Taha Kehar

A blogger on social events and has previously worked as Assistant Editor for a media magazine. He is currently pursuing Law Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He tweets @TahaKehar.

Khamosh Kalam: The psychology of a writer

Khamosh Kalam, a production of Laaltain – the IVS performing arts society – won the blue ribbon at the Youth Theatre Festival arranged by the Youth Affairs Ministry in collaboration with the Arts Council. The play is a mime that deals with the creative struggle of a writer as he crafts the perfect anecdote. I spoke with the scriptwriters and directors, Zehra Nawab (Foundation year student, IVS) and Arsal Hasan (Second year student, IVS) who discuss the challenges of theatre art in Pakistan. How did the idea for Khamosh Kalam come about? Khamosh Kalam was derived from a question that ...

Read Full Post

Aalmi Mushaira 2011: Just another oldies affair?

In a candid interview with Pakistan and Gulf Economist in 2002, Azhar Abbas Hashmi claimed that the tradition of the Aalmi Mushaira in Karachi started as a means of improving the city’s image of genocide and lawlessness. Over the years, people of different nationalities, religions and political persuasions connect on an intellectual level and obtain what composite dialogue can never wholly impart: a feeling of unimpeded unity. The Aalmi Mushaira 2011 commenced with similar expectations at the Karachi Expo Centre under the auspices of the Sakinan-e-Shehar Quaid Karachi. The event was held against the backdrop of political tension and violence. And yet, ...

Read Full Post

Cliches and curry: Writing fiction in Pakistan

As an aspiring novelist, I have found it increasingly important to understand the literary merits of contemporary fiction in Pakistan. This entailed a thorough investigation of genre, themes, stylistic elements and above all, the implementation of creative ideas. The purpose of examining these features is not to understand what standard is expected or what is being read. On the contrary, the intention of this exercise is for novelists to determine how this standard and readership can be diversified through their literary contribution. The challenge I began writing a novel when I was  seventeen. After two years of constant labour, I set the manuscript ...

Read Full Post

Save your breath, PML-Q!

The PML-Q’s disapproval of the present regime’s tactics at placating the ‘religious right’ clearly indicates that politics in Pakistan is replete with irony. Caustic remarks were made with reference to the PPP’s inability to sustain support for progressive and moderate elements within the country and instead succumbing to pressure from religious extremists. Some PML-Q leaders have also gone to the extent of saying that there is no fundamental difference between the current leadership and the autocratic Zia regime. This anti-government tirade appears a tad insincere keeping in mind the fact that this ‘religious right’ were once empowered by the PML-Q ...

Read Full Post
January 10, 2011

Big Boss 4: Dolly’s mental pain equals viewers gain

The Reality TV syndrome has a frenetic influence on audiences who frantically follow televised episodes crammed with real-life depictions of love, intrigue and hate. But how traumatic an experience is it for the participants of these glamorous TV shows who have to reckon with the tedious task of maintaining an image that will heighten TRPs, enable them to secure audience votes and even increase their chances to attain prospective fame and glory? More significantly, how easy is the compromise involved in sustaining an on-screen image and preserving the inner self? In a candid interview with the editor of the Chennai-based ...

Read Full Post

Understanding how Benazir was immortalised

On the evening of December 27, 2007, we edged along the crowded Shahrah-e-Faisal road in Karachi. A cold winter breeze drifted in from a car window that had been left open for ventilation. Air-conditioners were a redundant luxury now that the temperature had plummeted to a cold extreme. And yet, there was a strong undercurrent of political friction that constantly reminded us that we were living through an era of sweeping changes. There was a flood-tide of expectations from the forthcoming elections. Optimism was virtually a non-entity as suspicion governed thought-processes. Many judicious observers had gone to the extent of stating ...

Read Full Post

Fashion Week: A prototype of resilience to terror

Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) Sunsilk Fashion Week has been a success. From Maria B’s clichéd yet imposing collection ‘Tribal Militants’ to Feeha Jamshed’s commendable attempt at paying homage to 40 years of the Teejays trademark, the show is a shimmering example of the surfeit of talent that exists in our fashion industry. But under the circumstances in which it was conducted, it serves to demonstrate the nation’s resilience against political violence. Ironically so, it is this very resilience that has been spurned upon. There is a section of society which believes that in the event of the suicide attacks in ...

Read Full Post

How do we stop the corruption downward spiral?

Ever since Transparency International (TI) released its report on corruption, there has been much scepticism surrounding the allegations levelled on the PPP-led government. A resolution has been passed in the Sindh Assembly declaring that the report is a blatant conspiracy to malign the present government. Scathing attacks have been launched by notable politicians on the frequency with which the organisation has been providing these reports. More importantly, some have even discounted the contents of the report simply because TI’s representative for Pakistan was a KPT official who was dismissed on grounds of depravity. What is striking to note is that ...

Read Full Post

Why Ali Saleem is wrong

Ali Saleem’s interview with The Express Tribune serves to highlight a critical flaw in Pakistan’s entertainment industry. When asked if he intends to return to India, Saleem remarks that: “Pakistan is plagued with problems and entertainment is not a priority there.” This declaration stands the risk of being misinterpreted, as it explicitly denies that a progressive attitude has been upheld to improve the deteriorating condition of the entertainment industry in Pakistan. But prior to pouring scorn on the validity of this statement, it is essential to understand how accurate a representation it is of Pakistan’s entertainment industry. Pakistan’s entertainment sector is an extant ...

Read Full Post

It’s not easy being Asma Jehangir

Having secured the presidency of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Asma Jahangir is set to face challenges of a Herculean nature. She has yet to illuminate a lucid position on the contentious issue regarding the growth of judicial activism. The Executive has viewed the proliferation of this form of activism as a threat to the doctrine of trichotomy which defines power relations in Pakistan’s political system.It is thus perceived as a counter to the supremacy of the parliament and a direct opposition to democratic rule. This ‘anti-judiciary’ point of view has erroneously grown to typify Asma Jahangir’s candidacy for the SCBA ...

Read Full Post