I was born and raised outside Pakistan, but to say I came to live in Lahore by chance is an understatement. I’ve had a love affair with Pakistan since a very young age and, after nearly a decade of living here, I can say with certainty that I’ve never once regretted my decision. Of all the places I have lived this is where I have felt most alive though, admittedly, the accompanying fear and uncertainty ensures you never take a day for granted. For the time I was living outside Pakistan, I was constantly trying to curb my insatiable hunger for information about Pakistan. I even mustered up the strength to get through My Feudal Lord and plough through most of Bapsi Sidwa’s work. Thanks to a friend, I was also introduced to ‘Pakistan’s first independent weekly’, which enjoyed some prominence back in the day. Continue reading
Peter Symonds writing for WSWS undertakes an excellent review of the Hamid Gul syndrome and how it represents the larger policy mess. Readers are invited to make their comments and bring other perspectives to the debate.
In the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the name of retired Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, former head of Pakistani military intelligence—the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI)—has appeared prominently in the international press. Various newspapers have reported that the Bush administration is seeking to have Gul, together with at least three other Pakistani citizens, blacklisted at the UN for their alleged support for various terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is accused of orchestrating the Mumbai atrocity.
While the US State Department is yet to confirm the step, the Pakistan-based News leaked details last weekend of a US charge sheet sent to the Pakistani government. Among other accusations, it alleged that Gul had “maintained extensive contacts over the years with Taliban and Al Qaeda,” had in 2005 provided “overarching guidance” to the Taliban on “operational activities in Afghanistan,” and had helped in recruiting and training anti-US insurgents. Continue reading
In our lives there are only two goals of any use. All else in our lives should be in the service of one or the other of the goals. They are goals that few Muslims will ever deny, yet so many — including so many scholars and so, so many activists — tend to disregard as either “a given” or as an obstacle. Continue reading