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Reading: Some Reflections (and the Books I read in 2016)

Reading: Some Reflections (and the Books I read in 2016)

Aslam Kakar I grew up in a small village on the periphery of Pakistan. In childhood and till my undergraduate studies in Lahore, I did not read at all. Perhaps, I did not have the opportunity or perhaps I just did not care. Or may be I did not care because of the environment. There was no library where I lived. I never saw a book store till the age of 18 when I went to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Books, culture, Education, Fiction, Lahore, LGBT, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Love, Nature, Opinion, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, peace, Politics, psychology, quetta, Religion

The Profession of Prostitution – II

The Profession of Prostitution – II

By Najeeb Kakar In my last article, about the profession of prostitution, I deconstructed why prostitution is considered a viable source of revenue by poor Pashtun women. I had also given a detailed analysis of destitute women of our allegedly religious, traditional and intrepid society being obliged to this act. In my concluding piece, I broadly examine the  incalculable causes of prostitution entrenched as a whole in Pakistani society how and why respected women have been … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Dance, Law, men, minorities, Opinion, Pak Tea House, Peshawar, Politics, poverty, psychology, sex, Women

The Profession of Prostitution

The Profession of Prostitution

By Najeeb Kakar      Many writers and intellectuals boldly write and speak particularly about the menace of terrorism and extremism plaguing the country. Every commoner, religious fanatic, liberal fascist, atheist and feminist is likely to raise their voice against terrorism, extremism, Talibanisation, social inequalities, minorities’ rights, and the growing abuse of human rights. However, very few actually discuss that, why in our society – prostitution has been adopted as a reasonable alternative by thousands of women … Read entire article »

Filed under: Corruption, culture, human rights, journalism, Law, men, minorities, movements, Opinion, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Peshawar, poverty, psychology

Malala Yousufzai Winning Nobel Peace Prize: Divided Reactions from Pakistanis on Social Media

Malala Yousufzai Winning Nobel Peace Prize: Divided Reactions from Pakistanis on Social Media

Malik Omaid Malala Yousufzai the Swat girl who wrote diaries as “Gul Makai” for the BBC Urdu service and was shot by Taliban on speaking for Girls right of education won this years Nobel Peace Prize. While the whole world was praising this young girl, 17 years of age and the youngest of all Nobel Laureates, for her courageous promotion of Girls education not only in Taliban effected Pakistan but also worldwide, she was target of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Arts and Crafts, Children, China, Citizens, Civil Service, Conservation, Constitution, Corruption, culture, Dance, Democracy, Drones, Education, Egalitarian Pakistan, Environment, Europe, executive, Fashion, FATA, Heritage, human rights, Identity, Images, India, Iran, Islamism, journalism, Justice, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, Literature, Love, Malala Yousufzai, Middle East, Music, Northern Areas, obituary, Opinion, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, peace, Photos, psychology, quetta, Raza Rumi, Religion, Reviews, Rights, state, Storify, Sufism, Taliban, Target Killing, Terrorism, violence, war, Women, youth

Poem:The Hungry Face

Poem:The Hungry Face

” This poem was written to highlight the plight of children, far removed from education and comforts of home and confined to dreaded routines of existence” – The Daughter of Pakistan, in search for bread and water…….the quest continues and so her questions…. As she rests her soul against the pole The blistered feet and in tattered clothes The only place, where she can breathe The open fields and the crowded streets In search for bread and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Children, Education, Labour, Pakistan, poetry, poverty, psychology, Rights

Peshawar Youth Plan Their Future Amid Violence

National Public Radio’s The GT Road Blog In an area of Pakistan that has become synonymous with Islamist militants, a mural on a wall speaks of the other side of ethnic Pashtun culture: “Welcome to the Northwest Frontier Province, the home of hospitality.” The mural is out of date — the province was just renamed Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa. And while the snarl of traffic at the entrance of Peshawar gives the impression of life humming normally, this thousand-year-old city is under siege. It is the capital of the restive province and gateway to Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt. Suicide bombers have attacked the city nearly 40 times in the past 14 months. The famous market of the Old City is a favorite target — and is considered too dangerous to visit.  … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islamism, Pakistan, Peshawar, psychology, Religion, Terrorism, violence, youth

Pakistani-Americans and Police Sharing, and Trying to Spread,Trust

Pakistani-Americans and Police Sharing, and Trying to Spread, Trust Cross Post from The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/nyregion/17conn.html By ANNE BARNARD (New York Times) — STRATFORD, Conn. — Last month, a resident of Avon, Conn., received a threatening letter full of religious references. The police chief there, Mark Rinaldo, wondered whether the letter implied a broader threat from a Muslim militant. He called Dr. Atique A. Mirza, a Pakistani-born Muslim cardiologist, who studied the letter for cultural, religious and political clues. They concluded that the threat probably involved a narrow dispute between neighbors. Now that a Pakistani-American man from Connecticut, Faisal Shahzad, stands accused of trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, setting off soul-searching and unease among the state’s thousands of residents of Pakistani descent, Mr. Rinaldo and Dr. Mirza are holding up their … Read entire article »

Filed under: Identity, Islam, minorities, Pakistan, psychology, Taliban, Terrorism, USA

