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Jinnah and the Rohingyas

By Yasser Latif Hamdani A number of ill-informed articles have appeared in the national press recently which have taken a rather strange line:   Jinnah is responsible for the plight of Rohingyas in Burma. Jinnah – who died in 1948- is supposed to be responsible for the plight of Burmese Muslims in 2015 because in 1948 the Muslims of Arakan i.e. Burma appealed to him to help them secede (the Mayu region) from Burma and join East Pakistan.  Jinnah refused stating that such an event would be tantamount to interference in Burmese affairs. He further advised the Burmese Muslims to work for their rights as citizens of Burma.  Rohingyas as such constituted a very small percentage of the Burmese population and the idea that they could claim territory on that basis was preposterous. Ultimately a number of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Inspiration Ataturk

Inspiration Ataturk

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Last week I was fortunate to visit Kemal Ataturk’s Marine Mansion in Florya Istanbul, located on the Marmara Sea. Ataturk had spent his last days in this mansion. As I walked through the beautiful mansion by the sea filled with Ataturk’s belongings and personal effects, it hit me as to how much modernists in the Muslim world derive inspiration from the great father of the Turks and his regeneration of the Turkish nation. My … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Jinnah & Pakistan debate: Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed’s remarks on the Ahmadi Community

By Yasser Latif Hamdani It seems to be that Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed, who writes for the Daily Times, is not open to the idea of an engaged academic debate. His latest article in the Daily Times which I will link below proves it. Let us however first recap as to what transpired before Ishtiaq Ahmed’s latest article. I had written in my article “Congress’ use of Ulema”: The Congress backed ulema, including Maulana Madni, the great proponent of composite nationalism, attacked Jinnah for being a Shia and having Ahmedis in the Muslim League. In Lucknow, Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar used the Madh-e-Sahaba to divide the Muslim vote along sectarian Shia and Sunni lines. Time and again the Congress backed ulema used the sectarian card to create dissentions between Muslims. While on the one side Congress criticised … Read entire article »

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Distorting Pakistan’s history and identity

Distorting Pakistan’s history and identity

By Umer Ali Ever since Pakistan came into being, it has faced different challenges of various magnitudes. Right after its creation, Pakistan lost its father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. With his body, the hope for a better, progressive Pakistan was gone as well. After the death of Jinnah, a campaign started which led Pakistan to where it is now – radicalized, intolerant and on the verge of destruction. Pakistanis are living through lies and myths presented to them. … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, India, Islamism, Pakistan, Partition, Secterainism

A future foretold

A future foretold

By Saad Hafiz Another Pakistan Day or Pakistan Resolution Day has come and gone, this time with a grand military parade put off for several years due to terrorism fears. On March 23, 1940, the All-India Muslim League moved a resolution in its annual session in Lahore that demanded autonomous states for the Muslims of British India. This resolution was a change in strategy from the Muslim League’s earlier demand for constitutional guarantees for Muslims in … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Pakistan

The Christians who mourned for the lynched Muslims

The Christians who mourned for the lynched Muslims

By Mohammad Ali Ilahi This week, a group of students from LUMS lead by the Democratic Students Alliance and as part of the Hum-Aahang initiative (Human Shield for Our Christian Community) went to a Sunday mass to form a human chain outside the Nawlakha Presbyterian Church near the Lahore Railway Station. This was in reaction to the twin suicide blasts that had taken place a week ago in Youhanabad targeting the largest and perhaps one of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam for Peace, Lahore, minorities, Pakistan, Photos, Religion, secular Pakistan, secularism, Terrorism

پاکستانی سیاست کے مینار

پاکستانی سیاست کے مینار

تحریر: تنویر آرائیں پاکستان میں سیاست کرنے لئے عقلمندی، رواداری، اخلاقیات، شرم وحیا یا غیرت ضروری نہیں ہے اور صرف ان چیزوں کے سہارے آپ سیاست میں کامیاب نہیں ہو سکتے اور نہ ہی اعلیٰ تعلیم، پالیسی سازی میں مہارت، مسائل سے نمٹنے کے تجربے یا حکمت کی ضرورت ہے. پاکستان میں سیاست میں کامیابی حاصل کرنے کے لئے آپ کو فقط بیچنے کا سلیقہ ہونا چاہیے، غلط سمجھنے کی ضرورت نہیں میں تجارت کی بات … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion, Pakistan, Politics, Urdu

The Parallel Universe: Do We Live in World # 1?

