Daily Archives: June 14, 2010

Pakistani College Becomes Focus of a Social Struggle

The GT Road Blog

BySteve Inskeep

In Lahore, the University of the Punjab attracts middle- and lower-income Pakistani students hoping to make better lives for themselves. But the school’s campus is also the scene of an ongoing struggle over education and Islam.

Alfred Cooper Woolner May 1878 – January 7, 1936, was a noted Sanskrit scholar and professor as well as the Vice Chancellor of Punjab University, Lahore. He died in Lahore

Many of the 35,000 students wear jeans and T-shirts. Punjab is a state school, like one of those big American universities in the Midwest. Students attend class in brick buildings, and study on lawns cut almost as short as putting greens. But life here is less peaceful than it looks.

A clash over religious traditions recently brought about the beating of a professor in his office — and forced the school to close for about three weeks. Continue reading


Filed under Blogging, Education, Identity, Islamism, Lahore, Pakistan, Punjab, Religion, Women

Turning Outrage Into Courage

By Ayesha Ijaz Khan (Courtesy Express Tribune)

The brazen attack on innocent Ahmadis in Lahore late last month is not just another terrible terrorist atrocity.  It is more significant because there is speculation that the attack by extremist exclusivist forces targeted Ahmadis in order to bolster their own diminishing popularity among the population at large. The argument is that we have among us people who harbour such bizarre views of righteousness that to them eliminating those who may have slightly different beliefs is justifiable and praiseworthy. The fact that such disturbing thought exists within us as a community is not false. There were after all banners on Lahore’s Mall Road, in the lead up to this heinous attack, vilifying Ahmadis and other religions. We have also witnessed religious programmes on television that have advocated the killing of Ahmadis. But whether this thought process exists within a small minority or is in fact the way a large number of Pakistanis think is the key question. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

The Idea of Pakistan

The idea of Pakistan —Ammar Ali Qureshi (Courtesy Daily Times)

Pakistan as an idea in the 1940s appealed to all sections of Muslim society in India. It would be wrong to assume that sects such as the Ahmedis or Shias took a collective decision

Professor Ishtiaq Ahmed, in his article “The demand for Pakistan and Islam” (Daily Times, June 8, 2010), has raised a number of contradictory and controversial points that demand clarification and refutation. His statement about Ahmedis and Shias, of being initially wary of joining Pakistan or rejecting it first before accepting it, can be disproved from his own article. For example about Ahmedis, he says that they were wary till Sir Zafarullah was won over by Jinnah. Sir Zafarullah was present at the 1940 Resolution in Lahore and solidly behind Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah at that historic meeting, which means that Ahmedis had embraced the idea of Pakistan in 1940 when it was first presented. It is difficult to divine what anyone’s opinion was before 1940 as the idea of Pakistan had not been publicly presented or articulated before the Lahore Resolution. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

Ishtiaq Ahmed’s Distortions About The Pakistan Movement

This is in response to Ishtiaq Ahmed sb’s article published in Daily Times. I also encourage everyone to read my article “Heretic, Communist, Muslim Leaguer” in DT today of which I shall produce a detailed version later. -YLH

Ishtiaq Ahmed’s distortions about Pakistan Movement

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed in his article has once again faithfully reproduced his arguments from an earlier article which was in my view historically inaccurate and wrong. I do not dare question Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed’s motives in distorting history – though it is sadly second nature to him but I do question the wisdom of Dr. Ahmed’s deliberate targetting of Shias and Ahmadis in his articles.

Consider:  He writes that the demand for Islamic state in the League came from Raja of Mahmudabad- a Shia and one of the closest confidantes of Jinnah.     Nothing wrong with that claim but Dr. Ahmed deliberately omits what Jinnah- who was himself a Khoja twelver Shia- said in response.   This is how Raja sahib himself recalled the event:

“Lahore Resolution was passed earlier in the year, and when Pakistan was formed it was undoubtedly to be an Islamic State with the Sunnah and Shariah as its bedrock. The Quaid’s face went red and he turned to ask Raja whether he had taken leave of his senses. Mr. Jinnah added: `Did you realize that there are over seventy sects and differences of opinion regarding the Islamic faith, and if what the Raja was suggesting was to be followed, the consequences would be a struggle of religious opinion from the very inception of the State leading to its very dissolution. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan