Monthly Archives: June 2009

Khuda kay Liye and Ramchand Pakistani: A Comparison

By Zia Ahmad


Ramchand Pakistani has come and gone and has made another addition to the slowly and lets hope surely upward struggle for the revival of Pakistani cinema. With the lack of any other appropriate banner for these films to be categorized under, no room for “New Pakistani Cinema” or “Reasonable/Sensible Pakistani Cinema”, “Revival of Pakistani Cinema” is the nomenclature that has been agreed upon and Shoaib “Showman” Mansoor’s Khuda Kay Liye has been accorded the privilege of ushering in this revival. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Cinema, culture, drama, Pakistan, Reviews

Ranjit Singh : The Quintessential Indus Man

mahaeajitledBy Yasser Latif Hamdani

Today (29th June) is the 170th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Bismarck of Punjab and Pakhtunkhwa,  whose great Indus state was the forerunner of Pakistan.

Narrowminded ideologues – writing in the aftermath of bitter communal bloodletting accompanying the birth of  Pakistan-  have not been able to fully appreciate the significance of this great statesman to the state of Pakistan.   If they were to apply their minds to the history of the Punjab from late 18th to mid 19th Continue reading


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Michael Jackson’s Mark on Pakistan

Michael Jackson Made his Mark in Pakistan
By Catherine Maddux
IslamabadAP-Michael-Jackson-Pakistan-fans-26Jun09_210 Voice of America
Pakistani fans of Michael Jackson say they are shocked and saddened by the news of his sudden death. Jackson, who was often described as the most popular musician in the world, made his mark here in Pakistan, too.
Michael Jackson’s death led many of Pakistan’s local television channels Friday morning, knocking the near constant coverage of the military campaign against Taliban militants off the top of the news lineup, if only for a few hours. Continue reading


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Obama echoed Benazir Bhutto in his Cairo Speech


President Barack Obama’s historic address of Thursday 04 June-09 from Cairo is certainly talk-of-the-town now.  A great speaker that he certainly is, he was surely able to leave some good impressions especially in the Muslim world and the results are showing already. The elections results of Lebanon, where a pro-West coalition has been able to trounce the Hezbollah-led coalition, and those in Iran, where street protests go on with full fervor, may be termed as the testimony to the same. His speech continues to resonate all over and is already winning praises from his foes and friends alike. The pundits say, in his 55-minute address he was able to connect to the Muslim world largely because of the fact that he was bold enough to speak the truth. Continue reading


Filed under History, human rights, Identity, Islam, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Religion, USA

Ali Sethi’s “Wish Maker”

The debut of a major new international literary talent is a rare and heartening event. THE WISH MAKER (Riverhead Books; Publication Date: June 11, 2009; ISBN: 978-1-59448-875-7; Price: $25.95), the first novel by twenty-four-year-old Ali Sethi, combines classic storytelling instincts, an eye-opening portrait of a suddenly important nation that Americans are intensely curious about, and a remarkable back story. THE WISH MAKER has already been highlighted in USA Today’s “Book Buzz” column and foreign rights have been sold in six countries to date. At once a fresh and affecting coming-of-age story, a riveting family saga, and a hip, witty social commentary, Sethi’s novel vividly evokes the pungent texture of daily life in his native Pakistan, particularly for women, as well as his country’s roiling social and political currents. Continue reading


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A Postmodern Wedding

By Zia Ahmad

 “Hope is a dangerous word” – just like any other pearl of wisdom that I am only too eager to pass on to the next available ear, this too has been derived from the ever-wise and reflective dream factory that is Hollywood. Do we ever pause to consider how drastically films have affected our humdrum lives, and how in moments of joy and sorrow some of us look up to movies as templates that our real-life actions and words should subscribe by?  No other art form in human history has provided us with as many pertinent points of comparison in our lives as films (or for that matter TV shows) have. Continue reading

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Filed under Cinema, culture, musings, Society

Reform or Perish

By Raza Rumi

On the face of it, the Pakistani state with the clear endorsement of political parties and the majority of its citizenry is fighting a battle against militant Islamism. However, it is not as simple a formulation as it appears to be. The state is also cracking under extreme pressure for having lost its capacities and effectiveness a long time ago. The central tenet of state policy and implementation is adhocism that keeps a mammoth, oversized, under-paid and snail-paced elephant going. With Mughal and pre-industrial social structures reflecting in a colonial organisation, the Pakistani state is an unattended patient lying on an Elliotesque table, waiting for a surgery. Continue reading

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