Daily Archives: June 14, 2008

Myanmar Disaster

“Dedicated to the people of Burma in their hour of need…………………but stands there, the government and its obstacles “!!!

Hidden in its pain and in its awake,
Humans of no relation to me,
Different their faces and features
Different their customs and language

Only in common, the humanity
More than enough to last and bind
The distant strangers, as of their own

Stands there in my way,
The old statues of fallen grace
The old hands cast in iron
Abundance in arrogance but miserly
Of knowing their own, and humanity

They say “nature is brutal” but more
These hands of arrogance and power
This old disease with no cure
In brutality, in control and indifference

Let me help, those mothers and children
Let me help, those tattered souls
Listen to these pleas and appeals

Hidden in its pain and in its awake
Humans of no relation to me,
Only to be killed again, by you
In the name of control and power


Comments Off on Myanmar Disaster

Filed under Citizens, Democracy, poetry, Politics, Society, Writers

The electric, worrisome and meandering Long March

Raza Rumi

NYT report on Long March highlights the electrifying atmosphere in Islamabad yesterday:

The crowd, including an unusual number of women for this Muslim country, along with families and members of small political parties, continued to swell after midnight, waiting in a festive atmosphere for the main speakers to arrive by bus and plane from around the country.

Mr. Sharif showed solidarity with the lawyers, appearing on the stage with by his party’s activists at 2:30 a.m. Saturday to address the demonstrators. Mr. Sharif said there should be a process of public accountability for Mr. Musharraf, and he should not be granted a safe exit. In recent weeks, Mr. Sharif has repeatedly called for the impeachment of Mr. Musharraf.

Aitzaz Ahsan, the leader of the lawyers’ movement, who drove in a caravan of cars for three days from Lahore, also arrived after midnight as local television channels continued to show the event. At an earlier stop, 60 miles outside the capital, Mr. Ahsan said: “We are out in the streets to save Pakistan. We want social justice; we want political justice and constitutional justice.”

An activist from Islamabad writes:

We are today passing through blurred times. Imagine the perplexity of the situation. The former military hawks (like Hamid Gul, Aslam Baig, and countless others) are now speaking the tongue of democrates. Jamaat Islami is struggling for the rule of law. The groups who boycoted the last election have monoplized the interpretation of the election mandate and will of the people.
The last day Long March was one of its vivid manifestations. As I live in Islamabad, I got the opportunity to observe the March. It was predominantly Jamaat Islami show. After a long time, I heard slogans and (military) songs which I was used to listen in my youth in Zia’s era. Correct, this aspect of March was not much highlighted in the mainstream (free,corporate) media. … So we need to think twice and thrice before forming any rigid position on the issues we are facing today. 

Daily Times rather dispassioantely looks into the Long March:

Despite Aitzaz Ahsan’s histrionics, one shouldn’t carry the analogy of Mao Tse Tung’s Long March too far because in it only a fraction of the marchers managed to survive. But the lawyers’ growing political baggage is making the original “legalistic” camel lurch a little. Some observers of the lawyers’ passage in Lahore say the Long March was “hijacked” by the PMLN and its leader Mr Nawaz Sharif who used the occasion at Azadi Chowk at the Minar-e Pakistan in Lahore to whip up his by-election campaign too. The public meeting was a PMLN success. Continue reading


Filed under lawyers movement, movements, Pakistan, Politics, state

Inflation at all-time high of 19%

By Tanveer Ahmed

KARACHI: Inflation reached all-time high of 19.27 percent in May [2008], mainly because of growing prices of food items.

The coalition government has already hinted at missing of inflation target of 6.5 percent in the Economic Survey released Tuesday and believed the average inflation settling over 11 percent by the end of financial year 2007-08.

Analysts, however predict the average inflation will be closing at 12 percent or slightly above that in the fiscal year, which will end June 30, 2008.

Data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics Wednesday showed that food inflation, measured through the Consumer Price Index (CPI), swelled to record 28.48 percent in May, highest in over three decades. Continue reading

Comments Off on Inflation at all-time high of 19%

Filed under Economy, Pakistan

Islam’s Silent Moderates: Subverting the discourse of exclusion 5

by Shaheryar Ali

Of the three great systems of exclusion governing discourse – prohibited words, the division of madness and the will to truth …” Foucault

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”, Noam Chomsky

The most important system of control of discourse working in the moslem societies is “prohibition”. An imagined ‘Islam’ has emerged as the single most important tool for censorship in Islamic world. When it involves other issues like “blasphemy” one could be certain that no voice will ever emerge in opposition to censorship. This is one of the most suffocating experiences to live in when those who struggled all their lives for change and freedom appear to be on board with the tyrants. It is precisely this “ideological gap” within the progressive and modernist moslem establishment which let people like Ayan Hirsi Ali to emerge!

Heroine of the “new Right”, its fashionable these days to slander and dismiss Ali in almost all progressive circles of Europe. The problem unfortunately will not disappear by this continuous “Tabbara” on her. The lacuna within the progressive left ,which has sealed its lips in name of “anti imperialism” on fundamentalism, freedom of expression, and Islamic roots of violence and subjugation of women, has to be filled. The alliances from Lebanon to Islamabad with Islamic fundamentalism have to be broken and progressive position be taken on feminism and other “transitory demands”.

Keeping the Neo-conservative political agenda aside ,Ali stands out as a bold and eloquent lady who has dared to break the silence on Islamic gendricide. “The caged Virgin” and “The Son Factory” stand out as phenomenal contribution on developing a radical feminist discourse in moslem world. The article I have chosen present the core argument of the progressive moslem left , the argument of “moderate moslem majority” – that “the moderates” are silent .

I recall a line: “Since the holocaust, you know what the Jews fear the most?” ” The Silence!”


Islam’s Silent Moderates

Ayan Hirsi Ali

In the last few weeks, in three widely publicized episodes, we have seen Islamic justice enacted in ways that should make Muslim moderates rise up in horror. Continue reading


Filed under Islam, movements, musings, Religion, Rights, Women