Daily Archives: September 23, 2008

9/20 is Open War on Pakistan

CRSS Weekly pager

9/20 is Open War on Pakistan

If the 9/11 events in 2001 changed the security paradigm in the United States and elsewhere, the 9/20 deadly attack on Islamabad’s five-star Marriott Hotel meant the same to the state of Pakistan. It in fact amounts to a watershed in Pakistan’s long-held defense strategy that partially relied on proxies as a low-cost mechanism to pursue strategic objectives.

The ghastly strike left about 80 people dead sent all and sundry in a state of shock and awe. This undoubtedly underscored the gravity of what government and military officials meanwhile acknowledge as a “full-fledged insurgency” a war that has killed 10,267 Pakistanis in five years, most of them since January 2007 in nearly 100 suicide attacks. These are 6,000 Pakistani deaths more than the total number of Pakistani lives lost in the Pak-India War of 1965. Continue reading


Filed under Islamabad, Terrorism, violence

A tribute to Ralph Russell – RIP

Shaheryar Ali

“Not a famous man” Ralph Russell called himself in his autobiography “Findings, Keepings: Life, Communism and everything“. It’s quite an understatement. Anyone who loves Urdu and has any interest in the literary movements in Indian subcontinent knows Ralph Russell. He was one of those rare men who become legends in their life time. Ralph Russell spent all his life serving Urdu language. He popularized it , built structures and mechanisms of teaching Urdu in Europe especially in the UK. He has been called the “Baba e Urdu of Britain”. He developed friendships with great Urdu poets and writers. He wrote books introducing the classic Urdu poets , introducing their thought and craft to the western audience.

Ralph Russel’s life is an inspiration. His struggle, his commitment to humaniyy and the oppressed and his continuous unrelenless opposition to colonialism, imperialism , capitalism and wars. In that he can be compared to likes of Eric Hobsbawm, perhaps the greatest of historians of our times. Just like him Russell remained till his death “an unrepented communist”

Just like every progressive Russell started his quest by adopting “Atheism”, which led to “humanism” than to Socialism and Communism. The opposition to poverty, war, oppression, colonialism,censorship, imperialism bound him to communism for life. He was sharply critical of the degeneration of Communism in Soviet Union and China. He never accepted their adoption of totaliterianism which is anathema to Marxist thought. Continue reading


Filed under Left, Literature, Urdu, Writers