Tag: United States

Arab Spring in Pakistan? No, Thanks

In an interesting and slightly misguided article about the possibilities of an Arab Spring in Pakistan, Michael Kugelman, (a senior program associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC) begins his opinion piece with the following profound assertions: Will Pakistan experience an Arab Spring? The question has been…

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…

Muslim-Baiting to Muslim Hating

At least five people are dead, including a dedicated US diplomat who had risked his life during the Libyan revolution to stand with the people of Libya against the tyranny of Qaddafi. These people certainly did not deserve to die especially since they had nothing to do with the film produced by a producer whose…

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…

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.…

Conspiracy Theories in Pakistan

All cultures usually have different groups of people who believe in grand conspiracy theories. One cursory internet search on the topic would lead you to numerous websites dedicated to one or the other form of conspiracy theory about secret orders and powerful underground organizations. Pakistan is no exception. At any time in Pakistan there are…

Memogate or the Grand Delusions of Mansoor Ijaz

Delusions of grandeur – a delusion (common in paranoia) that you are much greater and more powerful and influential than you really are. (Source) Much has been said and written about this hackneyed non-issue in the Pakistani and international media but mostly in speculative and sensationalist way. My purpose here is to basically lay bare…

US-Pakistan Need Better Stories

“Those who tell the stories rule society.” (Plato) “But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” (Kahlil Gibran) Last week I traveled…

Pakistan Civilian-Military Relations

According to an apocryphal story, immediately after General Pervez Musharraf launched his infamous Kargil offensive, the Indian Prime Minister contacted Mr. Nawaz Sharif, then Prime Minister of Pakistan. “Mian Sahib” asked the Indian PM, “What are you doing to us? Why has your army launched an offensive in Kargil?” “Let me ask my generals and…