By Brigadier (ret) Simon Samson Sharaf
In an emotional and controversial address to his constituency, the President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari referred to the country as Sindhu Desh. In his fiery and reactive speech, this was perhaps the only silver lining. Deliberately or otherwise, he had touched a very sensitive issue of nationhood.
The politicians of Sindh unlike the Unionists of Punjab have been more Pakistani in many ways than they are accredited. Jinnah, the Syeds, Qazis, Soomros and Bhuttos are but to name a few. Reviewing the annals of history, we are pleasantly reminded that Pakistan was never the realization of one ethnicity, sect or mindset. It was a struggle based on the aspirations of diverse groups and still remains so. Continue reading
I wrote an article for Pak Tea House couple of weeks ago which Raza Rumi was kind enough to publish but not without a disclaimer that Pak Tea House is supportive of Pakistan’s military operation. Though article contained some criticism of the military yet it was limited to the manner in which the military operation started. The article could have been found wanting on a lot of levels but because of disclaimer, it seemed patriotism was what the article lacked.
On the face of it, the link between the disclaimer and patriotism appears far fetched, but believe me I have been branded unpatriotic for much less. The problem with patriotism is similar to the one with religion. As a religious hardliner brands anyone who does not pray like him a kafir, similarly a present day patriot would brand anyone unpatriotic who does not see eye to eye with him when it comes to current military operation. Unsurprisingly, in Pakistan, it is only the military issue which brings up patriotism. Continue reading
Filed under Army, Pakistan, war
By Sarwar Sukhera
A friend of mine of Pakistani origin is well settled in USA. He lives in a nice part of Atlanta, away from ghetto-style Pakistani immigrant communities. During his recent visit to Pakistan with his family, I asked his eight-year-old American-born son what he thought of the country. The kid’s reply was quite interesting. He said, “It’s alright, except that there are too many Pakistanis here!” Continue reading
Posted by Raza Rumi
An anonymous contributor at the Friday Times talks about how the murder of a family member raised painful questions about Pakistani society
When an incident occurs which should never have taken place – an anomaly, a tragedy – the first question that springs to mind is, who is to blame? It has been two years since my uncle’s body was found, decaying in his own blood, two years since he was murdered in his house, in his own sanctuary. I have had enough time to distance myself from the tragedy and view the events in a more rational way. But is there anyway to rationalise the murder of an innocent man, whose only crime was that he could not afford to live anywhere but in a small apartment in an unsafe area of Karachi?
As I sit safely in America and think about his murder, I am confronted with the question of my own identity. Who is a Karachiite? I strive to answer this question. To me, a Karachiite is a jaded individual, who invariably knows someone who has been the victim of a crime or is a helpless victim of fear and loathing himself. Yet tragedy and fear never strike hard enough until they hit home, and that is when you realise how real crime is. It’s not just some cool scene from a pyscho thriller flick. Continue reading