Ahson Saeed Hasan

Ahson Saeed Hasan

The writer is a proud American, a peacenik who has traveled well over 80 countries and lived in four continents. He likes to share his experiences and reflect on the worldly surroundings. He tweets @tweetingacho (twitter.com/tweetingacho)

Can Pakistanis rise to the occasion?

It’s been a while since I last visited Pakistan; long enough that the kids I knew have now grown up to become functional, responsible adults. The friends I made are descending into the middle-age bracket. Many of the relations I had have either passed or are in the late stages of their lives. In a nutshell, a tremendous amount of transition and transformation has taken place as far as my personal life, as well as those I left behind, is concerned. I keep a close eye on a regular basis, thanks to the great tools of technology, on how the Pakistani ...

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Playing god in the land of the pure

People everywhere look for answers in stark black and white, and love the comfort that gives them the ability to use it as a club against others. For some reason, people keep recreating the very issues in their religions that the founders of those religions sought to eradicate. True spirituality should bring complete humbleness and love. What is common to all of us is how we struggle for an authentic faith without taking refuge in the absolute; that, to my mind, is the classic source of apostasy. There is nothing I ever read about Islam that didn’t pertain equally to other religions’ ...

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Is freedom of expression alien to Islam?

I am a journalist and I believe in freedom of expression. While I understand there are values for which journalism stands but those empowering principles are meant to only enhance and secure the right to express. Journalists, for the most part, are conscientious individuals who portray societal fallacies and fight to eliminate human betrayals that rampantly obscure the very essence of our existence. Journalists and journalism are in deep trouble all over the world. Freedom of expression is at risk. And this is not just on account of some sporadic oppressive or rogue regimes trying to use strong-arm tactics against the ...

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Dear ZAB, this is what you have left behind

Dear Great Leader, I’m writing to you to wish you a happy 87th birthday. Sorry I’m a bit late but, hey, it’s the thought that counts… Right? After all, in these sombre and remorseful times, it’s difficult to keep one’s head straight. Too much in today’s Pakistan is out of sync with the changing realities. It’s a sad situation, one that is testing people’s patience and crushing their souls. You want to know what else is sad? It’s the political party that you created in the 60s that shook the foundations of a terrible dictatorship; the organisation that glued together a broken nation ...

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Celebrate Christmas, Pakistan!

This is arguably my most favourite time of the year. The spirit of Christmas brings joy, hope and brings about a pleasant change in people’s outlook. There’s positive energy in the air and everyone seems to be optimistic, passionate and blessed. We, in the United States, have had a tough 2014. Things haven’t been all that great. Gun violence, race-centric crimes, rising debt, foreign policy misadventures, terrorism, wars, and worst of all, a Republican victory in the mid-term elections have marred the proceedings and tainted our morale. But, this is a resilient nation. It has seen the worst and the darkest of times. When ...

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Should Pakistan apologise to Bangladesh?

Pakistanis celebrate December as the month in which the founder of the nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was born. December also brings back memories of the dark and stormy, the sad and painful memories of 1971 – the year in which the Eastern wing of the country, now Bangladesh, got severed from the Western, now the one and only, lost and lonely Pakistan. Going by the history books and talking to those who were conscious and aware of the circumstances at that time, one can gather that the decade of the 60s was agonising and turbulent for the people of Pakistan; characterised by an incessant ...

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If you are the US, you can get away with anything. Even torture.

States exist for their own well-being. They have their self-interests. Domestic and foreign policies define and dictate state acts and omissions on the world stage. In the post 9/11 order, state-to-state interaction has undergone an incredible amount of change with the entire gamut of international relations now at the mercy of a few role players. The United States of America, of course, holds the centre stage, in a global effort against the spread of religious fanaticism and waging a war on terrorism. That being said, the recently released report detailing the US Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) tactics of interrogation after September 11, ...

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December 10, 2014
TOPICS

#BlackLivesMatter, but not in the US?

It’s been a terrible, stressful and shameful time. We’ve hung our heads in despair, taken to the streets to protest and made our voices heard in the media to bring home the point that the scourge of racism in the US is back with a bang. Having lived here for almost a quarter of a century now, I’ve personally never felt so disappointed and disgusted with the way things have turned out with respect to race relations. The past few years have increased the frequency and intensity of tensions created due to obnoxious handling of incidents that could have been easily avoided had better ...

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The Nawaz Sharif and Model Town Lahore that I remember

The past is another country and my almost dementia-inflicted mind often fails me when faced with challenges of recalling timelines. I think it was back in the late 80s when my family and I moved to Model Town, a Lahore suburb and a remnant of the British Raj. Model Town was a classic, green and well-planned community that took pride in being a self-sustained and resident-funded operation. At the time we moved to Lahore, we were not too familiar with Punjab, its politics or even our surroundings. Across from our house was a nicely paved, lush green, linear patch, informally ...

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India and Pakistan must stop playing with SAARCs future

So despite the extraordinary efforts of Nepal, host of the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, to ‘pull aside’ Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif to ‘crack the nut’ and ease tensions between the two South Asian neighbours, it appears that a meeting between the two leaders will not take place after all. Thanks to the belligerent and nonchalant ways of India and Pakistan, SAARC, as an organisation, finds itself at crossroads, faced with a crisis of identity and an inability to make an impact on the people of the member countries. Even after almost four decades of its existence, it, ...

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