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Umrah ka Safarnama (part III) by Abdul Majeed

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Growing up in times of BB

by: Naurah Khurshid I opened my eyes in a household where pictures of Benazir Bhutto and her father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto decorated the walls. Popular political slogans rolled off my tongue like nursery rhymes. On the occasion that a guest would look at Benazir’s picture and take that as a cue to express their displeasure with the Bhuttos, the entire room would erupt in intense political debate for the next couple of hours. For me, the most entertaining time of the day was when my father and uncles had political discussions. Where “Bhutto Sahab” was always discussed with a certain degree of reverence and sadness, BB (as Benazir was always referred to) was the present. Regardless of how much she was criticized for her naive politics and “political blunders” there was always a hint of hope whenever her … Read entire article »

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Umrah ka Safarnama(part II) by Abdul Majeed

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Let us imagine something better !

By Saad Hafiz: The British historian Arnold Toynbee wrote that all societies and civilizations have a cyclical course.  According to Toynbee, the mark of a decaying and disintegrating society is the transformation of its ruling elite from a creative minority to a dominant minority.  Creative minorities have drive and inspiration, do not need to justify themselves and simply act and achieve for the collective whole. A dominant minority is exclusively concerned with holding onto its power, wealth, and illusion of control.  There is also growing consensus among political scientists and economists that nations thrive when they develop ‘inclusive’ political and economic institutions, and they fail when those institutions become ‘extractive’ and concentrate power and opportunity in the hands of only a few. It can be argued that Pakistan has reached the stage … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Politics

The decision to oust Prime Minister Gilani

By Yasser Latif Hamdani A few hours ago the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that Yusuf Raza Gilani stands disqualified under 63(1) g of the Constitution. I have written extensively on this in many of my previous blog posts which may be found on this website. However I’d like to state some basic issues with this judgment in clear and unambiguous terms (sadly no one speaks in those in Pakistan: 1. The Supreme Court of Pakistan, in my legal opinion, is NOT vested with the authority under the constitution to dismiss the Prime Minister or over-rule the decisions of the Speaker i.e. Presiding Officer of the National Assembly whose decisions are his or her privilege and are covered by the parliamentary privilege clause. 2. Chief Justice of Pakistan/the entire Supreme Court of Pakistan has no … Read entire article »

Filed under: Judiciary, Justice, Pakistan, Parliament

Umrah ka Safar Naama (part I) by Abdul Majeed

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‘Gates’ in Pakistan (Scamistan)

By Prof. Farakh A Khan: Since inception of Pakistan in 1947 we have been rocked by scams and ‘hidden hands’ with unfailing regularity. Before we got hyperactive media scams were buried deeply in accusations and rumours. Now we are bombarded with Pakistan shaking news items glaring at us from our TV screens. With an active independent judiciary exposures are made at the highest levels putting in jeopardy our new ‘democratic’ defenders of democracy leaders. A plaint Supreme Court and Election Commission headed by a person who will not rock the boat (i.e. corruption) of nascent democracy is the desire of most of our present rulers. The massive Balakot earthquake of 2005 and floods of 2010 had shown us that governance in Pakistan was non-existence. Post disaster management efforts by the NGOs and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media

LivEy

LivEy

Something new and exciting has just kickstarted on Pakistan’s social media scene. LivEy is the first of its kind real time content event made by a group of personalities from Pakistan’s social and mainstream media landscape, who will be sent every couple of months to a new destination internationally. To discuss their experiences and to make new ones through social and mainstream sources into what will be,  a live as never before done travelogue with … Read entire article »

Filed under: Travel

The Wrong Kind of Muslim

By Qasim Rashid Out of the silent night, two men moved swiftly through the mosque’s front gate. All that separated a fully loaded Kalashnikov in the hands of a madman from 50 innocent worshippers was a straw curtain that hung helplessly in the doorway. “In the end, they killed eight of my brothers, and shot 20 more.” The two men belonged to a Taliban offshoot. The 50 innocent worshipers were Ahmadi Muslims. I listened silently as Yusef related the events of that ominous October day in 2005, in his hometown of Mong, Pakistan. In Pakistan, Ahmadi Muslims are the Wrong Kind of Muslims, and therefore declared wajib ul qatl. Yet Pakistan’s silence was deafening. And Mong was not the exception, but the rule. Not long after, eight Christians from Gojra, Pakistan would be … Read entire article »

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Mehdi Hasan’s Top 20

Raza Rumi Mehdi Hasan died today. There are no words to capture his influence on my generation and the ones before me. I am posting a shorter version of my essay which was published in a volume “Mehdi Hasan: The Man and His Music” (2010, Liberty Books). RIP Khan Saheb. The kesari balam has finally left for his new home.. ~ (Read more here) My friend Fifi Haroon (@FifiHaroon) tweeted the best of Mehdi Hasan. Saadia gardezi … Read entire article »

Filed under: Music

Nuclear Arsenal, Military and the Bruised Pakistani Identity

Raza Habib Raja. A few days ago, Pakistan ( or at least some Pakistanis) “celebrated” 14th anniversary of Nuclear blasts. Although over the years, I have become used to weird things being hailed and celebrated ( after all it is Pakistan) but this one has always baffled me and continues to baffle me. One of the biggest ironies of the nuclear arsenal is that I keep on hearing that it is protecting Pakistan from a US or … Read entire article »

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Are Punjabis Chauvinists?

Raza Habib Raja At the onset I would like to make one thing clear that this article is not a negation of my earlier article titled as the “The Punjabi Pakistan” . This clarification is essential because there is bound to be confusion when I am critical of a state structure favoring Punjab and at the same time try to defend ordinary Punjabis. People will object as supposedly  there are overlaps as a particular state structure  in a democratic state is at least theoretically supposed to be a representative of people’s will. Democracy as they all say is after all the game of numbers and if Punjab is the most populous province then definitely ordinary Punjabis have some say in this. A common narrative is that Punjabis are chauvinistic and are always … Read entire article »

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El Che and Sheikh Osama

By Saad Hafiz: It has been reported from the interrogation of the Bin Laden widows in Pakistan that Osama Bin Laden admired Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.  Che Guevara was the charismatic Argentine-Cuban revolutionary and close confidante of Fidel Castro, who was executed in Bolivia in 1967.  It is worth exploring Bin Laden’s admiration for Che beyond just as a fellow political outlaw and rebel against US domination. There are definitely some eerie similarities in the story of the life and death of Che and Bin Laden, the most conspicuous being that both men had ‘declared war’ on the United States and also suffered violent death in actions which smacked of US frontier justice.  We know that the Americans extracted their pound of flesh in Bin Laden’s case in a brutal fashion with elite … Read entire article »

Filed under: Taliban, Uncategorized

“SHALE GAS” AND THE RISKS WE ARE TAKING

“SHALE GAS” AND THE RISKS WE ARE TAKING

By Barrister Ahmad Uzair: The present demand for natural gas stood at 8 Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) during the winters whereas the national production from conventional sources stood at 4.2 BCF. It is no secret that the supply for natural gas has been unable to meet demand for many years now. New fields brought online over the last 3 years have been barely able to maintain the current levels of production. The reason for this flattening … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Do Mullahs Represent Islam?

By: Farooq Ahmad Khan Unfortunately, several miscreants among the Muslims are found among the Mullahs of Pakistan and perhaps the Islamic world at large. The problem at hand is that these Mullahs have swerved from the actual teachings of Islam and have blemished its image all over the world. And they are also found in various other countries such as Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia etc. Many a time, they are quoted in news related to extremism, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam