In the summer of 2005, I picked up a copy of Stanley Wolpert’s Jinnah of Pakistan from New Delhi’s Khan Market, a market located near Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s former residence, 10 Aurangzeb Road. Along with me, many others in journalistic and academic circles were buying books written on Pakistan’s founding father. Our interest in Jinnah and curiosity about his role in history had been piqued by a statement made by Lal Krishan Advani, the president of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Continue reading
By Farzana Shaikh
The main idea of my book, Making Sense of Pakistan, is that we need first and foremost to make sense of the country’s identity crisis.
This crisis, I argue, is rooted in uncertainties over the country’s precise relation to Islam. Although in 1947 Pakistan was created as the first self-professed homeland for Muslims, the contestation over the meaning and role of Islam has continued to resonate to the present day—with significant political, economic and strategic implications, in and beyond Pakistan.
We are posting Pakistan’s eminent writer-poet, Neelum Bashir’s powerful letter to Bilawal Bhutto. We apologies to the readers who cannot read Urdu. I request one of the readers to please translate this. Neelum writes to the young Bilawal as an affectionate mother and tells him how elite politics and precoccupations have brought the country to its current state. Neelum ruges Bilawal to live like a common Pakistani before he claims to represent them through an inherited party. Raza Rumi