Express Tribune: It has been rather disturbing to witness the way Sherry Rehman has been the latest target of the purists within the ruling PPP. For years, Sherry has represented the intellectual vigour within her party. From drafting of manifestoes to holding the important portfolios, she has been an articulate defender of the PPP and its government. Her decision to resign in the wake of the judges’ saga and media handling of the 2009 Lahore-Gujranwala Long March was a matter of democratic choice.
After her resignation, she did not defame her party leadership and continued to demonstrate her loyalty. She is now a victim of an unwise ban on PPP leaders and legislators preventing them from appearing on a particular television channel. Worse, she has been lumped with the other dissenters — Naheed Khan and Safdar Abbasi — whose politics is altogether different. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
(In wake of the national debate on ideology and textbooks, Mr. Raza Rumi, the founder and editor of Pakteahouse, recently asked me to revisit the issue of Jinnah’s secularism through a comprehensive blog-post. This blog post is written for PTH exclusively and may be reproduced by giving PTH credit.)
Many people (though not all) on all sides of the ideology divide in Pakistan take umbrage with the description of Mahomed Ali Jinnah – the anglicized founder of Pakistan- as a secular leader or a secularist. Islamists in Pakistan say that he wanted an Islamic state. Islamic modernists say he wanted a modern Islamic democratic state (whatever that means), some people from the left say he was a communalist who was not secular because he championed Muslim separatism (albeit only in the last 11 years of his life). All of these groups agree that if Jinnah had been secular, it would not have been necessary to make a separate state. All of them – unconvincingly and inaccurately- claim that those who lay claim to a secular Jinnah are basing it on a solitary speech of Jinnah made on 11 August 1947. A slightly different claim is made by the Wali Khan group- which is ideologically consistent if historically errant- which claims that Jinnah wanted a secular state and that his push for Pakistan was the result of British manipulation and divide and rule which made him utilize Islamist rhetoric for the creation of Pakistan. While respecting all these points of view, I disagree with all of them and through this article I will explain why. Continue reading
By. D. Asghar
Yet another murderous day, claiming 70 plus lives in KP has blazed the electronic media around the world. The same old suicide bombers targeting innocent civilians, in the “House of GOD.” The place which is supposed to be a sanctuary for any human being. Avenge, revenge, blood, cries, fear, pain and despair. Some how our psyche is constantly being tested by these words. The loss of life has become the order of the day. Those who call the perpetrators of such acts, “beasts” are fairly humble. In my opinion, not a single word in any dictionary can rightfully encapsulate this savagery. Yet again, a famous organization immediately claims responsibility of such unprecedented act of valor.
Certain elements in the media go buzzing about this sheer brutality being cost of doing business with the US. The poor Mujahids are avenging the drone strikes by slaying their own brethren to send a befitting response to Washington. Then there are those, who realize that this monster is the enemy within and the nation is dying from the inside. Condemnations like this scribe, may come and go, but there is one thing for certain, the 70 families or more, may not be the same forever. Continue reading
// // I would have never known Mr. Yasser Latif Hamdani had it not been for the so called information technology revolution. Mr. Hamdani is a practicing lawyer in the Lahore High Court of Pakistan and runs his own blog and also writes for the Daily Times published from Pakistan. Blogs have become good source of information in many cases though brick bating through blogs are also very common. Obviously not many people in Pakistan write appreciating the achievements of Bangladesh something that Mr. Hamdani did. Writing for the Daily Times recently he congratulated the steps taken by the Bangladesh Government for clamping down on the Jamaat leaders for their war crimes in 1971 and lauded the contribution made by the people of East Bengal in creating Pakistan. He writes ‘Bengalis have never been any less proud as Muslims than Pakistanis. Say what they may, champions of the so-called ideology of Pakistan cannot deny that had it not been for peasant nationalism in Bengal, the Pakistan movement would have fallen flat on the its face. While opportunistic landowners jumped onto the Pakistan bandwagon in what became West Pakistan, it was the common man in the then East Pakistan who waged the struggle for a new nation. Continue reading