Tag Archives: fundamentalism

The Problem With MNIK

By Yasser Latif Hamdani


Late last week I attended a packed show of “My Name Is Khan”  in Lahore’s DHA Cinema and while I went through all the emotions the film maker wanted to evoke,  I found the film entirely misplaced and misdirected.   The film itself was well made 70 percent of the way. It began to go downhill from the time our hero returned to Georgia to find it stuck in the Civil War era and by the time President Elect Obama made his appearance the film which is essentially Khuda Ke Liye meets Forest Gump meets Rainman meets Milk was completely over the top. Continue reading


Filed under Bollywood, Cinema, Islam

Say No to drone attacks!

Ziyad Faisal has sent this contribution for Pak Tea House with a preamble. We are publishing this to enrich the ongoing debate on drone attacks. Raza Rumi

This is the first piece of writing which I have ever submitted to Pak Tea House. Since PTH upholds the beautiful tradition of free debate nurtured at the original Pak Tea House (a small tea-shop in Lahore), I request the management of this blog to publish my humble response to a recent article on US drone attacks in Pakistan. Before I begin, I wish to assure my dear friends at PTH that whatever decision they might take, I will remain a loyal and regular reader. Since I am writing a response to an article by another writer, I would also like to assure the said writer that I mean no personal offence.

I also owe many thanks to Kathy Kelly, the acclaimed US peace activist who needs no introduction, for providing me with many valuable references on the issue of the drone attacks. As a Pakistani student, I salute her courage in organizing protests against drone attacks carried out by US armed forces against the Pakistani people. Kathy was recently arrested for protesting near a US base in Nevada, which is part of the command-and-control system for the drone attacks against Pakistan. It is a heartening sight to see veteran members of the US peace movement upholding the right of the Pakistani people to live free from NATO aggression. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

Bollywood,Reality TV and Indian secularism

Bradistan Calling

Indian TV has seen numerous Bollywood reality shows, competition where common boys (and occasionally girls) have won places on movies by top directors. The Show that I want to talk about is Bollywood, blind-date and arranged (and staged) marriage all rolled into one big media circus. Continue reading


Filed under Activism, Art, Cinema, Citizens, culture, Dance, drama, Heritage, History, human rights, Humour, Identity, Images, India, Islamism, Kashmir, magazines, Media, men, minorities, Music, Pakistan, Partition, Politics, poverty, Punjabi, Religion, Rights, Rural, sex, south asia, Terrorism, Theatre, Women, youth

Iran: overthrow the fundamentalist cabal

Ali Abbas Inayatullah has authored this exclusive post for PTH. We welcome him to this e-zine and hope that he writes more. This rather radical article is a fresh and unconventional analysis of the Iranian crisis. PTH does not agree with all the contents but welcomes pieces that make you think. (Raza Rumi)

After watching the hundreds of thousands of protesters in Iran being dismissed as Westernized toffs from Northern Tehran by Islamist groups and self-declared leftists, one could not initially help wondering at the number of elites in Iran. If one is to take the Islamist critique, than Iran must be a very rich country if it has hundreds of thousands of elites who can turn up to march in the capital square! Surely, for those unfamiliar with Iran’s politics and people, it would be easy to misrepresent the situation.  Furthermore, for those non-Iranians who look upon Iran as the culmination of their Islamist fantasies, it would be imperative to prove that the large scale demonstrations in Iran were nothing more than sour grapes by a limited elite section of the population. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

For Pakistan, or for Islam?

For Pakistan to haul itself out of crisis, the ultimate goal must be for its people to put their nationality before their religion

 Rakesh Mani and Zehra Ahmed

As Pakistan wastes away in its existential crisis, a fundamental question about the nature of the country is coming to the fore: are its citizens Pakistanis who happen to be Muslims, or are they Muslims who happen to be Pakistanis? Which comes first, flag or faith?

It is not a question that many Pakistanis can readily answer. The vast majority of the country’s so-called “educated elite” seem to have no qualms about identifying themselves as Muslims first and Pakistanis second. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan, Religion

Justice Munir’s report (1954)

Raza Rumi

AH has been kind enough to share a document MunirReport_1953 of great historical value with us. The REPORT OF THE COURT OF INQUIRY CONSTITUTED UNDER PUNJAB ACT II OF 1954 TO ENQUIRE INTO THE PUNJAB DISTURBANCES OF 1953 authored by Justice Munir is a classic study in the core dilemmas of Pakistani state and society. Notwithstanding the controversial role of J. Munir, his secular moorings are all too clear and so is his firm stance against Mullahism, bigotry and courage not to be cowed down  by those who use faith to advance their personal and political agendas. We are uploading the full report.

What is then the Islamic State of which everybody talks but nobody thinks ?
Before we seek to discover an answer to this question, we must have a clear conception
of the scope and function of the State. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

Pakistan: Reclaiming the Indus Person


Computer-generated image of what Mohenjodaro must have looked like all those years ago (Courtesy Wiki)

Computer-generated image of what Mohenjodaro must have looked like all those years ago (Courtesy Wiki)

 By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari

There are so many ways for Americans to find themselves if they are lost: They can read Eyewitness to America, an anthology of people who were there when the US was created; they could go to Gettysburg or heck, just rent the TVC; or they could go to the Metropolitan Museum in New York; or take a course with Professor Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn. Continue reading


Filed under ancient civilisations, Architecture, History, India, Jinnah, lawyers movement, Pakistan, Partition