Raja Jahangir Akhtar: A Hunger Strike Till “Death”

According to our sources in Pakistan, a local bussinessman and a lifetime activist has declared his intent to go on an indefinite hunger strike unless some of his demands about Islamabad and Pakistan are considered by the authorities. Mr. Raja, as is obvious from his press release, understands the futility of this gestures but hopes that his “death” will somehow mobilize the people.

I do not have a lot of details,  but provided below is a Youtube interview and images of his statements and list of demands:

Press Release


Enough Already: Let’s Give Pakistan Some Love

Those of us who are addicted to news and the blogosphere are aware of the thrashing that Pakistan and Pakistan army ahs been getting from all quarters since Osama Bin Laden (OBL) was served a healthy dose of the same medicine that he himself was a master at concocting. Yes, he is dead, killed, kaput for the crimes that he committed against humanity. But Pakistan, it seems, is still reeling from the aftershocks. Just one look at one Pakistani blog aggregator’s front page is enough to guess the most popular topic of the past few weeks:

In a rather subdued but straight speech the Prime Minister of Pakistan–a man I respect for not having abandoned his party for the Musharraf float–admitted that just like all other nations, Pakistan and its intelligence agencies had also failed in locating and eliminating OBL. I think it is time to give the Pakistani government some benefit of doubt and admit that such failures do occur and that there is no need to look for exotic conspiracies behind it.

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C, in the true spirit of American politics [which involves kicking your opponents when they are down] the vultures are already sharpening their claws to dig into Pakistan’s lifeline. Senator Patrick Leahy sugegsted that the US aid to Pakistan should be reviewed and, maybe, stopped. This is the stupidest thing that the US government can do, but stupidity is also a hall-mark of American politics and is not necessarily native to Pakistan alone.

I think any reduction of aid to Pakistan would be downright stupid and destructive. Yes, Pakistan has failed but so have the  the intelligence agencies of the world: weren’t they all looking for OBL?. Let us not kick Pakistan when it is down: let us help this courageous country up, for its people have suffered immensely in this endless war on terror and while I don’t get starry-eyed when I see a Pakistani general in uniform or hear a Pakistan politician, I do care about pakistan and its people. So, let us stand with pakistan and let us stop opportunists here and abroad from stomping Pakistan into further misery and shame.

As I have written elsewhere, Pakistan has sacrificed deeply and suffered greatly in this war and it is now time to acknowledge that and to stand by the people of Pakistan.

So, against the current trend and  going beyond my own critical writings about this event, I would like to send my love and best wishes to the people of Pakistan.

Announcements Editorials

Happy Birthday: Pakistan Forum

Today is the third birthday of The Pakistan Forum, which was launched under the title “Pakistaniaat Forum” as a blog affiliated with Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies. Not surprisingly, our first ever blog post was about the journal:

Pakistaniaat Call for Submissions–December Issue

That issue was successfully published and since then we have published four more issues of Pakistaniaat. The blog has now taken a life form of its own. From simple announcements to a few occasional commentaries from me, The Pakistan Forum has now become a multiauthor blog that also features a blog aggregation page, a link exchange page, and, the most important, features writings by more than twelve contributors. We promise to continue doing our best in the field of Pakistan studies and in our general engagement with issues related to Pakistan. In the last two years, we have published 442 blog entries, have received 326 comments from our readers, and more than 80, 000 unique visitors have visited our blog during this time.

Please accept our thanks and do visit us, read our posts, and share your thoughts with us. We are honored to be of service to Pakistan and its people.

Commentaries Editorials

The Veiled Woman in the Picture: Mystery Solved

The Woman in the Picture: Begum Amjadi Bano


On March 23rd, I wrote a brief entry about the veiled woman in a picture of the Lahore Resolution day. You can read that entry here. Until the day  I saw the this particular picture, this woman had not existed for me, for she had been totally elided from the mainstream history of the Pakistan movement: I mean the history taught and discussed in the Pakistan school system.

Thanks to the internet that mystery has now been solved. One of our kind readers, Mr. Muhammad Ahmed, was able to find her real name and also a few references to her accomplishments. So I take these few moments to share these details and to thank Muhammad Ahmed for his generosity in sharing this knowledge.

The lady in question was named Begum Amjadi Bano who was married to Maulana Muhammad Ali, the man to her right, and she was a participating member of the committee that drafted the Lahore Resolution. You can also find more information about her by using the following links:

I do hope that Pakistani historians will retrieve more and more of such figures and that their stories will be foregrounded in our teaching but also in the media and the public sphere. Inclusion of these silenced narratives is one of the many ways to challenge the phallocentric historiography of the Pakistan movement.

Once again, my thanks to Mr. Ahmed for sharing his knowledge with us.

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Pakistan Forum: What are we All About?

Lately, we have been getting some comments on the website that suggest that some of our readers could use a brief explanation of what we are or what we are not. The Pakistan Forum, first and foremost, is a multiauthor blog that aims to publish materials in support of a progressive, democratic, and inclusive Pakistan.

The blog started as an offshoot of our journal, Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies, but has now taken on a life of its own. We mostly post opinion pieces from a selected group of authors who either write exclusively for us or allow us to republish their articles published in other publications.

We also encourage new and young writers to contribute their writings to us. You can very conveniently submit your articles by using the Submission Link provided on our front page.

We also welcome thoughtful comments. You can check our comment and other  policies on our Policies page.

We are also happy to publish Pakistan-related announcements if you send them to us at

We also aggregate feeds from good Pakistani blogs; if you have a Pakistan-related blog and would like to be included in our aggregated feed please provide us the details using the Suggest a Blog link.

We are NOT a newspaper, so most of what we publish is opinion-based writing informed by theory, personal experience, and a desire to contribute to a progressive Pakistani public sphere.

We would love to review and publish your work. Please pass the word about The Pakistan Forum to your friends and if you have a blog, please add our link to your blog.


Report: Class, caste and housing in rural Punjab – the untold story of the Marla schemes

Class, caste and housing in rural Punjab – the untold story of the Marla schemes

This research is provided by Hussain Bux Mallah, from Click on the link below to open/ download the PDF version of this research.