agendas. The fact of the matter is that there are no new taxes being implemented in the form of RGST. While fixing the rate to 15 percent only the exemptions are being withdrawn while largely sparing the food items. It is true that being an indirect tax the withdrawal of exemptions in various commodities will lead to rise in prices but at the same time it will also expedite the much-needed documentation of economy. Let’s face it we have to increase our revenues in order to … Read entire article »

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Why it is impossible to repeal blasphemy laws

By Feroz Khan Babar Awan’s statement proves that the state of Pakistan is incapable of removing any laws once they are created on the basis of religion. In the last few days, if anyone has noticed, the statements coming from the officialdom have gradually obscured the issue. Therefore, one has to applaud Babar Awan for his honesty and candor for calling a spade a spade. In this sense, Babar Awan stands heads and shoulders above those minions of Pakistani politics, who do not have the moral and intellectual courage to state the truth in Pakistan. First, Salmaan Taseer proclaims that Asif Ali Zardari will pardon Asiya Bibi and then, the minister for minorities, Bhatti, says that Zardari will pardon her but it will not be an immediate pardon and will take time. … Read entire article »

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“Liberal” PPP and its “Liberal” Law Minister

PPP’s self-professed Eagle of a Law Minister has declared that the blasphemy law will not be changed. Remember PPP is the same party that made a theocratic constitution and took it upon itself to declare who is a Muslim and who is not- classic takfiri methodology. Courtesy Paktribune.com No one can change blasphemy law: Babar Awan Friday November 26, 2010 (1116 PST)   Email Most Popular Print Add to Favorite ISLAMABAD: Law Minister Babar Awan has categorically said that no one should think of … Read entire article »

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PAKISTAN: The Christian community in Karachi needs immediate protection from imminent attacks by extremist

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission PAKISTAN: The Christian community in Karachi needs immediate protection from imminent attacks by extremists Around a dozen Christian youths were arrested and tortured and their houses searched by their Muslim neighbours in the presence of police officers to arrest a young Christian man, Zohaib alias Noami, (20), the son of Pervez Rahi, who was in love with a Muslim girl, Anum, (18), the daughter of Muhammad Abid. Noami and Anum ran away together on the night of November 20 to marry in another city. After the incident a reign of terror was spread though the Christian community living in Baldia town and Saeedabad, Karachi, the capital of Sindh province. The houses were attacked by Muslims in groups and many young Christians were arrested and handed … Read entire article »

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End Polygamy in Pakistan

By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari (Courtesy Daily Times) An estimated 17 percent of all families in Pakistan are associated with polygamy in their primary relationships. This means that as many as one-fifth of our population lives in an arrangement of compromise, most likely to take up a share of resources and pieces of the emotional pie that have come to them at a social cost … Read entire article »

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Salman Taseer “Apostate”?

Majlis-e-Ahrar Pakistan and Jamaat-e-Islami have issued an “apostasy” decree against the bold Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, who dared to question the blasphemy law. Salman Taseer is in good company. The same parties abused – it does not need reminding- Mahomed Ali Jinnah, the founder of this nation and called him “Kafir-e-Azam”.  Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar wrote those famous lines “Ik kafira kay peechay Islam ko chora, yeh Quaid-e-Azam hai yaa kafir-e-Azam”. Courtesy PakTribune: LAHORE: Religious parties’ agitation … Read entire article »

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