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A truly Islamic welfare state

By Saad Hafiz: The establishment of a truly Islamic welfare state is a popular slogan in Pakistan, particularly during election season. It is presented by its proponents as an all-encompassing panacea for societal ills. It is argued that such a state would eliminate vices like feudalism, lawlessness, injustice, ethnic and sectarian conflicts, obscenity and vulgarity, and ostentation. It would reduce the ever widening gap between the rich and the poor; it would dispense impartial justice to all irrespective of the status and would help in the equitable distribution of wealth. An Islamic welfare state would achieve this equitable distribution within the framework of individual freedom but with spiritual and legal imperatives to safeguard public interest, moral constraints against unearned income, and social obligations to ensure a just distribution of income and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam

Rebuttal to Yaqoob Khan Bangash’s Rejoinder on Jinnah’s Pakistan

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Mr Yaqoob Khan Bangash has written a rejoinder to my rebuttals both here and in Express Tribune. Once again Mr. Bangash has proved my point about him not having any historical facts to go by.  I could not respond to it yesterday given some urgent professional commitments but I think it is time to place on record how Mr. Bangash distorts history with impunity.  He also resorted to personal attacks which do not merit a response but should be referred to to show the desperation with which Mr. Bangash has responded to my rebuttals. First thing is first :  Yaqoob Bangash has conceded 2 out of 3 points I had raised. The first being of the definition of Muslim which cannot be logically connected to a party that … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Jinnah, Pakistan

Bangladesh’s Independence Day

Bangladesh’s Independence Day

For an ordinary student of History, it is puzzling to know that Bangladesh does not celebrate its Independence day on the day that it seceded from Pakistan i.e. 16th December and instead on 25th March. This was the day when Operation Searchlight was started by Pakistan Army against its own citizens and Army’s proxies Al-Shams and Al-Badr played their own ugly part in it. Bengalis chose to commemorate the martyrs of Operation Searchlight and chose March 25th as the Independence … Read entire article »

Filed under: Anniversery, Army, Bangladesh, Elections, History, India, movements, Pakistan

Tale of Musharraf’s Coup in 1999

Tale of Musharraf’s Coup in 1999

Parvez Musharraf, ex-Dictator, landed in Karachi today, amid much fanfare(and while wearing a suicide jacket). He was ousted democratically on 18th August, 2008 and left the country. Pakistan has successfully completed transition from an elected government to a caretaker setup without direct intervention of the Military for the first time in its history. This does not mean we forget the history of military interventions and the disastrous consequences. To commemorate the arrival of Musharraf, we … Read entire article »

Filed under: Anniversery, Army, Civil Service, Constitution, Democracy, drama, History, ISI, Islamabad, Pakistan, Politics, Society, state, Uncategorized

What are Imran Khan’s Chances?

What are Imran Khan’s Chances?

Raza Habib Raja I will be lying, if I underestimate the PTI show in Lahore. No matter, how cynical you are, grand rallies like these never fail to impress. Imran Khan is back and with a bang. In an eerily similar way to 30th October 2011 ( when he came out of age and announced himself as a potential political force), I once again witnessed an inspiring display of patriotism and passion. I have differed with … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Lahore, Rural, urban

Article of the Day: Leave it to Allah

Article of the Day: Leave it to Allah

by Muhammad Shehzad [Excerpts] A new trend was noticeable in the recent sectarian attacks in the country. Earlier, the target was primarily the Asna Ashri Shias(followers of the 12 Imams). Now, however, the scope is widening. The Asna Ashris are a powerful community in Pakistan. Like their Deobandi rivals-whose proteges include the now defunct militant Sipah Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar e Jhangvi-the Asna Ashri have the Sipah Mohammad. In the late ‘90s and early 2000, the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, baluchistan, Citizens, History, human rights, Identity, Iran, ISI, Islam, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, minorities, Pakistan

Death of a Nation

Death of a Nation

by Hafsa Khawaja Holding on in the midst of political, social and economic storms, the Pakistan of today is an illustration of an almighty bedlam. Unsurprisingly, death and destruction have now eased into humdrum routinely occurrences for most people; Predictably throwing a cloak of desensitization over them; giving rise to chronic apathy. A common trend that has been nurtured in this environment is the juxtaposition of tragedies for comparisons to exhibit selectivity of people’s reactions and responses. To question … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, culture, drama, History, human rights, Identity, Opinion, Pakistan, Society, violence, war

