Author Archives: sherryx

Voices of Dissent

We are posting this thoughtful piece of Shaheryar Ali. PTH does not necessarily subscribes the views expressed in the following lines.

All discourse in Pakistan is a “discourse of exclusion”, where minorities, perverts, insane,women,Dalits and the “others” have no voice at all. Amongst them Dalits and Gays are unique because they “dont exist” in public discourse. They have been robbed of their very existence.

No one dares to speak on gender and sexual boundaries erected by Male chauvinism and its product the Islamic Militarism. Pakistani state is obsessed with “machismo”, the military junta that have ruled Pakistan have “virilized” the society as a whole on sharp chauvinistic lines. Continue reading

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Islamic Failure

Pervez Hoodbhoy , Feb 2002. Courtesy Prospect

If the world is to be spared what future historians might call the “century of terror,” we will have to chart a course between US imperial arrogance and Islamic religious fanaticism. Through these waters, we must steer by a distant star toward a democratic, humanistic and secular future. Otherwise, shipwreck is certain. Continue reading


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Profile of a Marxist Saint: Haider Abbas Gardezi

Dr Ahmad Arslan

Some people have to be called saints despite their expressed iconoclasm. When Jean Paul Sartre wrote on Jean Genet, he called him Saint Genet. Helene Cixous’s commentary on Jacques Derrida is called “Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Jewish Saint”. The words Noam Chomsky chooses to describe his dear friend and comrade, Eqbal Ahmad were “Secular Sufi”. There is something about such creed of men which though may be Anarchists, Marxists or morally non-conformist writers with police records makes them saintly. Saints are strangers in the world of men, people who live in the material world but who shun all its relations. One such stranger in Pakistani politics is Haider Abbas Gardezi.. Kishwar Naheed in her column in Jang mentions him as the only intellectual who has applied for Senate. She has expressed her wish that the leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party makes the wise choice of putting the intelligent heir of Syed Qaswar Gardezi in Pakistan’s upper house of Parliament

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Pink Pakistan: Queering in Confusion

3by Shaheryar Ali

The problem of LGBT rights in Pakistan becomes especially complex taking into account, the “combined and uneven development” of the Islamic Republic , the conflicting influences of westernization, and Islamisation, the post-modern conditions and the “queer” turn of the “world Wide LGBT movement” itself. Continue reading


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The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All

Mr Evans of International Crisis Group has raised some phenomenal questions in his speech to Institute for Public Policy  Research. We have so far failed to resolve this ‘”lacuna” in our International Law and Politics. But we have to deal with this issue. Due to very serious nature of the issues raised by Mr Evans we have decided to share it here. we hope we can have a serious discussion.The

International Crisis Group (Crisis Group) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental  organisation covering over 60 crisis-affected countries and territories across four continents, worki ng through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.

Shaheryar Ali

Address by Gareth Evans, President, International Crisis Group, to the Institute for Public Policy Research, London, 15 December 2008[1]

What is in issue here can be very simply stated. Whatever else we mess up in the conduct of international affairs – in responding to deadly conflict, in responding to human rights violations – let us at least ensure that we never again mess up when it comes to protecting people from mass atrocity crimes: the worst conflict and human rights cases of all, genocide, ethnic cleansing and other major crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Let us get to the point that when another man-made humanitarian catastrophe like Cambodia, or Rwanda, or Bosnia, or Darfur looms on the horizon, as it surely will, we will never again have to look back after another disastrous failure, asking ourselves — with a mixture of anger, incomprehension, and shame – how we could possibly have let it happen again. Continue reading

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This is My Son: A Day of National Humiliation

Shaheryar Ali

Years back when Hindu fascists demolished the historic Babri mosque, many headlines in the Indian press next day were some thing like “A day of National Humiliation”. The same Indian media which every one these days in Pakistan seem to be lecturing on “ethics”,” professionalism”, “peace” etc. This was a true act of patriotism on part of India’s media. They were identifying a great distortion which was emerging in India’s secular democracy, the communal fascism which had the potential to destroy the Indian democracy. No concept of democracy is possible without “critical thought”, it’s the criticism which helps democracy evolve and flourish. All prejudices were once laws enshrined in the constitutions. Most of them represented the “national interests” of the states. Colonialism was one such thing, Slavery was another. Individuals challenged their states, faced persecutions and torture but they brought about a change. The societies which become totally non critical about their rulers and elites perish. As the Bombay tragedy unfolded, Pakistani media, state, political parties and even some liberal and ex progressives adopted a line which consisted of criticism of Indian press, media and government. A policy of continuous denial was adopted, in name of patriotism, in name of “support” of the democratic regime, in name of “peace”. What was forgotten was that India and Pakistani democratic regime effectively are hostages of the same enemy. Benazir Bhutto was shot dead by the same elements on which India is pointing fingers too, whose existence we were denying. Continue reading


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Schizoid Nation

Feisel Naqvi

The people of Pakistan have been treated by their rulers for the past half-century with extreme suspicion, as if opening up the doors of this country to the rest of the world — especially India — would result in a mass exodus. My response: grow up

There are two ways to describe Pakistan for the geographically illiterate: we are either the country on the left of India. Or else, we are the country to the right of Afghanistan.

Unfortunately for us, both descriptions are equally true. We are a country which straddles a geographic and social fault line. On one side of the Indus, we find tribal societies who look westwards, people who think of the Durand Line as a historic betrayal and who are happier ignoring it. On the other side, we find settled agrarian societies which share thousands of years of history with their counterparts across the border in India.

In short, we are a schizoid nation. The problem is that the time has come for us to choose. Continue reading

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