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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

Free Karim – NOW!

By Madiha Tahir On New Year’s Eve 2009, Karim Khan’s family was blown to pieces. A brother, a son and a house guest –a laborer working at a nearby mosque– were all torn to shreds, ripped up in an American drone attack. Since then, Karim has been working with the Islamabad-based lawyer, Shahzad Akbar to file cases in the Pakistani courts demanding justice. At every step of the way, the demands by Pakistanis for democratic, legal solutions have been met with intimidation, harassment and secrecy both by the Pakistani state and the US. Now, Karim has been disappeared. On Feb 5th, 15-20 men, some of them in police uniform, picked up Karim from his home in Rawalpindi, according to witnesses. They took him in front of his wife and children, and his whereabouts … Read entire article »

Filed under: Drones, Pak Tea House

The Silver Lining: Three Transgender Persons Become Government Employees

The Silver Lining: Three Transgender Persons Become Government Employees

by Kasim Osmani Browsing through e-papers has had been my routine over the past few years, partly because of the nature of my profession, and partly, because I am in a habit of it. Every day, I glance through a flood of news updates; Nawaz Sharif’s peace committee, government’s dialogue offer to the Taliban, the Sindh festival, Musharraf case, so on and so forth. Nothing caught my attention more than the Sindh government’s recent move in … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights

Will Taliban Destroy Pakistan?

Riaz Haq While some Pakistanis, including major political leaders, are afraid of speaking out against the Taliban, other Pakistanis are taking the challenge posed by the insurgents lightly. They are underestimating the power and the capacity of a rag-tag band of barbarians to bring down the Pakistani state and take control in the nation’s capital in Islamabad. It’s important for Pakistanis to learn from history to end such complacency. History Lessons: Famous medieval Islamic historian Abd ur Rehman Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) argued in his masterpiece“Muqaddima” that tribesmen and barbarians have often had more courage and social cohesion than settled and civilized folk.  He cited many instances in history when rag-tag bands of ill-educated and uncivilized insurgents have swept in and conquered lands whose rulers became corrupt and complacent. Fall of Empires: History is witness to the fact … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Islam, Taliban

A State in Search of a Nation!

A State in Search of a Nation!

By Saad Hafiz Pakistan’s main ideological foundations were based on a separate nationhood, culture and civilisation identified by Islam. The founding fathers envisaged Pakistan as one unified, centralised nation, with one religion, one people and one language. What began as an obvious attempt to use the emotional attachment of the Muslim masses to religion also became the building block of Pakistani nationalism. What followed was the disconnect of nationalism from modernity, a failed project of a consensual … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, History

Hakimullah Mehsud: The Challenges Ahead For Pakistan

Hakimullah Mehsud: The Challenges Ahead For Pakistan

By Waqas Rafique Looks like hard feelings between Pakistan and the United States could remerge. The way Pakistani authorities are reacting to the killing of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud is quite reminiscent of what happened when Osama Bin Laden (OBL) was taken out in a covert US Navy SEALS operation in Abbottabad back in 2011. Pakistan felt let down then, and surprisingly that is a vivid hint one gets now especially after the press … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Minorities in Pakistan: More Focus Required

Minorities in Pakistan: More Focus Required

A courageous TV show was conducted last night by Beenish Saleem and Raza Rumi, on Capital TV, discussing the plight of Pakistan’s forgotten minorities. The show can be seen in its enitirety at the following link: ( Rabia Mehmood and Shahzad Raza, journalists with extensive on-field experience in covering Minority issues in Paksitan were invited as guests. This kind of shows are a rarity in Pakistani media which usually revolves around its own cacophony. Godspeed to these … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogroll, Citizens, Constitution, Democracy, History, Jinnah, Law, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Pakistan, Partition, Religion, secular Pakistan, USA

Zinda Bhaag: a breath of fresh air

Zinda Bhaag: a breath of fresh air

By Sheharyar Rizwan The much-awaited and much-hyped offering from Pakistani cinema, Zinda Bhaag, was released to packed houses less than a week ago. The film got extra attention when it was announced as Pakistan’s official entry to the Oscars in the Best Foreign film category. While some celebrated the decision, others lashed out at the selection committee for promoting the film as an Oscar nominee when it had just been considered to represent Pakistan at the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cinema

What Is A Pakistani?