Four Witnesses and Quran 24:5

Many laws enacted today in the name of Islam in Pakistan and elsewhere have caused immense harm to minorities, freedom of religion and to women’s rights.  One specific outrage is when women who have been raped are punished on the counter-accusation of adultery. Critics of Islam claim that Quran 24:5  is the root cause of this problem which requires a victim to provide four witnesses for proof of her claim. The following discussion shows that even a textual interpretation of the said verse should refute both the critics and the outrageous requirement placed on women. Consider the following scenario: A woman X accuses a man Y of raping her.  In an ‘Islamic’ court the legal counsel of Y asks her to produce the 4 witnesses (who do not exist) to prove … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Turkish Diary

Turkish Diary

Day 5 Many shades of religion in Istanbul   By Samra Muslim “Samra Muslim has over 10 years of experience in public relations, marketing and communications, social media, event management and brand activation in a diverse range of industries. She is currently a student of social media in addition to her day time job as a marketer. She has been associated with Etihad Airways,  and has worked for Starwood Hotels & Resort and Zindagi Trust in the past.  She … Read entire article »

Filed under: Travel

The Death of Nobody

By Ghazala Akbar: Hundreds of lives lost, homes destroyed and we are not even in the first quarter of the year. In other countries this would constitute a national emergency. Heads would roll, governments might fall but in Pakistan, it’s just another bad day at the office. We are as they say a very resilient people. Very. There is no other option. When you are down, the only way is up. That’s what an optimist like the late Parveen Rahman might have said. Parveen who? Exactly. In the recent tsunami of violence, it’s easy to forget. Coming hard on the heels of back to back bombings of Shia neighbourhoods in Karachi and Quetta plus the burning of homes belonging to Christian families in Lahore, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep count or remember names. Parveen Rahman, an unimportant nobody was … Read entire article »

Filed under: peace

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this is test … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Article of the Day: Looking Back at Democracy’s five years

Article of the Day: Looking Back at Democracy’s five years

What five years of civilian governance in Pakistan looks like Source: (Foreign Policy Magazine Blog) by  J. Dana Stuster (Assisstant Editor, FP magazine) For the first time in Pakistan’s history, a democratically elected civilian government has successfully finished its five-year term — despite a flurry of anti-government protests. But what does that success look like? Foreign direct investment collapsed after President Asif Ali Zardari’s government came to power in 2008, and has continued declining since, according to the World Bank. Meanwhile, foreign aid from the United … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Jinnah’s Pakistan : Rebuttal to Yaqoob Khan Bangash

By Yasser Latif Hamdani I usually try and not respond to Mr. Yaqoob Bangash’s Articles because in my opinion for someone who claims to be a historian, he has never had any truck with historical facts.  However, there are some contentions that he has made in his article “Jinnah’s Pakistan” published 19.03.2013 in Express Tribune that are so completely off base and historically inaccurate that not responding to these contentions would be unfair to the memory of Mr. Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. I have also addressed these contentions in my book “Jinnah: Myth and Reality”. His claim is that Pakistan as it stands today is Jinnah’s Pakistan because of the following: 1. Jinnah’s 11 August speech is a one-off speech and that he spoke mostly for an Islamic state. This is false … Read entire article »

Filed under: Jinnah

Picture of the Day 18.03.2013

Picture of the Day 18.03.2013

Squadron Leader Muhammad Mahmud Alam emerged from 1965 War as Pakistan’s top scoring fighter ace. The painting shows him in his favourite F-86 F-35-NA with the victory tally marked alongside the aircraft. (Nine kills and two probables). Air commodore Muhammad Mahmood Alam passed away in Karachi today due to prolonged illness Source:(http://www.al-nasir.com/www/PVA/Library/AviationArt/awpainting.php?GRP_ID=1958-1967&ITM_ID=AW49) … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Religious intolerance

By Saad Hafiz: Religion should provide social control, cohesion, and purpose for people, as well as another means of communication and gathering for individuals to interact and reaffirm social norms. Historically, a turn to a religion based upon love was a great moral revolution and made possible a genuine humanisation of human life. The premise is that all humans are equally creations of God; all fall equally within His providential reach; all have an intrinsic importance and value; and all will be judged by God alone. Yet events themselves show that religion can play a highly negative role, aggravating schism, justifying hate, even fostering deadly intolerance. In many regions, adherents of all the world’s major faiths commit indiscriminate acts of violence on the grounds of protecting their religious identity and serving the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Religion