Monthly Archives: February 2009

Benazir Bhutto’s foreign policy

—Zafar Hilaly

How better to demonstrate that Benazir Bhutto truly lives in their hearts than to practice what she preached, namely, to take on and defeat the obscurantist threat facing Pakistan while forging closer and more meaningful cooperation with regional countries and, pre-eminently, India

The outcome of the battle against the Taliban, Benazir Bhutto believed, would not only determine Pakistan’s fate but her own. It would be her final battle. Hitherto, everything that had happened in her life and that of the country was in a sense a preparation for the war ahead. Continue reading


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Revolutionary struggles

From The Friday Times: Altaf Hussain Asad reviews a unique biography of legendary political worker

Dr.Hasan Nawaz Gardezi and the Pakistan Study Centre of Karachi University and its director are to be congratulated upon issuing a two volume edition of the memoirs of Dada Amir Haider Khan.(1904-1986) Continue reading

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Filed under Activism, Left, Pakistan, Politics

What happened to Jinnah’s vision for the civil service?

_775267_jinnah3001Raza Rumi

Recent transfers and postings in the Punjab – a usual ritual after a change in the government – reminded me of the clear advice that the founder of Pakistan had furnished immediately after the creation of Pakistan. The extracts below are courtesy a friend who circulated these via email. We have gone adrift. Continue reading


Filed under Jinnah, Pakistan

On Jalib’s Birthday: Dastoor

Dastoor can many things – constitution,  custom, customary law, tradition.   This beautiful poem by Habib Jalib is Pakistan’s real national anthem for we have been fighting for our rights forever.  It thrilled a generation when it was recited during Fatima Jinnah’s election campaigns against dictator Ayub.   It then thrilled another generation against Zia and for me personally this was the anthem of protest against General Musharraf’s dictatorship.   Now this is the anthem once again as Pakistan breaks out in spontaneous protest.    Today is Jalib’s 81st Birthday.  Today we celebrate Jalib again and are guided by his immutable poetry.  -Yasser Latif Hamdani

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Iqbal, Bacha Khan and terrorists

—Suroosh Irfani

It might well be that the heartless war our homegrown jihadis and Afghan Taliban are waging against Pakistan exemplifies Islam’s dangerous inversion that Iqbal had warned against some three generations ago. Such inversion has virtually displaced Bacha Khan and Iqbal’s spiritual humanism by a jihadi extremism at war with humanity

“Muslims are at war with one another, in their hearts they only harbor schism. They cry out if someone else pulls a brick out of a mosque which they themselves shun” — Allama Iqbal, Armaghan e Hijaz (verse translated by Mustansir Mir) Continue reading


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Punjab power struggles: it is NOT about Ideology

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Those of you who have read my previous articles know that I was a staunch Zardari supporter till recently. In my last article, written a few hours after the disqualification of Sharif brothers, I opined that Zardari was being misled by the establishment.  But as events have unfolded, it has become abundantly clear that Zardari is apparently an equal partner with the establishment in the latest game to befool Pakistan and its people.

There is absolutely no constitutional, moral or procedural justification for imposition of Governor’s rule under Article 234 of the Constitution. It is the end of imagination. The conditions simply did not exist. Without going into the merits of the Supreme Court decision though there aren’t many, the proper course of action was for the governor to call upon the provincial assembly to elect a new chief minister. Instead governor raj was imposed. Continue reading


Filed under Politics, Punjabi

Celebrating the Body: Sexuality over Spirituality*

Will we not be better off, if we bypass the priest and the therapist,and pray at the altar of the body and stop confusing it?

By Saeed Ur Rehman

All that gazes, seeks rapture in the other, dances, decorates itself to flaunt its untapped vitality, pulsates, throbs, runs in our veins, and yearns for eternity by multiplying itself is confused with one word: love. Love is an effect of biological vitality not its cause. We do not desire another human being because we feel love but rather we humans have assigned taming metaphors to what our flesh induces in us. By assigning abstract concepts to all that is life-giving, we, the metaphysical animals, have created an elaborate prison of metaphors for our healthy bodies. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan, sex