Tag Archives: Tariq

Obituary:Kashmir Broadcasting Corporation

Stop Press:

Kashmir Broadcasting Corporation suddenly suspended  its satellite transmissions globally after one year of success broadcasting.This incident is most unfortunate and shows a lack of financial backing for independent TV in a climate of global recession.There was no official confirmation of this interruption. Continue reading



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National Campaign formed.

On Saturday 9th May, people from across the UK met in Longsight, Manchester and formed a national campaign called ‘Justice for the North West 10’.

The meeting was addressed on mobile phone by three families of the students from disparate areas of Pakistan. They expressed support for the campaign and have been mobilizing their own campaign in Pakistan. The meeting was also addressed by legal representatives of the students and other innocent victims of the Terrorism Act. Continue reading


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While There is Light

Tariq Mehmood’s novel , While There is Light, impresses Mike Phillips

Courtesy: The Guardian-UK

While There is Light
by Tariq Mehmood
220pp, Comma, £7.95

The novel opens with a sentence from a letter written by Saleem, a young Muslim on remand in Leeds. “Mother, I am now in jail, in this bitch of a country called England. I may never see you again.” Continue reading

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Fahmida Riaz – “Her dreams of the future”

Raza Rumi

Barricaded Islamabad enveloped by the ghosts of national gloom has one little corner of hope. The Pakistan Academy of Letters, under its dynamic and committed Chairman, Fakhar Zaman, continues to weave narratives that still inspire. Even when the bitterness of our grim present affects us all, Fakhar Zaman was forthright in his views on Pakistan, its future and most importantly, its literary tradition. The venue was the book launch of Fahmida Riaz’s novel Godavari that has been translated into English. Fahmida Riaz is better known as a poet but her unique prose is lesser known. Her short stories and novels are extraordinary pieces of literary works rendered into sheer poetry. Often it is difficult to determine the genre of her ‘prose’ works as the lines between watertight compartments blur and fade away, only to reappear as a gentle reminder to the readers that our author is experimenting in her inimitable style.

Godavari was published last year by the Oxford University Press and Fakhar Zaman organised its launch under the aegis of PAL only to ensure that there are many indigenous, native voices in English that have yet not caved in to the pressures and inducements of Western publishing houses. Godavari is a deceptively simple story of a few characters visiting a holiday hill resort in Maharashtra a little before the communal riots that shook Bombay and India in the 1980s. But deep within its lines, sub-textual connotations and shifting moods lie tales of discrimination, communal hatred and the unfettered spirits of its universal female characters. The heartening aspect of this book launch was that there were a few dozen enthusiasts present on the occasion, and a few powerful intellectuals who spoke of Fahmida’s life and her works as symbolic of contemporary Pakistan. Continue reading

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Remembering Ojhri Camp 1988

Mass murder in Rawalpind and Islamabad

By Tariq Mehmood

First Published in Bradistan Calling

21 years ago, on the 10th April 1988 Ojhrii dump in Rawalpindi was blown up. This was a deliberate act of destruction. Hundreds upon hundreds of missiles rained down on Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Over 5000 people were killed. Many, many thousands more were injured.

I was working as a journalist for the Frontier Post and along with a colleague, Imran Munir, went into the camp, early the day after the explosion. Every now and again, a rocket or missile would take off, and land somewhere, causing yet more deaths and destruction. Continue reading

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Tariq Ali is wrong on the Taliban and Hezbollah

I read this insightful comment by Imtiaz Baloch on an internet platform. The piece argues in a more nuanced  manner the issue of national question and the struggles. In particular, it challenges the linear and [ironically] misinformed views of Tariq Ali who praised the Taliban and Hezbollah while mocking the Baloch and Sindhi national movements. I am grateful to Imtiaz Baloch for having agreed to this cross-posting at the Pak Tea House. Readers may or may not agree with the position but it surely brings a fresh perspective to this tricky and complex questions. (Raza Rumi, ed)

Last week the British-Pakistani orator came to Toronto for a talk. It was with great hope and enthusiasm; I arrived at the University of Toronto auditorium on Nov 14, 2008 with my Baloch, Sindhi, and Kashmiri friends to listen to the man famous for his revolutionary views and eloquent speeches.

Tariq Ali’s writings had always been a great source of inspiration for us under General Zia’s military rule, fighting for democracy, justice, and equality in the Pakistan society.

I am from the generation of progressive student activists who had witnessed the rise of ‘jihadi culture’ in Pakistan ; funded, armed, and trained by the Pakistan Army, ISI, Saudis, and the CIA. My generation was also a witness to two revolutions in the region on the borders of Pakistan – Afghanistan ’s (Soar) April revolution of 1978 and Iran ’s anti-Shah/ uprising of 1979, later stolen by the Mullahs.

But alas, my expectations were terribly let down. Continue reading


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