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An open letter to Chairman HEC

by Isa Daudpota Dr Mansoor A Kundi Executive Director Higher Education Commission Islamabad. Dear Dr Kundi (cc Chairman HEC and some academics), Dr Abdullah Sadiq and I received a query about the attached note — circulated by you to universities — from our friend, Mr Naeem Sadiq in Karachi. Only now have I ascertained that the note is genuine.  What you are essentially recommending is censorship!  Given the already suffocating intellectual environment on our campuses, your note will only strengthen those who wish to create a repressive atmosphere of George Orwell’s brilliant dystopia, “1984″.  See: https://archive.org/details/ost-english-1984-george-orwell-1937-dystopia Remember, that it was not long ago that the fascist Zaid Hamid was a welcome guest on our campuses, where he spouted venom against other countries, the Pakistan government and many institutions of the state.  Perhaps HEC can now claim ignorance of such … Read entire article »

Filed under: Education, History, human rights, Islamabad, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Writers

HEC letter on freedom of opinion

HEC letter on freedom of opinion

Last week, the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan issued an alarming directive (No.10-1/A&C/HEC/2013/869) instructing all degree awarding institutions to “remain vigilant and forestall any activity that in any manner challenge(s) the ideology and principles of Pakistan, and/or perspective of the Government of Pakistan thereof.” It is also an attempt at institutionalizing mass clampdown of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and assembly. It is unfortunate and condemnable that critical thinking is being banned in universities, instead … Read entire article »

Filed under: Education, History, Islamabad, liberal Pakistan, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, People's Pakistan, Photos, Rights, Society, south asia

Rethinking Freedom of Speech

Raza Habib Raja  Words matter as they can some time lead to freedom and greater rights. Words matter and sometimes they can lead to violence and death. Out of all the things which can potentially move humans, the spoken word has the most powerful effect and this can be positive or negative, emancipatory or regressive. Freedom of speech is the most valuable gift. Countries which do not have it are generally nondemocratic and suffer from cultural stagnation. Today the liberal societies are characterized by the extent of freedom of speech which they enjoy. However, knowing that it can be dangerous, they  at the same time have also tried to define some types which are not allowed. These societies have understood that freedom of speech  comes with a responsibility. In Pakistan, freedom of speech … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Religion

Religious Bigotry and Pakistan

Religious Bigotry and Pakistan

Raza Habib Raja There is that nauseating feeling which I am experiencing right now and worse this feeling is now a common occurrence. Some things become a regular pattern and when they do so, the issue is systemic. What has happened a few miles from Lahore is not a new incidence. A Christian couple has been burnt to death for allegedly desecrating Holy Quran. Past few years have witnessed a flurry of such incidences. With each such … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blasphemy, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Religion

Pakistan: Hiding state failure by invoking the ‘foreign hand’ theory

Malik Omaid Raza Rumi explores the obsession of invoking ‘foreign hand’ to hide state failure after every terror attack which turns out to be a work of terrorists every time.   [View the story "Pakistan's 'foreign hand' Conundrum" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Civil Service, History, India, journalism, Pakistan, Raza Rumi, Storify, Taliban, Terrorism, Twitter, violence, war

The Khan Enigma

The Khan Enigma

By Waqas Habib Rana How is it possible that Imran Khan openly calls upon the “umpire” to help him oust an elected Prime Minister and gets away with such a treasonous act, how can a political leader ask for unconstitutional help in a democracy and still enjoys a major public support? Well, let us see who to blame for that. There are two major political entities in Pakistan; Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League (N) – … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Democracy, Opinion, Pakistan, Parliament, Revolution

Wagah Border Explosion: National Security Apparatus Should Rethink its Strategy

Wagah Border Explosion: National Security Apparatus Should Rethink its Strategy

Malik Omaid Raza Rumi’s analysis on Wagah Border Bomb blast in Lahore. [View the story "Wagah Border Explosion: National Security Apparatus Should Rethink its Strategy" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Citizens, Lahore, Lashkar e Taiba, Pakistan, Raza Rumi, Storify, Terrorism, Twitter