By Nabeel Jafri Many claim that Pakistan is a failed state. A problem cannot be solved without identifying it. So I sat down to dissect the problem but soon ran into a whole new one – to understand Pakistan, I had to understand the Pakistani first. In order to conduct some credible research, my Pakistani couldn’t simply be somebody I knew. It had to be a Pakistani I had no association with and someone who would be recognized by others for being a Pakistani as well. Thus, I set out to find myself a Pakistani to interview.   Unsure of where to start my search, I gave my parents a call. My mother answered the phone. ‘Mamma, I’m looking for a Pakistani. Where can I find one?’ ‘I can’t hear you properly. The rain damaged … Read entire article »

Filed under: musings, Pakistan

The Defenders

By Tamoor Zafar We are so used to listening to and believing in these politicians, they show their faces and defend their political parties and their fused leaders on TV, no matter how serious the issue is they will come up with some kind of defence but no shame and we still listen to them, let’s call these representatives the Defenders. These Defenders love to use precedents from the West. I always feel that If I could be there I could present a better defence, as I cannot be at two places at once therefore I came up with this idea to write some Western precedents which can provide defence to the Defenders on different issues. Nowadays a very common question the Defenders are facing is the question of the violation of sovereignty … Read entire article »

Filed under: Drones, Pakistan, Politics, USA

No One Will Come to Pakistan

Raza Habib Raja One of my very good friends from USA wanted to come to Pakistan. Before leaving I told him that I would get back and then let him know. And now with this latest killings of tourists, who is going to come here?  I have to now actually beg my friend not to come. Every time Pakistan surprises me with its ability to achieve new lows. During the past five years, I have seen Shiite massacre, attacks on Christians, countless suicide bombings and killing of liberal politicians. And overarching all this mayhem has been a sickening state of denial and apologetic defense. In denial mode, our “bright” mostly middleclass Pakistanis simply attribute everything to foreign powers whereas the apologists try to construe extremism as simply a reaction. The deniers often … Read entire article »

Filed under: Taliban, Terrorism, Travel, USA, violence


by Dr Tariq Khan: Sounds familiar? To me, very much so. I have heard nothing else but, as I grew up from a beardless boy in the 50’s and 60’s, to the present. This is what each set of corrupt and incompetent  “rulers” , whether Military or Civilian, have been telling us by way of a soother, while they picked our pockets with increasing brazenness. And not too much finesse. We seem to have got stuck on this Nazuk Morh, while others have surged on. Our arch enemy India is now way up there rubbing shoulders with the elite nations of this planet. But even Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh et al have all long overtaken us, while we are languishing on the Nazuk Morh with our 1950’s mindset and narrow Military … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

In Memorium: The Bara 15

In Memorium: The Bara 15

by Said Nazir Afridi Pakistan army, once the most respected institution in the government, abandoned Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan and is now losing the sympathy and love of tribesmen. It is not because of the military operation against the militants but for the indiscriminate use of force in the war on terror. The recent killing of 15 innocent tribesmen at the hands of the security forces in Alamgudar area of Bara is one of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Passport to Paradise

By Ghazala Akbar Every five years or so, those Pakistanis fortunate to travel for work or for pleasure go through a period of extreme anxiety and trepidation: the renewal of the green Passport. What should, in theory at least, be a routine visit to a Passport Office or an Embassy to establish a fundamental right often becomes a merry- go- round that merits inclusion in Dante’s nine circles of hell. Thankfully, not anymore. Welcome to E- Government, Pakistani-style. Some of us born in pre-historic eras (i.e. prior to 1977) are inclined to view Pakistani history through rose- tinted glasses, wallowing in nostalgia, wistful and maudlin at the sorry decline in the standards of public services. Some of it is justified, some is not. We should give credit where credit is due. Under the steady watchful eye of N.A.D.R.A. (National Data … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Interesting Recent News from Pakistan

By Prof. Farakh A Khan : AQ Khan has come up with silly news. In a press conference he claimed that about 800 people were involved in nuclear proliferation to ‘two countries’ and he was ‘ordered’ by BB to do so. Firstly you don’t need 800 people to send centrifuges abroad. In this venture the army top brass was totally involved. BB was not liked by the army and she had no control over the nuclear programme. AQ claims that he was instrumental in nuclear tests in May 1998 and persuaded NS, through threats, to go ahead. Investigations against AQ were started by NS in 1999. Musharraf took the files and axed him since many army officers were involved and the Americans were breathing down his neck. He came out hard … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion