Tag Archives: nation state

Saving a drowning country needs an ideological shift

Nasima Zehra Awan’s passionate post for the Pak Tea House

You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques……..Religion is not the business of the State”.   Thus spoke Jinnah, whilst addressing the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947.

Sixty three years later, this is what our honorable Chief Justice has to say: “Parliament with Unlimited Powers can secularize state” (Source:  DAWN,Monday August 16, 2010)
Won’t that be a good thing, judge saheb!

At a time when our country is intellectually and morally bankrupt because of its moorings as a national security state built on the toxic teachings of Maududi, isn’t secularism the way to get out of this mess.  Instead of spending tens of billions to support a failed national security state, “a fortress of Islam” if you will, wouldn’t Pakistan have been better off with sustained representative governments that could have gone past the Kalabagh dam issue and built provincial consensus for half a dozen other dams that could have greatly reduced
the current catastrophe.
Unfortunately for Pakistan, this Judiciary, like most of its predecessors follows the ethos of the bureaucracy-security establishment, not the parliament or gasp, the principles of law and constitutionalism.  That would entail that
they ditch the prevailing sentiment, nay, control of Jamaat Islami at all the Bar Councils and actually allow the elected representatives of the people to draft and discuss legislation that would make Pakistan a functional state in the 21st century, not an faux Ommayad Caliphate of the 8th century!

The Judges and their media supporters and urban elite cheerleaders are obsessed with going after the elected leaders of one party and folk singers; the two actually have the same political powers in Pakistan today.  The dare not go
after Jihadi sectarian leaders who have rendered Pakistan into a wasteland.  The damages incurred by these Jihadis;  thousands of Pakistanis killed including the targeting of professionals belonging to minority sects and religions, the tens of billions of destroyed property and lost investment is incalculable.  These are the fruits that the State of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has reaped by constructing itself in the vision of Maududi and Qutb.

However, in the chauvinist and elitest debates about corruption, there is NO mention of the billions that are taken at every budget without audit, the tens of billions taken from foreign powers who are subsequently vilified by the same and the trillions that are made by using the country as a corporate and real estate business entity.  After all, how will this debate start while we continuously see ourselves not as a modern, democratic and secular state but as the
realization of the Islamist neurosis of failed ideologues who see a warped view of religion and not shared human values, as the basis for a functional society. Continue reading

Advertisements

214 Comments

Filed under Activism

Pakistan’s Ghairat Lobby and The Indian PM’s Visit To The US

By Sadiq Saleem

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official visit to the United States should have been the major story in Pakistan’s media. But our right-wing anchors and columnists and “get-Zardari” editors are far more focused on the domestic power struggles to realize that the nightmare of Pakistan’s strategic encirclement may already be on the brink of becoming reality.

The less attention Pakistanis pay to fighting terrorism and figuring out a way of dealing with the world, the more likely it is that India — the country with which Pakistan has fought four wars in 62 years — will continue to gain ground. India already has better relations with the governments of Afghanistan and Iran, our western neighbours. The more we demonstrate hatred towards the United States, the more we contribute to making the India-US relationship into an anti-Pakistan alliance, which need not be. We could complain and get angry with the US, as the Jamaatis and the Ghairat lobby advocate, or we could analyse the rising Indian influence and figure out ways of combating it. Continue reading

38 Comments

Filed under India, Pakistan

Making Sense Of Pakistan

By Farzana Shaikh

The main idea of my book, Making Sense of Pakistan, is that we need first and foremost to make sense of the country’s identity crisis.
This crisis, I argue, is rooted in uncertainties over the country’s precise relation to Islam. Although in 1947 Pakistan was created as the first self-professed homeland for Muslims, the contestation over the meaning and role of Islam has continued to resonate to the present day—with significant political, economic and strategic implications, in and beyond Pakistan.

Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

Spurning Non-Muslim Pakistanis, Celebrating Muslim Non-Pakistanis

By Yasser Latif Hamdani
Raza Rumi,  who is probably the most balanced Pakistani commentator out there, recently made a startling statement which surprised me greatly.  The statement made,  as obiter dicta, suggested that Maulana Azad is spurned in Pakistan because he might have thought that Muslim identity would be better protected in United India.   It is startling because it is untrue.   Every Sunni non-muqalid and Deobandi scholar invariably carries Maulana Azad’s Tafsir of the Quran.  Of all the Congress leaders,  he is the only one who is spared and is even championed. Same is the case with Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madni of Darul-uloom Deoband- another opponent of Jinnah and supporter of the so-called “composite nationalism”.  Many Mullahs in Pakistan continue to take their lead from him and many of them  place him above Jinnah, our secular founding father. Continue reading

20 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

Rethinking National Sovereignty

By Anthony J. Aschettino

The modern world is the world of the nation-state, a world in which every ethnic group lays claim to their own special plot of land under the guise of nationalism and their “historic” rights to that place. Gone are the days of the empires, those polyglot entities encompassing the ethnicities of a dozen or more groups and spreading across the globe with seeming impunity. The trend had begun long before then, but by the end of the Second World War empires were crumbling wherever they were found. It was a long process, tied to the end of colonialism, and as such is generally viewed as a good thing in most circles. Was it really? Continue reading

Comments Off on Rethinking National Sovereignty

Filed under Pakistan

Pakistan More Than a Battlefield

PITY the Nation is a book on Lebanon by renowned journalist Robert Fisk. However, these days many articles on or reports from Pakistan seem to have similar titles.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Pakistan More Than a Battlefield

Filed under Pakistan

Myths about the Taliban

By Raza Rumi

The Pakistani state policy of nurturing jihad factories over the decades is staring back at its architects, supporters and sponsors. Zafar Hilaly, a close aide of the late Benazir Bhutto, recently divulged in his memoirs that BB had confessed how the support to the Taliban was perhaps her most regrettable mistake. She could recognise it was more of a function of being out of the power ambit for nearly a decade. The compulsions of exercising power and playing it by the rules set by the national security obsessed state are perhaps germane to Pakistan’s creation as an insecure postcolonial state that was neither prepared not committed to reverse the colonial modes of governance. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Pakistan