Tag Archives: UK

South Asian Literature Festival (15-25 October)

PTH announces the forthcoming festival – Raza Rumi
The inaugural South Asian Literature Festival takes place in London from 15th – 25th October, followed by outreach events in Brighton, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester at the end of October.
SALF joins an emerging landscape of literature festivals located in South Asia including Jaipur, Hay Festival Kerala, Galle and Karachi Literature Festivals but is UK based and the only one to have the remit of focusing on South Asian writing exclusively.

Reflecting the diverse nature of South Asian culture, SALF is a multi-dimensional festival and will explore the politics, languages and literature of the region through music, spoken word, visual arts and literary performance.

Playing host to a stellar cast of authors, actors, poets, musicians – home-grown, international and from the sub-continent – and leading lights from the worlds of politics, academia and broadcasting, SALF looks forward to hosting top names such as prize-winning novelist Romesh Gunesekera; from two great political dynasties, Fatima Bhutto and Nayantara Sahgal; historian Michael Wood, acclaimed writer and musicianAmit Chaudhuri, Pakistan’s rising-star author Moniza Alvi, jazz musician Cleveland Watkiss and well-known broadcasters Mihir Bose and Hardeep Singh Kohli. Continue reading
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Match fixing: shameful and unacceptable

The News of the World exposes cricket match-fixing scandal

Raza Rumi

The match-fixing allegations are not new for Pakistani cricketers. In the past, such allegations have been proved within the country. The recent scandal with circumstantial evidence broke out by a British tabloid is simply mind-boggling and shameful. We hope that a fair inquiry will remove the mist from the narrative presented by the media. But a thorough inquiry must take place and all the recommendations should be implemented.

Even if there is a grain of truth in the allegations against 7 members of the the team including Mohammad Amir whose bowling was ironically praised in the ongoing test match, it is a matter of serious concern and brings shame to all Pakistanis.

That such an incident happens at the world stage when Pakistan is struggling to recover from a major natural disaster and seeking international assistance has ramifications for the country and its people.

What is wrong with us? Is it that bad? The absence of rule of law and flouting of ethical standards in every sphere seems to be our fate?

Perhaps, another conspiracy – as I just heard a few people on the television. No. We must admit that we are sliding down and we need to face our grim realities and do something about it.

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“The more they hate, the more we love…”

PTH is publishing this post submitted by Riaz Ali Toori. The views expressed are those of the author’s; however, in the interest of free speech and noting the biases of mainstream media, we are giving space to such pieces here.

“The much they hate Zardari, the more we love Zardari” the slogan I read over twitter by a worker of PPP. The comments on facebook attracted more I read “thanks to the opponents of PPP and Asif Ali Zardari for arousing the languid feelings of Bhuttoism inside my soul as a result of their chauvinism”.

Forcibly ruling over bodies is possible but rule on hearts is thorny. Nasty Zia ruled on the people of Pakistan for more than a decade but he couldn’t create a place in hearts of the people. Today Zia is memorized for spitefulness while Bhutto is ruling over hearts and minds. The way conspirators are busier in inciting plots against presidency is perilous not only to the evolution of nascent democracy as well as will take the politics in 80s.President Zardari yet believes strongly iwwn his policy of reconciliation and doesn’t want PPP be part of this negative game. Continue reading

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Zardari’s UK visit: ‘Shoe Fiction’ to ‘Gun Reality’

by Ahmed Nadeem
Unprecedented floods in hundred year’s history of region are wiping away towns, villages and infrastructure, leaving hundreds dead and over a million homeless. Over two hundred thousands troops are engaged in a battle for future of Pakistan against blood thirsty ‘creatures of intolerance’. Criminals and terrorists are playing a bloody game in streets of Karachi and killing innocent. Perhaps there has been not been the worst times in sixty years of nations existence.

The government with limited resources, inefficient and broken institutions, is trying to rescue those who lost everything in unprecedented floods. It is also seeking help from international community to overcome the financial burden for relief operations. Several countries have pledged assistance while USA has initiated a government lead relief campaign and helicopter rescue operation in effected areas. However, at home, the public awareness and participation remains limited, as Media and politicians are busy in ‘other fun’.

