By Yasser Latif Hamdani
This is a quick blog to correct a historical fallacy. A false impression persists – thanks to people like Amar Jaleel and the like who in the right royal Urdu press fashion have a hard time sticking to the facts- that Jinnah- who according to Jaleel was drugged or cornered into making the speech in question- somehow told Bengalis to outlaw Bengali language when he declared Urdu to be the state language of Pakistan. This is historically inaccurate. This blog is not to discuss whether Jinnah’s declaration was politically suave or naïve but to set the record straight about what it was that Jinnah said which laid foundations for the Urdu-Bengali discord in Pakistan and led to Pakistan ultimately declaring both Urdu and Bengali the “national languages” of Pakistan. Ironically Jinnah did not even use the term “national language”, drawing the very valid distinction between a state language or lingua franca and a national language. Continue reading
From Pakistan Observer
Hats off to Bangladesh’s Supreme Court! Banning politics on the basis of religion was a giant leap, which will no doubt make Bangladesh a modern, prosperous, secular, democratic country. Will Pakistan follow Bangladesh and end decades of exploitation in the name of religion? Will it take into account the fact that resistance offered by cross-sections of Pakistani society to extremists and the people’s resolve to fight the Taliban-led terrorists, showed clearly that the majority of the people, though religious, openly condemned being exploited on the basis of religion. Continue reading
Adnan Rehmat writes in The News
Taking a close look at a city is like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it. Take a close look at Islamabad in all its pompous perplexity and clinical contradictions and not much popular ownership is apparent. Not that it prevents it from boasting a large number of peculiar characteristics even though these never show up in tourist brochures. It is, for instance, the ‘newest’ proper city in the country, the ‘newest’ city of Pakistan with a population of a million or more (the eighth in the country now) and even the ‘newest’ city in Asia that is also the capital of a country. Cynics could also emphasise Islamabad is the newest capital of Pakistan! (Karachi was the last, remember, anyone?) And, in this fact, emerges a side to the city that is debated little. Continue reading
Bangladesh SC Says No to Religion-based Political Parties
The Daily Star 06 Jan 2010
Religion-based political parties of the country will be banned, said the law minister on Monday.
But the words ‘Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim’ and state religion Islam will remain in force in the constitution, said the minister.
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed’s affirmation came at a media briefing at his secretariat office, a day after the Supreme Court vacated an earlier stay on the High Court verdict that declared illegal the fifth amendment of the constitution.
He said since the Supreme Court has upheld the High Court verdict regarding the fifth amendment to the constitution, religion-based political parties will be banned. Continue reading
Arundhati Roy’s New Book Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers Looks at What We Have Done to Democracy
Written by Al Huebner Cross-Post from Toward Freedom
The essays in this new book by the brilliant Indian writer Arundhati Roy cover topics that range from the attack on the Indian Parliament to the Armenian genocide, and the terrorist attack on Mumbai to George Bush’s “triumphant” visit to India and Pakistan. But what runs through all of these essays is a critical look at democracy, as practiced in those countries that claim to be democracies. Continue reading
By Pervez Hoodbhoy Dawn, 28 Nov, 2009
FOREIGN Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says that Pakistan is “compiling hard evidence of India’s involvement” in terrorist attacks on Pakistan’s public and its armed forces.
If he and the interior minister are correct then we must conclude that the Indians are psychotics possessed with a death wish, or are perhaps plain stupid. While India’s assistance for Baloch insurgents could conceivably make strategic sense, helping the jihadists simply does not. Continue reading
PTH has received this contribution from Faiz al-Najdi on the sacrifice rites. Hope the readers enjoy this account. Raza Rumi
For Desis Qurbani has never been an exciting affair in Saudi Arabia. For simple reason and it is that the Desis are expected to follow some strict rules vis-à-vis Qurbani here. They cannot do the Qurbani any where at their free will. They are expected to go and visit the designated cattle-pens for purchasing the sacrificial animals and deposit them at the designated slaughter house for the necessary handling of the same. As an alternate arrangement they can engage with the local meat shop men and register with them to do the needful on their behalf.
Frankly, I always dreaded the dust and filth in and around the designated cattle-pens and in fact was never comfortable with rubbing shoulders with the crowds there. That is squarely the reason why all these years I had resisted the invitation and persuasion from all and sundries to join them in the trip and rendezvous at the designated cattle-pens of Riyadh situated in the south in Azizia district. Instead, for years I have been registering with M/S GEO Meat Shop in Hara-Riyadh for the annual Qurbani at a fee that keeps increasing each year. My friend Sajawal at M/S GEO Meat Shop has been extending special services and favor to me always wherein I was never required to fall in the long queues that often take a bee-line for the aspiring clients. In short, my Qurbani at M/S GEO Meat Shop had always been an easy sail through. Continue reading