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A Dysfunctional State

by Saad Hafiz Pakistan’s societal, economic and political travails place it in a category of deeply dysfunctional and nearly ungovernable states. Generally speaking, dysfunctional states exhibit high degrees of institutional inconsistency, social malaise, ideological confusion, political malfunction and national paranoia. As a consequence, such states are unable to leverage their people’s histories and traditions to construct effective formal institutions with wide legitimacy; nor can they draw on the social capital embedded in cohesive groups to facilitate economic, political, and social intercourse; neither are they able to employ the established governing capacities of their citizens to run the affairs of state. Moreover, national development is much dependent upon the quality of a nation’s human capital. Dysfunctional states do not invest in human capital—such as better schools and hospitals. They tend to discourage people … Read entire article »

Filed under: Economy, Egalitarian Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, Society

Good Luck India

Raza Habib Raja I have written before also that for me India holds a special place in my heart and I feel connected to it emotionally. Besides that as a student of politics also, India for me is an enigma with respect to its ability to sustain a balanced combination of democracy, secularism and stability over almost seven decades. It has to be understood that even in relatively homogeneous countries, these factors are difficult to combine and balance. And yet, India despite being so diverse and complex, has so far done well. It has not been a smooth ride but political will has always been there. I sincerely hope, that in the zeal of voting incumbents out of power, the Indian populace does not lose track of what exactly differentiates India from Pakistan. I … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Jewish candles in the window

Fishel Benkhald To be honest, these thoughts are not from an expert, but are heartfelt wishful thinking. Besides the reality of extremism and debate on lack of law and order, let’s share which candles Pakistan might put in the window for the lost Pakistani Jewish community. At this hour of night while we all await for that sun to shine again on all of us which Pakistan’s non-Muslim and Muslim founding fathers and mothers thought of. Jews have lived among different Islamic cultures and got accustomed to it, at times total assimilation of different cultures and religions may not be completely possible but multicultural societies while keeping their distinctive individual identities intact exist and are doing well. This was the atmosphere in which Jewish community were living in the pre-partition Pakistan. There are few … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Judaism, Religion, Terrorism

Imran Khan’s USA Conundrum

Gohar Qureshi Having read Mr. Imran Khan’s recent statement about TTP, that they do not seek to enforce Shariah in Pakistan rather liberate it from the US war. I might be the only one who supports PTI manifesto for what it is and NOT because Imran Khan leads the party. Being a law abiding Pakistani American it is offensive to come across anti American narrative that Mr. Khan leads his followers with. Has he ever attempted to educate his followers on what led the US war on terror. The youth of today who must have been very young when 9/11 happened have no awareness whatsoever on how tolerant US was and still is. That we could travel domestically in the US without body scans which we were always subjected to flying … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Politics, secular Pakistan, Society, Taliban, Terrorism, USA

Raza Rumi: Voice by Heart

Amir Abbas Turi These are the ruthless terrorists who are heartless and do not spare even the humanity lovers and peace-preachers such as Raza Rumi. Callous inhumane terrorists are taking lives of innocent people in this Land of Pure – Pakistan – and Mustafa, Rumi’s martyred driver, is the latest addition to this episode. On the eve of Friday, merciless culprits showered bullets on this non-violent team in the streets of ‘Takht-e-Lahore’. These murderers, who committed a slaughter in the name of Islam, forgot or ignored the teachings of this religion – which emphasises that killing a single human being is akin to killing the whole humanity, and that a single person or institution is not qualified to prosecute, judge and persecute even the most atrocious criminal. Whether an alleged sinner can … Read entire article »

Filed under: Raza Rumi, Religion, Society, Taliban, Terrorism, violence

Attacks on Raza Rumi, worship places represent new wave of intolerance: HRCP

Press Release: Lahore, March 31: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed alarm over a number of disturbing developments including the assault on journalist Raza Rumi and attacks on temples in Sindh and called these a new wave of intolerance. In a statement issued on Monday, the Commission said: “HRCP has grave concerns over a number of recent incidents, including an attack on Raza Rumi in Lahore, a spate of assaults at Hindu temples, the most recent one being in Hyderabad, and the death sentence for Sawan Masih in a blasphemy case. “HRCP believes that we are witnessing a new wave of intolerance and these instances stem from the same motivation. While the court’s verdict against Sawan is another matter, the assault on the Christian-dominated Joseph Colony in Lahore in March … Read entire article »

Filed under: journalism, Lahore, minorities, Pakistan, Raza Rumi, Religion, violence

