Abdul.Majeed

Abdul Majeed

A final year medical student with interests in history, political economy and literature. He blogs at abdulmajeedabid.blogspot.com/ and tweets as @abdulmajeedabid

Prejudice towards languages and ethnicities other than Punjabi has to end

Textbooks play an important role in building the world view of students. In a country like Pakistan where the reading culture is non-existent, these books serve as primary sources of information for a huge chunk of society. Khursheed Kamal Aziz also known as K K Aziz began his book ‘The Murder of History in Pakistan’ with the following words, “In every country, the textbook is the primary implement of education at the school and pre-university stages of instruction. In Pakistan, it is the only instrument of imparting education on all levels, because the teacher and the lecturer don’t teach or ...

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Yes, Insafians, you are being ‘sore losers’

The historic elections are finally over. A significant majority of Pakistanis exercised their right to vote for their favoured parties and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has emerged as the leading party in the national assembly followed by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and  Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Predictions made by most analysts have been proven wrong in the wake of elections as Imran Khan’s PTI has emerged as a big political force winning a considerable number of seats in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and in the national assembly. At places where it did not win, it emerged as the runner up with a sizeable ...

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Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto: Like him or not, the man was extraordinary

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is unforgettable. From his birth, on January 5, 1928 to April 4, 1979 when he was hanged in Rawalpindi, he was characterised by one word – extraordinary. Today marks his 34th death anniversary. There is no memorial site at the place of his death, just a huge park for families surrounded by the Army House and court rooms that keep his memory alive. Bhutto had been politically aware from an early age. His grave interest in politics led him to write a letter to Mohammad Ali Jinnah on April 26, 1945 which read: “You have inspired us and we are proud of you. Being ...

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Maybe Bangladesh has become the country Jinnah wanted to create

When East Pakistan decided to break away from West Pakistan in 1971, one of the leading factors was the lack of importance accorded by West Pakistan’s bureaucracy and intelligentsia towards the other part of the country. It is not a surprise that the attitude did not change even after the separation of Pakistan’s two wings. Pakistan’s textbooks are still silent over the atrocities committed by our armed forces and their proxies in 1971. Although West Pakistan may have forgotten, but the people who were subjected to the inhumane behaviour just because they dreamt of a better future, remember it all ...

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Salmaan Taseer’s fight against blasphemy laws is slowly fading

Intellectual hegemony is a concept introduced by Italian political theorist Antonio Gramsci. In simple words, it means an ideology that is so prevalent and widespread in society that it is considered the ultimate truth or “common sense” and any other ideology that is different from that particular dominant ideology is considered heretical. In this way, status quo is maintained. Let me explain this in Pakistan’s context. A few years ago, speaking out about the blasphemy law – originally instituted by the British and made stricter by Zia and Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) – was not considered life threatening. After the assassination ...

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Uncanny resemblance: Is Balochistan the next Bangladesh?

It has been 41 years today. 41 years ago, Pakistan was broken up into two parts, the former West Pakistan and Bangladesh. Apart from a distance of around 1000 miles separating the two parts of Pakistan, there was enough resentment on part of East Pakistani populace that manifested in a demand for provincial autonomy. East Pakistan supplied so much of revenue to the federation but got little development in response. Moving the capital from Karachi to Islamabad and limited participation of East Pakistanis in the bureaucracy were some other contentious issues. In the national elections held in 1970, Bengali Nationalist ...

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Zia ruined us, make no mistake

‘Democracy’ is a Greek word made up of two parts; ‘Demos’ meaning ‘common people’ and ‘Kratos’ meaning ‘rule/strength’. Democracy, by definition, is a system of governance in which the power rests in the common people and their elected representatives. One of the finest definitions of democracy was provided by Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America, when he said, “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”. According to political scientists, democracy and the rule of law are primary prerequisites for a prospering country and its society. Almost all the countries considered to be ‘developed ...

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Would Jinnah, a Shia, also have to leave the country he founded?

August 15 marked the completion of 65 years since our country came into existence. Yes, it was August 15 and not August 14, however, we officially celebrate our independence day on the 14th. The Pakistan we see today is not the Pakistan envisaged by the founders of this country. There were a lot of mishaps surrounding the birth of this country as it faced a pre-mature labour. Short-sightedness on the part of leaders of the Pakistan Movement coupled with the intrigue that arose by the parting Britishers resulted in a country that was in shambles as soon as it came ...

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The Social Media Mela was NOT a kitty party

Question: What is the one common thing between a writer from Mumbai, a journalist from Delhi, a famous film maker from India and a junior doctor from Lahore? Answer: The fact that all of them loved hearing Iqbal Bano sing ‘Dasht e Tanhai main’ on the radio, at the wee hours of the morning while waiting to get CNG at a gas station in Karachi. For me, that one moment captured the spirit of Pakistan India Social Media Mela 2012. No wonder the slogan of the event said, ‘Faasla Na Rakhen, Pyar ho Jaanay Dain’ (Don’t distance yourself; let love happen) Organised in ...

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A plea from a young doctor

Dear people, I do not receive any pay, perks or privileges for my job. I have to work 28 days a month with only two Sundays off. Every week, I have to perform emergency duties at least once for 12 continuous hours, apart from ward duties that extend up to 30 consecutive hours. Who am I? You guessed it – I am a young doctor working in a public sector hospital in Pakistan. This hospital is in Punjab and I’ve been working here for some time now. There are three main departments in any hospital namely the emergency department, the indoor department and the outdoor ...

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