d.asghar

D. Asghar

A mortgage-banker by profession who also loves to write.

‘Punishable by death’ needs to die

Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah’s recent statement, inciting violence against fellow politician Babar Awan amazes and disgusts me. A law minister is supposed to uphold the law, not the other way around. In most countries,  such a bizarre statement from a public official would instantly result in a prompt resignation. Political discourse and difference of opinion do not mean anyone has the right to put someone’s life in danger. Healthy societies thrive on differences and emerge stronger, based on dialogue and mutual respect. Ours unfortunately, is still struggling to understand the basic meaning of freedom of speech. There is a saying that ...

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No more U-turns after this, President Obama

The recent U-turn of President Obama on the trial of the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and four alleged co-conspirators stirs a new controversy. The accused are to be tried by a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay rather than a civilian court in New York. The much-hyped closure of Guantanamo Bay was on Obama’s agenda when he was eyeing the White House back in 2008. But the Gitmo trial announcement came on the same day he officially launched his re-election bid for 2012 on BarackObama.com. Many would call this another disappointment on a long list of Obama’s slip-ups. Although the Attorney General Eric ...

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For the millionth time, Muslims are not terrorists Mr King

Another attack has been made on American Muslims, this time by Congressman Peter King from New York, who claims that the alQaeda is recruiting and training members on US soil. The chair of the House Homeland Security Committee has initiated a series of hearings to probe the so called “radicalisation” of American Muslims in the name of national security. In true McCarthyistic tradition, the hearings are to investigate if Muslims are “loyal” to the state and whether they are doing enough to curb extremist elements. King says the local threat against Americans is real and must be addressed urgently. The Telegraph quotes him as ...

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Kasab’s verdict: Lessons for Pakistan

The Mumbai terror attacks have been dubbed by the Indian media as their 9/11. Ajmal Kasab, the sole accused of the incident, will be facing a verdict at the end of this month. The sentence that will be awarded to him is pre-determined; perhaps the harshest and most well-deserved punishment as allowed by the Indian constitution and laws of the jurisdiction. A few years ago, Kasab and his accomplices terrorised the glitzy city of Mumbai for days and took the entire world by surprise. The shooting rampage and mayhem created by these despicable characters reversed the course of the ongoing pleasant ...

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Dhobi Ghat: Better than Bollywood, a film about truth

Kiran Rao’s debut venture, Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), is well written and artistically executed. For fans of regular Bollywood masala movies the movie has little to offer. The movie has no songs at all, and does not have a very captivating background score. But if you are interested in alternative cinema you will find the film spellbinding. A few years ago, when Slumdog Millionaire, became a runaway hit, a lot of people around the world got a glimpse of the harsh, dog-eat-dog world Mumbai that is. Dhobi Ghat also provides a glimpse in to the underbelly of the city, but instead of dwelling ...

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I have not sold my soul to America

Many Pakistani Americans were impacted adversely when the twin towers of the World Trade Centre collapsed, on September 11, 2001. Many decided to head back home as they felt their American dream had turned into an American nightmare. There were even ill-founded fears that they would be dispatched to concentration camps. The reality turned out to be the contrary. Many who left for safe harbours in Pakistan or the Middle East ended up returning empty-handed to good old America. The horror they supposedly ran from in the US followed them in those countries. There was a common theme that each ...

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January 6, 2011
TOPICS

Two party system and ethnic politics

It is often debated why the political process is so weak in a country as old as Pakistan. Yes, the direct and indirect military intervention is one of the primary reasons, but the poor performance of political parties must share the blame as well. The country is bitterly divided on ethnic and, arguably in some cases, religious lines. This division impacts political parties to a great extent, as they are in essence a reflection of the sentiments and views of the general populace. Ethnic politics Sadly, right after its inception, the founding political party, the Muslim League was divided and subdivided into ...

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Guzarish: What a drag…

Magic and wizardry rocked the silver screen this weekend. Harry Potter from Hollywood and “Guzarish” from its infamous counterpart, Bollywood. Guzarish of course set a precedent of being released in Pakistan on Eid, a couple of days ahead of India. The much talked about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Guzarish”, a story of a quadriplegic ex magician raises some ethical questions about euthanasia. But overall as a movie, it seems to be a drag. From his first venture Khamoshi, where Mr Bhansali had Manisha Koirala playing a mute person, he  has focused on stories revolving around disabled people. In “Black” with Rani Mukherjee played a ...

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Bakra Eid: Not just another ‘liberal’ rant

If cleanliness is supposed to be half of our faith, then I am sorry to say but we get a clear F grade, when it comes to Eidul Azha. The streets, lanes and alleys will have streams of animal blood flowing for days. The unwanted remains will create foul odours for weeks. All this while, we will be greeting one another with “Eid Mubarak,” and enjoying the backyard BBQ’s. For those of you who think this is another ‘liberal’ rant against Islam’s revered practice, I would like assure you that it isn’t. I am fairly conservative on certain issues, and in ...

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Terror attacks: Slippery slope towards a violent society

Details are still emerging but one thing is certain – another powerful blast has shaken Karachi to its core. People were still in the shock of Abdullah Shah Ghazi blast, a few weeks back, and now this. As these lines are being written, 15 precious lives have been lost and regretfully, more will probably follow as many are seriously injured. The epicenter of this recent blast was the DIG CID’s office. A high profile terrorist was recently captured and the data on that individual is reportedly lost. The terrorists have targeted law enforcement personnel once again, showing the rest of ...

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