The Irreversible Trajectory

Raza Habib Raja On 23rd March Jamat Dawa conducted several rallies across Pakistan for the supposed objective of protection of Pakistan ideology, i.e. the famous two nation theory(TNT). Jamat Dawa had publicized aggressively for the 23rd March events. One could see their vehicles with loud speakers in the major cities of Pakistan. On 20th March I drove past one of the vehicles and was able to actually see and hear how they were advertising the rally. The vehicle itself was covered with banners and three men carrying guns were on the top. The banner contained venomous slogans against India and tried to give a snapshot of Jamat Dawa’s interpretation of the TNT. According to that interpretation Hindus and Muslims could not even be friends due to the fact that former worship cow and supposedly drink … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Dr. D. Latifa – Normative Islam

Dr. D. Latifa – Normative Islam

Academic, psychologist and feminist. It’s never nice to use short labels for uncategorizable people like Dr. D. Latifa, but it sets the tone. For a long time she was the director of an important research program in a Pakistani university. These days, however, she mainly focuses on her work as a psychologist and a center for the study of gender and culture. If she had to place herself within a certain strand of Western psychology it … Read entire article »

Filed under: Books, Islam, Islamabad, Pakistan, Religion, Writers

Iqbal’s Poetic Expression

Eminent historian Ramachandra Guha shares with us Iqbal’s poetic reflections as he looks into his 1910 Diary. [View the story "Iqbal's Poetic Expressions" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Books, History, Literature, Pak Tea House, poetry, Writers

Pakistan’s Shame

Pakistan’s Shame

Raza Habib Raja A few days ago, news reached Pakistan of some Kashmiri students being suspended in an Indian University after celebrating Pakistan’s victory. Pakistanis were belligerent and media repeated the news for God knows how many times. There were talk shows on how intolerant India was with respect to Muslims. We used that opportunity to find comfort that if we are bad, others are not good either. After Gujarat riots suddenly Pakistanis found a justification to … Read entire article »

Filed under: minorities

The tragic burning of a DharamSala in Larkana

Last night on 16th March 2014, a Hindu DharamShala in Larkana was set ablaze over alleged Desecration of Quran. Following are the tweets comprising the reaction by Raza Rumi on the tragic and condemnable incident. [View the story "The tragic burning of a DharamSala in Larkana" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Hinduism, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Rural, Sindh, violence

Gandhi-A victim of Hindu Extremists

[View the story "Gandhi-A victim of Hindu Extremists" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gandhi, History, India

Does A Veil Define A Muslim Woman’s Character?

Haider Rifaat Fear is the first word that comes to my mind when I hear the phrase “Degradation of Women.” Islam, on every level has given women paramount rights more than any living being on earth. On account of the terrorist activities, millions of lives have been affected in both, rural and urban areas of Pakistan. Children’s mindsets, on the other hand are being brainwashed in some religious institutions, even today. Furthermore, several extremist groups have been using children as military weapons. In many rural areas of Pakistan, women are forcibly thwarted from holding pens in their hands. Similarly, there have been cases of sexual enslavement, castigation and physical ill treatment of women who struggled to receive better education from schools and colleges. One of the reasons as to why such … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Islam, liberal Pakistan, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Religion, Women

Come on Pakistan! Culture isn’t a static thing

By Raja Arsalan Khan Pakistani intelligentsia cannot challenge the Taliban through a comprehensive narrative because of the confusion it is suffering from. We are unique; we are supreme; we are here to tell people how to live; we are destined to change the whole world; only the Muslims have contributed to the human progress; everything should must Islamized; everyone except Muslims are our enemies. It is the executive summary of education imparted to our students while we seek an answer to the question: how to root out militancy from society. And unfortunately, media (now a 24/7 business) is complicating the problem by constantly bashing the West and reminding people about so-called negative influence of non-Muslim world and unending conspiracies designed by Jews, Hindus and Christians to consume us. Even a cursory look at the extremism … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Islam, Pakistan, Religion

Women are only made to cook food – Lala

In an interview on ARY news, when the all-famous Pakistani team cricketer Shahid Afridi was asked for his comments on women playing sports, his reply was simply that our women have “taste” in their hands. Our readers are invited to leave their comments – What do you think…? Should cooking be the only goal for women in Pakistan and be exempt from sports or any other fields? What then if any woman creates name in sports – Should we ignore it and only listen to Lala? Video can be seen on below link. Shahid Afridi Views About Women. … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Pakistan, sport, Women