Daily Archives: July 8, 2008

Mehreen Jabbar’s Ramchand Pakistani

By Selina Haider cross-posted from here

An enthusiastic applause followed soon after Mehreen Jabbar’s ‘Ramchand Pakistani’ ended in a in a packed downtown cinema in New York last night!

The movie had recently been nominated for the competition section of the Tribeca Film Festival 2008, New York.

The film portrays the story of a family torn apart as a father follows his son who had accidentally strayed across the border into India, and both get captured by the Indian authorities. Nandita Das from the acclaimed hits of the 1990s like Fire (1996) and Earth [1998] plays the Pakistani mother stuggling for their freedom, and mourning their long absence. This story is said to be based on true events. Continue reading

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I will find it – a poem

Kashkin – (Pak Tea House’s poet-in-residence)

In these empty corners of this earth,
I belong somewhere, a land of my own
I hear my names, as my soul cries
Alone and abandoned, in my search
From one place to another, I move
Like an orphan from one home to another

In these empty corners of this earth,
I belong somewhere, a land of my own
As these caravans of my existence
Walk through these avenues of extinction
In distress, in despair out of horizon
Like an orphan from one home to another

In these empty corners of this earth,
Elusive this dream, elusive my reach
On the move, like caravans of the desert
In misfortunes my soul, wrapped up
From one place to another, I move
Like an orphan from home to another

In these empty corners of this earth
I belong somewhere, a land of my own
Will find it one day alive or dead
The light of my travels and existence
As I hear those places with my name
Etched and engraved, in silence!

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

Referendum and the Pakhtunistan Demand (NWFP II)

BY YASSER LATIF HAMDANI

(Continuation from “The beginning of the New Great Game”)

June 3rd Plan – agreed upon by Congress and Muslim League- envisaged a referendum in the NWFP to determine which constituent assembly the province will join.  Prior to this, Jawaharlal Nehru and the Congress had waged a successful campaign against Sir Olaf Caroe, the governor of NWFP, removed because he was deemed by Nehru and Dr. Khan Sahib to be partial towards the Muslim League. Perceptive historians on both sides of the border have since concluded otherwise.  In any event Sir Olaf was replaced by Rob Lockhart.   It was under the new governor, who enjoyed the confidence of the Congress Party and its ministry in the Frontier that the referendum was to be held.

Howard Donovan, the Counselor for US Embassy in Delhi, in his periodic report of 26th June, 1948 addressed to US Secretary of State George Marshall, points out that “observers in New Delhi believe that the Muslim League will win the forthcoming referendum and that it is a foregone conclusion that the NWFP will join Pakistan.  This is unpalatable to Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his recent talks with Jinnah and Gandhi in Delhi were an effort to forestall… Gandhi has supported Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan… Nehru, Patel, and other Congress members of the Government are understood to be opposed to the idea of Pathanistan.  It is of course ridiculous for the Congress to oppose independence of Travancore and at the same time espouse the cause of independence for the North West Frontier Province… Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s action will further complicate the situation in the North West Frontier Province and it will in all probability lead to further strife and bloodshed” Continue reading

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Filed under History, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Partition