Tag Archives: BBC

Pakistan’s conspiracy theories stifle debate

Courtesy BBC: Guest columnist Ahmed Rashid on how the real problems facing Pakistan are being sidelined by a surge of conspiracy theories

Switch on any of the dozens of satellite news channels now available in Pakistan.

You will be bombarded with talk show hosts who are mostly obsessed with demonising the elected government, trying to convince viewers of global conspiracies against Pakistan led by India and the United States or insisting that the recent campaign of suicide bomb blasts around the country is being orchestrated by foreigners rather than local militants.

Viewers may well ask where is the passionate debate about the real issues that people face – the crumbling economy, joblessness, the rising cost of living, crime and the lack of investment in health and education or settling the long-running insurgency in Balochistan province. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

Terror Tactics

By Nida Maqsud

The people of Pakistan aren’t vociferously outspoken enough against the terrorist attacks that have taken place, both within and outside Pakistan’s borders – or so it has been claimed by many a commentator. I have read article upon article with such a premise, and, as a citizen of the world, I have agreed. But as a Pakistani at heart, I’ve struggled with this theory for many months, only to keep knocking against a wall of inconsolable despair. Why have I not spoken out until now? Because I am a hard-working, intelligent resident of Pakistani society, a loyal citizen of the United States, and it kills me to have to suffer the incompetencies of corrupt elected governments; the conniving schemes of powerful countries trying to take advantage of “failed states”, and vice versa; the demoralizing illiteracy of a large and ever-increasing group of people who believe that their anguish can only be expressed through violence; and the heartbreaking optimism of a people who continue to work hard and believe in the nation that their ancestors fought for so tirelessly. Add to that the defeatist tendencies of my own friends and family, and there you have yourself a sample slice of a world, terrorized and speechless. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

News Media Vs Angry Young Londonistanis

By Bradistan

Sometimes truth and compromise cannot be accommodated within a single sentence no matter how hard one tries. In US there is a syndrome known as celebrity journalism (courtesy Ann coulter and Thomas L friedman ), Journalistic showbiz personalities always looking for media spot for right or wrong reasons, this problem is slowly but surely creeping into UK.

In celebrity journalist clan top priority is the pay cheques and bank balances, but this makes the truth and the professional integrity a lesser priority. People like “world is flat” (china India slave sweat shop theory) bandwagon, knowledge gurus (Mr. Copra selling spirituality in a disposable bottle), champions of selling successful business model of WTO free market neo liberalism to people of Africa and India.  This model of free market  capitalism led  to sub prime consumerism into an end product which is hegemonic imperialism. Continue reading


Filed under Activism, Afghanistan, Books, Colonialism, culture, Democracy, Europe, Imperialism, India, Islam, Islamism, journalism, Religion

Karachi calling – Mohammad Hanif

posted by Raza Rumi

When novelist Mohammed Hanif told friends he was returning to Pakistan after 12 years in Britain, they were aghast. Why would he and his young family swap London for a city with daily power cuts and rampant gun crime? The answer proved surprisingly simple …

  • Mohammed Hanif writing for The Guardian (Tuesday June 24, 2008)
Mohammed Hanif

Twelve years ago, I arrived in London from Karachi with eight suitcases, a new wife and a three-year job contract. Before leaving for London, we had put our books, furniture and even some of our kitchen utensils at our relatives’ houses. When I told my friends and family that we would be back after exactly three years, they gave us a knowing smile and encouraged us to sell that sofa instead of putting it in their store room.

Two months from now, we are planning to return to Karachi with a container full of furniture, more pots and pans than we left behind and a 10-year-old son. Friends and family in Pakistan are aghast. From London to Karachi? Why are you coming to Karachi? Do you know what happened to Sana’s friend the other day? Do you have any idea how you’ll live without electricity for 10 hours every day? And, by the way, have you discussed this with Channan? How does he feel about it? Continue reading


Filed under Books, Karachi, New Writers

’پاکستانی تاریخ کاپہلا کامیاب لانگ مارچ – ‘ربیعہ کی ڈائری

ربیعہ باجوہ ایک اکتیس سالہ وکیل ہیں۔ وہ دو ہزار چھ میں لاہور ہائی کورٹ بار کی کم عمر ترین فنانس سیکرٹری منتخب ہوئی تھیں۔ چیف جسٹس آف پاکستان کی صدر جنرل مشرف کے ہاتھوں معطلی کے بعد ہونے والے احتجاج میں ربعیہ شروع سے شامل رہی ہیں۔



 نو جون سے شروع ہونا والا لانگ مارچ کا قافلہ تیرہ جون کو کامیابی کی منازل طے کرتا ہوا جب روالپنڈی کی حدود میں داخلہ ہوا تو فضا ’گو مشرف گو‘ ، ’ہم لے کر رہیں گے آزادی‘ اور ’ آزاد عدلیہ بحال کرو‘ کے نعروں سےگونج اٹھی۔

آٹھ گھنٹوں کی مسافت کے بعد جب ہمارا جلوس لیاقت باغ سے شاہراہ دستور پر پہنچا تو پنڈال سمیت سڑک پر تاحد نظر لوگوں کا جم غفیر تھا۔ وکلاء کتبے اٹھائے اپنی تحریک کی کامیابی کے لیے دمکتے چہروں کے ساتھ پارلیمان کی عمارت کے قریب موجود تھے۔

جب لانگ مارچ کےسلسلہ میں پارلیمنٹ ہاؤس کے سامنے تقاریر کا آغاز ہوا تو مسلم لیگ نون کے قائد نواز شریف نے وکلاء کو مخاطب کرتے ہوئے دھرنا نہ دینے کا کہا جس پر پنڈال میں موجود لوگوں نے اس بات کا مثبت تاثر نہ لیا اور اسی وقت وکلاء نے اپنی قیادت سے امید لگالی کہ وہ خود اپنا لائحہ عمل ترتیب دیں گے اور سینچر کوہونے والے بجٹ اجلاس کے دوران دھرنا دینے کا اعلان کرتے ہوئے ارکان اسمبلی کو ایک بدلے ہوئے پاکستان کا احساس دلائیں گے اور یہ پیغام دیں گے کہ سیاستدان بھی اپنا رویہ تبدیل کریں اور اپنے وعدوں کی پاسداری کرتے ہوئے پارلیمان کو حیقیقی معنوں میں مقتدر بنائیں ۔ اپنے ساتھیوں کے چہرے پر پریشانی دیکھ کر مجھے بھی پہلی بار تھکاوٹ اور بے سمتی کا احساس ہوا۔ جہاں وکلاء لانگ مارچ کی کامیابی سے پرجوش تھے وہیں پر انہیں تقریب کے اختتام پر اپنے خدشات کا اظہار کرتے ہوئے یہ سوال اٹھاتے ہوئے پایا گیا کہ ہماری یہ عظیم جدوجہد سٹیٹس کے حامل سیاست دانوں کے ذریعے ہائی جیک تو نہ ہوجائے گی ؟ Continue reading


Filed under Democracy, Politics

A CASE OF EXPLODING MANGOES – the new Pakistani novel

When was the last time we heard that what this country needs is another Zia?”

– Mohammed Hanif

By Nadir Hassan 

 Born in Okara in 1965, Mohammed Hanif served in the Pakistan Air Force before deciding to take up a career as a journalist. Hanif worked as a reporter for Newsline for six years and is now the head of the BBC’s Urdu World Service. He also graduated from the creative writing programme at the University of East Anglia.

           Q: As a first-time novelist, was it hard to find a publisher in Britain? And given your portrayal of Zia, will it be even harder to find a publisher in Pakistan?

           A: I know it is notoriously difficult to find a publisher for a first time novel, even more so for a so-called literary novel (“a gamble against destiny” as someone put it) but I have to say that luckily it proved to be quite simple in my case. I guess the trick is to get an agent who believes in the book and in whose judgment the publishers have trust. After I signed up with my agent, the publishers were literally lining up, which was a bit surreal. She made the first sale within 48 hours of submitting in Canada. And the rest of the countries followed within a week or so. Continue reading


Filed under Books, culture, Fiction, History, Literature, Writers