Monthly Archives: October 2010

Where I Disagree With Some Prominent Liberals of Our Time

Raza Habib Raja

As a philosophy liberalism is more inward looking and hence does not try to shift blame on the outside forces. By its orientation, it also does not have an overly negative assumption about human nature and consequently is not obsessed with crime and punishment. It believes in the rationality of humans and further assumes that human intelligence is capable of creating an artifice where ethnic, linguistic and other such “ natural” differences can be accommodated without creating rift. Its emphasis and belief on human rationality rather than instinct logically lead it to being more fluid and progressive. Conservative point of views by and large are grounded on instincts (which are permanent) and it is no surprise that conservatives are traditionalists. Yes, within conservative side, there will be variations but by and large they have a static view of issues. However, on some issues unfortunately those claiming themselves as liberals also have a tendency to take fixed positions. Continue reading

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Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Constitution, Democracy, Judiciary, Punjabi, Taliban, Terrorism, war, Zardari

Meet Nadir Khan, the Cobbler from Bajaur

by Aasem Bakhshi

Nadir Khan, the cobbler from Bajaur who sits at the corner of my street, carries the kind of iconic baggage usually associated with cobblers from Sufi folklore and mystic literature. His character inspires me, his sensibilities vex me and his paradoxes keep me engaged with mine.


Being well aware of each second he lives, Nadir Khan spends a quarter of the year with his family in village, another quarter busy earning on a footpath in this metropolis, and another in the way of Allah, as he finds it to be. My self proclaimed wisdom and religious pragmatism is forced to zilch in front of his embodied response to time. Continue reading

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Filed under musings, Pakistan, Religion, Society

Asma Jahangir’s victory is a cause for celebration

Raza Rumi

Asma Jahangir’s victory in the Supreme Court Bar Association elections is a major development in the legal and judicial history of Pakistan. She is the first woman to hold this office, and a progressive rights activist as well. Her struggles against injustice, discrimination and oppression have spanned over nearly forty years and are globally acclaimed. PTH wishes her all success and hopes that she is able to fulfil the mandate for which she has been elected: To transform the apex Bar into a professional, neutral and non-partisan body and operating at a healthy distance from the judges. At last some sanity might prevail. This take by lubp is worth a read.

I took the picture on the right after the victory and Asad J with the winnersmore can be found here

We are also posting a well considered view from HRW below:

Pakistan: Prominent Rights Advocate to Lead Supreme Court Bar

Asma Jahangir’s Election an Advance for an Impartial Judiciary

(New York, October 28, 2010)—The election of a prominent human rights activist to the presidency of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan   is a victory for human rights in Pakistan and for the country’s transition to genuine civilian rule, Human Rights Watch said today. The election of Asma Jahangir on October 27, 2010, will make her the first woman to lead the country’s most influential forum for lawyers. Continue reading

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Filed under Activism, Judiciary, Justice, Lahore, Law, lawyers movement, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, movements, Pakistan, Rights

Are there any moral standards independent of God’s will?

By Aasem Bakhshi

Socrates: If that which is holy is the same with that which is dear to God, and is loved because it is holy, then that which is dear to God would have been loved as being dear to God; but if that which dear to God is dear to him because loved by him, then that which is holy would have been holy because loved by him. […] But you still refuse to explain to me the nature of holiness. And therefore, if you please, I will ask you not to hide your treasure, but to tell me once more what holiness or piety really is, whether dear to the gods or not and what is impiety?
Euthyphro: I really do not know, Socrates, how to express what I mean. For somehow or other our arguments, on whatever ground we rest them, seem to turn round and walk away from us. (Euthyphro, Plato’s Dialogues) Continue reading

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Filed under Islam, Philosophy

RETIREMENT-A DYSFUNCTIONAL STAGE OF LIFE

A man is considered as a microcosm of the world. He has to play his Destined role as an actor on the cosmic stage of life. A day, after all, comes when he has to retire from the routine working process of life. Retirement, therefore, is a turning point in one’s ongoing routine of life. But the term retirement has got different for different men or women due to the pattern of one’s working conditions. A retired man or woman of a private organization, a professor, a teacher, a civil servant or a military man will be having quite different approach in one’s social circle, behaviorism and attitudes. One gets rid off already set views, plans and procedure of daily routine. Continue reading

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Filed under Pakistan

Infrastructure of anti-Muslim Hate in the US

From the Washington Post

The dismissal of Juan Williams’ from NPR once again exposes the difficulty America is having discussing Islam in a cool or rational manner. Williams’ exchange with Bill O’Reilly featured much of the usual ignorance, with both agreeing that, although undefined “good Muslims” do exist, all Muslims must be considered potential soldiers in an Islamic war against America. This ludicrous belief is not only a distortion of reality, but also poses a serious threat to the well-being and security of the United States. In adopting this position, Williams and O’Reilly were reflecting the climate of hatred against Muslims that is fueled by prejudice and lack of knowledge.

Continue reading

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Filed under Pakistan

A ‘desi’ desire for Aman ki Asha

by Adnan Shahid (Courtesy: The News)

I am a proud Pakistani. I wear my national identity openly. But I am also a strong advocate of Indo-Pak peace. In 2004, I had the opportunity to work on a short term consulting assignment for a multinational oil and gas company in Delhi. Relations between the two countries were then lukewarm at best. But I still felt the warmth at the personal level, which reinforced my belief in the need for people-to-people contact. Continue reading

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Filed under India, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process