Shibil Siddiqi

A Journalist and Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Power and Politics at Trent University. He tweets as @ShibilSiddiqi

Salmaan Taseer in Kafka’s Pakistan

“One morning, upon awakening from agitated dreams, Gregor Samsa found himself, in his bed, transformed into a monstrous vermin.” Thus begins Franz Kafka’s novella masterpiece Metamorphosis. The novel inhabits the familiar bizarre frame of Kafka’s work, of a world where the transformation of Gregor Samsa into a giant insect-like creature elicits hardly any surprise from Samsa’s family and associates, or indeed from Samsa himself. Samsa spends no time pondering his metamorphosis, why it may have occurred or how the process may be reversed. He busies himself instead with mundane concerns, and immediately upon his transformation spends an inordinate amount of ...

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Yes we Khan, but should we?

Pakistan is not immune to the insurrectionary air of the Arab Spring or the international “Occupy” movements. There is a genuine appetite for change, and Imran Khan is adeptly channelling it. Buoyed by these sentiments, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf jalsa (rally) in Lahore on October 30 was undoubtedly a huge success. Imran Khan is the harbinger of the Pakistani Spring. Change is coming. Yes we Khan.  Clinging to this simplistic hope, throngs of urban, middle-class, and typically election shunning Pakistani youth have gravitated towards the PTI. Politicization of this section of society is, of course, a welcome development. The highly conservative, Islamist ...

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What really happened at Nasdaq?

A recent popular story concerning Pakistan’s Consul General in New York, Mr Babar Hashmi, is circulating on news channels, newspapers and internet blogs. According to the story on August 25, 2010, the Nasdaq Stock Market, an American stock exchange, offered the consul general an hour of free-of-charge use of its seven-storey tall MarketSite Tower, a massive video display in Times Square in New York, to broadcast an appeal for Pakistan’s flood victims. Given the high visibility of the display, it was expected that this would garner at least one million dollars in donations. Hashmi, allegedly squandered the opportunity by ...

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