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The left is the devil

November 23, 2010


This column was published on the op-ed pages of Express on Wednesday, November 17, 2010, written by Orya Maqbool Jan and addresses a wide range of issues from geo-political realities to political ideology. Orya takes on his usual enemies, “the West”, “America” and the liberals in Pakistan whom he and the likes of Ansar Abbasi […]

Plagiarism in The News

November 14, 2010


My very recent foray into the world of formal writing took off with op-eds that I started writing for Daily Times some two months back (thank you @Mehmal for giving me the opportunity). Since then, I’ve been struggling to balance formal studies and amateur writing and have written nine columns for Daily Times. My October […]

Contrary evidence on Secularism

November 7, 2010


By Pervez Hoodbhoy First published in The News on Sunday. November 7, 2010. Though some Muslim scholars see no contradiction between secularism and Islam, a secular state is possible only if there are enough thoughtful people who can make it happen Decades from now Pakistan will cease to discriminate between citizens of different religious faiths; […]

Remembering Dr Abdus Salam

October 21, 2010


Last week, it was 31 years since Dr Salam was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Three weeks from now would be his death anniversary. It was, and still is because of state religion, political role of religion and intolerance and bigotry in society that Dr Salam remains uncelebrated as a hero in Pakistan. His […]

A fallacious binary

October 6, 2010


By Saqlain Imam Published first in The News on Sunday, October 3, 2010 The word secularism seems to be the most contentious one in the Pakistani political culture. Anything that is anti-religion or non-religious is dubbed secular; it is understood as a Western concept with no direct connection with Islam; for example, some people might […]

An “intelligence report” on MQM : Agenda behind plagiarized report

September 29, 2010


I’ll make this clear at the very start. This post is not what Secular Pakistan normally posts and neither does the blog aim to focus on this area specifically. However, the report got my attention and I thought it necessitated a quick post. Daily Times today published a report stating that ANP Secretary, Senator Zahid […]

Land Reforms – History, Legal challenges and how Shariat Courts abolished them

September 23, 2010


by Shahid Saeed Khan The politics of land reform have always been tenuous in this country, the populist rhetoric very much opposed to the reality. It has the support of a large segment of the public who view abolition of large land holdings as a big step towards social progress. Land Reform has always been […]

“Jinnah became irrelevant after Objectives Resolution” : Interview with Mubarak Ali

September 19, 2010


By Mazhar Khan Jadoon First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010 The News on Sunday: How do you view secularism as having evolved in the particular case of India where the kings did not run their empires on the clergy’s instructions but according to political exigencies? Mubarak Ali: Secularism has been in […]

Interview with Ziauddin Sardar

September 19, 2010


Ziauddin Sardar is a writer, broadcaster, public intellectual and cultural-critic who specialises in Islamic Studies First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010 The News on Sunday: The Chief Justice has questioned the power of the parliament if it takes the ‘drastic’ decision of declaring Pakistan a secular state. You have talked about […]

The building of an exclusionist society tried to purge culture of its non-Muslim sources

September 19, 2010


By Sarwat Ali First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010 Culture has many dimensions to it, the most important being rituals and traditions and behavioural patterns as expressed in day-to-day living. And then it finds a rarified expression in the fine arts where music, literature, painting, dance, drama and film drill deep […]

In the light of history : How an Islamic State was carved out of a secular movement for Pakistan

September 19, 2010


By Farah Zia First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010 As we discuss the case for Pakistan as a secular state, it would be instructive to revisit the events of Pakistan movement to see how terms like “secularism” and “Islamic state” were played out in the years preceding partition. The conduct of […]

Case for a Secular Pakistan and The price paid by Pakistan for rejecting secularism

September 19, 2010


By I. A. Rehman First published in The News on Sunday, August 29, 2010 Perhaps the greatest injustice done to the Quaid-e-Azam in the state founded under his leadership is that his August 11, 1947 address to the Constituent Assembly is treated as a charter of non-Muslim citizens’ rights only, whereas in reality it lays […]

Effect of Qisas and Diyat Laws on Criminal Justice

September 18, 2010


by Shahid Saeed Published first in the Daily Times with minor changes After the violent mob lynching in Sialkot, much has been written on inherent violence in our society, breakdown of the rule of law, police and judicial corruption and acceptance of mob justice. However, one factor that remains to be highlighted is how the […]

Learning Secularism from Bangladesh

August 4, 2010


By Yasser Latif Hamdani First published in the Daily Times, August 2, 2010 Bravo. Bangladesh has done it. It has successfully reversed the cynical Islamisation of its local General Zia. Not only is one fortified by their action that a Muslim majority nation state is capable of rolling back the Islamist project but as a […]

Why Pakistan is not a nation and how it could be one

July 20, 2010


By: Pervez Hoodbhoy First published for Himal Southasian, June 2010 Pakistan has been a state since 1947, but is still not a nation. More precisely, Pakistan is the name of a land and a people inside a certain geographical boundary that is still lacking the crucial components needed for nationhood: a strong common identity, mental […]

How Reluctance to Debate Religion Has Resulted in a Total Quagmire

June 11, 2010


by Raza Habib Raja First published at the Pak Tea House I have often been much more amazed not at the religious fanaticism of the few, but at passivity of the moderate majority. And although skeptics will cast their doubt but the fact is that Pakistan on the whole has a moderate population, particularly when […]

The Two Nation Theory

June 11, 2010


by Yasser Latif Hamdani Daily Times, Monday, June 07, 2010 For Jinnah and the Muslim League, the Two Nation Theory was not an ideological position etched in stone. It was the restatement of the arguments needed to ensure national status for Muslims in a multinational independent India One of our most persistent national myths — […]

Pity the nation

June 8, 2010


By Hajrah Mumtaz Dawn, Monday, 07 Jun, 2010 The ironies we witness every day in Pakistan would have us shaking our heads were it not for the fact that they usually provoke such deep visceral dread. Take the furore over the recent shutdown of Facebook and other websites. In Pakistan the debate framed the issue […]

Challenging ourselves

June 7, 2010


By Aasim Sajjad Akhtar The News, Sunday, May 6, 2010 150 years ago the French thinker Alexis deTocqueville wrote about the perils of majoritarian democracy. His reference point was white America, a society without a past to burden it, a land riven by ambition and the cult of the individual. DeTocqueville emphasised the inherent tension […]

A history of prejudice

June 7, 2010


By I.A. Rehman The News, Sunday, May 6, 2010 Tracing the roots of how the level of tolerance for the belief of the ‘other’ sharply declined When the Second Amendment to the constitution was adopted in 1974, the government claimed honour and glory for having settled an 80-year-old problem. Each year since then has made […]