MQM needs to change perceptions about it before it finds any ground in the Punjab
Crosspost by Yasmeen Ali
MQM’s effort to enter Punjab can be deemed as a historic political development. Altaf Hussain in an address many months earlier, promised Punjab an end to feudalism, while announcing MQM’s entrance in the Punjab political kaleidoscope .This is an interesting promise, considering MQM was unable to dent the feudalism in rural Sindh where it exists, much more than in Punjab. According to the MQM’s 2008 election manifesto “the prevalent feudal system of Pakistan is the main obstacle in the progress of the country and the prosperity of the people”.
Before going any further, let us identify what feudalism is. In one view, that of Marc Bloch, views feudalism as the complete system, political, military, social, and economic. He saw all of these issues centering around lordship. Karl Marx also took this perspective with one major difference; he centered on peasants. Marxism’s main emphasis is that of the plight of the worker thus in his view of feudalism only the peasants contributed to society. In another major view, feudalism is largely a political term. The political power in feudalism, these individuals claim, was treated as an individual possession and held by those who owned the land. Thus the government was ruled by the lords and royal officials who ruled over their land. Continue reading
[This is another contribution by Bilal Qureshi (see here for Bilal’s previous piece on the NRO). We are pleased to publish it since we believe it is important to continue the debate. We do not necessarily subscribe to the author’s views – PTH]
By Bilal Qureshi
© The Nation, Pakistan
There are times when I am tempted to accept Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) as a genuine political party. However, thankfully, I come to my senses as soon as MQM attempts one of those fascist maneuvers that have become synonymous with MQM. If anyone pays close attention, it is not difficult to see a pattern with MQM. Continue reading
* Do large groups in young people ages 15-24 increase the risk of armed conflict, terrorism and riots?
Daily Times Monitor
KARACHI: It has frequently been suggested that exceptionally large youth groups or cohorts, the so-called ‘’youth bulges’’, make countries more susceptible to political violence.
Henrik Urdal from the Centre for the Study of Civil War, The International Peace Research Institute, Oslo examined this in a study titled ‘A Clash of Generations? Youth Bulges and Political Violence’ in 2006. Continue reading
This is a forcefully eloquent piece on the incidence of violence in Karachi. PTH does not necessarily agree with its contents and the arguments – by Rukhe Zehra Zaidi
It seems that recycling storylines and repeat performances are not solely the prerogative of cinema and theatre. In Pakistan, the plot of politics is often repeated and rehashed until the performance has become a fine tuned and much rehearsed drama on the ongoing tussle between democracy and the military. Dictators replace democrats, democrats negotiate and bargain with each other and the army, and the masses stand by much like the citizens of fair Verona caught in the crossfire of the fighting between the Montagues and the Capulets. And although the actors change on a seasonal basis, the transition is now almost seamless and perfect. Costume changes require minimal refitting as the Ayubs make way for the Zias and Musharrafs, and the MMA of today steps into the shoes of the Islamic Democratic Alliance of yesterday. And repeated though it might be, the performance is by no means dull as bloody assassinations, behind the scenes plotting and scheming, horse-trading, and even exploding helicopters all add to the political experience in Pakistan. Continue reading