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Review:The Wandering Falcon—Exploding the Myth about Tribal Culture(s) in Pakistan

Review:The Wandering Falcon—Exploding the Myth about Tribal Culture(s) in Pakistan

By Aslam Kakar The Wandering Falcon, Jamil Ahmed’s debut novel, was published in 2011—almost four decades after it was written in the early 1970s. Why it took so long for the novel to hit the bookstores’ shelves were the endless rejections from publishers from around the world. One wonders what was it then that kept the author for so long from trashing the manuscript at first.   Perhaps, it was the book’s promising content and Ahmed’s faith in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Baloch, Honor Killings, North-West Frontier Province, Northern Areas, Opinion, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Raza Rumi, Religion, Reviews, violence, Women

Khan Ministry’s Dismissal and Yaqoob Bangash’s Distortions of History

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Owing to my professional engagements with the now famous Youtube Case, I could not respond to the third of Mr. Bangash’s imagining of history.  However, as Mr. Bangash has assigned – for extra-credit seemingly- to his students from FC College to troll me on twitter, I am left with no choice but to expose the deliberate untruths that Mr. Bangash has again deliberately passed on through his article. First of all bravo that Bangash realizes that Khan Sahib had lost moral authority to govern and the League was indeed more popular than the Congress. He then goes on to lie- strong word yes but a spade is a spade- when he deliberately distorts the arithmetic of the NWFP ministry.  He has subtly subverted the facts in a way … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Jinnah

RED – relationship enhancement drive

RED – relationship enhancement drive

“I am Abrar Qureshi (25) from Islamabad, hold a master degree in Marketing and works for a telecom operator. I have my own beliefs & faiths about different things, you can say ‘opinionated’ and being strong-willed person, this makes me undertake challenges that others normally don’t”     To start with, I must quote Iqbal’s verses from “Shikwa” to make the basis of my idea. Kyun ziyan kaar banoo, sood faramosh rahun Fiqr-e-farda na karun, mehve ghum-e-dosh rahun Naaley bulbul ke sunoo. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

Was Jinnah A Democrat?

Was Jinnah A Democrat?

A continuation from “Was Jinnah secular?” and “Did Jinnah want Pakistan?”. By Yasser Latif Hamdani There are many people who criticize Jinnah – quite incorrectly in my opinion- of having laid the foundations for subsequent periods of authoritarian military rule. They allege that Jinnah’s decision to become the Governor General was the first blow to parliamentary democracy in Pakistan. Unable to distinguish the argument of constitutional purists pleading the ceremonial and executive roles of president and prime … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Jinnah

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

Hashtnagar – a land, forgotten

Ammar Aziz, is a Lahore based film-maker, writer and a left-Wing activist. His article raises extremely important issues in this narrative. We wih to revive the debates on peasantry struggles and Ammar’s exclusive post for PTH is more than welcome. We hope that there will be a robust discussion on the issues raised here. Raza Rumi My film thesis research has recently made me visit a piece of land that, despite its significant historical importance , has been brutally ignored in the pages of history. Surrounded by Afghan border, conservative feudal culture and tribal areas that have been in media attention in the recent past due to Taliban, that area is none other then Hashtnagar which stands as its own example in the history of class struggle … Read entire article »

Filed under: Left, Marxism, movements, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Politics, poverty, Society


The Exploding Debt in Europe By Kashan Wali, exclusive to the PTH   Wealth cannot be artificially created Finance in a real world relies on underlying wealth of a society. Governments cannot create wealth by printing money. Print too much money and it will lose its value. A fall in the value of money leads to inflation. Inflation viciously attacks the value of savings of the population. As population loses the stored wealth, the population becomes dependent on the state. State has to pay more now for healthcare, education and in extreme situation, food and shelter for population that is going poorer by the day. Either way, unless the underlying wealth (net output of goods and services produced) does not increase, a country cannot become wealthier. Let’s say state tries to pull another trick here; … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Economy, Europe, New Writers, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, poverty, public policy, state, 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

Terrorism in Pakistan: 2009

Terrorism in Pakistan: 2009

Total Terror Attacks in 2009: 87 No. of People Died: 1,204 (approximately) No. of People Injured: 2,843 (approximately) Summary: On an average 7.25 terror attacks per month On an average 14 people died per terror attack On an average 42 people injured per terror attack … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism

Bootlegging, Pakistan-Style

By ADAM B. ELLICK (NYT  story yesterday) PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Even the threat of death cannot deter one 30-year-old entrepreneur here from his appointed rounds supplying the Pakistani elite with expensive contraband Scotch. The bootlegger employs an elaborate scheme to conceal his business, renting a private house that doubles as a secret warehouse and hiring teenage motorbike drivers to deliver his supplies. Such inventiveness is a requirement in this line of business: to hide from the police, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Taliban sympathisers and the Swat flogging video

Posted by Raza Rumi Zubair Torwali has reported from the field and debunked the perverse myths on the flogging video. This is followed by the brave and daring Samar Minallah’s account of the flogging saga and what more proof do Taliban sympathisers want. PTH is carrying these two pieces in solidarity with these two individuals who believe in a progressive and peaceful Pakistan and condemn militancy at great personal risk. Swat has witnessed many harsh and cruel days. For about two years, it presented a view of Afghanistan during the heyday of the Afghan Taliban. The man who ignited the situation against the state of Pakistan — Sufi Mohammad — was spared (seemingly by design) for about three years. The MMA was then the ruling government in the province. In 2008, … Read entire article »

Filed under: North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, violence, Women

A Giant Leap Forward for Pakistan!!

Posted by Raza Rumi What an incredible achievement by Pakistan’s politicians, comparable to the historic national consensus reached in 1973 under the leadership of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto when Pakistan’s Islamic, Federal and democratic constitution was voted in. Now 37-years after that, Pakistan’s politicians have done the entire nation proud once again, this time under the leadership of President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani, by adopting 18th Amendment to the same Constitution by the same or higher degree of consensus (when all political parties, small or big, provincial or national, bar none) have come together. These leaders have decided to do away the massive damage done to the constitution (and the national fabric) by military dictators over the years – by Zia and Musharraf. In one sweeping motion, with more … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Engaging Pakistan

Cross-post from Frontline, Feb 27 – Mar 12, 2010 By Praful Bidwai   India must open a broad-horizon dialogue with Pakistan on all issues including Afghanistan to achieve real progress in bilateral relations.   As New Delhi and Islamabad prepare to resume their bilateral dialogue, India’s policy towards its western neighbourhood faces an unprecedented challenge. How India crafts its response to the complex and rapidly changing situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan will influence to a major extent the fate of one of the most volatile regions of the world, indeed a part of the crucible in which global history is being made. Rising to the challenge demands a radical reorientat ion of some of the fundamental premises and priorities of India’s foreign policy. Consider Afghanistan first.   A major shift is taking place in the balance of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, India, Pakistan

So What Is PML-N Going To Do About This?

By YLH This is a quick blog about an urgent issue which for some reason has gone unreported in the media and especially the blogosphere.   … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Pakistan: democratic governance is the only way forward

by Raza Rumi Given the average shelf life of any civilian government, it is almost miraculous that the incumbent government has survived and there are signs that its removal is not immediate. The longevity of civilian order has less to do with the inherent strengths of its style of governance or delivery of public goods that it had promised in its manifesto. The survival of this government is an outcome of the lack of options … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Pakistan, Politics, public policy, state, Yusuf Raza Gillani, Zardari