Category Archives: Photos

From the Frying Pan into the Fire

They say in Africa that when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. To this Julius Nyerere had once added  that when elephants make love, the grass still suffers. Nyerere had made this witty remark at a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in the 1970’s. The organisation had been formed to extricate as much of the world from suffering the same fate as the grass in this African proverb, during the Cold War. Yet, it failed Afghanistan as most of NAM’s members were anything but non-aligned. Unfortunately, this included its leading lights.

The US decided to give the USSR a bloody nose in Afghanistan. It seemed no one cared for the poor country caught in the crossfire. Washington found Gen Zia ul Haq’s Pakistan to be a more than willing partner. For the Pakistani dictator, this was an unbelievably lucky opportunity to gain international ‘legitimacy’, even recognition. But for Afghanistan and her people this superpower showdown meant the worst misfortune, misery, death and destruction in the country’s history. The misery continues even two decades after one of the superpowers is no more.

The following article is a short trip down memory lane by an Afghan expat, Muhammad Qayoumi, for Foreign Policy (May 27, 2010). It is one glimpse, through  a particular little window, of how three decades of war can push a country six centuries back in time. It is not claimed that Afghanistan did not have large areas which were, as it were, centuries behind parts of Kabul, Herat and Mazar e Sharif, even 30 years ago. But what is most saddening about this little window on the past is the realisation of the damage that has been done to the psyche of the Afghan people, regardless of who they were, where they lived and in which ‘century’. To regain self-confidence, and to let go of anxieties of more than one sort, would perhaps be the most difficult task faced by the Afghans in their efforts to try and rebuild their country. They will have to relearn to be Afghans, rediscover their own history and not only find hope and security, but once again get used to feeling hopeful and secure. They will have to learn to smile again. (bciv)

Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan…

Record stores, Mad Men furniture, and pencil skirts — when Kabul had rock ‘n’ roll, not rockets

On a recent trip to Afghanistan, British Defense Secretary Liam Fox drew fire for calling it “a broken 13th-century country.” The most common objection was not that he was wrong, but that he was overly blunt. He’s hardly the first Westerner to label Afghanistan as medieval. Former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince recently described the country as inhabited by “barbarians” with “a 1200 A.D. mentality.” Many assume that’s all Afghanistan has ever been — an ungovernable land where chaos is carved into the hills. Given the images people see on TV and the headlines written about Afghanistan over the past three decades of war, many conclude the country never made it out of the Middle Ages. Continue reading

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Filed under Afghanistan, Books, Citizens, History, Images, Photos, war, War On Terror

A Realist with a Heart: Remembering Raj Kapoor

By Mohammad Taqi

 چناں قحط سالے شد اندر دمشق

کہ یاراں فراموش کردند عشق

( سعدی شیرازی )

Saadi of Shiraz wrote with great dismay that “the famine in Damascus is so bad that friends have forgotten how to love”.

 Something much worse has befallen our city, Peshawar. It is difficult, if not impossible, to talk about music, art, films or love when the terror reigns supreme and war has ravished the city and its citizens alike.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Art, Cinema, culture, drama, Heritage, History, India, Media, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Peshawar, Photos

Fighting for Jinnah’s Pakistan

 

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From DAWN

 

By Ashfak Bokhari

 

There has never been so great a need to revisit Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s legacy as now, under the changed circumstances, to renew our resolve to adhere to his ideals, his principles and his vision of Pakistan. Nor has there been so much urgency to disseminate and popularise the political philosophy of Mr Jinnah — the Quaid-i-Azam to most of us — which has now largely been either ignored by the political community or hijacked by obscurantist forces and even distorted by Islamists to suit their designs.

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Filed under Books, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan, Partition, Photos

VIVA LA BRADISTAN MELA

THIS IS BRADISTAN

(courtesy Daily Times – this article was first published.Sir Cam was the Guest columnist for Bradistan from Mela 2003.Dil Nawaz’s comments and updates for2008 will appear within brackets 2009 Mela will be held on weekend of 13th and 14th of June 2009)

Here in was a mighty fusion of cultures: Eastern, Western, English, Pakistani, Indian, African, Arab and others — a potpourri of sounds, smells, and sights Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Cinema, Citizens, culture, Dance, drama, Europe, Heritage, History, Humour, Identity, Images, Imperialism, India, Islam, Languages, Literature, Media, minorities, Pakistan, Photos, poetry, Politics, Punjabi, Reviews, Society, south asia, Sufism, Theatre, Travel, video, youth

My Mission Statement

by Imaduddin Ahmed


I always wanted to help Pakistan develop.


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Filed under Pakistan, Photos, Travel

Picture of the day

This is a beautiful picture taken by Abro of a village famed for its larger than life characters.

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Filed under Photos

An image of the Pak Tea House – courtesy ST

Shaan Taseer from Karachi has sent us this image that was captured while he was shooting for a documentary on The Pak Tea House. The documentary was shown at the Kara Film Festival 2005. Continue reading

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Filed under Lahore, Pakistan, Photos