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The national narrative

The national narrative

Salman Tarik Kureshi         Daily Times, June 12, 2010 What happened through the 1950s was the piecemeal articulation of a national narrative for the new state. Jinnah’s liberal, inclusive vision was converted into a faux Islamic exclusivism. Conformity was imposed on political pluralism and a unitary state, belying the Quaid’s crusades for provincial autonomy, was created Pakistan, we learn, is rated among the five most unstable countries in the Global Peace Index. Scarcely surprising, given the ongoing civil … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Civil Service, Colonialism, Constitution, Democracy, History, Judiciary, Media, Pakistan, state

A Conversation With Air Marshal (R) Asghar Khan

Asghar Khan speaks about democracy and clarifies his alleged ‘invitation’ to Gen Zia ul Haq to take over; and his (in)famous comment about hanging Bhutto at Hala Bridge. He talks about his petition to the Supreme Court in relation to the ISI bribing politicians (a.k.a. the Mehran Bank scandal). Here’s the 2nd of 3 parts of the interview. [youtube=] and here are             Part 1                   &               Part 3 In case you are interested, this is Ardeshir Cowasjee writing in Dawn of 26 April 2009 about the Jinnah Award winner Asghar Khan’s address to the Jinnah Society. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Democracy, Judiciary, Pakistan, state

Constitutional Anomalies

From August 1947 to 1970, no general elections at the federal level were held in Pakistan. When Yahya Khan grabbed power from Ayub Khan, he promulgated the first Legal Framework Order (LFO), abolished One Unit in West Pakistan, restored the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and the NWFP and gave Balochistan provincial status for the first time. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Zia’s revenge

By Irfan Husain (DAWN) ON my all-too-brief visit back to Pakistan, I have been flipping local channels to catch up on events. I have found new ones to watch, although not necessarily for any length of time, given the generally low quality of the fare on offer. The other evening, I caught a panel discussion featuring a gentleman who used to be in the foreign service, together with a couple of other talking heads. The discussion was about last November’s lethal terrorist attacks in Mumbai. When I switched on my TV, the gentleman was confidently asserting that the knowledge of downtown Mumbai the terrorists seemed to possess made it clear that they could not have been Pakistanis. From this shaky theory, he leaped to the conclusion that they must have been Indians … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

How we helped create the Afghan crisis

By Stephen Kinzer WITH THE United States facing a terrifying set of challenges in Pakistan and Afghanistan, this is an opportune moment to look back at how the United States itself helped create the crisis. It is an all-too-familiar tale of the behemoth lashing out in ways that seem emotionally satisfying and even successful at first, but that in the end decisively weaken its own security. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Pakistan, USA

The Unconstitutional and UnIslamic Ehteram-e-Ramzan Ordinance

Our Blue Law: The Unconstitutional and UnIslamic Ehteram-e-Ramzan Ordinance By Yasser Latif Hamdani The United States of America had till a few decades ago a curious legal creature called the “Sunday Closing Law” also known as the “Blue law” on statute books of many of its constituent states.  On Sunday, that day being the “Christian Sabbath”, it was forbidden to carry out any business or for grocers to sell anything except necessities.  The law applied across the board and was thus an instance of a religious law.  Ultimately most states were forced to repeal this law for being ultra-vires to the US constitution which promises freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. Enshrined in the US constitution is the first amendment which forbids the state to either establish religion or forbid the practice … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Islam, Law, public policy

Pakistan Turns into Toba Tek Singh

Isa Daudpota Pakistan is like an airplane lost in a dark ominous cloud, running on autopilot. Its coordinates and destination were set by previous crew members, who have been made to disappear or have parachuted out. Passengers with gurgling stomachs and sweaty brows having long realized the trouble and appear paralyzed. They have seen a stream of crew members pushed off the plane or bail out with parachute — shady hunks in khakis, but some rare trustworthy ones too. The Captain, Asif Zardari, took over when his wife was shoved off the plane. The First Officer, Nawaz Sharif, is there propped up by his benefactor General Zia ul Haq. CIA operatives onboard, passengers learned, had forced Zia to jump off with a crate of mangoes tied to him. Every so … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Pakistan, Politics, public policy

Goodbye Shahzadi – the controversial book

Goodbye Shahzadi – the controversial book

Raza Rumi We are posting two reviews of the new book on Benazir Bhutto authored by Shyam Bhatia. The first is a critical, crisp impression of M.A. Soofi; and the other is by the legendary Khushwant Singh who discusses wider issues such as corruption comparisons between India and Pakistan and apparently believes whatever Bhatia has written despite the condemnation from late Bhutto’s spokesperson. Enjoy! Mayank Austen Soofi: An Indian journalist’s sleazy biography of Benazir Bhutto. Petty games people play. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Benazir Bhutto, Books, History, India, journalism, Pakistan, Politics