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Breaking the impasse in Indo-Pak relations

By Saad Hafiz: The heavy baggage of history in Indo-Pak relations includes Partition, Kashmir, armed conflict and ongoing arms race, Bangladesh, Siachen, Kargil and Mumbai. Mostly shrill jingoism and xenophobic nationalism on both sides has historically overshadowed sane discourse or encouraged conflict resolution. The institutionalized machinery of hatred on either side of the border comprises politicians, generals and the media who can easily overwhelms any small efforts towards peace and co-existence. It seems that the people in both countries have been conditioned to hate and despise the other. Despite the mutual animosity, the two neighbours unable to change geography are destined to live together and are forced to continue their turbulent negotiations, interactions and engagements. What needs to change is the unchanged cycle of the relationship, particularly since the 1950s which has … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics

Pakistan: Women’s struggle for their rights

The contemporary socio-political and economic discourses in Pakistan are restrained strictly in the paradigm of patriarchy and capitalism. The slogan of change and revolution has been shouted out loud by some, but they are riding on the same old horses who have won in the past by the virtue of their venality to the mighty forces of status-quo, that is, the military establishment of Pakistan. There is not a single mainstream political party including PTI which questions larger socio-economic questions, i.e. patriarchy, capitalism etc. Change does not mean replacing old faces with new ones; in fact in the case of PTI they don’t even bother to bring new faces, they are so brazen that they have brought old faces with their new make-up artist. Those who have studied revolutionary movements … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

Satire: Two spies arrested in Lahore

By The Satirist Two American backpackers were arrested yesterday in Lahore on suspicion of being Indian spies. Neither the police nor the intelligence agencies have yet to confirm or deny the reports. According to a source who does not wish to be named, alarm bells were raised when one of the two men in question was heard to say “Holy cow that’s cheap” whilst dining out at a Chappal Kebab restaurant. “It was an incomprehensible error of judgment” he said, “how can you go to a kebab eatery and start extolling the sanctity of bovines. We knew from that moment that these boys were spies.” In other telling evidence both suspects were captured wearing crocodile skin shoes and in possession of wallets made from elephant hide. None of their belongings were leather products. “They … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

No taxation with representation

By Saad Hafiz: One is probably familiar with a inspirational slogan of The American Revolution: ‘No taxation without representation’, originating in the 1750s and 1760s, which meant that the British imposition of taxes on its American colonies was unacceptable without the expressed will of the people. In Pakistan an arguably perverse view of this American proclamation has been historically in the vogue; ‘No taxation with representation’ which means that rich Pakistanis including a significant percentage of national and provincial legislators, among others, do not pay taxes, forcing the government to rely primarily on foreign assistance to prop up finances. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Pakistan must tax its elite if it wants to continue receiving financial assistance: “This is one of my pet peeves; Countries that will not tax … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion, Reviews

A hope for friendship, a prayer for peace

By Chintan Girish Modi: I read this morning’s news with great delight. Soon as I signed into my Twitter account, two fabulous news items grabbed my attention. ‘Cabinet nod to easier visas for Pakistanis in some categories,’ (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/nri/visa-and-immigration/cabinet-nod-to-easier-visas-for-pakistanis-in-some-categories/articleshow/12884360.cms) said The Economic Times. ‘A year on, India-Pakistan trade relations leapfrog,’ (http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/one-year-on-india-pakistan-trade-relations-leapfrog/472745/) announced The Business Standard. Wow! It was amazing to learn that friends from Pakistan will now find it easier to get multi-city, multiple-entry visas to India. Of course, it wasn’t an overnight development. There has been a build-up to this in the last few months. We have reached this place thanks to the efforts of numerous individuals and civil society groups (http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=Q0FQLzIwMTIvMDQvMjIjQXIwMTAwMQ%3D%3D) who have held on steadfastly their deep faith in the power of peace and their hope for friendship between India … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics

Hate Virus in Our Society

By Obaid Ullah Khan: Ours is a diseased society and anyone with sanity would hardly differ with it. Many a times a single disease causes multiple symptoms in a body. A deep study of our diseased society may reveal that there is a virus of Hate in our society causing many deteriorating symptoms. Our society as a whole is suffering from the effects of Hate, whether be it individually, socially, politically and most important of all religiously. Anyone can understand that hate is the opposite feeling of Love which is a positive emotion in the human and essential in nurturing positive and constructive tendencies in human character, in contrast to that we are the followers of hate, causing a downfall in our individual and national character as a whole. The outcomes of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews

Forget Siachin… What’s a Glacier?

Forget Siachin… What’s a Glacier?

By Josh Shahryar: As an Afghan refugee in Pakistan, the first time I heard about Siachen I thought, “Black China? What’s that?” Since in Farsi, Sia is black and Cheen is China. To my young mind, it was just another Urdu word that I needed to learn and then get excited over. I read the one rupee Tarzan and Omroo Ayyar story books and the first time I learned what chalaang meant, I literally jumped! Back to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion, Reviews

Siachen what next?

Siachen what next?

