By Yasser Latif Hamdani
If you don’t nip a lie in the bud, it grows to be a tree. This is what has happened to the nationalist mythology perpetuated by General Zia. I don’t like wasting my weekly space in Daily Times to argue it out with specific lies of specific authors – which is why I tend to record my dissent here on PTH.
In his article today in Daily Times, Shahid Illyas, the self professed Pakhtun Nationalist and “secularist”, has reproduced the severally debunked and illogical arguments of the Jamaat-e-Islami and other Mullahs in Pakistan to bolster his own indefensible positions vis a vis Bacha Khan and Faqir of Ipi. Mr. Illyas is not bothered with the utter bankruptcy of his argument so long as he gets to abuse Jinnah and the Pakistan Movement. He is also unconcerned what his half truths would do to the cause of secularism. Like Ishtiaq Ahmed (and scores of other spent forces in our history ala Aga Shorish Kashmiri) he is seized with an irrational hatred for Jinnah, Sir Syed and the secular liberal leadership that Pakistan jettisoned – primarily through 1969’s education policy that specifically sought to down play Sir Syed’s and Jinnah’s modernity because it did not gel with the demands of Yahya’s political expediency. It is ironic that while Illyas criticizes Pakistan’s poor education system, he quotes Pakistan’s official narrative as the gospel truth. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
In his recent column (“Mera beta teri fauj ka sipahi hoga”) in the rag, Daily Ummat, Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui has asked all Pakistanis like the “Qadiani supporter” Yasser Latif Hamdani who speak of a secular Pakistan to move to India. Could things be more ironic?
I find it strange sometimes that Jamaat-e-Islami claims positions thinking that everyone reading their lies is going to buy their crooked distortions as facts. In a campaign not long ago against Aga Khanis, they claimed that Aga Khanis were Zionists and opposed to the ideology of Pakistan. Ofcourse such inconvenient facts as the first president of the Muslim League being Aga Khan are of no consequence.
In his aforementioned article Mr. Siddiqui declares – with what one can imagine is a very straight face- that Pakistan was made by his parents under the slogan Pakistan ka matlab kiya La illah ilallah. The controversy of the slogan Pakistan ka matlab kiya la illah ilallah ought to have been put to rest when Jinnah himself denounced this slogan as being nothing but the handiwork of a few people who wanted to “catch a few votes”. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani – Daily Times
Pakistan will have to undo the Maududian infiltration of its state and society. It means liberating our campuses of organisations like the IJT. It means purging the state and its machinery of elements that are furthering the Jamaat’s hate-filled agendaMy article last week on Faisal Shahzad’s radicalisation elicited unprecedented response on the issue of Islamic organisations operating in the US, thereby necessitating this sequel. There are things that need to be said before it is all too late. Continue reading
The New York Times, Published April 20, 2010
By SABRINA TAVERNISE; Waqar Gillani contributed reporting.
April 21 (New York Times) — LAHORE, Pakistan – The professor was working in his office here on the campus of Pakistan’s largest university this month when members of an Islamic student group battered open the door, beat him with metal rods and bashed him over the head with a giant flower pot.
Iftikhar Baloch, an environmental science professor, had expelled members of the group for violent behavior. The retribution left him bloodied and nearly unconscious, and it united his fellow professors, who protested with a nearly three-week strike that ended Monday.
The attack and the anger it provoked have drawn attention to the student group, Islami Jamiat Talaba, whose morals police have for years terrorized this graceful, century-old institution by brandishing a chauvinistic form of Islam, teachers here say.
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
My secular comrades and friends will probably disagree with me or maybe not, and it is nothing less than sacrilege for a self proclaimed secularist like myself to say so, but the core values of any civilization are drawn from the dominant religio-cultural system. There are contributory factors from other minority strains but ultimately the way society is organized is around the religio-cultural system the majority of its adherents follow. So for example, the Western civilization- as we know it today- has for evolved out of a Judaeo-Christian cultural norms and as it is secularized, it is enriched by other cultural strains but it remains manifestly a product of Judaeo-Christian evolution. It certainly has strong heritage in Hellenistic past but that itself is expressed through established Christian traditions (for example Christmas which is an adopted Hellenistic holiday), much like Islam adopted a lot of pre-Islamic Arabian heritage as its own. Continue reading
Filed under Islam, Islamism
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
There are some fundamental truths that both Pakistanis and Americans need to understand about our mutual relationship especially in Afghanistan :
1. Pakistan and US are natural allies. I know the fashionable in India and the US like to talk of a “natural alliance” between their two countries but both India and the US must realize that theirs can be at best a mercantile relationship. Natural alliances are not necessarily based on hollow idealism and grandiose but ridiculous propositions like the “arcs of democracy”. If this was true, Pakistan and Russia would be natural allies but they are not. Natural alliances are based on convergence of geo-strategic objectives and in the case of Pakistan the long term interests of Pakistan and US will always coincide in this region. Continue reading
By Farhat Taj Daily Times 02 Jan 2010
The people of Waziristan are suffering a brutal kind of occupation under the Taliban and al Qaeda. Therefore, they welcome the drone attacks
There is a deep abyss between the perceptions of the people of Waziristan, the most drone-hit area and the wider Pakistani society on the other side of the River Indus. For the latter, the US drone attacks on Waziristan are a violation of Pakistani’s sovereignty. Politicians, religious leaders, media analysts and anchorpersons express sensational clamour over the supposed ‘civilian casualties’ in the drone attacks. I have been discussing the issue of drone attacks with hundreds of people of Waziristan. They see the US drone attacks as their liberators from the clutches of the terrorists into which, they say, their state has wilfully thrown them. The purpose of today’s column is, one, to challenge the Pakistani and US media reports about the civilian casualties in the drone attacks and, two, to express the view of the people of Waziristan, who are equally terrified by the Taliban and the intelligence agencies of Pakistan. I personally met these people in the Pakhtunkhwa province, where they live as internally displaced persons (IDPs), and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Continue reading