Daily Archives: June 15, 2010

The national narrative

Salman Tarik Kureshi         Daily Times, June 12, 2010

What happened through the 1950s was the piecemeal articulation of a national narrative for the new state. Jinnah’s liberal, inclusive vision was converted into a faux Islamic exclusivism. Conformity was imposed on political pluralism and a unitary state, belying the Quaid’s crusades for provincial autonomy, was created

Pakistan, we learn, is rated among the five most unstable countries in the Global Peace Index. Scarcely surprising, given the ongoing civil war with half-savage bands of highly organised, well-financed and heavily armed insurgents, and the accompanying terrorist bombings and violent mayhem across the land. This is not to mention the internecine not-so-civil war between major state institutions, the bizarre conspiracy theories aired over the media, the bigotry trumpeted in pulpits across the land and the genocidal sectarian frenzies that are leading us ineluctably to national and civilisational suicide. The most unstable list includes Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan, in addition to our beloved homeland. Continue reading


Filed under Army, civil service, Colonialism, Constitution, Democracy, History, Judiciary, Media, Pakistan, state

Owner of Hyderabad’s iconic bakery dies

… yet continues to help many live


[Dawn Online] HYDERABAD, June 11: Man is mortal but legend stays. It can truly be said for late Kumar of Hyderabad’s Bombay Bakery, as its cuisine left an everlasting flavour on the taste buds of those lucky, who had the opportunity to relish these.

Kumar Thandani enjoyed seventy and two winters and met his creator on Friday in a Karachi hospital. A bachelor throughout, he left behind a sister and two adopted children. He was cremated in the evening at the crematorium at Hali Road. Continue reading


Filed under culture, Heritage, Pakistan, poverty, Sindh, Society

CM Naim on Iqbal and Jinnah

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to find in my inbox the following email from the great C M Naim of University of Chicago:

Dear Mr Hamdani,
I have read your two columns and must congratulate you. Reading other columns in today’s DT made it clear how necessary it is to make these arguments.  I copy below something I wrote a long time back (1978), and though the original book and the latter collection were published in Pakistan, neither might have reached your attention.
all the best,
c m naim

I was excited because about ten years ago,  I read with great interest a book edited by him on a seminar on Iqbal and Jinnah.  His essay, that he refers to in his article,  had a formative impact for the large part on my thinking vis a vis Iqbal and Jinnah.   Many of you who have followed my writing will abundantly note it.  I reproduce here a copy of that article by  C M Naim sahib so that people can develop a more holistic understanding of the issue.   It may also be mentioned that C M Naim sahib is an Indian, something which does not become obvious from his writing given the obvious regard and concern he has for Pakistan and Pakistanis.

-Yasser Latif Hamdani Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

Differentiating between journalism and ‘churnalism’

We are posting this article by Azeem Daultana. PTH does not necessarily agree with the contents of this post.

Apropos “Information Minister vs journalists” by Usman Manzoor published in The News International of May 27, 2010, the reporter has desperately tried to use the space of this newspaper to establish the now controversial credentials of its Group Editor, Mr. Shaheen Sehbai. Why he felt the need to do so may actually speak volumes for the difficult situation that the journalist in question is currently facing to justify his spate of unverified, unattributed, highly biased, and explicitly venomous opinions that he has been writing in this newspaper for the last two years under various slugs to attack the Democratic Government and its elected leadership.

To begin with, the headline of this story is misleading, as it does not correspond with its contents. The use of the term ‘journalists’ in plural for one person – in this case Shaheen Sehbai – gives the impression as if the Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting is up against many journalists. If that were the case, which of course it is not, why did the reporter not quote any other journalist, or analyze their stories to justify his report’s headline? It looks as if headlines in The News are now being written before the content of a piece.
The reporter has listed a few stories by Mr. Sehbai to prove a point that the journalist in question files authentic stories, which never bounce back. But the readers of The News now know that reality is quite otherwise. They are well aware of both the subject and the use of words that the writer usually employs to express his sheer bias against one personality in the name of ‘viewpoint’, ‘news analysis’, ‘comment’, and ‘situationer’ on Pakistani politics and current state of affairs. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

Eulogy of “Pak Tea House”

Dr. Irfan Zafar

Am I really dead? No, still trying to breathe but the lights seem to be fading away as I hear voices, not the familiar one’s, strangers walking in and leaving behind nothing but painful reminders of what my past used to be. Broken tea cups, sticky tables, cracking chairs, flies and dust all around is all what is left; staring at me crying for help but as I lay dying, my mind continue to go back bringing in visions of the past ferociously.

I remember the Sikh brothers looking at me for the last time with vacant eyes as they walked away in tears leaving behind the “India Tea House”; my original name which was changed to Pak Tea House by the new owner Siraj-Ud-Din Ahmad to avoid any retribution from the blood thirsty souls roaming around in the streets as a result of the 1947 bloodbath which took place as a result of the great divide which left many lives shattered and many more totally eliminated from the face of this earth. Continue reading


Filed under History, Pak Tea House, Pakistan