Daily Archives: April 27, 2009

Redefining Pakistan

Asif Salahuddin has sent this exclusive contribution for the Pak Tea House. The views expressed here are those of the author’s and we welcome debate on this argument. RR

‘Khilafah is the only solution for Pakistan’

Pakistan today finds itself very much at the centre of the world’s headlines, unfortunately though for almost entirely the wrong reasons. Just in the last few weeks alone we have witnessed an unprecedented level of turmoil in the country – the outrageous attacks on the police academy outside Lahore and on the Sri Lankan cricket team inside the city, the political theatrics of rule in Punjab, the Long March episode followed by the subsequent reappointment of the Chief Justice and the continued violation of sovereignty and killings via US drone attacks – indeed Pakistan as a nation is in grave turmoil.

Militarily the country is at war in the tribal areas. This is firstly due to the direct assaults by the US/NATO forces based in Afghanistan, which have manifested themselves in the form of missile strikes / drone attacks, cross border raids etc. Secondly, the US is utilising the Pakistan armed forces themselves to further this assault. Here the full brunt of the Pakistan military has been hurled at the tribal people in order to quell them but without decisive results. Over a thousand Pakistani soldiers have died fighting this American war against their own brethren. Further, after sustained assaults by Pakistani troops and heavy shelling by Pakistani tanks and artillery, many thousands of tribal civilians have perished and over 700,000 have been displaced. Probably topping the roll of shame is the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) actions against its own people. Whilst the Gazan Muslims were being haplessly bombed by the Israeli air force in front of a horrified world stage earlier this year, the PAF have been busy doing the same against their own people, killing hundreds. The only difference being the complete media blackout in Pakistan, designed to hide from the public the rampant bloodshed being inflicted on the tribal people. Continue reading

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Appeal to the President of my beloved country

Contributed by Zulfiqar Ali Mughal

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.

Dear President Asif Ali Zardari

We the citizens of Pakistan are angry and dismayed at the abject capitulation of the state of Pakistan before the Taliban insurgents in Swat. With one stroke of the pen, you and the Parliament have signed away any real prospects of a stable, tolerant and progressive Pakistan as envisioned by its founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Continue reading

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The new East India Company

The IMF is playing havoc with our economy and industry, as if to remind us that we are still ruled by a colonial power

By Huzaima Bukhari and Dr Ikramul Haq

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to a private television channel, will finalise Pakistan’s budget for the financial year 2009-10 (FY10) in ‘consultation’ with the country’s officials on May 11 in Dubai. This confirms an old-age adage that beggars cannot be choosers. The channel quoted sources in the Ministry of Finance as saying that Pakistan and the IMF would hold talks from May 4 to 11 in Dubai to discuss the payment of the third tranche of IMF’s loan to Pakistan.

It was also reported that the Federal Bureau Revenue (FBR) would present to the IMF “an action plan under which new taxes would be levied in the upcoming budget. Prepared with IMF assistance, the action plan proposes imposition of new taxes on the services sector while focussing on audit of taxpayers.” Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tareen, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Saleem Raza and senior officers of the FBR would represent Pakistan during the talks.

The IMF — or the new East India Company — has now virtually taken over the Ministry of Finance and FBR. Its role is the same Continue reading

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Cripps and Partition

 

Usman Sadozai

“Under my scheme the Muslims will have four Muslim States: (1) The Pathan Province or the North-West Frontier; (2) Western Punjab (3) Sindh and (4) Eastern Bengal. If there are compact Muslim communities in any other part of India, sufficiently large to form a province, they should be similarly constituted. But it should be distinctly understood that this is not a united India. It means a clear partition of India into a Muslim India and a non-Mulsim India.” For those who are not sure who said this, it was not Jinnah. Nor Allama Iqbal. Not even Chaudhry Rehmat Ali. It was ‘Veer’ Savarkar, instead, the iconic idealogue of modern Hindutva, who articulated these thoughts in 1924. He said it before any of the above mentioned names did.

A similar idea became the Muslim League’s Lahore Resolution, 16 years later, albeit with one or two distinctions. The Lahore Resolution envisaged an ‘interim period’ when India would have a single, shared centre before final settlement of India’s constitutional settlement (interesting how the Pakistan Studies school curriculum does not include a single sentence from the reasonably short Resolution). And, of course, the Lahore Resolution made no mention of any other ‘compact Muslim communities’ (that, of course, was Chaudhry Rehmat Ali and his never never land of ‘Dinia’). Continue reading

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Roots of Violence in Pakistan

To say that Eqbal Ahmad was as a political sociologist, par excellence, would be to describe only one aspect of this scholar, writer, activist, humanist and thinker of rare quality. This aspect was perhaps fundamental to his ability to see so much clearer and further in to political events and developments than most political scientists and analysts could hope to. We are reproducing an article here that he wrote for Dawn, in January 1998, in which he not only analyses the roots of Pakistan’s present predicament, but also predicts it.

Roots of Violence in Pakistan
[Dawn, 25 January 1998]

Proliferation of violence has become the most serious social problern in Pakistan today. Not a week, often not a day, goes by without some terrible act of violence shaking public confidence in the state’s ability to protect citizens, and reminding us that a serious decline in civility has occurred in our country. Officials announce ever?strong measures as the cure while citizens wonder over the causes which underlie our descent into insensate savagery such as the recent massacre of mourners in a Lahore cemetery. Continue reading

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Pakistan: Reclaiming the Indus Person

 

Computer-generated image of what Mohenjodaro must have looked like all those years ago (Courtesy Wiki)

Computer-generated image of what Mohenjodaro must have looked like all those years ago (Courtesy Wiki)

 By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari

There are so many ways for Americans to find themselves if they are lost: They can read Eyewitness to America, an anthology of people who were there when the US was created; they could go to Gettysburg or heck, just rent the TVC; or they could go to the Metropolitan Museum in New York; or take a course with Professor Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn. Continue reading

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Filed under ancient civilisations, Architecture, History, India, Jinnah, lawyers movement, Pakistan, Partition