Tag: Pakistan

Pakistan Needs an End to Dynastic Politics

A few weeks ago the Pakistani Twittersphere went ballistic when Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, declared herself a part of “Ruling Family,” thus suggesting as if she and her family, somehow, should enjoy some special privileges and rights within Pakistan. In a democracy, of course, such ideas are absurd, but sadly…

The US and the Myth of “Pakistan Should Do More”

Once again a US politician, this time the new US president, has offered the same hackneyed wisdom about the US war in Afghanistan, and besides other mundane things offered as new and innovative, yet another refrain was also included in the non-substantive Afghanistan policy speech delivered by President Donald Trump. Trump, like so many other…

Disappearing Acts: What is at Stake for Pakistan

In a recent spate of unexplained disappearances, at least eleven social media and other activists have suddenly gone missing in Pakistan. At this point neither any terrorist organization nor any state agency has claimed the responsibility. There are no ransom demands or any other announcements about these disappeared activists. I am only aware of the…

Lahore Massacre: Mourn and Then Stand Up for Our Children!

Another day, another massacre: target, our children. This is the sad reality of Pakistan, a country gone so wrong that to put it on the right course of history (if we can collectively figure out the right course) seems to be a task beyond human capabilities. This time the same perpetrators–those who claim to know…

Mumtaz Qadri: A Case of False Hero Worship

That we Pakistanis are always seeking larger-than-life figures to, somehow, lead us out of our mediocrity is almost a cultural truism. We have Maulvis, cricketers, businessmen, ex-generals, and now–thanks to our inner micro fascist tendencies–a murderer to give us hope of a better future. As you might be aware, Mumtaz Qadri, who murdered Governor Salman…

On Hate Speech and Hate Crimes in Pakistan

(We will act against literature, newspapers and magazines that are spreading hate, [ideas of] beheading people, sectarianism, extremism and intolerance. (National Action Plan, Pakistan)   In the wake of the Peshawar massacre, the most important trend that has emerged in the Pakistani public sphere is the focus, both by the government and the civil society, on…

Peshawar Attack: The Way Forward

After we have buried our dead children and taken care of the wounded, we as a nation must come together to decide our future. The massacre of our children by the terrorists who call themselves mujahideen is a great tragedy and we should remember this day as a day of great loss but also as…

Imran Khan and the Politics of Hubris

Delusional Disorder: Themes of delusions may fall into the following types: erotomanic type (patient believes that a person, usually of higher social standing, is in love with the individual); grandiose type (patient believes that he has some great but unrecognized talent or insight, a special identity, knowledge, power, self-worth, or special relationship with someone famous…

This is not the Time for Cricket Metaphors

In the wake of the recent popular protests in Islamabad, quite a few cultural and political writers have opined upon the nature and potential of these protests. Some have even compared these events to the Tahrir Square. In this excitement to valorize popular protest, we should be careful with our labels and with our assertions.…