The situation demanded that all sections of society unite against biggest natural disaster in our history and war against terrorism. Instead, we have witnessed a ‘suicide attack’ on tolerance and national unity, jointly ‘organised’ by opposition parties along with a Terrorist Organisation ‘Hizbul Tahreer’. A furious debate was initiated by extremist-friendly media on President’s visit to UK, after British Prime Ministers remarks. Protesters from extremist groups were brought outside hotel where President has to speak. While themselves staying in liberal British society, they carried slogans against President and demanded ‘Islamic Caliphate’ to be imposed in Pakistan. Continue reading

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The Idea of Pakistan- Towards a More Holistic Understanding

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

 In 1946, Jinnah met a group of students at Mamdot Villa in Lahore. A chair was brought out for him to sit down but he chose to sit down on the grassy lawn with the students. He began by telling them he had worked hard and made a lot of money and owned houses in Delhi, Bombay, Karachi and was looking for a house in Lahore. Why, he asked, was then he going all over India at an age when he should retire. One of the students opined because he had the love of Islam in his heart. Another said something else. Finally Jinnah answered : In India you can either be an Indian or a Muslim but never an Indian Muslim. This is the rationale for Pakistan. Continue reading

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Indus Valley’s Secrets To Remain Buried

Indus Valley’s secrets to remain buried: Insecurity forces archaeologists to abandon excavations
By Afnan Khan

LAHORE: Foreign archaeologists involved in excavation work to explore the Indus Valley Civilisation in Pakistan have left the country due to the war-like situation.
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Remembering Bashir Ahmed MSP

Bashir Ahmed Member Scottish Parliament.

Bradistan Calling

I first saw Bashir Ahmed on UK’s Pakistani channel (Pakistani channel was a result of the split between Pakistani TV Asia and Zee TV Europe). Second time I saw Bashir Ahmed was on BBC Parliament channel giving a speech to Scottish Parliament about Pakistan and its economy. A few days ago, I saw his Picture on a News website with a notice of his death and the news item that his seat in parliament has been filled by female deputy from his party SNP.

Bashir Ahmad MSP, politician and businessman, born 12 February 1940; died 6 February 2009 of a sudden heart failure.

In 2007 Bashir Ahmed became the first Asian (Pakistani) and first Muslim member of the Scottish Parliament when he was elected one of the four regional members representing city of Glasgow. Bashir Ahmad was born in Punjab, and in 1961 moved to Scotland. He recalled arriving at Glasgow airport (Sadly in June 2007 Muslim-Indian/Iraqi terrorists attacked Glasgow airport with a home-made car bomb) from Pakistan not speaking a word of English. A bus driver went off his route to help Bashir to his house. This was Scottish hospitality for Bashir, when Americans were suffering racial segregation on the buses.

 He worked initially as a bus conductor before setting up in business, eventually owning shops, restaurants and a hotel. He also co-founded the Pakistan Welfare Organisation.

 Bashir Ahmad joined Scottish National Party in 1995 and set up the group Scots Asians for Independence from UK. In a speech at the SNP’s conference he told Scots: “It’s not where we came from that’s important, it’s where we’re going together.” The work Bashir Ahmad put in making Scotland perhaps the only place in Europe where multiculturalism isn’t a dirty word, meant that across the political spectrum there is an acceptance that all come to the table of Scotland with different badges of identities, cultures and faiths – but sit round it in ease and with respect.

Pakistani business people have become multi-millionaires and British Members of Parliament (In 1997 Mr. Mohammed Sarwar -Labour Party- became the First Pakistani MP in UK also from Glasgow. Currently six Pakistanis and one Kashmiri are Members of British Parliament and House of lords).

 Bashir Ahmad joined the SNP national executive committee in 1998 and when in 1999 Scottish parliament was constituted he was ninth on the SNP’s Glasgow list for the first Scottish parliamentary elections. In 2003 he was elected to represent the Pollokshields East(an area famous for Pakistani restaurants) of Glasgow city council, becoming the SNP’s first Asian (Pakistani) councillor.

 In 2007 Bashir Ahmed was elected an MSP. He took his seat at Holyrood wearing traditional Pakistani dress and swore his oath in both English and Urdu (like the Nobel Prize acceptance speech by Dr Abdu-Salam or Dr Kamal Qureshi -the Member of Parliament Denmark-  audience with Queen Margarette).

He served on various cross-party groups, for human rights and civil liberties, for carers, for older people, age and ageing, and the group for Tartan(Scotland national costume male kilt which looks like a female skirt) Day. He took his Muslim faith and Pakistani culture seriously.

A number of people tell how they had been touched by his warmth and kindness. His generosity did not have barriers of caste, race or religion. He helped many deserving Pakistani students and workers in times of need without expectation of rewards or gratitude.

May, His Soul Rest in Peace.Ameen

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