By Nadeem Farooq Paracha (The Dawn Blog)
Modern Pakistani pop culture is a cultural extension of the upper echelons of urban middle-class Pakistan. This remains in spite of the fact that acts such as Sajjad Ali, Nazia and Zoheb, Abrar-ul-Haq, Atif Aslam, and to a certain extent, Junoon and the Vital Signs have often managed to resonate some aesthetic and social relevance within the more populist sections of popular culture in Pakistan. Continue reading
New America Media, News Analysis, Jalal Ghazi
Editor’s Note: Arab media are disappointed with Pres. Barack Obama’s Pakistan-Afghanistan strategy. The U.S. focus on the Taliban’s assault on women’s rights ignores the fact that the military attacks are actually helping to unite Pashtun tribal groups under the Taliban banner, says NAM contributor Jalal Ghazi.
The specter of a Taliban takeover of Pakistan has been haunting Western media. As the fighting between Pakistani forces and the Taliban intensifies, Arab media are pointing the finger at the United States. The Obama Administration does not understand Pashtun cultural traditions, say the media. It is using force first, just as the Bush administration had done. In fact, the air strikes killing many civilians are actually creating more “Talibanization,” say Arab media. Continue reading
As an oddly smiling President Zardari of Pakistan stood behind a visibly concerned President Obama in the White House this week, one had to wonder what Mr. Zardari was smiling about. Seven thousand miles away, in the country over which he presides, the economy has tanked, the province of Baluchistan is in the grips of a secessionist movement, Karachi is embroiled in ethnic violence between Pashtuns and Urdu speakers, and that’s not even the most pressing problem this nation of 170 million people is facing. As I write this, tens of thousands of refugees are pouring out of the Swat valley in anticipation of a major military offensive by the Pakistani Army against the Taliban.
For weeks, headlines around the world have raised alarm about the proximity of the Taliban to the capital Islamabad, and analysts have puzzled over the curious detachment with which the civilian government and the Pakistani Army seemed to be observing the situation deteriorate. Now that the Pakistani army is finally engaging the Taliban, there is one question on everyone’s mind: Is Pakistan serious about this fight this time, or will it cut a deal with the militants, as it has done in the past with disastrous consequences? Continue reading
By Mark Magnier
The town on the Islamabad-Peshawar highway is at a crossroads of a different kind: Many residents worry Mardan will be next to fall to the militants, even as others deny it could happen there. Continue reading
LAHORE, Pakistan | Fear of Taliban rules and retribution has descended on this cosmopolitan city near the Indian border, with militants taking aim at fashion shows, nightclubs, sports and other entertainment that made Lahore the cultural capital of Pakistan.
With recent terrorist attacks and more subtle threats from black-bearded strangers in turbans and skullcaps, the city’s artists and performers have stopped appearing in public. University coeds are being warned to cover their faces, and merchants are pulling CDs and DVDs from store shelves. Continue reading
From The Dawn:
The price of moral cowardice
AUGUST 11, 1947, in the constituent assembly of Pakistan at Karachi: “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” — Founder and maker of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Continue reading