By Cyril Almeida ( from Dawn)
THANK you, Sufi Mohammad. With one speech Sufi has done more to galvanise public opinion against militancy than a hundred suicide bombings and beheadings.
Suddenly, people have woken up to the fact that the great soldier of Islam is a dangerous kook. ‘He thinks we’re what?’ ‘He wants to do what?’ Yep, he thinks the rest of us are sick and what we really need is a dose of Sufi’s medicine. Y’know, to straighten us out about our romance with infidel democracy and yearning for quaint things like basic rights, a functional economy, education, etc. Continue reading
Dear Readers: Pakistan is under threat from a minority of radical extremists who have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with grabbing state power and nuclear weapons to create chaos and anarchy in the world. My country has a rich history of music, dance, poetry, art and literature. All will be lost and more if the Taliban and al-Qaeda are not confronted decisively by the Pakistani state, army and its people. This is a letter to Pakistan’s president from an organization called Concerned Citizens of Pakistan. I hope it will enlighten you. Salman Ahmad of Junoon. Continue reading
Raza Rumi laments the tragedies of our times, and says that the state cannot be absolved of its responsibility to protect citizens against terrorism (The Friday Times)
Lahore has finally been encircled by the layers and tremors of violence. If the events of March 2009 were not enough, there is now a concerted effort to create panic in the city. In the past few weeks, girls’ schools have been threatened that they would face the music for educating girls and promoting co-education. How can children and their middle-class urban parents survive these gruelling times? (pic left:Pir Baba’s shrine is now closed to visitors )
I have been naively protecting my children from the gory news. This is an age of violence. If a news channel displays human limbs and heads and the shrieks of a flogged girl, the cartoons present extensive violence and deadly, sadistic stunts for entertainment. Indeed, these are strange times to live in anywhere, especially in the land of the pure. Violence is a commodity; each news item carries an advertised price tag, and of course the cultural experience gets brutalised in this maze of uncertainty and confusion. Continue reading
Shaheryar Azhar,(The Foru)
“…….BBC’s Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says circumstances suggest the militants (Taliban) are now under pressure and that a national consensus is building among the public and political parties that they must be challenged with force.”Since only bad news is news and, therefore, only it gets played up, since only cynicism rules our minds and hearts, please react to this in all honesty? Will STRATFOR run to the press? Will forum members writing op-eds “Lion is coming!”, “lion is coming”! announce, at least, some delay in its plans? Not on your life!
Swat deal, as this moderator thought it will, has accompanied what nothing else in the last eight years did: put the government in the driver’s seat with moral authority, that is, change public opinion decidedly against the Taliban not only in Punjab and Sindh but also in NWFP. Continue reading