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Who was Raza Rumi?

It was only late in the night when I came to know that Raza Rumi was attacked—By whom and why? I do not know. I just know that because of the consequence of that unprovoked attacked, Raza was compelled to leave Pakistan and settle in some neutral land where his safety and security is, at least, not at risk. Well, so much has been written about the unfortunate circumstances and plight of the security of journalists in Pakistan and so much has been said already too. I may save myself from taking a dip in this vast sea. Here I want to expound on who was Raza Rumi. A Teacher? A Sufi Master? A Friend? I have no words to express my grief over these unfortunate and saddening times. Long gone … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, human rights, Identity, Lahore, liberal Pakistan, Media, Punjab, Raza Rumi, Rights, secular Pakistan, secularism, Terrorism, Twitter, violence

Who attacked Raza Rumi: A few pointers

Punjab Police has arrested members of a banned outfit in connection with attack on author, journalist Raza Rumi. Here are a few tweets posted by an investigative reporter Asad Kharal. The intent of terrorists seems to be clear. They missed the target. May God protect Rumi who has left the country. [View the story "Who attacked Raza Rumi: A few pointers" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Lahore, Raza Rumi, Storify, Terrorism, Twitter

Ahrar-ul-Hind II: Faqir of Ipi, Majlis-e-Ahrar, and the TTP

By Yasser Latif Hamdani This is to carry on from the last blog-post where I wrote about the Ahrar-ul-Hind which is a militant reincarnation of Majlis-e-Ahrar and the anti-Pakistan “nationalist” forces who had opposed the making of Pakistan and called its founder “Kafir-e-Azam”.  The narrative that I put up- grounded in fact and history – has evoked a rather unbecoming reaction from some Pushtun Nationalist  bloggers and commentators. They feel that Majlis-e-Ahrar being an entirely Punjab based phenomenon is entirely different from Ahrar-ul-Hind.  They feel that Majlis-e-Ahrar (which was a bigoted anti-Ahmadi, Anti-Shia organization) was a progressive organization only because it opposed Pakistan, was allied with Bacha Khan and the Congress and fought against “capitalism” and “colonialism”.  To this group, Ataullah Shah Bokhari (the grand doyen of the Anti-Ahmadi movement in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Punjab and Army

Punjab and Army

Raza Habib Raja Most of the political developments in Pakistan involve armed forces and also Punjab’s politicians as Punjab is the most populous province. Some or the other, a narrative has developed which links Punjab and armed forces (who mostly hail from Punjab) in a conspiring role.  The phrase “Punjabi Establishment” is often used by the liberal intelligentsia with the intention of not only showing the ethnic makeup of such establishment but also highlight its conspiracy mindset … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Punjab

SPLITTING INDIA: A Corrective of Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed’s Inaccuracies

SPLITTING INDIA: A Corrective of Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed’s Inaccuracies

This article is in response to the so called “myth busting” series on partition by Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed, published in The Friday Times.  Tragically the so called “myth busting series” is fraught with errors, concealment and special pleading. In this first rebuttal I will only address the factual inaccuracies so far. I do intend to write more rebuttals as the good dr continues his “myth busting” reinforcement of nationalist narratives of India and Pakistan.   By … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, India, Jinnah, Partition

Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan

In clear concise and consistent terms, Mr Jinnah laid down his vision for Pakistan. After this, there is no room for discussion in my view. Popular sovereignty with equal rights regardless of religion – this is the essence of a modern democratic state.  No vague notions of sovereignty being vested in a deity etc. -YLH Document No: 01472105 Interview with Mr. Doon Campbell, Reuters’ Correspondent, New Delhi, 21st May 1947 Q. What sort of relationship do you envisage between Pakistan and Hindustan? Ans. Friendly and reciprocal in the mutual interest of both. That is why I have been urging: let us separate in a friendly way and remain friends thereafter. Q. How would you divide the armed forces? Do you envisage a defence pact or any other kind of military alliance between Pakistan and Hindustan? Ans. All the armed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Samosa and the Courts

By Noah Bokhari: The Supreme Court allowed an appeal by the Punjab Bakers and Sweet Federation and set aside a notification by the Punjab government through which the price of a Samosa was fixed at Rs6. In 2009, the City District Government of Lahore on the instruction of the Punjab government had fixed price of a samosa at Rs6 and the magistrates had imposed fine on shopkeepers for selling samosa at higher rates. The Punjab Bakers and Sweets Federation through its president Muhammad Afzal had challenged this order before the Lahore High Court (LHC). Their petition was dismissed allowing the CDGL and Punjab Government to keep the price of Samosa at Rs 6 and continue the prohibitive action against the vendors . An appeal was filed in the Supreme Court against the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Punjab

Are Punjabis Chauvinists?

Raza Habib Raja At the onset I would like to make one thing clear that this article is not a negation of my earlier article titled as the “The Punjabi Pakistan” . This clarification is essential because there is bound to be confusion when I am critical of a state structure favoring Punjab and at the same time try to defend ordinary Punjabis. People will object as supposedly  there are overlaps as a particular state structure  in a democratic state is at least theoretically supposed to be a representative of people’s will. Democracy as they all say is after all the game of numbers and if Punjab is the most populous province then definitely ordinary Punjabis have some say in this. A common narrative is that Punjabis are chauvinistic and are always … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Inside Story of the Doctors Movement

The Inside Story of the Doctors Movement

by Anonymous The first recorded protest by students in Punjab was in 1905 when students from King Edward Medical College, led by Dr. Satya Paul protested against the discrimination being faced by the students (Page 21, Pakistan Main Tulaba Tehreek, Professor Aziz uddin Ahmed). The first proper National Student Body was founded by yet another medical student, Dr. Sarwar from Dow Medical College, Karachi. Dr. Sarwar formed Pakistan’s first student union, the Democratic Students Federation (DSF). … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Doctors, human rights, Judiciary, lawyers movement, Media, movements, Pakistan, Uncategorized

Baloch Separatism is not a liberal cause

We are posting this exclusive article by Yasser Latif Hamdani. It should be noted that this is the personal view of the author and should not be construed as the stance of Pak Tea House, its editors and contributors. PTH Admn It is become some what of trend in chattering classes of Pakistan where causes are fads and the latest fashion. If you disagree with Baloch separatism you are automatically illiberal, Islamist, ISI Stooge, Punjabi elite boys, fakester, Fake Liberal, racist against Baloch people and so on and so forth. Therefore let me state it at the outset- Baloch Separatism is not a liberal cause. In fact it is not much of a cause as much as it is a bunch of political actors fighting over royalty from Gas well heads … Read entire article »

Filed under: baluchistan

Of Tazias, Pirjhas and Chiniot

Of Tazias, Pirjhas and Chiniot

By Hasan Miraj: In the unleveled streets of Chiniot, the life takes up a sad note with the arrival of Muharram. Though the Shia community constitutes only 28 percent of the entire district but there is much more reverence than the census indicates. Chiniot, is the house of oldest and finest Tazias in Indo Pak subcontinent.  A total of nine tazias are produced in different dates of Muharram and eventually they all get assembled at Maidan, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

A Souvenir from the Punjab

By Kiran Rezvi It started when my nephew expressed his wish to travel and perform with a dance troupe; the entire family came in to offer unsolicited advice.  Some typical macho males were against a boy dancing, others more religious were against the satanic display of music and dance. However, surprisingly enough, the biggest opposition came from the ‘nationalists’, who raised the point that dancing would have been ok, had it not been tap dancing. “Why can’t he join a ‘bhang.ra’ dance group? Our culture is far better than Irish,” came a passionate statement from a cousin. I normally stay away from such debates, but her comments caught my attention, particularly the one that described bhang.ra as ‘our’ culture. Nanaji, my grandfather, was a vibrant character. He used to enthrall us with … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The wheat mountains of the Punjab

By M. S. SWAMINATHAN In this file photo workers cover bags of wheat at a godown in Fatehgarh Saheb district of Punjab. Farmers in Punjab contribute nearly 40 per cent of the wheat and 26 per cent of the rice needed to sustain the public distribution system. The arrival of large quantities of wheat in the grain markets of the Punjab-Haryana region is a heart-warming sight, while poor storage is a matter of national shame. It was in April-May … Read entire article »

Filed under: south asia, state

A case for 20 provinces

By Yasser Latif Hamdani How many provinces should Pakistan have and are the current provinces and provincial identities sacrosanct? There is no good reason to assume so. Identity is always imagined and subjective. Administrative redistribution should not affect ethnic identity because there are Punjabis, Pushtoons, Sindhis, Baloch, Urdu speaking and other ethnicities living everywhere in Pakistan. However for the marginalised peoples of this multi-ethnic multi-cultural state of ours, administrative redistribution of provinces might actually be the best check against a tyrannical majority. … Read entire article »

Filed under: baluchistan, Pakistan

Terror’s Training Ground

By Ayesha Siddiqa A few years ago, I met some young boys from my village near Bahawalpur who were preparing to go on jihad. They smirked politely when I asked them to close their eyes and imagine their future. “We can tell you without closing our eyes that we don’t see anything.” It was not entirely surprising. South Punjab is a region mired in poverty and underdevelopment. There are few job prospects for the youth. While the government … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Punjabi, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism