Stories about martial law

Ziaul Haq’s legacy consists less of his own policies and more of the actions successive governments have taken to undo their effects

Throughout human history, there have been numerous individuals whose existence and actions have adversely affected the course of a nation or the world on a whole. They have been the cause of great pain and suffering directly such as Joseph Stalin with his agricultural program or Adolf Hitler’s war on Jews and the minorities of Germany and later on, the rest of the world. Pakistan too has had its fair share of such individuals but none of them stand out in comparison to the man who sowed the seeds of dissension, discord, sectarianism and extremism in our country – General Ziaul Haq. On the ...

Read Full Post

Dictators like Rodrigo Duterte need to be careful when they “joke” about using rape as a weapon

The world works in strange ways and the more things change, the more they stay the same. After decades, nay centuries of conflict, it seems the world had finally turned the corner in the 90s. Yes, there was a lot still to be done, but we seemed to be moving in the right direction. The cold war had ended, the European Union (EU) took concrete shape, and globalisation was taking root all over. Free trade and the communication revolution were turning the world into a global village. Perhaps for the first time in human history, democracy and human rights were regarded as supreme and inviolable in ...

Read Full Post

Dear Ishaq Dar, your statement is beyond the comprehension of this nation

The political stunts of Mr Ishaq Dar, Federal Minster for Finance, can be attributed primarily towards the unrest in the country and average conclusion that the debt from International Monetary Fund (IMF) actually translates into submission to US desires. The extracts from the interview are given below, “Pakistan will soon stop looking towards IMF for assistance. The last session with IMF is underway right now.” He went on to say that by 2050 Pakistan will become the 18th biggest economic nation across the world. It is imperative to note in the world of finance which is governed by cash flow management or balance ...

Read Full Post

Why is FATA still administered by a typical British Raj law?

After the British took over Punjab from the Sikhs, they inherited what they called the frontier problem. The Pakhtun tribes on the periphery of Punjab had a long history of resisting authority emanating elsewhere dating back to the days of Akbar the Great. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had successfully driven back the Pakhtun tribes, but even that hard fought peace was tenuous at best, exacerbated by the fact that Ranjit Singh was a non-Muslim sovereign and the tribes were entirely Muslim.  As the power in Punjab changed hands from Sikhs to the British, the tribes once again rose in open revolt. ...

Read Full Post

Why did PML-N let Musharraf go?

Those who had anticipated the former military dictator lingering behind bars, for monopolising power through unlawful acts for nearly a decade, are reminded of Manto’s masterpiece, Naya Qanoon. The story was written during the British rule in India in the midst of the promise of limited government under the Indian Act of 1935. Ustad Mangu, an ordinary, disillusioned tonga driver in Lahore attempted to test the new law by responding to racial discrimination. Mangu was arrested for beating an English man but kept screaming, “New constitution, Naya Qanoon!” The police retorted, “What nonsense are you talking? What Naya Qanoon? It’s the same old constitution, you fool.” Mangu was ...

Read Full Post

Yes, I am a cybercriminal

While trying to decipher governing policies of the world, I find that western countries are edging more towards moderation and tolerance while Muslim countries, on the other hand, are becoming more narrow-minded and intolerant. Pakistan has jumped onto the bandwagon of intolerance with the induction of its new cybercrime bill. In spite of various objections, criticisms, and numerous online and offline protests, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Technology forcefully approved the final draft of the cybercrime bill 2015, without making any amendments, and has sent it to the National Assembly for approval. The use of the word ‘forceful’ is due ...

Read Full Post

Perils of over adulation

Despite being someone who considers himself a strong critic of Pakistan’s military, I do admire General Raheel Sharif and for good reason; he’s finally done what should have been done a long time ago. For years, the issue of militants had been in the spotlight, and despite their openly brazen acts, various governments in succession were unable to counter the menace effectively. The lack of will was astounding, but given the weak public support, due to obfuscating narrative which actually presented the Taliban as a ‘reaction’, was perhaps understandable. Moreover, it should also be remembered that any action against the militants actually required ...

Read Full Post

Why socialists do not brace the Azadi and Inqilab marches

Enough has been said and written about Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri in the recent days, and for obvious reasons. These contentious, yet, influential leaders have occupied the living room space of every Pakistani household via television. Therefore, one is forced to discuss them, whether they like it or not. Surprisingly, out of all the folks of the body politic; socialists or progressives are caught in this discussion. Unlike supporters of the mainstream political parties, socialists operate and deliberate in a sophisticated and academic manner; that is they analyse a movement through their ideological lens and then frame it within ...

Read Full Post

My leader can do no wrong

The air is ripe with the smell of revolution, amongst other more pungent smells, in the Red Zone of Pakistan’s capital. The Parliament and PM House remain under siege by a large number of supporters of both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri. In competition, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has rallied its troops across the country for a show of strength. Protestors, on all sides, adamantly seem to believe that their respective leader holds the key which will change the fortune of this country. It is only a matter of time, some believe, that Imran or Qadri will end the rule of the corrupt ...

Read Full Post

State sponsored terrorism?

Loving Pakistan is a hard task. My grandmother would often blame our chronically chaotic predicament on the evil eye, and after the recent barbarity I find myself finding it easier and less emotionally exhausting to buy into her sentiments of our nation being cursed. It takes a lot for a state to unfold chaotically by opening fire and injuring more than 300 protestors. One can only wonder why the forces that govern the workings of our universe seem to always give us their worst backhand. They say history is the best teacher, but Pakistan is a hopeless pupil with no saviour to ...

Read Full Post