Karachi’s famous shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi was attacked a while ago. Over 60 people are injured and 12 are dead. After Lahore’s Data Darbar attacks, this is a trend that is gaining an ugly momentum. We condemn this act and mourn the deaths of innocent people who were visiting to perhaps allay their stress and seek some peace from the place. Shrines are not just religious – these are public spaces and also cultural markers. What a shame that terrorists are trying to destroy our culture and turning us into a bunch of afraid people living in a fractured and violent society.
Thursdays are special for shrine-goers. And this is what suits the terrorists’ agenda. This is not the first time that such a heinous tragedy has occurred. We are living amid barbarians who have no tolerance for people with inclusive and plural Sufi thought. Karachi has suffered such an attack for the first time. Reports of the city having turned into a hub of Al-Qaeda and faith-based militants are all too well known. A new phase of terror may have bgun for the city that has already been suffering ethnic, sectarian and other forms of violence. This does not augur well for the port city, its centrality to our economy, trade and prospects. Continue reading
35 dead and 175 injured – the numbers may increase..
As if the recent acts of violence and an atmosphere of fear was not enough, the butchers have attacked Lahore’s oldest and grandest shrine – also known as Data Saheb. Thursday night is the time when thousands visit this shrine to pray and offer their respects to Hazrat Usman Hajwery, a Sufi who has been known as the protector of the city and the generous guide who is believed to have blessed countless generations.
This is a barbaric attack and should serve as a wake up call. Data Saheb’s shrine is not just another crowded place – it represents a millenia of tolerant Sufi Islam which is directly under attack by the puritans.Last year, there were threats and the government had closed the place for a day or two. This time the worst of nightmares has come true.
How long will we be mere spectators and see our great city blown to bits – culturally and physically. This is time for hard, concrete action and a major crackdown on all terrorist outfits that are operating in the country especially the Punjab wit impunity.
How long shall we remain in a state of denial – as if there is no problem within Pakistan and all acts of terror are perpeterated by the Indians, Jews and the Americans. Continue reading
[This was originally published in DAWN’s blog section and then subsequently also included in the much recommended critical PPP/Let us Build Pakistan site. The link for the latter is http://criticalppp.org/lubp/archives/4072 and for the former is http://blog.dawn.com/2009/12/31/the-scholar-the-sufi-and-the-fanatic/. The critical PPP site is quite refreshing and has taken on both the naysayers as well as been critical of its own party. Even their news reports are more reliable at times than the mainstream media. In reposting the article, critical PPP has accreditted DAWN. – Ali Abbas]
By Nadeem F. Paracha Dawn 31st Dec, 2009
Roughly speaking, the political and social aspects of Islam in Pakistan can be seen as existing in and emerging from three distinct sets and clusters of thought. These clusters represent the three variations of political and social Islam that have evolved in this country: modern, popular and conservative. Continue reading
Filed under Democracy, India, Islam, Islamism, movements, Pakistan, Partition, Politics, Religion, south asia, state, Sufism
What can I give to Pakistan as a present on its 62nd Birthday, What else than an article on its chequered history and identity. Bertrand Russell famously said,” There are three great civilisations in East i.e. India, China and Islam”. Pakistan is blessed to be located at the crossroads of all these great civilisations. In my humble opinion this is the biggest strength of Pakistani identity. Continue reading
Filed under Activism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, ancient civilisations, Architecture, baluchistan, Citizens, cricket, culture, dynasties, Environment, Europe, FATA, Heritage, History, human rights, Identity, India, Iran, Islam, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Karachi, Kashmir, Languages, Left, Literature, Media, minorities, Music, North-West Frontier Province, Northern Areas, Pakistan, Partition, Peshawar, Politics, Punjabi, quetta, Religion, Rights, Sindh, south asia, Sufism, Taliban, Terrorism, Travel, Urdu, USA, youth
The Neo ‘Iron Curtain’ and the loud marching steps of televangelistas.
The latest cultural trend is the sensational rise of televangelist channels in U.K, using tactics which can only be described as ‘emotional and religious blackmail’ and premium rate phone charges to raise funds from devotees, most of these are Nigerian Pentecostal ‘Witchdoctor’ (faith healer potions and exorcisms) TV channels operating from London. Generally the term ‘televangelist’ refers to American evangelical splinter churches propagating to solicit donations for converting poor Africans. This concoction of ideologies is being beamed back to Africa and Asia through satellite. Continue reading
Filed under Activism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Benazir Bhutto, Citizens, culture, Democracy, dynasties, Elections, Europe, FATA, Heritage, History, human rights, Identity, Images, India, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, journalism, Kashmir, Labour, Languages, Media, men, minorities, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Partition, Politics, poverty, Religion, Rights, Society, south asia, Sufism, Taliban, Terrorism, Travel, Urdu, USA, violence, war, Women, youth
Pak-Iran relations: elections and beyond?
It is an interesting time on the young street of Iran. Youth are expecting a victory against the clergy. The Prague spring is in the air. The cities are green in the colour of change proposed by reformist candidate Mir Hussain Mousuvi. How far this HOPE and CHANGE can go, only time will tell?
PIPFPD: Pakistan -Iran people’s forum for Progress and Democracy
The Pakistani-Indian people to people friendship society with the same initials started its work nearly two decades ago, when the Pak-Indian subcontinent was under dark clouds of war hysteria and animosity. Thinking back, those times seem a century rather than a decade back. Pakistani and Indian actors, musicians, journalists, business people and human rights activists made this venture such a resounding success that the politicians, on both sides, had to follow in their foot steps. Continue reading
Filed under Activism, Afghanistan, Army, Citizens, culture, Democracy, Economy, Elections, Europe, History, human rights, Identity, India, Islam, journalism, Justice, Languages, Left, minorities, movements, Pakistan, Politics, poverty, Religion, Society, south asia, Sufism, Terrorism, Urdu, USA, violence, war, Women, World, youth
Note: The views expressed are author’s,PTH does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed.Some names have intentionally been omitted to protect privacy.
It was a long afternoon,with cricket T20 in the background, and the location was a Lebanese restaurant in St. John’s wood, in the shadow of Lords cricket ground in central London and we were enjoying a long outdoor meal.
My guest was a childhood friend (alumni of “Physics under Hoodbhoy” and Islami Jamiat Talba), now an analyst with an American Bible-Belt Neo-Con Think-Tank, visiting London for a seminar on “Preventing Islamist Extremism” in the disenfranchised Muslim youth of U.K. He also ran a blog called “Friends of Pakistan” before the name was artfully stolen by President Zardari’s team (Allegedly by Ambassador Haqqani, who is rumoured to ghost-write Zardari articles in NYT, WP and WSJ). Continue reading
Filed under Activism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Citizens, cricket, culture, Democracy, Economy, Education, Elections, Europe, FATA, History, human rights, Identity, India, Iran, Islam, Islamabad, Jinnah, journalism, Karachi, Kashmir, Left, Media, minorities, movements, Multinational Corporations, North-West Frontier Province, Northern Areas, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Partition, Politics, poverty, Religion, south asia, Sufism, Taliban, Urdu, USA, war, Women, youth