Daily Archives: September 17, 2008

Mangrove destruction; Testing times for democracy and more

Beena Sarwar shares her recent writings and some relevant links with the Pak Tea House

Found a piece I’d written back in 2005, pubished in The News & Chowk and also circulated to this group – ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being Asif Zardari’ –. Interesting in the current context. Below:
1) Excellent little report on the mangrove destruction on Pakistan’s coastline: ‘With nary a thought to the environment’ By Shahid Husain, The News, September 17, 2008 – “Reclamation of land by two of Karachi’s mightiest civic agencies, the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) is damaging the environment and will leave the city prone to tsunamis, warn experts.” Full story here:

2) My recent story for IPS PAKISTAN-POLITICS: Testing Times for Democracy (please also see  ‘The perils of democracy‘ by Aasim S. Akhtar in The News on Sunday’s Political Economy section)

KARACHI, Sep 17 (IPS) – Political opposition against President Asif Ali Zardari –fuelled by the recent U.S. military incursions into Pakistani territory and rising food prices — appears to be tempered by the realisation that the only alternative to the current democratically elected dispensation is military rule. Continue reading

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Filed under Democracy, Environment, Media, Politics, Sindh

Pakistan’s truck art

The beauty of truck art

By Ali Usman

LAHORE: The art of decorating trucks, which is highly popular among truck drivers, can be used to learn much about the trends of various regions and the aesthetics of people of different ethnicities. Often, the art on the truck is a direct reflection of an ideology that the truck driver strongly believes in.

Drivers belonging to different regions and backgrounds decorate their trucks differently, often suggesting a pattern that depicts the culture, rituals and the ground realities of the areas that they belong to. The rear of the truck is often decorated in very vibrant colours and patterns, ranging from hot-pink cone-shaped trees to ancient tribal kings and queens.

The paintings and decoration on a truck can be used to tell which area the truck comes from, an experienced truck artist, Pervaiz, told Daily Times. “Most of the Pakhtun truck drivers demand paintings of sceneries, birds like chakoor and eagles and pictures of leaders like Ayub Khan and Imran Khan,” he said. Pictures of the film star Saima and pictures of Benazir Bhutto had recently become common among truck drivers, however, no current political leaders were being painted, he added. Continue reading


Filed under Art, culture

Eqbal Ahmad on Quaid-i-Azam, M A Jinnah

Yasser Latif Hamdani

I am posting these three articles on Jinnah and Pakistan movement by the late Eqbal Ahmad.

I Pakistan’s Endangered History
[Dawn, 4 June 1995]

It is a great privilege for me to be speaking on this very unique occasion. It is rare among us Pakistanis to honour the Quaid-i-Azam beyond rhetoric, and in a substantive way. Professor Zaidi deserves our gratitude for compiling two volumes of the Jinnah Papers. These are but the tip of Mr. Jinnah’s fragmented archieves, for these 3,000-plus pages cover only four months and ten days of his eventful life, from Feb 20, 1947, to June 30. A total of 50 volumes are projected in this series to be published by the Quaid-i-Azam Papers Project.

I know Professor Zaidi to be a driven man who has devoted more than three decades of his life to gathering, restoring, compiling, and editing this national treasure. I am sure that you will join me in wishing him the good health he needs to complete this truly noble mission. I know that his spirit and dedication will not wilt as long as his body holds out. So may you live long, and remain immersed for years to come in the life and times of Pakistan’s founding father. Continue reading


Filed under History, Jinnah