Comment

A confused society

The incident of assassination that claimed the life of Governor Punjab, Mr Salmaan Taseer points towards a confused society.
This is clearly evident from the opinions of the general public. Religious beliefs misinterpreted by mullahs have actually resulted in this bewilderment. People are regarding the killer as a hero, similar to Ghazi Ilm-ud-din Shaheed, who killed a Hindu for desecrating the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in United India. It should be noted that at that time, the

Wrong messages

Since the day Governor Punjab was assassinated, I have been receiving SMS messages and emails from anonymous individuals which have been quite disturbing. These messages are meant to play with the sentiments of the people. They seem to present the killer as a hero, rather than a disturbed extremist he really was. The only reason for these messages which comes to my mind is that some mischievous and extremist elements in our society want to further aggravate an already bad situation.

Remembering Annie Ramday

I knew Annie as a sister and even now carry in my being her scent, her touch and her love. Her arguments and her laughter in all her shrill and force still ring in my ears. Her imprint on my life is deep and everlasting while my mother tended to my younger brother, Annie tended to me. She was my sister, a companion and a friend, a bond that lasted her lifetime and its feel and flavour still lingers on.
She was free spirited who held her own, spoke her mind and kept a low profile.

Assassination of Governor Punjab

Once again our country faces another assassination of strong political leader. It started with Liaqat Ali Khan who was assassinated by his own gunman, then Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in bomb blast and now Salmaan Taseer is also assassinated by his own gunman. He was assassinated because of his strong stance against the us of prevailing blasphemy laws.
He was never against blasphemy laws as none of his interviews and statements show. Even if it were true, Islam does not allow

Politico-economic activity

Since its inception almost all the regimes of Pakistan lacked one thing i.e., political stability and the present regime is no exception. There is a coalition government in the centre and the major provinces of Pakistan. Good consensus building of the present government has enabled it to survive the political, economic and law and order upheavals as the respective tectonic plates were demonstrating full activity. All the major political players other than that of Pakistan Peoples

Politics of terror

Unwarranted use of violence as a tool to assert authority either by the state, political parties or religious groups, which leads to death of innocent law abiding citizens of Pakistan, in my humble opinion, is terrorism. More citizens have been killed on the streets of Karachi than by religious fanatics and foreign sponsored suicidal attacks. For over 30 years, the uniformed services have abused their power to impose military rule in Pakistan. Zia was instrumental in facilitating,

Don’t let them live!

Never a sigh of relief. This seems to be the mantra of the present government. Prices of every item have increased manifold. The poor cannot afford electricity, food and vegetables. The loadshedding of gas has put the last straw on their backs now. Even if they get something to eat, they do not have gas to cook it on.
Women are forced to spend hours in kitchen waiting for the gas. On the other hand, this loadshedding has increased the demand of kerosene oil and other fuels. <br


Umair Javed

Contradictions reign supreme – Moral compass malfunction

What do Miley Cyrus and Mumtaz Hussain Qadri have in common? Well, nothing really – except for the fact that there’s one particular fellow from Faisalabad who chooses to exhibit his approval for both on Facebook. The man in question works for a software house, was educated at a public university, and apart from Miley Cyrus, enjoys Johnny Depp’s performance in Pirates of the Caribbean as well as the closer-to-home charm of Katrina Kaif’s jawani. At the same time he chooses to display


Dr Mubarak Ali

Talking heads – No style or substance; just high drama

I remember the old days when there was only one TV channel which telecast not only news but dramas, films, documentaries, musical shows and literary programmes. In the beginning, the arrival of private channels was exciting. We all hoped that there would be competition and we could watch a variety of programmes. These hopes were soon dashed to ground. These channels offer something new what is now popularly known as the ‘talk show’.
Every TV channel is faithfully following the

Lone ranger? – Alarming possibility

As much as the search for the cleric who motivated late Governor Salmaan Taseer’s murder should be carried out, it just might be an exercise in futility. Though the murder may very well have been organised by a militant outfit, but that the killer was a lone ranger is a pretty plausible explanation. The aforementioned search might lead to a cleric who did indeed opine that the murderer Mumtaz Qadri should slay the Governor, but it is a view espoused by many. Does the state put them

Why so rude? – The US in Pakistan

The viceroy is dead. Long live the viceroy. Though Frank Ruggiero, the new US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan isn’t expected to last long at his current designation, there has to be continuity in the dialogue between Pakistan and the US. Mr Ruggiero met with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday in the first meeting since the recently-announced US Strategic Review for Afghanistan. Equally importantly, this was also the first time the two met after the


Waqqas Mir

Dying dissent – The night is going to get darker

Not once upon a time but here and now this relates to a land that you and I know well. A land created for the Muslim minority of the subcontinent where freedom’s jugular is slit by knives that you and I helped sharpen. It is a land that would not have been possible or even thinkable in a society which did not allow for freedom of speech.
This land, Pakistan, was what most things inspiring hope are: an ideal and more importantly an argument. Today, we are losing our soul and the


Kamran Rehmat

Don’t let Darth Vader in – Absolutely essential for PPP to lead fightback

Yours truly had pleaded in this very space just a fortnight ago to let Salmaan Taseer, one of the few colourful characters left in Pakistan’s rather opaque midst, be. The context then was the theatre of the absurd surrounding his controversial “disappearance” without allegedly informing the provincial government about which his political nemeses and a major media group made such a song and dance.
The issue was blown out of proportion and merely used to score Brownie points, and

On the clock

While the federal government is out of the doldrums for the time being, one is not sure when the MQM is going to spring another surprise yet again, sending alarm bells ringing in Islamabad. Meanwhile, the PPP is being required to face the next challenge in Punjab where the PML(N) has put it on notice to declare its readiness to implement Mian Nawaz Sharif’s charter of demands by Monday or be ready to be thrown out of the provincial cabinet.
When the charter of demands was

Too intrusive

There are things you just shouldn’t say even if you mean them. US Ambassador Cameron Munter must have ignored the basic principle of diplomacy when he tried to justify American meddling in Pakistan’s ‘financial and governance’ matters for being its largest aid provider in a lecture at an Islamabad-based think tank the other day. And he sounded too blunt when he said: “We appear to be intrusive because we care, we are the largest donor. Our aid comes as outright grant of assistance


Humayun Gauhar

Faith and religion

The other day I heard a debate between Tony Blair and the author Christopher Hitchens on the BBC on whether religion had done more harm than good. Blair is an ardent Catholic, Hitchens an atheist. Blair doesn’t have much of a formal education; I presume Hitchens does. Both, however, are intelligent and experienced. I know people with fantastic degrees who are uneducated idiots and I know people who cannot read or write but who have great wisdom. As I once said, wisdom doesn’t wear a


Mubasher Lucman

Plunging headlong

Qadri the man who brutally killed the Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer in his own possessed demeanor had interpreted the law to kill the man he was supposed to protect. Some others garlanded him when he was produced later at a court for remand. A handful of lawyers were jumping over each other to help him fight the case free of charge. There have been reports of many people congratulating Qadri and calling him a hero in as many words. His home is full of sweets and gifts from neighbors

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