Month: December 2009

2009 in broad strokes

By Qurat ul ain Siddiqui If pressed, Pakistanis would probably give 2009 mixed reviews. Throughout the year, political problems – clashes between the government and opposition; a failure of the civilian and military establishments to see eye to eye; wrangling between the centre and the provinces – and the slow march of extremism, in the form of militant posturing and suicide attacks, have vied for headlines.

Democracy is the Greatest Revenge

By Asif Ali Zardari (writing in the Wall Street Journal) Two years ago the world stopped for me and for my children. Pakistan was shaken to its core and all but came apart. Women everywhere lost one of their greatest symbols of equality. And Islam, our great religion, lost its modern face. On Dec. 27, 2007, my wife, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated. She was the bravest person I have ever known, and the second anniversary of her death is an appropriate occasion to reflect upon what she achieved for our country, and how her legacy must be preserved against those who would return Pakistan to darkness. Twice elected prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir had an immense impact. She stood up and defeated the forces of military dictatorship. She freed all political prisoners. She ended press censorship. She legalized trade and student unions, built 46,000 primary and secondary schools and appointed the first female judges in our history. And she showed the women of Pakistan and the world that they must accept no limits on their …

The return of Yazid

By Nadeem F. Paracha After enjoying a little more than two years of relative peace, Karachi was rudely dragged back on the mutilated map of terror today [yesterday]. A single suicide bomber managed to slip his dynamite strapped body inside a large procession of Shia mourners on Karachi’s M A Jinnah Road and blow himself up, killing and injuring dozens of innocent people, including some security men who were patrolling the fringes of the procession. The attack has come as a rude shock to the citizens of Karachi and the Sindh province who had been witnessing horrific scenes of similar carnage perpetrated by extremists in the mosques and markets of Punjab and NWFP, and had, for the last couple of years, been somewhat spared from the madness that the terrorists have been displaying in the country, especially ever since 2003. Although the Taliban have yet to claim responsibility for the attack – and given Karachi’s history, the attacker may well hail from one of the banned sectarian outfits that have long been established in the …

Pakistan ; A Failure of Intellectuals

By azhar aslam & shermeen bano Every Identity has a history and so does that of Pakistan. It is short but tumultuous, although some say it was born with the conversion or settlement of the first Muslim in India. In truly modern sense though India was only itself born, when British firmly established their rule from Afghanistan to Burma, by 1890s. In the process of doing this however, they sowed the seed of national consciousness in the minds of Indians. British influence moulded Indian nationalism by omissions and commissions. However it inevitably also laid the seed of communalism, as different regions and nationalities in the sub continental melting pot, woke up to the British rule and demanded their rights. Without going into the details, Muslim consciousness evolved from being Pathans, Mughals, Punjabis, Sheikhs, Bengalis etc ( term quam was used for all these), to a Muslim nation living in Hindustan. The two main definitions that competed for the attention and eventual adoption by Muslims were those of Azad and Deobandis on one hand and Sir …

HUSSAINIIYAAT OR YAZIIDIYAAT…. Ashura. A day of reflection for Muslims.

Villiany has many faces. None more dangerous than of virtue. In Muslim world Hussain and Yaaziid are more than two persons and two historical figures. They have come to symbolise two world views, two opposing poles. Literally they represent Virtue ( Hussain) and Villian ( Yaziid). However like many facts of Muslim History this one too has fallen victim to controversies and disputes and has been used to serve multitude of personal and vested interests throughout the history. A dispassionate view of the narratives that have been developed by various passionate individuals over several centuries show, layers upon layers of exaggeration and distorted facts. The consequences of these have been tragic and profound. I shall list what I consider to be the most important ones. 1. The division of Muslims between Sunnis and Shias have led to innumerable personal tragedies and traumas. 2. The division of Muslim world into Sunnis and Shias is one of the major factors that contributed to the decline of Muslim power and occupation of Muslim lands by Imperialism. 3. The Golden …

Henry Kissinger’s 1974 Plan for Food Control Genocide

By AHSAN NAWAB // On Dec. 10, 1974, the U.S. National Security Council under Henry Kissinger completed a classified 200-page study, “National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” The study falsely claimed that population growth in the so-called Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) was a grave threat to U.S. national security. Adopted as official policy in November 1975 by President Gerald Ford, NSSM 200 outlined a covert plan to reduce population growth in those countries through birth control, and also, implicitly, war and famine. Brent Scowcroft, who had by then replaced Kissinger as national security adviser (the same post Scowcroft was to hold in the Bush administration), was put in charge of implementing the plan. CIA Director George Bush was ordered to assist Scowcroft, as were the secretaries of state, treasury, defense, and agriculture.

Quaid’s Islam; Quaid’s Pakistan

Today is 25th December, the birth anniversary of the founder of the nation Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Such days are always meant for reflection. 63 years after the creation of Pakistan where do we stand. Crisis upon crisis engulfs us, to the extent that people are questioning the very viability of the state. The core of the problem is failure to achieve and define the Identity of Pakistan. Like it or not ‘Islam’ is the crux of the matter. The word in context of Pakistan ignites fiery passions and debates. There are two main groups. People who claim that Islam makes the basis of the creation of the Pakistan and therefore they want to impose their version of Islam/ Sharia upon us. The opposing group is led by progressive Muslims who claim that Pakistan was never meant to be a theocracy. Both groups can quote enough examples of speeches by Quaid to support their stance. So what is the truth?