Daily Archives: August 28, 2008

"Proud to be an American," they exult!

I don't mean to be negative–I was born in West Africa and my brother and I often feel like African Americans in our sensitivities–and my son insists he's dad is one. I am just glad America is coming around. As Al Sharpton put it in the last cycle "We're just asking America, Live up what you say on paper." 😉

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Filed under Pakistan

Reform or perish -Police and Human Rights

“Police reform in South Asia is too important to neglect and too urgent to delay”, concludes a
recently published report

By Asad Jamal

“Feudal Forces: Democratic Nations — Police Accountability in Commonwealth South Asia”, is a study by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to ‘the practical realisation of human rights in the countries of the Commonwealth’.

The study mainly focuses on the mechanism of accountability of police in legal frameworks in five South Asian countries of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives (Commonwealth South Asia).

Transparency, accountability and democratic participation are the three major strands that make the present day society work in an efficient and just manner. Among these three fundamental requisites, reliable processes of accountability make the police a public service in the real sense. The need to reform the police and develop strong accountability mechanisms arises in view of the public experience of policing in the Commonwealth South Asia, as the CHRI study points out: “Public experiences of policing show that police are more often characterised by violations of laws and individual rights rather than protection of them. From murders, to torture, disappearances, excessive use of force, failure to follow due process, biased policing, to corruption — the list of violations committed by the police is endless.” Continue reading

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Filed under human rights, Pakistan, state

جب شعر سفر کرجائےگا – Ahmad Faraz remembered

بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، اسلام آباد

جب شعر سفر کرجائےگا

ناصر کاظمی، احمد ندیم قاسمی، جون ایلیا، خاطر، قتیل، فارغ، منیر نیازی ، احمد شاہ فراز۔آسمانِ سخن کی یہ ڈار کل پوری طرح بکھرگئی ۔ظفر اقبال اور انور شعور نامی دو بچھڑی کونجیں پر سمیٹے بیٹھی ہیں۔اور اب ہم فرحت عباس شاہ، وصی شاہ اور سعد اللہ شاہ وغیرہ کے رحم و کرم پر ہیں۔

احمد فراز قبیلہ فیض کے آخری سورما تھے ۔یہ قبیلہ دنیائے ادب میں مزاحمتی نوالے کو معشوقی کے شہد میں ڈبو کر تناول کرنے کے لئے جانا جاتا تھا۔

احمد شاہ فراز اور انکے ہم عصروں میں ایک بنیادی فرق یہ ہے کہ اردو فراز کی سیکنڈ لینگیویج بھی نہیں تھی۔بلکہ اردو انہوں نے صحیح معنوں میں اپنی ریڈیو پاکستان کی نوکری کے زمانے میں سیکھنی شروع کی۔پھر تو وہ جانِ حیا ایسا کھلا ایسا کھلا کہ اہلِ اردو کے لئے تیرہ شعری مجموعے چھوڑ کر رخصت ہوا۔ Continue reading

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Filed under poetry, Urdu, Writers

Hellenistic and Parthian Gandhara

Pervaiz Munir Alvi cross posted from ATP

Pakistan is home to the ancient Gandhara Civilization. Its Buddhist character, which this civilization is best known for, was first established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when colonial British military men and archeologists discovered various ancient religious sites near the city of Taxila in the Potowar region of Pakistan.

However since independence of Pakistan, the late 20th century studies and research conducted both by the Pakistani and Western scholars have documented and confirmed that Gandhara Civilization was not always Buddhist in character but had also gone through some well defined Hellenistic and Parthian periods as well.

The Hellenistic period of Gandhara starts with the arrival of Alexander the Great of Macedonia in 329 B.C. After conquering Taxila in 327 B.C. he remained in the areas now constituting Pakistan for another two years until his return via Indus Valley, Arabian Sea and Makran Coast also in Pakistan. Continue reading

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Filed under ancient civilisations, culture, History