Misbah U. Azam, Ph.D. Driving on the express way, we come across different exits which we may or may not take, depending upon the destination requirements, traffic densities, breaks for food, gas or other human needs. Now let us consider a scenario. You are driving on the road and there was an exit. You are debating whether to go out on it and stop by some restaurant to eat or for a cup of coffee or tea. Due to some deliberation you decide to keep driving for some more time before taking a break for coffee. After some time you drive, you see a car which overtook you minutes ago gets into an accident. You stop your car, come out and call the emergency. Then you approach the wrecked car and … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Partition, Society

Tufail Ahmad’s rape of history continues

By Yasser Latif Hamdani I had earlier exposed Indian Express’ oped columnist Tufail Ahmad’s shameless distortions in my blog post http://pakteahouse.net/2014/06/28/what-passes-for-history-these-days-tufail-ahmad-of-indian-express/. He had then with great fanfare declared that he would prove me wrong by producing the Chattan newspaper from the dates I had mentioned. It has been more than 6 months and he has failed. But it has not stopped him from distorting the facts of history on Jinnah however. In his recent article, named “Jinnah of Modern India” http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns/Jinnah-of-Modern-India/2015/02/09/article2658963.ece  where he desperately wants to conflate Asaduddin Owaisi with Jinnah,  he ascribes these fake quotes to Jinnah: “The goal of Pakistan is not only to get freedom and autonomy but the Islamic concept of life” “It is Prophet Muhammad’s spiritual blessing that Pakistan came into being. Now it is Pakistanis’ responsibility to turn it into the model (state) of the Righteous … Read entire article »

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Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah and Partition

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Lately the news coming out of India is not good. Other than Modi’s unfathomable pronouncements about there being genetic science and plastic surgery in ancient India, there have begun mass “re-conversions” of Muslims to Hindus under the “Purkhon ki wapsi” events. Meanwhile one minister of the Modi government has gone on the offensive and declared non-Hindus to be bastards and another minister has declared Bhagwad Gita to be the “national scripture” of India which is constitutionally a secular state. The space for Non-Hindus in India is shrinking amidst protests by Indian liberals and those who have always argued in favour of India’s model of democracy and secularism that it is against the very ethos of India. Through this post I want to forward a couple of arguments which are as … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Idiotic autocrats

Idiotic autocrats

by Saad Hafiz A Turkish government spokesman summarised the reaction to the outcome of the 2007 Turkish parliamentary elections in other Muslim countries as: “What the hell did the Turks do right that we did not do? How come they can manage a predominantly Muslim population, negotiate [for membership] with the EU [European Union], and have a workable democracy while we are stuck with these idiotic autocrats?” The spokesman may have lacked tact but he cut … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Democracy, Islam, Opinion, Pak Tea House

But What About Blasphemy Against Human Decency?

But What About Blasphemy Against Human Decency?

Usmann Rana A five month pregnant woman and her husband beaten up by a mob and burned alive in the very same kiln where they worked. A child with mental challenges (reportedly Down’s Syndrome) jailed for ‘allegedly’ desecrating the Holy Qur’an, the Muslim scripture. A colony set ablaze by self-righteous defenders of the faith which ended up costing the lives of eight Christian men, women and a child and damage to a church. In any society with human decency and compassion such … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blasphemy, Democracy, human rights, Islamism, Justice, Lahore, minorities, Pakistan, Punjab, Religion, Rights, Society, violence

Jinnah and the Blasphemy Law

By Yasser Latif Hamdani “I thoroughly endorse the principle that while this measure should aim at those undesirable persons who indulge in wanton vilification or attack upon the religion of any particular class or upon the founders and prophets of a religion, we must also secure this very important and fundamental principle that those who are engaged in historical works, those who are engaged in bona fide and honest criticism of a religion, shall be protected.“  Jinnah on the passage of 295-A of the Indian Penal Code (also Pakistan Penal Code) There is a common tendency – common between Islamists and self-hating Pakistanis alike – to tarnish Jinnah’s memory by saying that because Jinnah was lawyer in appeal (for a fee and purely in a professional capacity) for Ilam Din who was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

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

Textbook Nationalism

Textbook Nationalism

By Saad Hafiz Prior to and since independence, both India and Pakistan have challenged and manipulated their joint histories for both political and social reasons. Evidently different nationalist ideologies also shape the message in textbooks that India and Pakistan seek to convey to their future citizens. Stark contrasts emerge in the portrayal of political leaders, as well as the causes, consequences and even dates of events. Historical events are politicised to substantiate present events with textbooks used … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, Education, History, India, Jinnah, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, Partition