This article is a few weeks old and was written by in response to an earlier article by the impugned author. It is now relevant again. Courtesy Daily Times.
VIEW: Stop making excuses for the clergy —Aisha Sarwari
Shackled by obscurantism dogging the masses with religious war and decrees, Pakistan is taking a sad turn away from its manifest destiny
Historically, the latter-day self-styled champions of Islamic ideology in our country were almost entirely opposed to the creation of Pakistan. Yet so entrenched is the state indoctrination of the Pakistani mind that it is unable to break free from the idea that Pakistan was created for faith. Shahid Ilyas — who hails from Waziristan — makes a similar mistake in his piece ‘Stop blaming the West’ (Daily Times, June 2, 2010). Indeed it is erroneously titled. It should have been titled, ‘Stop blaming the Islamic parties and Afghan jihad’. That is what the writer is asking us to do. I, for one, did not understand how the title of the article corresponded with its contents. Continue reading
Courtesy Daily Times
The state is not only negligent of its duty in protecting the faith of the Ahmedis, it is directly criminally liable under its own Blasphemy Law every time it prints a passport or an identity card application
A first information report, commonly known as an FIR, has been lodged in Lahore against Facebook under section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Legally, this raises some very poignant questions about the criminal liability of a corporation, i.e. a business with legal identity. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
If you don’t nip a lie in the bud, it grows to be a tree. This is what has happened to the nationalist mythology perpetuated by General Zia. I don’t like wasting my weekly space in Daily Times to argue it out with specific lies of specific authors – which is why I tend to record my dissent here on PTH.
In his article today in Daily Times, Shahid Illyas, the self professed Pakhtun Nationalist and “secularist”, has reproduced the severally debunked and illogical arguments of the Jamaat-e-Islami and other Mullahs in Pakistan to bolster his own indefensible positions vis a vis Bacha Khan and Faqir of Ipi. Mr. Illyas is not bothered with the utter bankruptcy of his argument so long as he gets to abuse Jinnah and the Pakistan Movement. He is also unconcerned what his half truths would do to the cause of secularism. Like Ishtiaq Ahmed (and scores of other spent forces in our history ala Aga Shorish Kashmiri) he is seized with an irrational hatred for Jinnah, Sir Syed and the secular liberal leadership that Pakistan jettisoned – primarily through 1969’s education policy that specifically sought to down play Sir Syed’s and Jinnah’s modernity because it did not gel with the demands of Yahya’s political expediency. It is ironic that while Illyas criticizes Pakistan’s poor education system, he quotes Pakistan’s official narrative as the gospel truth. Continue reading
And how it could become one.
By Pervez Hoodbhoy Himal South Asia, June 2010
Pakistan has been a state since 1947, but is still not a nation. More precisely, Pakistan is the name of a land and a people inside a certain geographical boundary that is still lacking the crucial components needed for nationhood: a strong common identity, mental make-up, a shared sense of history and common goals. The failure so far to create a cohesive national entity flows from inequalities of wealth and opportunity, absence of effective democracy and a dysfunctional legal system.
While it is true that most Punjabis think of themselves as Pakistani first and Punjabi second, this is not the case with the Baloch or Sindhis. Schools in Balochistan refuse to hoist Pakistan’s flag or sing its national anthem. Sindhis, meanwhile, accuse Punjabis of stealing their water, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) runs Karachi on strictly ethnic grounds, and in April the Pashtun of NWFP successfully had the province officially renamed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (against the wishes of other residents). In getting a job, caste and sect matters more than ability, and ethnic student groups wage pitched battles against each other on campuses throughout the country. Continue reading