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A city not unlike home

By RAKHSHANDA JALIL A visit to Karachi gave RAKHSHANDA JALIL that elusive connect with India when she was least expecting it. I t appears to be a truism much acknowledged that Delhi and Lahore are soul sisters. Yet, I must confess, I saw no such striking resemblance between the two cities on my first visit a couple of years ago. A recent visit to Karachi, however, struck a chord in my born-in-UP but raised-in-Delhi heart. Here was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Karachi

The fearless moderates of Pakistan

Watch this video where Asma Jahangir utters bitter truths and a woman from the audience puts the bigots to shame. Apologies to those who cannot understand Urdu/Hindustani. PTH Admin … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Women

The Curious Case of Raymond Davis

By Ali Usman Qasmi A decade hence Raymond Davis’s indiscretion of killing Pakistani civilians ‘in self defence’ would have evoked relatively little stir. But in present day Pakistan, an overwhelming majority of the Pakistanis find his act simply outrageous. Nevertheless to say that Davis shot at the two youngsters without any provocation gives rise to a quandary regarding his motives.  One does not need to be a lawyer par excellence to tell that in the case of an intentional murder one has to figure out the ‘motives’ that have led the accused to commit the murder. I read a newspaper article claiming that Davis got infuriated because the two men were filming him with their mobile phones. This they were doing, according to that article, because Davis was a gun carrying diplomat … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Terrorism, USA

India and Pakistan: conflict or co-existence

By Saad Hafiz Pakistan should accept that India as a major power in South Asia can exert significant influence on this region due to the size of its armed forces, economy,  population and democratic credentials which no other nation in South Asia can match. India is also well on its way to being recognized as a global power by other countries in the region and beyond, despite the yet to be fulfilled dream to obtain a permanent Security Council seat. From attaining regional supremacy and the ability to project its global aspirations; India has also moved decisively towards achieving another objective articulated by the prominent Indian strategist the late K. Subrahmanyam (KS) “India needs strategic partnerships with all democratic, pluralistic and secular powers to counter the combined threat from an alliance of … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Pakistan

The Days of “friendly” Opposition and Unfriendly Partnership Are Over

Raza Habib Raja In an expected move the PPP and PML (N) have finally estranged thus marking the end of a unique period of “cooperation”. Although there were undercurrents of rivalry through this time period but nevertheless it was a very interesting and at times significant partnership. The most interesting thing was that in the centre PML (N) in opposition role was friendlier where as in Punjab where PPP was actually a coalition partner, PML (N) took a harder stance and hence rifts and squabbles continued to surface right till the end. It has been a strange time period best defined by oxymoron: friendly opposition and unfriendly partnership. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics

A constructed enemy?

By Raza Rumi Multiple subjectivities plague any ‘objective’ measurement of anti-American sentiments in Pakistan Since the end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Pakistani society has been a playground for political Islam; and today the latter drives and defines all discourse. Anti-Americanism appears to be embedded within political Islam’s extremist expression; it extends to some quasi-mainstream religio-political parties, to certain youth wings and radical preaching groups, to militants and terrorist organizations, some of which have clear linkages with Al Qaeda. The recent murder of Governor Salmaan Taseer has exposed the inherent fault lines in Pakistani society. A simple murder has acquired ideological dimensions challenging the laws of the land as well as prospects of rule-based governance. In the wider context, pro-militancy and anti-militancy political coalitions are being painted as “pro-Islam” and “anti-Islam”, even … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, USA

Pak has all the potential to grow: BD High Commissioner

Sent by Malik Sohail Hussain (Chairman FPCCI Standing) Pak has all the potential to grow: BD High Commissioner Situation in Pakistan not as bad as foreign media presents There is need to explore the avenues of cooperation Islamabad: Bangladesh High Commission to Pakistan Suhrab Hossain has said that SAARC countries need to enhance trade by eliminating barriers to eradicate poverty and push common interests. He said that Pakistan can achieve its export target of $24.86 billion for the next fiscal year by focusing on regional markets. Pakistan can supply engineering goods to regional countries including sugar and cement plants, industrial equipment, ships, automobiles, small aircrafts, machine tools, domestic appliances, and defence equipment, which is second to none, he said. “Pakistan needs to improve law and order situation and do a little more for consistency in policies with … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Picturing Pakistan’s Floods: A Photographer Looks Back

Picturing Pakistan’s Floods: A Photographer Looks Back

By Jonathan Makiri A Pakistani man and boy, displaced by floods, walk through flood waters on Aug. 22, 2010 in the village of Baseera near Muzaffargarh in Punjab, Pakistan. Haiti, Chile, Eyjafjallajokull — 2010 was a year when catastrophic natural disasters felt in abundance and seemed to span the entire calendar year. With the media focused on the dire conditions these disasters caused, the devastating floods that swept across Pakistan, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Photos, Punjab

Pakistan Bashing: Our Favourite Pastime

By D. Asghar You get a few Pakistani families gathered for lunch or dinner, here in the US and there you have it. A perfect afternoon or evening in ruins, as someone will take a seemingly straight forward discussion to a unabashed, full scale, Pakistan bashing rampage. You have your usual start from the current political situation, or any event at hand and soon you will notice the discussion turning into a major heated debate on the Pakistan Resolution and the major blemishes committed by the founding fathers. No one is denying that a debate is necessary on almost any and everything to enhance understanding and resolve the discourse. But the constructive criticism often turns into ludicrous and base less rhetoric. This speaks a lot about our decaying mental state, where some of … Read entire article »

Filed under: People's Pakistan

Fine spirits–London—A story about Helen Raw

Nothing Raw about this HELEN: By Frank Huzur in London There is a quiet intensity and a special look in her eyes. Though some feckless, floppy-haired philanderer might say she is a treacherous petite cat. Ah, that could be the bleak sigh of nagging despair in a green heart. Helen Raw has soulful eyes and a tender heart, and she is an actress, producer and a director, too. I was expecting her to be like I had imagined the countenance and contour of her heart and mind ahead of running into our maiden rendezvous. There were not many elements of surprise. Nonetheless, she throws many surprises in a conversation tossing from arts and aesthetics of British drama and Hollywood oaks to ‘good, bad wheeze love in a warm climate movies of Bollywood. It … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Bollywood

Congo’s Children With Pakistan’s Founder

PTH received this via email. Hope the readers would enjoy this story. Congo’s Children With Pakistan’s Founder Pakistani Blue Helmets In The African Nation Jinnah Public School is commonly known as the Jinnah School in this central African country. The Congolese students honor Pakistan once every year at the annual function by reciting the Pakistani national anthem. Some 4000 Pakistani civilians and soldiers are helping Congo-Kinshasa stand on its feet. MUHAMMAD USMAN | Thursday | 17 February 2011 | Pakistani Blue Helmets In Congo KINSHASA, Congo—I am serving with the UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo. The contribution of Pakistani civilians and military in this country under the UN has earned a lot of respect for Pakistan. I have attached a recent photograph of JINNAH PUBLIC SCHOOL here … Read entire article »

Filed under: Children, Pakistan

Pakistan: On the edge of chaos?

By Dr. Niaz Murtaza Salman Taseer’s murder is shocking and condemnable, as is the subsequent celebratory reaction among certain circles.  However, is Pakistan really suffering from the terminally incurable cancer of extremism, as many people, even well-wishers, are consequently concluding globally? Are extremists poised to take over? We must trace the trajectory of extremism in Pakistan to answer this question. The birth of extremism in Pakistan obviously occurred under Zia. However, orphaned early by the death of its ideological father, violent extremism reduced significantly by mid-1990s, though the propagation of extremist ideology continued unchecked in Madrassahs and elsewhere. Zia’s orphans were subsequently adopted and nurtured by his military successor, Musharraf, though his guardianship extended solely for pragmatic reasons, unlike Zia’s pragmatic-cum-ideological linkages. In order to defeat the PPP and PML-N in the 2002 … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Two Faiz celebrations in Lahore

Ammar Aziz has sent this exclusive piece for Pak Tea House on the recent centennial celebrations held for the great poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz. We are posting this without prejudice as debate on such important public concerns is vital. However, the views expressed here are not necessarily those of the PTH team. We would welcome rebuttals on this space. Admn Lahore’s Mall road was as crowded as always. Behind the modern age vehicles – coming violently from the both sides of the road- and amongst the old silent trees, I saw him, walking very slowly on a footpath. The old man was holding a little red flag. Those ragged dusty clothes, lengthy gray hair, wrinkled mystic face and small piece of scarlet; there … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Literature, Pakistan, poetry, Urdu

Pakistan: Impaled on the horns of an economic dilemma

By Dr. Niaz Murtaza Pakistan’s economy is currently afflicted by two problems requiring diametrically opposite remedies: economic stagnation, which dictates expansionary policies, and inflation caused by a fiscal gap, which requires contractionary policies. Pakistan thus suffers from stagflation. Given their conflicting remedies, should Pakistan prioritize economic growth (real stability) or inflation control (financial stability)? Neoliberal economists always prioritize financial stability, arguing that it automatically ensures real growth. The IMF and the US (which suffers a larger deficit and debt burden but does not fully practice the flawed neoliberalism that it preaches) are asking Pakistan to raise sales taxes and eliminate subsidies. This strategy will certainly reduce the fiscal gap. However, it may not reduce inflation since sales taxes and withdrawal of subsidies on utilities, petrol and food can be inflationary. Moreover, it … Read entire article »

Filed under: Economy, Pakistan

“Problems of a Multi-Cultural society and the way out”

By Riaz Ali Toori A particular community of people living in a country or region, and having shared customs, laws, and organizations is called a society. The social fabrics of a society make it inter-dependent. There could be peculiar differences among the people living in a society that lead to conflicts that sometime lead to great dilemma like war on terror. The gush of unrest we are witnessing today is just because of clash of thoughts and lack of tolerance among the individuals. The other human catastrophes including poverty, unemployment and inflation also play a vital role in fortifying the conflicts. The influx of divergence could be disastrous enough to lead this world towards complete collapse. We need orchestrated efforts to bring down the rising temperature to a freezing point in order … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, History, Society