Our Internal Demons

By Adnan Syed It has been 30 years since Pakistan took the fateful steps of sponsoring the Jihad on a state level. The fight against the Russian aggression in Afghanistan was probably justified. It was a blatant attack on a sovereign nation by a teetering super power. However when Pakistan went on to label the fight as a state sponsored Jihad, flock of die hard Islamists started congregating in Pakistan to fight the godless communists. This was precisely the turning point in Pakistani history when all the internal confusion of Pakistan’s relationship with Islam translated into a thoughtless action by the state that still haunts us to this day. We can blame General Zia-ul-Haq or Jamaat-e-Islami, or our dreaded indescribable “establishment” for pointing out the path of state sponsored armed Jihad. General … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Benazir Bhutto, Constitution, Democracy, FATA, Islamabad, Jinnah, Justice, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Pakistan, psychology, Religion, secular Pakistan, state, strategy, Taliban, Terrorism

The Fight for Pakistan's Future: Violently Reflected on Campus

The New York Times, Published April 20, 2010 By SABRINA TAVERNISE; Waqar Gillani contributed reporting. April 21 (New York Times) — LAHORE, Pakistan – The professor was working in his office here on the campus of Pakistan’s largest university this month when members of an Islamic student group battered open the door, beat him with metal rods and bashed him over the head with a giant flower pot. Iftikhar Baloch, an environmental science professor, had expelled members of the group for violent behavior. The retribution left him bloodied and nearly unconscious, and it united his fellow professors, who protested with a nearly three-week strike that ended Monday. The attack and the anger it provoked have drawn attention to the student group, Islami Jamiat Talaba, whose morals police have for years terrorized this graceful, century-old … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Islam, Left, liberal Pakistan, Politics, psychology, Punjab, youth

Sex is no laughing matter in Pakistan

SHAZIA MIRZA April 18, 2010 IN ALL the countries that I have travelled to to perform stand-up comedy – the US being a regular destination – I have never been held up or interrogated at customs. Or I hadn’t, until I arrived in Pakistan. I spent six hours at Lahore customs, as I did not have a visa in my British passport to enter the country. The people who organised my gig had mistakenly assumed that because my parents were born in Pakistan and I, too, am brown, they would automatically let me in. The customs officer asked: “Are you Pakistani?” Yes. “Where were you born?” England. “That makes you a foreigner.” He looked through my passport, which is filled with US visas. He said: “Are you a spy?” No, I’m a stand-up comedian. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Humor, Pakistan, psychology, sex, Women, youth

Frustrated Strivers in Pakistan Turn to Jihad

By Sabrina Tavernise and Waqar Gillani Published: February 27, 2010 Cross Post from The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/world/asia/28youth.html?hp LAHORE, Pakistan — Umar Kundi was his parents’ pride, an ambitious young man from a small town who made it to medical school in the big city. It seemed like a story of working-class success, living proof in this unequal society that a telephone operator’s son could become a doctor. Lahore has enduring social problems like chronic unemployment. But things went wrong along the way. On campus Mr. Kundi fell in with a hard-line Islamic group. His degree did not get him a job, and he drifted in the urban crush of young people looking for work. His early radicalization helped channel his ambitions in a grander, more sinister way. Instead of healing the sick, Mr. Kundi went on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Army, Economy, FATA, Islamabad, Lahore, Pakistan, poverty, psychology, Taliban, Terrorism, USA

Civilizations (Mirrors of Our Existence)

Civilizations (Mirrors of Our Existence)

From years of our travel We look back Upon these civilizations, From years of adventure We look back Upon these civilizations From days of our inheritance The lands and its cultures The old forms of languages The mystery of Universe The old journey taken By humans and nature together As they traverse From place one to another, In harmony and disarray As we born and die From on to another, As we love and hate The old circumstances And situation, intertwined Through languages and its art, The trails, lost and visible As we look back Upon these civilizations The … Read entire article »

Filed under: ancient civilisations, Architecture, Arts and Crafts, culture, Dance, drama, dynasties, Heritage, History, Identity, Languages, Law, Literature, movements, Music, musings, Nature, Philosophy, Physics, poetry, Politics, psychology

More on Attack at Fort Hood

By Rafia Zakaria, writing  for Daily Times  It is also not the first incident of soldiers killing soldiers. In May of 2009, five soldiers were shot dead by Sergeant John Russell at Camp Liberty in Baghdad; in Sept 2008 a soldier shot himself to death after killing another soldier at Fort Hood itself. On the afternoon of November 5, 2009 Major Nidal Hasan opened fire on people in a medical waiting area in Fort Hood, Texas. Twelve people were killed and nearly thirty-one were injured. Major Hasan was finally taken down by a female military police officer. At the time of writing this article, it was alleged that Major Hasan was still alive after having been wounded. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Identity, minorities, psychology, Religion, Rights, Terrorism, USA, violence

Tearing Down Walls

Tearing Down Walls

By Khurram Siddiqi “If bombs don’t kill us, our fear of them will” When we anticipated things getting uglier as the fight for Pakistan’s identity intensified, more bloodshed was the first thing we feared. On the other hand, perhaps something less obvious was how literally ugly our cities would become as well. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Education, Identity, Pakistan, psychology, Terrorism

Just a Man

Zarah K has contributed this stirring poem – She wrote: “having observed the recent trend on PTH, I thought I should make a “feminist” contribution of my own. I’m no poet so I’m afraid it is amateurish… and also a bit edgy.” Zarah your edginess is most endearing and we will share it here… (Raza Rumi) i am a man not a mensche don’t expect me to see beyond your broken heart, your broken hymen feed me your vulnerability, and the ravages of your vulgarity, i am a vulture i am Vulcan, venerate me, burn for me godless, shameless, you lie naked on my prayer mat tonight, all night, i will call you my hoor tomorrow i will call you a whore because, can’t you see? i have a birthright to this hypocrisy, for your soft secrets to caress only me, for the power to call … Read entire article »

Filed under: men, poetry, psychology, Women