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Is Pakistan descending into dystopia?

By Saad Hafiz: An expatriate friend after one of his frequent visits, described living in Pakistan as living in an Orwellian funhouse on its way to becoming a dystopian society. Dystopian societies feature different kinds of repressive social control systems and practice various forms of active and passive coercion. They are also often imagined as police states with unlimited power over their citizens, using terror and propaganda as part of ‘supervision’ and the ‘seduction’ techniques to retain absolute control. It is a bit like the fictional state described in Suzanne Collins’ best-selling trilogy, The Hunger Games, which is set in a nation, Panem, in which everything is televised. A fragmented post-apocalyptic society is ruled by the fascistic Capitol, keeping the masses quiet by feeding them reality war games featuring teenagers who … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Global Voices Summit 2012 – A Life-Changing Experience

Global Voices Summit 2012 – A Life-Changing Experience

Imagine having some 160 people from 60 countries around the globe, comprising of bloggers, journalists, photographers, film-makers, policy advisors and top academics, many of them internationally renowned and recognized. That makes up for an awesome, awesome crowd. However, one would still be apprehensive when it comes to socializing with such a diverse crowd. After all, you never know when you may say ‘Hi’ to a social snob. But imagine my surprise when every single one of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Blogging

Are We Caving in?

By Shafaat Bokhari: Having gotten up early in the morning after a tiresome struggle with the hourly load shedding of electricity at night I planned the day during which I had to buy a Pakistan International Airlines’ ticket for my wife. I had earlier promised her visit to our relatives abroad to celebrate Eid with them; my mind was relentlessly getting back to the last night TV talk show on the PTV where some intellectuals were very seriously discussing Muslim carnage in Myanmar. The discussion seemed quite unreasonable and embarrassing as none of them was referring to even more bloodshed of Muslims at the hands of fellow Muslims in our own country almost on daily basis. I was surprised to note that none of them was referring to Shia genocide in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media

The business of ramzan

The business of ramzan

By Samra Muslim The writer has over 10 years of marketing, PR and communications experience. She has recently started her own blog at   No this blog is not about how all Pakistani milk sellers, fruitwalas, etc are ripping the masses off by over charging. While I don’t agree with them cheating us (the public) like this … that is not the subject of this post! With the advent of Ramzan … suddenly our lives are surrounded with … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

The Ego and Ramadan

by Ahmad Ali Khalid: Does ‘’traditional religion’’ engender and foster the ‘’holier-than-thou’’ attitude which is perhaps the ugliest form of faith on display in the 21st century? Because certainly the ‘’liberal’’ critique of religious observance in Muslim societies especially during Ramadhan revolves around the central theme of the pious showing off. Every year our annual companion Ramadan meets not only hungry spiritual seekers but also the human ego in full pomp and ceremony. But really religious people have always realised the dangers of pious arrogance, and I mean the people who don’t practise their faith because: a)      It makes them feel better. b)      They want to race to Heaven because of the descriptions found in religious Scripture – thus treating people as objects towards fulfilling their cosmic pleasure. c)      They don’t want to go to Hell – thus people … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam

‘Save Burma, let Pakistan burn’

‘Save Burma, let Pakistan burn’

By Hasan: Social networks are crowded with pictures, pleas and appeals for the Burmese Muslims caught in the midst of a terrible conflict with the Buddhist majority in Burma. The tales and pictures (most of which are fake though) being used on social media are gut-wrenching and horrifying. Amnesty international has accused the security forces and ethnic majority of Rakhine Buddhists for the violence being perpetrated in the north. It should be well-known that this conflict … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights

Swifter, Higher, Stronger… The Olympiad of Corruption!

By Ghazala Akbar: Leaders from over 183 countries are arriving in Islamabad for the glittering opening ceremony of the first ever Olympiad of Corruption to be held in the Pakistani capital. The prestige event is expected to boost the country’s flagging economy and showcase Pakistan’s long-standing image as a serious player in the world-wide corruption league. ‘This international recognition is the icing on the cake’ said an un-named Government official. ‘For years we have had the distinction of featuring regularly in the Corruption Perception Index prepared by Transparency International but we have not gained the acknowledgment we deserve.’ ‘Some detractors even tried to throw our carefully-nurtured reputation off-track by labeling us the most dangerous place on earth. Others said we were the epicenter of terrorism. That is simply not true. It is corruption … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Taleem e Balighan: Murder of History in Pakistan

This is episode 1 of program Taleem e Balighan. Taaleem e balighan means education for adults. This program is aimed at highlighting an alternate view about Pakistan. We view Pakistan and its issues, not from an establishmentarian point of view but from an independent one. We believe that our current generation has been fed with blatant lies about our history. We have listed some important incidents in the history of Pakistan and provided a balanced view on them. The first episode focusess on Lies in history of Pakistan. In the first video, we discussed how Mr. Jinnah’s speech was tried to be censored, how many times did Mr. Jinnah visit Kashmir between 1940-47, the only speech by Mr. Jinnah in which he had to face hooting, Was Allama Iqbal actually the first person to propose the idea of Pakistan and the opposition faced … Read entire article »

Filed under: Heritage, History

Responding to Ishtiaq Ahmed’s latest myths about partition

By Yasser Latif Hamdani My Original Article in Daily Times Ishtiaq Ahmed’s Part I in response to my original article published today. First of all, I cannot be bothered to dedicate my weekly space in Daily Times to engage in an endless back and forth with Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed who – as he knows very well- I have a particular opinion of not just because he wages pseudo-history as revenge (in a country where everything from democracy to judiciary is waged as revenge) but because when confronted with a counter-point of view he resorts to the usual: “I am the foremost political science professor trained in democracy and the authors you quote– like Ayesha Jalal and H M Seervai – have no training in democratic thinking or constitutional theory”.  Indeed I would not … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Media, get your facts straight!

By BB :   It was the morning of March 3, 2009. Nine a.m. to be exact. Slivers of information had begun trickling in. The Sri Lanka cricket team – on their way to play the second Test against Pakistan – had come under attack. Bullets were zipping back and forth across Liberty market. Back in the newsroom, phones were buzzing in synchrony. Producers were menacing reporters to make sense of the happenings on the ground. A pandemonium had erupted. Nothing was clear. Assumptions and heresy had been mashed with facts. How many militants were engaged with the police? Any casualties? Who were these militants? A litany of answered questions sat heavy in the newsroom. A few minutes later, the content head ambled in. An emergency meeting was in session. Producers from every department scrambled inside … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media, Uncategorized

“When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”

“When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”

By Mariam Saeed Khan: You may not know what is ahead but you will know what lies in-between, not the past.  Rumi said a long time ago, “And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”Face yourself first, then the rest of the world. Don’t waste your time in growing up or going back. Either of it would not bring anything. It is exactly like this: how do you write anything? First you brainstorm but … Read entire article »

Filed under: New Writers

Remembering historian KK Aziz: On his third anniversary

By Faheem Khan: Every year, on 9th July comes of the death anniversary of  Khursheed Kamal Aziz ( KK Aziz). He was a superb historian and a great intellectual. He taught history at Cambridge and Heidelberg. He also served as Chairman of National Commission of Historical Research during the regime of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. I met him first time in August 2001. I wrote him a letter praising his book, ‘ the Making of Pakistan’. After reading that letter KK Aziz invited me to his home on tea.  In spite of his formidable scholarship and devastating eloquence, he was very accessible and very humble. I became very close to him. As long as I lived in Pakistan, I would occasionally  visit him. After I came to Canada, I would call him occasionally too. His … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

“The Democracy, Dictatorship and the Presidency”

By. Dr. Zaeem Zia: When Pakistan and India came into being into 1947, both states faced almost the same problems. Today, we can see a remarkable difference between the two countries. India is one of the largest democracies in the world; on the other hand in Pakistani democracy cannot get out of its infancy. Of many reasons for the failure of democracy to survive, the President House was one. Presidency is the sign of the integrity, dignity and symbol of federation in Pakistan. The President himself is the head of the state, and holds highest office to serve its citizens. Being said that, the role of the presidency on the contrary to its duties, has never served the democracy. Unfortunately, Presidency was used as a proxy for the establishment to derail the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy

Ahmadis: The persecuted community of Pakistan

Strange that no one cared to look up the meaning of the Arabic word ‘Masjid’. Had they done so, they would have found that it is derived from the word ‘sajada’ and literally means ‘place for prostration’. A little further study and they would have found that the word ‘Masjid’ was used by the early Muslims for all places of worship, of all religions and not exclusively for a place of worship for Muslims. By Morafi : What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; (Romeo & Juliet) Four hundred years ago when the great William Shakespeare penned these words, one wonders whether he could have imagined how wrong he would be. Listen carefully and one can hear the echoes of chants from the shores of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Religion

“Audacity of Hope” (An open letter to all Pakistanis)

“Audacity of Hope”  (An open letter to all Pakistanis)

Sultan Babar Mirza Reportedly, two foreign players have historically played the role of major kingmakers in Pakistan. Be it Ayub, Bhutto, Zia, Benazir, Nawaz Sharif or Musharraf – plenty of rumours say these ‘leaders’ largely owed their thrones to either the United States of America or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have some evidence of this as well (not as much as one would like, but enough). Before going further, let us … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Politics