Hamza Usman

A writer with a Bachelor's in Political Science & History and a Master's in Global Communications. He tweets at @hamzausman.

The Gojra case: Between sanity and madness

Toba Tek Singh, a city in Punjab was immortalised by Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story of the same name. The story, based a few years after Partition, chronicles the lives of a bunch of lunatics living in an asylum, unable to fathom whether they are in Pakistan or India. The story itself is a gripping indictment of the senseless events that occurred during Partition as the characters remain deluded somewhere between sanity and madness. In many ways, this enduring legacy of Partition still remains as a black spot on Pakistan’s identity. In 2009, riots broke out in the outlying ...

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Bin Laden is dead, but I want more

Osama Bin Laden is dead, but you knew that already. You’ve heard about it a million times by now and probably swapped inane conspiracy theories back and forth. It seems like a great moment in history doesn’t it? The most wanted man in the world, a six feet plus Arab who evaded and dodged the world’s most powerful military and intelligence sources for over a decade has finally been hunted down like a common criminal and eliminated once and for all. Pakistan awoke to the news with surprise. It seemed so surreal, so theatrically staged. Obama proclaimed the news with ...

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Love is more than roses: The legends behind Valentine’s day

It’s the same old story every Valentine’s Day. Red things plastered everywhere, sales, advertisements and the omnipresence of hearts. As sentimental music lulls the senses over candlelit tables where love struck eyes caress each other in banal and repetitive gestures, the voice of reason within me asks, “What the hell is wrong with us?” If someone told me February 14 was the day that fat cats from Hallmark and flower tycoons from around the world gather to toast their Dom Perignon and light their cigars with $100 bills to celebrate the world’s stupidity, I wouldn’t be surprised. It is one of ...

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Be rational, let Hosni Mubarak stay

Egypt doesn’t seem like the best holiday destination at the moment. As thousands of energetic and idealistic youths throng the streets of Cairo and Alexandria, yearning for change and a better tomorrow, one would think Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years in power are coming to an end. And while this is a momentous opportunity to observe the vagaries of people’s power and mass demonstrations, of idealism and political change in the struggle for democracy, let’s not be fooled. Hosni Mubarak stepping down from the Egyptian presidency may just be the worst thing that could happen in these precarious times. Forget idealism, do ...

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Good riddance to good riddance

Jahanzaib Haque’s blog post, “Good riddance to Faisal Shahzad” contains justified condemnation for a man who is only the latest in a stream of Pakistanis and Muslims engendering unnecessary shame and vitriol. While I agree with Mr Haque’s sentiment, I cannot condone it. Too often, we are quick to dismiss anything unsuitable to our tastes but fail to understand or comprehend why it happens in the first place. More importantly, we do nothing to address the problem so that similar future events do not occur. Rather, we sweep it under the rug, say “good riddance” and hope it never ...

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Go, Musharraf go… once more

October 1 is set to be a momentous day when the erstwhile General Musharraf will return to the Pakistani political stage in a long-awaited and much speculated campaign. Musharraf’s entry into the political arena is exciting news for his new army. This new army is neither armed nor khaaki clad; this army of ‘Musharrafites‘ or ‘Mushies’ for short, emanate from the educated middle and upper class who view him as a saviour from all the ills that plague us today. This new army, primarily Facebook based, is eager to welcome him back into the country citing his previous stint in office ...

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Flood crisis: Descent into darkness

During our descent towards Sukkur Airport, all heads in the cabin peered over shoulders and towards the windows to catch a glimpse of the floods’ devastation. Gasps abounded as the Indus suddenly appeared below in placid, expansive pools engulfing everything that had once been land. All that was now visible was a shapeless, silver deluge shimmering in the evening sun, dotted occasionally by green treetops. Brown, rectangular roofs of what had once been homes or schools now lay empty, abandoned and completely lifeless. There wasn’t a figure around, not a soul visible from our vantage point in the air. ...

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