Tag Archives: Identity

New Year, New Tasks

By: Agha Haider Raza

2011 has been a rather tumultuous year for Pakistan. There have been too many incidents to highlight and ponder over.  With the assassination of Salmaan Taseer in January to the deaths of Pakistani soldiers in November, the land of the pure has taken a lot of bruising. Despite suffering at the hands of homegrown and natural disasters, Pakistan continues to point fingers at the United States and other foreign intelligence agencies.  Now don’t get me wrong, the US has done its fair share to ruffle things up in the region, but I have to ask– how long can the country blame foreign powers for our own misery? Pakistan has failed to create a cohesive narrative at a time when it is most necessary.

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A Deadly Silence

By: Agha Haider Raza

When Salmaan Taseer was assassinated eight weeks ago, I quoted Max Weber in my article: “If the power of violence shifts from the state to the people, we also see a shift from a state to anarchy”.  Weber’s paradigm of anarchy is becoming more evident in Pakistan as time progresses.  The brutal murder of Shahbaz Bhatti in Islamabad has solidified the notion that the PPP led government is ignoring extremism.  This perturbed ideology is challenging the writ of the State and if not handled with the delicacy and precision required, we will surely dissolve into a state of oblivion. Continue reading

Holy SMS!

By Nadeem F. Paracha

One of Mr. Paracha’s finest by far!

Pakistanis love emailing and text messaging quotes from hadiths and assorted religious paraphernalia. I usually ignore such messages because in my mind I imagine a holy punter who is convinced that each email or SMS of his is getting him that much closer to booking a cosy place in heaven. The truth is that this (albeit irritating) activity is actually better than a holy bum blowing himself up in public to find that same place in Paradise. Continue reading

The Pakistan Government along with her Military and Citizens.

By: Agha Haider Raza

In the December 18th New York Times publication, an article Pakistan Ministers Are Called Before the Courts was written by Jane Perlez and Salman Masood.  Though the article does state the annulment of the National Reconciliation Ordinance and the repercussions of the decision taken by the Pakistan Supreme Court, it has given an image portraying the Pakistan Army as an anti-democratic institution.  Understandably the Pakistan Army is going through a turbulent phase.  The army is currently engaged in a battle against militants who are adamant in bringing down the current democratic set up in Pakistan.  However, one must not forget that many of these militants have grown up in the same neighborhood as the army soldiers, and regardless of allegiance, it is always difficult to take up arms against a childhood acquaintance. Continue reading

Roots of terrorism

By:  Shahid Javed Burki

Although there are still a couple of weeks to go before the new year, 2009 will go down in Pakistan’s exceptionally turbulent history as the country’s bloodiest year — bloodier than the time of ‘Operation Cleanup’ in the early 1990s in Karachi. The security forces then dealt with a situation that was confined to one city, albeit the largest in the country and that was the result of warring groups seeking to establish their political and economic writ. It was not aimed at destroying the Pakistani state or establishing a new political, economic and social order. It was about control of the city. This time the state is the target. Continue reading

We are Pakistan!

By: Agha Haider Raza

Yet again Pakistani’s find themselves, lined up, shoulder to shoulder offering prayers for the departed.  The brazen attack during Friday namaaz has clearly shown the audacity and ability of the militants present within Pakistan.  On the one side, the suicidal mission that was led out is a direct signal to the Pakistan Army (the attack was taken out in the officers residential colony in Parade Lane, Rawalpindi Saddar) for retreating its forces in the tribal region, while also visibly proving that these militants are not Muslims.  The issue for me however is, why have our top brass only been visible at the namaaz-e-jinaza when one of their own has lost their life?  Poor Peshawar has been witnessing non-stop death and bombs.  It surely has been a while since I saw or read the Prime Minister being in this troubled city of Peshawar, rubbing shoulders with us and praying for those who have lost their lives due to actions taken by the state. Continue reading

Pakistan conspiracy theories stifle debate

By: Ahmed Rashid

Switch on any of the dozens of satellite news channels now available in Pakistan.

You will be bombarded with talk show hosts who are mostly obsessed with demonising the elected government, trying to convince viewers of global conspiracies against Pakistan led by India and the United States or insisting that the recent campaign of suicide bomb blasts around the country is being orchestrated by foreigners rather than local militants.

Viewers may well ask where is the passionate debate about the real issues that people face – the crumbling economy, joblessness, the rising cost of living, crime and the lack of investment in health and education or settling the long-running insurgency in Balochistan province.

The answer is nowhere. Continue reading

I Want Jinnah’s Pakistan

By: Tariq Ali

Suicide bombings, death, destruction and carnage on a monumental scale. Murder and mayhem across the length and breadth of the country with no sign of let up or relief. Senior army officers targeted in broad daylight in the heart of the federal capital.The audacity, vicious nature and cruelty of the onslaught increasing with each passing day. Is this the Muslim homeland envisaged by the founding fathers? Certainly not! Jinnah’s vision of his creation was negated and nullified with the adoption of the Objectives Resolution shortly after his death in 1949. Continue reading

Identity Crisis

By: Murtaza Razvi

1755Paki is a Paki no matter where and what. Those complaining of racism abroad should also look at the way they’re treated at home. Please get it right: it is not always your colour or, of late, religion that may be responsible for the way you’re treated by goras and Arabs alike; it is the Pakistani identity. Those who are known to have little respect at home can lay claim to even less while in foreign lands. Continue reading