We are publishing this insightful paper authored by Ishtiaq Ahmed. This paper was written as part of a theme ‘More than Maoism: Rural Dislocation in South Asia’ under the aegis of ISAS, National University of Singapore. In many ways, documentation of the Left movements is an important area that has not been researched and documented. This is why Dr Ahmed’s contribution is so important. Raza Rumi
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Maoist ideas gained considerable popularity and influence in left politics and the labour movement, and made an impact on Pakistani mainstream politics, which was out of proportion to the Maoists’ political strength in the overall balance of power. Neither class structure nor the ideological and political composition of the state apparatus warranted any such advantage to Maoism. Clues to it are to be found in the peculiar power game over security and influence going on at that time between several states in that region and, perhaps, more crucially in the internal political situation surrounding the rise to power of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1971-77). His fall from power, the coming into power of an Islamist regime under General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (1977-88), and the Afghan jihad spelled disaster for leftist politics. In the 1980s, Maoism faded into oblivion.
Why is there so much commotion about the attack on the GHQ in Pakistan? Come on, please; did we not know that the Taliban are a threat to everything Pakistan?
Regretfully, there is still support for the Taliban in the country. I was watching Ijaz-Ul-Haq, son of Zia, one of the worst dictators in Pakistan’s history argue on TV that the government should not launch any offensive against the Taliban. Instead, he argued, shamelessly, that Pakistan should not fight America’s war. Before I get to Ijaz’s despicable argument, I must say a word about the role of media in Pakistan.
I don’t understand why is (electronic) media in Pakistan determined to support the Taliban? I mean, if the producers, or the anchors working for TV Channels in Pakistan don’t like the United States, fine, they are entitled to their opinion. But to deliberately destroy, or support those who are attacking Pakistan from within, just because America is engaged in battle with the Taliban or the followers of Osama is something that the country must not accept. Continue reading
The views expressed in this article are those of the author
Ahmad Nadeem Gehla
I have no experience of dealing with dictators or even their sons. Our generation however witnessed the brutality of former dictator Zia ul Haq against media, civil society, poets, writers and political workers. It has been two decades since former dictator burned in skies and things have changed drastically. Media and information technology has not only made information easily available but also developed a culture of civilized debate. The civil society has reorganized itself and has shown that it can stand firm against dictators during lawyer’s movement.
What has not changed is the mind set of dictator’s sons and their cronies. We are witnessing the retired generals and brigadiers coming to electronic media with revelations and defending their unconstitutional acts. Similarly, the ‘general’s sons’ turned politicians are not behind retired officers. They leave no opportunity to arrogantly defend their much hated fathers terming them martyrs and holy warriors. In a similar effort Ijaz ul Haq, a former parliamentarian and son of a former dictator Zia ul Haq tried to proved ZA Bhutto an executed leader and his own father a holy warrior and ‘Shaheed in an article published in ‘Daily News”. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
The subject is a little outdated so bear with me. Pakistaniat or All Things Pakistan marked a great revolution in Pakistan’s blogging history. It was a progressive and fresh look for Pakistan when the esteemed academic Dr. Adil Najam started it and alas it seemed like that Pakistanis will getting up and speaking up for Pakistan- more specifically the inclusive, democratic and tolerant Pakistan envisaged by Quaid-e-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah. And what a revolution it brought about – even PakTeaHouse is to some extent influenced by it and the going ons of that website. Indeed much of our readership is common and we often have similar points of view on issues of national importance. It was therefore this that as someone who has passionately written for Pakistaniat website and contributed to discussions there , I was very disappointed to see a plagiarized obituary of Mian Tufail Muhammad, the second amir of an anti-Pakistan subversive and largely secretive group called Jamaat-e-Islami. It was written by some illiterate and uneducated youth, who claims to be a national kalmnist for some third rate Urdu paper in Karachi which doubles as the official Jamaat-e-Islami newsletter. Continue reading
By Aakar Patel
It is difficult for Indians to see the qualities of Pakistan’s leaders because of emotion from years of hostility. Of current president Zardari Indians know very little, though some remember him as Mr 10 per cent. But Zardari never says fierce things, and that marks him out. For outsiders, who are not as concerned with his behaviour on the judges’ issue, which will prove to be irrelevant to Pakistan in the long run, he has been a good leader and might even turn out to be a great one. But he is in the middle of his reign and should be judged after he is through. Continue reading
Courtesy Enlightened Pakistan
By Lila Thadani
The British parliament remains a lively place as it has many interesting mavericks. Unlike them, our eccentric parliamentarians are self righteous, lack a sense of humor and are sadly very shallow.
You guessed it, they are the two Khans: Asghar and Imran. Asghar can be forgiven for his good deed of having sired the late Omar Asghar Khan. He, though, hasn’t been punished enough for inviting the army to overthrow Bhutto and inflicting Zia on this country, which only a mighty mango crate could push aside. The curse of that dictator lives on in the form of the Talibs and the Fascists in Sindh’s urban areas. The unwise Asghar ought to have stuck to his F-104s, rather than satisfying his urge for power through politics. Thankfully age and rejection by the public have now consigned the Air Marshal to oblivion. Continue reading
by Lisa Curtis
Pakistan is in the midst of rapid political shifts that are challenging the leadership’s ability to maintain cohesion within the country and even raising ques tions about Pakistan’s ability to survive as a viable nation-state over the next few years. Pakistan has long suffered from ethnic and sectarian divisions. However, the recent threat from a well-armed and well-orga nized Islamist insurgency pushing to establish strict Islamic law in the entire country, beginning with the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), adds a new and more dangerous dimension to the country’s chal lenges. Although the collapse of the Pakistani state may not be imminent, as some have recently argued, the government’s surrender of the Swat Valley is a major victory for Islamist extremists seeking to carve out pockets of influence within the country. Continue reading