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Negotiations – the ultimate solution!

Negotiations – the ultimate solution!

By Amir Abbas Turi I wish I could quote Elbaradei; “The time is right for a political solution and the way is negotiations.” But still it’s never too late. In politics and, especially, in democracy, there isn’t a everlasting deadlock and the doors for negotiations are always opened for the political foes. The current political turmoil between the ‘democratic’, ‘partially democratic’ and ‘undemocratic’ forces has resulted in the chaos; which might hamper the growth of democracy … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Citizens, Constitution, Democracy, Elections, ISI, Islamabad, Lahore, Media, movements, Opinion, Parliament, Politics, Revolution, Society, Yusuf Raza Gillani, Zardari

Getting democracy right

Getting democracy right

by Saad Hafiz John Adams, the US’s second president, once pronounced: “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” He was clearly wrong. Democracy remains the most powerful and successful political idea — the great victor of the ideological clashes of the 20th century — embraced more pervasively than ever before in the world today. It should be an imperative therefore to shield … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Citizens, Constitution, Corruption, Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, Europe, History, human rights, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, Revolution

Is Pakistan’s PM Sharif in Trouble?

Raza Rumi’s tweets sum up the underlying causes for the current political chaos.   Raza Rumi points out the Irony of PMLN Govt on maintaining a firm stance on Musharaf trial and ignoring the fact that they themselves have people in their cabinet who are part of Musharaf’s crimes. Thus creating a huge tension between civil-military establishment of which the present drama is the latest installment. [View the story "Is Pakistan's PM Sharif in Trouble?" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Constitution, Corruption, Democracy, Elections, ISI, Media, Pak Tea House, Parliament, Raza Rumi, Revolution, Storify, Twitter

Inqilab March Unites with Azadi March

Inqilab March Unites with Azadi March

On these crucial moments of political chaos, Raza Rumi analyze the situation after the call of merging Tahir ul Qadri’s “Inqilaab March” with Imran Khan’s Azadi March.   [View the story "Inqilab March included in Azadi March" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Constitution, Democracy, Economy, Elections, History, journalism, Judiciary, Lahore, Media, Pakistan, Politics, Raza Rumi, Revolution, state, Storify, Twitter, violence

Taboos on the brink: What you don’t know about Balochistan

Taboos on the brink: What you don’t know about Balochistan

By: Farooq Abdullah For Most of us, the group of words like violence against women, harassment at institutions or work places, rape, honor killing and gender disparity are not that staggering because we listen about these so often in mainstream media–both domestic and international–that it offers none but very little appall by now. Besides, it is way too “ordinary” a news in this part of the world to get noticed. India, for instance, where reports of raping … Read entire article »

Filed under: baluchistan, Citizens, Conservation, culture, Democracy, Education, human rights, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, public policy, Rights, Women

Pakistan’s youth: The ideological challenge

Pakistani Leaders have abused religion and Anti-America slogans to achieve political gains for decades. This has created a society where committing barbarities in the name of Religion or using Anti-America sentiment is Kosher. For decades our youth have been in filled with Ideas that Taliban are fighting a “Holy War” against the Imperialist and Anti Islam forces thus their barbarities are overlooked. [View the story "Pakistan’s youth: The ideological challenge" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Drones, ISI, Pakistan, public policy, Raza Rumi, Storify, Twitter, violence, war

Pawns in a game

Pawns in a game

by Saad Hafiz It is no exaggeration to state that women have lived under centuries of arbitrary androcentric traditions and religious intolerance. An early illustration is the tale of Hypatia of Alexandria, a female philosopher and mathematician, born in Alexandria, Egypt in 370 CE. Hypatia was the daughter of the mathematician Theon, the last professor at the University of Alexandria, who tutored her in math, astronomy and the philosophy of the day, which, in modern times, … Read entire article »

Filed under: ancient civilisations, History, Honor Killing, human rights, Philosophy, Religion, Revolution, Women

A Rodeo of Political Chaos

A Rodeo of Political Chaos

By Fazal Abbas Tie-down Roping or Calf Roping is a timed rodeo event, particularly famous with American cowboys, which features a calf and a rider mounted on a horse. The goal of this sport is for the rider to lasso the calf, dismount from the horse, run to the calf, and control it by tying three legs together. All of these activities have to be executed in as short a time as possible. Now let’s apply this … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Democracy, Islamabad, Lahore, Opinion, Pakistan, Politics, Punjab, Revolution, Taliban, Terrorism

Servants, not masters

by Saad Hafiz In the aftermath to the country’s independence, Mr Jinnah clearly articulated the role of the military: “Do not forget that the armed forces are the servants of the people. You do not make national policy; it is we, the civilians, who decide these issues and it is your duty to carry out these tasks with which you are entrusted.” Other than large-size pictures of the founding father that adorn military institutions, Mr Jinnah’s unambiguous view on civil-military relations was soon buried like the rest of his legacy, to the country’s detriment. With Mr Jinnah’s passing, the military swiftly suborned the political apparatus, becoming the driving force behind the country’s politics, ideology and destiny. It saw fit to manipulate civilian politicians, manage civilian institutions, and invest in a military economy … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, human rights, Jinnah, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Politics, public policy, Society

It All Started With…

Obaidullah Khan Some of us might have heard the story of the young apprentice who was sent to a renowned healer of that time in a far away village to master the art of healing and could become a source of blessing for his village where no healer was available. The first patient they attended together was suffering from abdominal problem. The healer checked the pulse and while observing the surroundings he saw some grains of chickpeas under the patient’s bed. He asked the patients whether he ate chickpeas last time. His speculation got confirmed and the healer suggested the medicine and the patient became healthy again. While returning the apprentice told him that he had learned a lot during that visit and had already mastered the art of healing enough and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blasphemy, Citizens, Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, human rights, Islamism, Justice, Law, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Opinion, Punjab, Religion, Rights, secular Pakistan, Society, violence

Democracy and religion

By Saad Hafiz The theological ethicist Reinhold Niebuhr summed up his arguments on democracy and religion in two powerful sentences: 1) “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary” and 2) “Religion is so frequently a source of confusion in political life, and so frequently dangerous to democracy, precisely because it introduces absolutes into the realm of relative values.” Taking heed of Niebuhr’s concerns, modern secular, mostly western liberal democracies have tended to exclude religious considerations from civil affairs or public education.  These societies actively foster democratic traditions and institutions and discourage strident religious dogma.  Secular institutions ensure equality under the law, human rights, freedom of expression and respect for all religious beliefs.  In the political sphere, a tradition of free and fair elections encourages politicians and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Education, History, Islam, Pakistan, Religion, Rights

Crying Over Spilt Milk

Crying Over Spilt Milk

By Obaidullah Khan If you are living in a wooden cottage and see someone setting the very next wooden cottage on fire, what would you do? If you sit quietly and watch silently, thinking that a very next cottage on fire will cause no harm to my wooden cottage then you certainly are none other than a Pakistani. Believe it or not, we Pakistanis have the very same mindset as a whole. We damn care what … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Citizens, Democracy, human rights, Islam, Islamism, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Pakistan, peace, Punjab, Religion, Rights, Rural, secularism, Sindh, Taliban, Terrorism, violence

Sadly, Imran Khan is on the wrong side of history

Kashif Ali Karl Marx famously said that history repeats itself “first as tragedy, second as farce”. It seems Imran Khan is proving Marx right. First of all, I am a strong Democrat. I have always detested military dictatorships. Perhaps it’s also the reason why I was so moved by the recent indictment of former President Pervez Musharraf that I even wrote a blog arguing how putting Musharraf on trial for his unlawful acts will strengthen the democratic process in Pakistan that has been hampered by frequent military interventions. However, it’s only recently that I began to realize that it is not just about military but the civilians have also done equal damage to the growth of a democratic tradition in Pakistan. Especially, since 1970’s, with the rise of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto; when politicians … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Elections, Marxism, Pakistan, Politics, Punjab, state

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