Tag Archives: ethnic

Unwelcome in Karachi, unable to return

Ali Arqam Durrani

Swat Peace treaty is condemned by the PTH visitors and many of them are amazed with the behaviour of the people living there.But someone should ask the migrants of their pain and agony.When fanatics were beheading policemen and FC sepoys, the Army personnel did not fight. Fanatics were targeting political workers from ANP. Was there any other option left. Now in Karachi ethnic bloodbath is on the cards. Amid the rhetoric, the victims i.e The IDP’s have no way home and are unwelcome everywhere…

By Qurat ul ain Siddiqui 

KARACHI: ‘I am not at ease here,’ admits Mohammad Salaar, surveying the bustle and traffic at Safora Chowk in Karachi’s Gulistan-i-Jauhar area. ‘The political culture of the city is unfavourable for displaced families like mine which didn’t opt to stay at a refugee camp.’ Continue reading


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Filed under Citizens, Karachi, Pakistan, Terrorism

Casteism: alive and well in Pakistan

Raza Rumi writing for The Friday Times, Pakistan (current issue)

It is a cliché now to say that Pakistan is a country in transition – on a highway to somewhere. The direction remains unclear but the speed of transformation is visibly defying its traditionally overbearing, and now cracking postcolonial state. Globalisation, the communications revolution and a growing middle class have altered the contours of a society beset by the baggage and layers of confusing history. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan, Punjabi, Rights, Society, south asia

Remembering Bibi

by Raza Rumi

It was only yesterday that we were mourning for the loss of an icon of our times. The much loved, and passionately hated Benazir Bhutto whose tragic murder in broad daylight was the greatest metaphor of what Pakistan has turned into: a jungle of history, ethnicity and extremism. Little wonder that Bhutto’s worst enemies cried and lamented the loss of a federal politician whose life and times were as unique as her name. The populist slogan – charon soobon ki zanjeer (the chain of the four provinces, literally) could not have been truer than the most tested of axioms. As if her death were not enough, the state response was even more brutal. Why did she participate in public rallies? On that fateful day of December 27, 2007, why did she invite death by sticking her neck out – literally and metaphorically? This was tragedy compounded by invective and betrayal. After all, had she not received a tacit understanding from the then military President, General Pervez Musharraf?

The official machinery then went to work in a super-efficient frenzy. Within hours, the murder scene had been washed away, right opposite the Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi where Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was also shot dead. If anything history repeated itself with a bang – only to restate that Pakistani Prime Ministers are dispensable accessories of the power game. The misogynistic thirst for blood-letting once quenched, patriarchy dictated that the autopsy of a woman became an issue of honour, confusion and violation of the law. How telling, that the laws of the land remain subservient to the imperatives of culture and tradition. Continue reading


Filed under Benazir Bhutto, Democracy, dynasties, Media, Pakistan, Politics, public policy, Sindh, south asia, state, Terrorism, violence

Big populations of young people linked to violence

* 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

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Filed under Activism, human rights, Politics, poverty, psychology, Rights, Society, Terrorism, youth

Breaking the Cycle

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

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Filed under Activism, Democracy, Elections, Karachi, lawyers movement, Left, minorities, movements, Pakistan