Filmmaking and human rights

Filmmaking and human rights

By Saad Hafiz   Haider, the recently released Bollywood movie, helps to lift the lid on the brutal conflict in Indian Kashmir. The artistic portrait of modern political rebellion, an exposé of government-sanctioned violence and a vision of hope that continued resistance may galvanise a new future. Set during the 1990s, the most intense years of the ongoing insurgency that has pitted Kashmiri militants and separatists against security forces and their local auxiliaries for more than two … Read entire article »

Filed under: baluchistan, Bangladesh, Bollywood, Democracy, Fiction, human rights, India, Kashmir, Lashkar e Taiba, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, Reviews, Terrorism, violence

I Love Karachi

I Love Karachi

We are posting Ali Jafri’s pictures – hope the readers would like them. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Architecture, Arts and Crafts, Economy, Heritage, Images, Karachi, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, Pak Tea House, People's Pakistan, Photos, Tourism

Why India cannot fight War with Pakistan?

Why India cannot fight War with Pakistan?

By Ahmad Khan Indo-Pak relations are once again in doldrums. The simmering tensions along Line of Control (LoC) have put the entire Indo-Pak peace process on a perilous road. After a decade of being out of power, once again the BJP hardliners are back in business in India, playing a dirty politics with their neighbour—Pakistan—to attain domestic political mileage. Apprehensive statements are made by Mr. Modi’s subordinates—Dr Subramaniam Swamy and Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag—regarding … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Opinion, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, peace, war

I am an Ahmadi and I love Pakistan

I am an Ahmadi and I love Pakistan

by Saniya Ahmad No matter how much I love Pakistan, it is not the place for me to be right now. No matter how much I say I love it, I will always be labelled a traitor in the place I call home. No matter how much I sacrifice for my country, my fellow citizens will always look at me with contempt and hatred. No matter how patriotic I am, I will be punished.. for being … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Democracy, minorities, New Writers, Pakistan, Religion, secularism, Society, Taliban

Remembering Shahbaz Bhatti, an unsung hero of Pakistan

Raza Rumi Fate connected me to Salma Peter John – the widow of Pakistan’s slain Christian Minister Shahbaz Bhatti who was assassinated by violent extremists. I cried then and cried yesterday after speaking to brave Salma and watching this video. I share your grief and stand by you. There is no reason that Cammy should have died, no justification but Pakistan and its negligent state enabled this killing. He was a bright man whenever I met him. At least I have the consolation that I will meet Salma in a few weeks and do whatever little I can to turn her grief into the voice that condemns injustice. All these instances of losing Mustafa, my driver-friend-family-member and so many others I know has only taught me one thing. No need to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blasphemy, human rights, Justice, minorities, Pakistan, Raza Rumi, Religion, Taliban, Target Killing

Ridiculing Bilawal and the Culture of Misogyny

Ridiculing Bilawal and the Culture of Misogyny

 Raza Habib Raja “Aur tu aur Billo Rani bhee bol rahi hai. Asif Zardari sahib, itna haram kamaia aap ne, thora sa Bilawal per lagain aur us ka technical masla theek karain. ( Now even Billo Rani is speaking. Asif Zardari, please devote some of your illegal wealth towards rectifying Bilawal’s technical problem).” “BB ka baita aaega rozgaar laega (BB’s son will come, bring employment) Question is: baita hae kahan? (Where is the son?)” The first of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Women

The Real Picture: Innovation, Technology and Pakistan

The Real Picture: Innovation, Technology and Pakistan

By Azka Naeem If all the brouhaha is to be believed, we’re looking at a failed state with nothing to offer. But is that really the case? Innovation is fundamentally characterised by what can be called ‘newness’, but a field does not have to be completely novel itself for innovation to take place. By that same token, an idea can be born and take root anywhere and at any time. In the politically unstable and consistently maligned Pakistan … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Education, Egalitarian Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Physics, Reviews, Science, youth

The Father of Democracy

The Father of Democracy

By Waqas habib Rana Javed Hashmi is the man who single handedly brought down the egoistic Imran khan and dented his plans to roll over an elected Government through unconstitutional means; as Khan himself pointed towards the “third umpire”.Hashmi’s exposure of London plan dented the whole script that was to be completed with the blood of innocent supporters of Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri. Javed Hashmi took away a piece of the moral high ground … Read entire article »

Filed under: Constitution, Democracy, Elections, History, Opinion, Pakistan, Parliament, Politics