Articles Comments

Pak Tea House » Archive

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” Kurt Vonnegut’s recently published daily routine made we wonder how other beloved writers organized their days. So I pored through various old diaries and interviews – many from the fantastic Paris Review archives – and culled a handful of writing routines from some of my favorite authors. Enjoy. Ray Bradbury, a lifelong proponent of working with joy and an avid champion … Read entire article »

Filed under: Writers

Anti-Americanism in the Muslim world

By Saad Hafiz: Many Americans are baffled and angered by the deep-set anti-Americanism prevailing in the Muslim world. Some Americans see it as an expression of a malevolent ill disposition that goes beyond the pale of reason, revealing the inherent venality, weakness and instability of Muslims. In this worldview, the US is the beacon of freedom and democracy and a major aid provider, which makes it especially confounding that it would be the target of Muslim rage. The genuine fears about extremism and violence in the Muslim world continue to play a role in driving these views. Former President George W Bush captured a widespread concern when he said, “Like most Americans, I just cannot believe the vitriolic hatred of the United States because I know how good we are.” There are … Read entire article »

Filed under: USA

RIP Ardeshir Cowasjee

Raza Rumi (My comments cited in this story at Al Jazeera) Ardeshir Cowasjee, a Parsi businessman, philanthropist, and a pillar of cosmopolitan Karachi, turned to public activism through his writings. First, as a contributor of letters, and later, as a columnist. The candor in Cowasjee’s columns was unprecedented, and very soon, he started to become an irritant for the governments of the day, various mafia in his native Karachi, and the forces of bigotry. In this process, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media, obituary, Pakistan

Israeli conflict

Israeli conflict

By Daniyal Hasan Gaza combat has given all the emotional fools who think of themselves as responsible of entire Ummah, a feeling of satisfaction because they are living the situation they love to have. Youth is provoking emotions by sharing the sentimental and fake pictures of burnt children on social networking websites. Some are also demanding to send the Pakistani troops to help the Palestinians as if Pakistan army consists of ubiquitous super heroes. Those who exploit … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

Gaza and Pakistan

Raza Habib Raja As a liberal, I believe we should be consistent across issues. There is absolutely no way can I justify what Israel has done over the years. It has usurped Palestinian land and has indulged in severe human rights violations. Moreover extremely biased support of United States for Israel has enabled it to simply ignore the rest of the world. Let us not forget, that there have been numerous resolutions in … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Islam, minorities, Palestine-israel

Khaki Games

By Saad Hafiz: It is evident from recent events that the Pakistan military has never accepted the concept of civilian control. Historically, the generals have maintained a consistent attitude that civilian leaders are, at best, temporary office holders to be outmanueuvred or outlasted. Civilian governments have been focused on the possibility of coups and the challenges of keeping the military in the barracks. The country’s founders, preoccupied with nation survival, could not foresee the threat to civilian control of the military. Large military forces were not viewed as a danger to liberty; surprising, as that was a legacy of the British colonial period and the army’s occupation. Military forces were not seen as a risk to a nascent democracy. This allowed the establishment of an aristocratic and autocratic military class, which prevailed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army

Akbar Zaidi and the critical re-evaluation of Jinnah

By Yasser Latif Hamdani This morning writing in The News, Akbar Zaidi, a respected economist, called for a critical re-evaluation of Jinnah’s role in Pakistan’s history. Just to re-cap this was business as usual – Jinnah’s democratic credentials are questionable because of his streaks of authoritarianism, his claim to secularism is limited to one speech about mandirs, mosques etc, Jinnah’s Pakistan is at best a half truth and there is no critical re-evaluation of Jinnah in Pakistan which needs to be rectified and so on and so forth.   … Read entire article »

Filed under: Jinnah

Outside in

Outside in

From whence came the rivers By Shahbaz Ali Khan Shahbaz, a former Industry relations and PR professional, has spent the past 8 years experimenting with the frontiers of professional competence by insisting on not specializing in anything but thinking, communicating and writing. He tweets at @intensedesigns     Having recently moved to this ancient city, I felt I had to share the joy it has given me since my arrival. I will tell you why I love Lahore. This is not the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Lahore, Opinion

The case for micro-financing

The case for micro-financing

By Laila Rehman Laila Rehman is Social Media Manager for SilkSkin, overseeing monetary optimization on their earned, paid and owned digital platforms. She is based in Karachi. A report released last month by the World Bank unearthed evidence that less than 25% of Pakistani women use micro-finance loans. The report takes a closer look at two challenges facing the micro-finance sector in Pakistan. The first is the potentially widespread practice of women borrowers acting as conduits for loans passed on to other beneficiaries. The … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

Defining national interest

By Saad Hafiz: Having struggled for decades, Pakistan has an opportunity to replace its incapacity for strategic thinking with political realism and use the concept of national interest as a guideline in its policy-making. The national interest is the preferences of a nation’s leaders, or put differently, the goals that are sought by the state, which are usually expressed in terms of physical survival, economic prosperity and political sovereignty. These preferences, or set of objectives, are related to general societal goals, persist over time, and have a consistent ranking of importance in order to justify using the term. Hans Morgenthau described the ‘national interest’ as a composite declaration derived from those values that a nation prizes the most: liberty, freedom, security. Carl von Clausewitz said that all states’ behaviour is motivated … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy

Irrational Patriotism and Pakistan

Irrational Patriotism and Pakistan

Raza Habib Raja In Pakistan, watching the media talk shows can be an enlightening and in fact entertaining experience. The “pearls” of wisdom uttered in these talk shows are a testimony to the intellectual orientation of the hosts, participants and unfortunately even the regular viewers who have become addicted to this Pakistani version of Indian soap operas. Like Indian soap operas, these talk shows aim to create melodrama, controversy and try their level … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Education, FATA, Taliban, Terrorism, Uncategorized, USA

Freedom of speech

Freedom of speech

By Ms Kiran Rizvi There has been a mention or two of the alleged ‘freedom of speech’ in USA, primarily in regard to the anti-Islam movie that attracted undue attention all over the world. While everything is to be taken in context, I felt that the subject needed some clarification after I read a piece on Viewpoint from an expatriate Pakistani professor residing in US. While I can understand that it is hard to comprehend this … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

No change is change

No change is change

By Saad Hafiz: As the US Election approaches, the battle for the White House remains too close to call. The outcome is determined by an Electoral College, which has a total of 538 votes. To win a majority, a presidential candidate needs at least 270 votes. National polls did swing dramatically in challenger Mitt Romney’s direction after he trounced President Obama in the first debate. Recent polls show the two candidates in a virtual dead heat … Read entire article »

Filed under: USA

[Update]: Accused teacher blames school administration in the blasphemy mess (part 3)

 by Salman Hameed (from the blog www.irtiqa-blog.com/) [This is related to the blasphemy mess of Farooqi Girls High School].  The discussion in the blasphemy mess has now shifted to ‘who is to blame for blasphemy’. On the one hand, this is to be expected. Individuals are not only fighting for their lives but also the lives of their family members. Last Friday, the school administration put out a full page ad in the local newspaper placing the blame for any blasphemous material in the negligence of the teacher (who is in hiding). Now, the accused teacher has blamed the school administration. While this exchange of blame is understandable, what may get lost in this is our outrage towards the burning of the school on the flimsiest of accusations, and the larger problem of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Religion

Update: Umair’s father denied bail in the blasphemy mess in Lahore (part 2)

by Salman Hameed (From the blog www.irtiqa-blog.com) [This post is related to the blasphemy case involving Farooqi Girls High School. Please see these earlier posts here and here]. I don’t know the current status of Umair Asim. His name is not mentioned in the story below. It is possible that he was arrested in the initial stage (along with his mother and father) but now only his father is in jail (and he is in hiding). But it is also possible that most of the focus is on his father, and his name doesn’t make it in the news. In any case, his 77-year old father’s appeal for bail has been denied. Yes – apparently his crime is so severe that he cannot even be granted bail. Oh – yes. His crime is that he … Read entire article »

Filed under: Religion