Articles Comments

Pak Tea House » Archive

A tale of two attacks

By Ayesha Noor On September 22, 2013 the Taliban killed 85 Christian worshippers during a well-planned suicide attack in a Peshawar Church.  On May 28, 2010, the Taliban killed nearly 86 Ahmadi worshippers in two highly organized and well-coordinated suicide attacks on two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore. The church attack took place when Christians were engaged in prayers during Sunday service. The Ahmadi mosques attack occurred when Ahmadis were engaged in Friday prayers on, well, a Friday afternoon.  Everything is common in these attacks. Despite demanding security several times, the provincial governments gave cold responses to both communities. Both attacks were done in the name of Islam i.e. to wipe infidels from the face of the Earth. And both attacks stained the white part of the Pakistani flag bright red.  However, the tale of two attacks took opposite angles once the news of the attacks spread. While reporting the Ahmadi mosques attack, media first used … Read entire article »

Filed under: Identity, Islam, minorities, Peshawar, Religion, violence

A nightmare while I was awake

By Qurat-ul-ain Haider Mama and Baba, can we go back to home? You know I am scared. I am in terrible pain – why can’t I speak? This is unfathomable for me. I am uncharacteristically nervous! I want to become free – I want to be safe. After finding myself in the hospital bed, I tried to change my direction several times, wanting to hold my teddy bear back and wanting to stand up, but I found it a terrible and painstaking task. Whenever some time passes while I am awake, an auntie in a white dress injects something in my drip and then things gradually become blurry and I fall asleep. However, since last week, I want to tell mama about the pain, about my nightmares but I do not know … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction, human rights, violence

Provision of Education in Slums of Lahore

Sumble Butt  Every morning Noor wakes up with nursery rhymes echoing in her ears from a charity school in Johar Town managed by a Non- Government Organization, where she and her two younger brothers study. Noor’s father is a car driver and draws a salary that can barely meet the nutritional requirements of his family. She and her three siblings live in the servant quarters of the family who employs her father, Ramzan. It became possible for Noor to join a school when Ruba Humayun opened up the charity school named, “Door of Awareness” in her neighborhood, where she and several other children like her get free education. Ms. Humayun is an activist and social worker, who was once distributing food to the poor and needy children in the khachi-abadis (slums) close … Read entire article »

Filed under: Children, Education, poverty

National Maududian Hypocrisy and the Peshawar Blast

National Maududian Hypocrisy and the Peshawar Blast

  (Maulana Maududi – the God Father of Islamic Fundamentalism and Terrorism. Also Haider Maududi’s father). By Yasser Latif Hamdani As the nation comes to grip with the horrible massacre of Christians in Peshawar,  Haider Maududi on Duniya TV (which shamelessly said “jo kachra saaf kartay thay un ka safaya ho giya)  decided to muddy the waters by claiming that this was bound to happen in a country founded in the name of religion. FACT: This fiction that Pakistan … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Attack on Church, Taliban and Democracy’s Paradox

The Attack on Church, Taliban and Democracy’s Paradox

Raza Habib Raja Today another suicide blast took place targeting the Christian community. I really don’t know what to say because a suicide blast is in fact no longer news unless it accounts for many causalities or targets a minority. The latter grabs attention less because of the horror of the local populace but more due to the international spotlight. And ironically the spotlight always ends up making Pakistanis defensive. It has to be a conspiracy to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Islam, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Taliban

Balochistan cabinet conundrum

By Adnan Aamir On 9th June, Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch took oath as Chief Minister of Balochistan. He is the first Chief Minister in history of Balochistan who belongs to the middle class. The selection of Dr. Malik triggered a wave of happiness amongst the people of Balochistan that some of their problems will be solved. In the Balochistan assembly, PML-N had clear majority but Nawaz Sharif made a landmark decision by nominating Dr. Malik for the Chief Minister-ship of the troubled province. Since then, there has been a long wait for the formation of the cabinet of Balochistan. Three ministers took oath soon after Dr. Malik but they have not been allotted portfolios.  Now it has been almost 100 days that Cabinet has not been formed and the Balochistan cabinet … Read entire article »

Filed under: baluchistan, Politics

Islamic concepts of fighting insurgency

By Abdul Qayyum Khan Kundi Today I got another question emphasizing that whether Islamic concepts instructs that we should negotiate with insurgents. Before I give my view on this, I want to qualify three things: Until few years ago it would have been possible to hold negotiations with Pakistani Taliban as they had grievances about social injustices and rule of law. It was a local issue and their objectives were very clear Quran has clearly stated that in bilateral relations Muslim countries should work together to develop stronger economic and security ties with each other. It also instructs not to form security alliances with non-Muslim countries at the expense of a Muslim country. That does not mean Muslim countries can not have trade and other relations with non-Muslim countries. Protecting lives and property of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Taliban