By Prof Farakh A Khan (22.4.12): On April 7, 2012 an avalanche (or Glacier Surge) buried the battalion headquarter under hundreds of feet of snow and boulders in Siachen’s Gayari sector killing some 130 people (Syed, Baqir Sajjad and Ali Farman. Intense rescue efforts under way. Dawn. April 8, 2012; Baabar, Mariana. US, India offer help in Siachen search operation. The News. April 9, 2012). This suddenly jolted Siachen in focus. Unfortunately we know very little … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews

Will mainstream media speak for the voiceless?

By Amaar Ahmad: The last counsel by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) right before his passing away was for Muslims to guard against violating the rights of women and the slaves. In the Islam Republic of Pakistan today, that should have automatically meant that the rights of vulnerable and weak are safeguarded zealously. Instead, a declaration of war seems to have been made against the dispossessed and the powerless – especially the women and religious minorities of this country. The last few years have witnessed a horrific increase in incidents against vulnerable people. To add insult to injury this is often justified in the name of religion one way or another. When it comes to the treatment of women we know that domestic abuse, acid attacks and honour killings have become an utterly ugly but inseparable feature of our society. The few legislative measures … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion, Reviews

The Magical Hands of Physiotherapist

By Abbis Haider: In an equally poised India Pakistan match, with 10 balls remaining and 20 to get, boom boom Afirdi on strike, gets his hamstring pulled and falls down. With the toppling of Afridi, the enthusiasm of the whole Pakistani nation gets tumbled, suddenly, a hurricane of fluster spreads all around the world. Then, out of a blue, there appears a man with a small bag, running fiercely towards the batsman, followed by a break of advertisement on a television channel. Hey folks! We return after a 2 minute break and at once our eyes witness a bang hit for six, out of the park by boom boom. What has happened in these 2 minutes, which brought our master player back on his feet. Is this a magic! Or some kind … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

When Torture Became Virtue

By Ayesha Noor: On March 30th, 43-year-old Master Abdul Qudoos lost the battle of his life in Rabwah, Pakistan. A relatively young man, he did not die of a heart attack, nor did he die of a fatal accident, neither of a lethal bomb explosion. Instead, he was tortured to death. His tormentors were not the Taliban nor do they belong to any banned militant organization. They were not even his opponents from a never-ending land dispute. Instead, his tormentors were the very policemen committed to protecting him. Master Abdul Qudoos was born as a Muslim in 1960’s Pakistan, with every equal and free human right afforded to all Pakistani citizens. But, in the 1970’s, Prime Minister Bhutto took away his right to call himself a Muslim. Then, in the 1980’s, Dictator General Zia ul Haqq took away his right to “pose” as a Muslim, under threat of imprisonment and death. In the 1990’s, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion, Reviews

Intrigues to Incriminate Ahmadis in State Rebellion

Intrigues to Incriminate Ahmadis in State Rebellion

By Aziz Bilal: Remembering Qadir & Qudoos It would not be inappropriate to commemorate the sacrifices that the Ahmadiyya community has offered in its commitment for peace and promoting unity in Pakistan and elsewhere. Ahmadis – who have greatly developed the instinct of being peace loving, law abiding, respectful of every nation they dwell in,  affectionate and welcoming to every religious communities they live with, watchful of always defending the integrity of Pakistan & Islam throughout the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion, Reviews

Brand Pakistan

By Saad Hafiz: Nation branding is an increasingly important and influential field of theory and practice which attempts to measure a country’s reputation and provide guidance on a country’s image management around the world. This is because the branding and image of each nation state is  important in maintaining a nation’s sustainable competitive advantage.  Nations like corporations must craft complex strategic communications strategies to achieve their aims through planned communications campaigns. The annual Anholt-GFK Roper Nation Brand Index (NBI) has become recognized as the most credible measurement of a country’s international brand image.  The six categories which combine to form the NBI rating are exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment.  The overall NBI ranking is based on the average of these six scores. Despite the growth of emerging nations, the BRICS (Brazil, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

Break Up To Keep Together!

By Behzad Taimur: The 72nd anniversary of passage of the historic Lahore Resolution of 1940, which is widely credited with formalization of the idea of a “Pakistan”, as a separate state for Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, passed recently, and one must draw attention to its relevance today. Contrary to popular belief, the Lahore Resolution proposed formation of not one but several states for the Muslims, saying: “That the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority, as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.” Today, when calls for more provinces are growing louder, it should be of pertinence to us to note that our founding fathers had proposed a number of states, and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics

3Ms

By Abuzar Butt: Many of us must have heard the business term 4 Ps (product, price, place, promotion) which are important to run and sell a product. But in these Ps, there is only one ‘p’ which is most important, which, by no second thoughts, is the product itself. If you have a bad product, no matter where you place it, how you advertise it or at what price you sell it, it will never get you any business. Similarly, I was pondering over which ‘M’ (money, manhood, mind) in a man is more important for him to lead a stable and successful life. We must have heard anecdotes from our fathers, uncles and other elderly relatives about their masculinities and how they exhibited it in front of others by thrashing around … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion