Daily Archives: March 12, 2008

Mir Taqi Mir

By Bhupinder Singh

Mir wrote more profusely than Ghalib and much of it, like Kabir and Insha, in simple words. There are a number of ghazals in the long behr, but the most memorable ones are in the short.His stress on feminine beauty (or, in other words, formalism) unlike in Ghalib, lead the late Ali Sardar Jafri to observe that Mir had one foot in modern and another in what in Urdu poetry is derisively called kanghi choti ki shayari.

Some of Mir’s sheyrs are hauntingly simple and touching:

nazuki uske lab ki kya kahiye
pankhadi ik ghulaab ki si hai

yeh jo mohlat jise kahain hai hum
dekho to intzaar sa hai kuch

And my favourite ghazal (rendered memorably by Mehdi Hassan- and according to me the finest ghazal ever sung):

dekh to, dil ke jaan se uthta hai
ye dhuan sa kahan se uthta hai

gor diljale ki hai ye falak
shola ik subha yaan se uthta hai

khana e dil se zeenhara se na ja
koi aise makaan se uthta hai

yoon uthe aah us gali se hum
jaise koi jahan se uthta hai Continue reading


Filed under History, Pakistan, poetry, Urdu

Questions after Lahore

The NEWS, Wednesday, March 12, 2008
by Nasim Zehra

Within 48 hours of the signing of the Murree Declaration between Pakistan’s two leading political parties, we yet again have been hit by the magnitude of the internal security challenge we collectively face. The fifth round of post-election suicide bombing attacks has hit Lahore. Over 25 more of our precious Pakistani people have died and many more precious ones from the badly injured too will go. Beginning with the endless spate of 2007 suicide attacks Pakistan is now regularly bathed in blood. There is no redline left to cross now for those who mastermind and execute these attacks. Killing knows no limit and death-planners have completely drained themselves of all sensitivity.

In 2007 almost 1,000 Pakistani lives were lost and in the first three months of 2008 already 350-plus have died. What can we then state without doubt about the unquestionably fast growing curse of terrorism? One, that it hits all alike, the entire nation in many geographical zones, those of the VIP ilk as well the average citizens. Two, the targets of the bombers are not from a particular organisation, faith, ideology or gender. Three, over the last five years, when the army began its operation in the tribal areas, the incidence of terrorist violence has considerably gone up. Four, there is no evidence that President Pervez Musharraf’s policy of tackling terrorism has produced positive results in these five years, despite his claim that the government was able to get the masterminds behind these bombings.

Pakistanis are today a nation exhausted by: one, the Musharraf regime’s mantra that it is winning the war on terrorism; two, by the government’s and analysts’ dubious assertion that we are the frontline state in the war on terrorism; three, by the president’s assertion that Pakistan’s extremists have to be defeated and that the moderates supported (in fact, recently the president again claimed that in these elections the extremists had been defeated); four, by Washington’s insistence that Pakistan needs to “do more”; five, by the international community’s concern that the Pakistani politicians may undermine the West’s war on terrorism. Of course, beyond these words is the utter pain, horror and terror that the continued bombings inflict on the people of Pakistan. Often it is the fear of terrorism that the Western world experiences and not the Pakistani blood that is spilt that dominates the global discourse on terrorism and violence. Continue reading

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Filed under Pakistan

Suicide Bombings

Cubano Pervez Hoodbhoy writes:

Why do so many Pakistanis who should know better suddenly lose their voice when it comes to condemning suicide bombings? Is it because the bomber kills in the name of Islam? Are people muted in their criticism lest they be regarded as irreligious or even blasphemous?

Or, is the silence political?…..

It is true that suicide bombings were a rarity in Pakistan until the army acted against Islamic militants in the tribal areas on US prodding. Army action against the Lal Masjid militants was another turning point. But the majority of today’s dead and wounded are perfectly ordinary people. Many were pious Muslims, and some were killed in the act of prayer. They had absolutely nothing to do with American or Pakistani forces.

Even with evidence staring them in the face, most Pakistanis seem locked into a state of denial. They refuse to accept the obvious fact that more and more mullahs have created cults around themselves and exercise control over the lives of worshippers. An enabling environment of poverty, deprivation, lack of justice, and extreme differences of wealth is perfect for demagogues.

More here.


Filed under Islamism, Pakistan, Religion, Terrorism