Tag: Pakistan

Freedom to Kill, Taliban Style

To say that the murder of 82 of our fellow citizens is an atrocity is stating the obvious: But to make the Laskar-e-Jhangvi and members of other such monstrosities to see it as a monstrous act is another questions. How did we get here? What has brought us to a place in our history where…

Shams-ul-Iqbal Shams: Pakistani Artist and Calligrapher

Last week was the second time in a year that I had the pleasure of visiting the old campus of International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI). On both these occasions, I was there for an academic conference, and while there was able to view the most exquisite work of Sham-ul-Islam Shams. Originally from Saidu Sharif, Swat,…

On Dishonest Maulvis, Harsh Laws, and Minority Rights

Last year when the case was being made to alter or abolish the blasphemy laws, the argument from the liberal and progressive minority of Pakistan was mobilized primarily to point out as to how the law could be misused to persecute minorities. At that point, the case of Asia Bibi was at the forefront of…

Rishman: Another Victim of Unjust Laws and Communal Hatered

It seems that those who claim to police the sanctity of the majority religion in Pakistan are on a constant and unending witch hunt. Their victims, or targets, mostly always happen to be poor and destitute women from the Christian minority that already lives a perilous existence in our increasingly intolerant country. A few years…

Pakistaniaat No Longer Affiliated with HEC

Yesterday I received an email from Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, an organization that we supported on this forum last year when it was about to be axed, informing me that according to their “new criteria” Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies could not be considered an approved journal of HEC. I was also instructed…

Pakistani Feudal Economy and the Asiatic Mode of Production

The Asiatic Mode of Production (AMP) figures prominently in early Marx as an explanation of a despotic mode of production that relied on centralized power and extraction of surplus labor in rural communities. Marx abandon this term in his later works and an explanation of his altered views on various modes of production can be…

Judiciary Again: Serving Their Masters

It is a recorded fact that the Pakistani justices have pretty much always provided a legalistic rationale for all military adventures in Pakistan. A sad and glaring example of that is the enigma of “doctrine of necessity” invoked by the justices in the mid-1970s to provide a justification for Zia-ul-Haq’s illegal and unconstitutional regime. We…

My Interview by The Pakistani Spectator, By Amna Gilani

Posted below is the text of my recent interview with The Pakistani Spectator. Please do visit their site and support them. Interview with Blogger Masood Ashraf Raja Would you please tell us something about you and your site? Well, I am an assistant professor of postcolonial literature at the University of North Texas. [More on…

Metropolitan Scholars and the Role of Cultural Informants

Having read enough of Gayatri Spivak to understand the power dynamics involved in the center-periphery exchanges, I have always been wary of the role of the cultural informant. As a scholar of postcolonial studies, therefore, I always keep a critical eye on my own conduct in order to avoid falling for this deeply troubling role.…