Facing the music in Kashmir

By Ghazala Akbar   ‘If there is a Paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here’ extolled the Mughal Emperor Jehangir waxing lyrical on the earthly splendours of the Vale of Kashmir. There can be few more magical settings in South Asia than the 17th Century Mughal Shalimar Bagh blooming in late summer glory with a backdrop of the Zabarwan Hills. This was the extraordinary venue of a Western classical music concert organized by the German Ambassador to India and the internationally-renowned Bombay-born Parsi conductor, Zubin Mehta with the support of the Indian Government.  The strains of Beethoven, Haydn and Tchaikovsky wafting through the crisp mountain air would have certainly delighted the aesthetic sense of many a Mughal Emperor. But did it strike the right note for the people … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, human rights, India, Kashmir, Music

In Appreciation of the Outgoing President

By Waqas Habib How would you all feel if I make a claim that Asif Ali Zardari was the one and the only real President in the history of Pakistan? I am sure that I have your attention after this making what Pakistani media would call, an “outrageous” claim. During the past 66 years, most of the Heads of the State (Presidents as well as Prime Ministers) have been autocratic in nature. Once in power, they have tried to consolidate their hold by concentrating most of the authority in their hands. Even so called democratic rulers have not proven to be the exception. Let’s not forget Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, arguably the most popular leader, ruled with an iron fist and accumulated almost all the powers in his hand. Likewise, Nawaz Sharif, during … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Elections

Parliament’s decision will not fade the Ahmadi contribution to Pakistan

Today 7th September would mark the 39th anniversary of the infamous decision by Bhutto’s parliament to declare Ahmadis ‘non-Muslims’ for the purpose of constitution. By meddling in religious matters and pandering to Mullahs, the progressive Pakistan of 1960s eventually turned into a hotbed of extremism with a divided society that is confused about ideology. What people has Pakistan disowned in these 39 years? Following is a list of a few of the many sons of the soil – all of whom happen to be Ahmadis – who were Pakistan’s true heroes and whose contribution to the nation is being maligned and erased by people whose own loyalty to the land is dubious. 1. Dr. Muhammad Abdus Salam: A Physicist of world acclaim who won the Nobel Prize in 1979 and was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Semantic Irrelevance

By Ayush Khanna Kashmir has been on the boil at regular intervals for a long time now and every time it is, it pleads for attention and coherently states that the status quo is unacceptable and cannot perpetuate. The state has been an innocent victim of the juvenile nationalisms of India and Pakistan. But that is only the pretext behind which the two states hide their positions on Kashmir, with the main reason being the primary resource of the valley – water.  The emphasis has been Kashmir the state, the land and not Kashmiris the people, a fact well known to them. In the wake of the recent Ramban killings, Kashmiris ask the often repeated questions, “Why are the Indian people silent?” “Where is the Delhi protest we would like to see … Read entire article »

Filed under: Colonialism, History, India, Kashmir

Dreaming about Asian Tigers

By Saad Hafiz Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif restated his dream recently to turn Pakistan into an ‘Asian Tiger’. This title became synonymous with some East Asian nations that achieved high growth by pursuing an export-driven economic strategy. On the surface, Mr Sharif’s desire appears more like a pipedream and less a realistic goal. For a brief period in the 1960s, Pakistan did enjoy a higher level of economic growth and wealth creation like the Asian Tigers but that can offer little comfort today. In fact, the present economic fundamentals support the view that Pakistan is the sick man of the region with little prospect of being transformed into a rising economic tiger. The basic rules of competition remain heavily skewed in favour of a tiny elite led by the military, whose … Read entire article »

Filed under: Economy, south asia

Undue Restraint

Azhar Ali Absence of pain is joy, is nowhere truer than in Pakistan. Unable to be happy with ourselves, we have condemned our spirits to a state of limbo. Courting catastrophe is a favourite sport. Brooding is a norm and it is pathetic to see that people blessed with so many good things in life are unable to feel fortunate. They are afraid to celebrate what they have and more and more inclined to lament what they don’t or shouldn’t have. Parks in affluent areas after getting tired of waiting for visitors grow tall grass to welcome other forms of life. Even wedding ceremonies, akin to unreserved expression of human festive nature, fail to stir any jolly feelings. As laughter is vulgar and smiling coquetry, Eratones (the god of happiness) must be … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan