Daily Archives: August 7, 2009

Baitullah Mehsud Dead: Confirmed

It is now official. Baitullah is dead.  

Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud – who had a £3m bounty on his head – is dead, his second-in-command has told Sky News. Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud in Pakistan’s South Waziristan region last year Molvi Faqir Muhammad confirmed the death after widespread speculation over the militant group chief’s demise in a US missile strike on Wednesday. Kafayat Ullah, an aide to Mehsud, said he died along with his second wife during the attack in South Waziristan. Mehsud – who has links to terror organisation al Qaeda – declared himself leader of the Pakistan Taliban, grouping around 13 factions in the north-west, in late 2007. Benazir Bhutto His fighters have been behind a wave of suicide attacks inside Pakistan and on Western forces across the border in Afghanistan. He was accused of being behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007 – a charge he denied. Continue reading

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Pakistan

Idea of Pakistan: National Integration

I wrote this piece for a local magazine which published a much mutilated version of it.  For one thing the owners of the magazine could not understand why I was so “anti-Pakistan”!  Nor could they understand- this one takes the cake-  why I was so “disrespectful” of Mr. Jinnah (This was the unkindest cut for me).  When I explained to them that perhaps they ought to re-read the article in its proper light,  they suggested I take out bits of it which I considered essential pieces of the puzzle.    Later they suggested I should interview “patriotic” Pakistanis like Zaid Hamid and publish their positive views to inspire the younger generation.  I seriously toyed with the idea of a face to face meeting with Mr. Hamid but decided it would be an utter waste of time.   Anyway I am reproducing the article here for what its worth though I have since revised my views about the significance of Gandhi’s use of religion.  The religious identities had become non-negotiable long before Gandhi decided to encourage the Mullahs through the Khilafat Movement.   Other than that the article pretty much represents where I want to see Pakistan go. -YLH

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Benedict Anderson, the Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, famously described “nation” as “an imagined political community that is imagined both inherently limited and sovereign”. This is a remarkably simple and clear description of what is otherwise a very complex issue. To us in Pakistan this strikes at the root of all our problems with identity. Indeed any nation that achieves a certain amount of integration can said to have imagined well and all divided nations are the failure of imagination. Continue reading

36 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

London to Karachi: Mohammed Hanif on his homecoming to Pakistan

Mohammed Hanif

After living and working in London for more than a decade, I moved back to Pakistan just over a year ago – and soon realised that the Pakistan I knew had migrated elsewhere. Mainly to the front covers of the sombre current affairs magazines you find in posh dentists’ waiting rooms. The world’s media had reached a consensus that I had boarded a sinking ship. Time, Newsweek and the Economist have all written an obituary of Pakistan, some twice over. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

Savagery Against Pakistani Minorities

By Liaqat Merchant

Grief over the recent savagery and loss of human lives inflicted on Pakistani Christians has compelled me to raise the issue of the protection of minorities once again in these columns.

The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees fundamental rights, and Article 20 provides that subject to law, public order and morality every citizen shall have the right to profess, practise and propagate his religion and every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

The real news from Pakistan

By James Crabtree

Prospect Magazine

Karachi’s upstart cable channel Geo TV is at the forefront of a media revolution—taking on dictators and Islamist militants alike. Now the revolt is being watched by Britain’s Pakistanis too

Ten years ago Pakistan had one television channel. Today it has over 100. Together they have begun to open up a country long shrouded by political, moral and religious censorship—taking on the government, breaking social taboos and, most recently, pushing a new national consensus against the Taliban. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under culture, Identity, Media, Music, Pakistan, Society

10 Lessons From Einstein

Albert Einstein was one of the greatest scientists to ever live. Einstein’s physics theories are still confounding scientists more than half a century after his death. In addition to his grand technical accomplishments, the kindly German doctor was also a philosopher and ethicist of the highest order. More than simply a scientist, Einstein’s legacy provides insight into a number of fields. Here are the ten lessons every student can learn from Albert Einstein, pulled directly from his quotes and sayings.
1. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”: Without the ability to dream or imagine Einstein never would have been remembered as a famous scientist. In fact Einstein even used imagination as a scientific tool by developing theories through thought experiments conducted entirely in the mind.
2. “Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.”: Not all Einstein’s breakthroughs came easily and despite his renowned intellect, he often claimed deficiencies as a mathematician. Though many claim he failed math as kid, this endearing story is not true.
3. “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”: Einstein understood the value of instinct and intuition when tackling problems. While knowledge and information are necessary, trusting your first reaction is often best.
4. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”: Falling flat on ones face is an essential part of the human experience. Failure allows time and hindsight to explore mistakes and review other courses of action.
5. “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”: Learning is a lifelong process that frequently relies more on interests and passions then official curricula. Students that follow their interests end up successful and fulfilled.
6. “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”: Despite having contributed heavily to the atomic bomb, Einstein deplored its use and lobbied American presidents to limit the weapons’ proliferation.
7. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”: Finding solutions means finding different routes of failure. Success can only be achieved with focused effort and well thought out solutions.
8. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”: Questions are good. They shape all academic disciplines and lead to more knowledge. Unfortunately, asking questions is an easy habit to break. Einstein constantly reminded people to indulge their curiosity.
9. “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”: For all his genius and success, Einstein was aware he would never discover all the answers. This humility and down to earth sensibility has made Einstein an icon of human thought for generations.
10. “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”: This sign hung in Einstein’s Princeton University office as a reminder of the truly important things in life: love and happiness.

This piece was sent to PTH for wider readership. It is informative and brings back the simple lessons from the otherwise magnificent genius of Einstein. RR

Albert Einstein was one of the greatest scientists to ever live. Einstein’s physics theories are still confounding scientists more than half a century after his death. In addition to his grand technical accomplishments, the kindly German doctor was also a philosopher and ethicist of the highest order. More than simply a scientist, Einstein’s legacy provides insight into a number of fields. Here are the ten lessons every student can learn from Albert Einstein, pulled directly from his quotes and sayings. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Science