Monthly Archives: March 2011

Mullahs in Nation-Building

By and large, after the Zia-ul-Haq years, we have totally conceded the public sphere to the mullahs: you cannot think the nation without running into one or the other bizarre articulations of the nation by one or the other mullah. There is no doubt in my mind that when Mr. Jinnah mobilized the Muslim identity…

In Support of Higher Education Comission, Pakistan

A few months ago while in Islamabad, I had the opportunity to meet several official so the Higher Education Commission (HEC). I must say I found each one of the individuals to be professional, courteous, and exceedingly competent in their respective jobs. This, for any Pakistani dealing with government institutions, was a rare experience. I …

Thoughts on Libya Bombing

As I write these lines, the international forces have started bombing key installations in Libya. My feelings on this new air war are, as usual, deeply split. Part of me is sad because it is yet another Muslim country being bombed by the US and its allies. But another part of me is hopeful, as…

Hate Speech, Mullahs and the Pakistani Public

While we all have responded in different ways to the recent murders of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti, we also need to push for the regulation, definition, and prosecution of hate-speech so freely aired by the mullahs. In a recent set of Friday sermons recorded by activists associated with Mashal Books, one aspect of this…

US-Pakistan Relations: The Need for a Strategic Vision

As a former Pakistani military officer and as the editor of an academic journal on Pakistan, I often interact with Pakistanis from different walks of life. During my visit to Pakistan a few months ago, I had the privilege of engaging with ordinary Pakistanis, academics, and some very powerful old friends. Our conversations always centered…