Category: Commentaries

Mission Accomplished: A Puppet Democratic Government

According to the latest news from Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper I love and trust, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has finally been humbled by the army, and for the rest of his term, he will be, as so many of us had feared, a “ceremonial prime minister.” [1] According to the latest reports, the new compromise…

Why Do I Oppose the PTI and PAT Marches and Sit-Ins

For the past few weeks, I have been reflecting on my response to the two long marches led by the leaders of two separate parties. Mostly, I have found myself opposed to both these marches, and, being a socialist at heart, this negative response to two popular movements has forced me to attempt to tease…

Taliban, the Politics of Death, and our Obligation to Speak

That the Taliban claim certain mastery over the methods and instruments of death is no secret. They have proven their skills at killing their civilian brothers and sisters quite consistently over the last decade or so. The question that we need to pose to them and to many other like-minded groups is simply this: Do…

Back from a Long Silence

I have spent the last few months recovering from a serious injury. While I was able to carry out the day-to-day responsibilities during this time a lot of my other work had to be put on hold. Writing occasional pieces about Pakistan and Pakistan-related issues, sadly, was one of the activities that I had curtailed.…

At NUML: Re-experiencing Pakistani Hospitality

AS part of the UNT-NUML Partnership program, I arrived in Islamabad yesterday to start the in-house teaching and training sessions with the NUML (National University of Modern Languages) English department. This is a sort of special return for me: many years ago I had walked the halls of NUML as a young captain studying Japanese…

Neelaan Bhotou Margalla Hills

The lush green surroundings; The mountains with violet hue; Where the winds blow majestically; The chirping of the birds; The stone frozen in time; Is the place where the illuminated spirit; Lied submerged in the depth of clear running stream; No wonder why the fish ate the flesh; The place still resonates the calm of…

Les Miserables of Thar Desert

At a local ladies book club in Columbus Ohio, during a talk on my eBook Obscure Women Obscure Stories: A Pakistani Trilogy, the following passage from Purani Kahani, one of the stories, came under discussion and a question was asked. “Bhaag Bhari would go in the hut to fetch her small chest of jewelry. It was metallic painted green…

The enduring saga of Devdas in Pakistan!

The most devastating effect of the Devdas syndrome lies in contaminating the society with the dangerous virus of self-destruction and pessimism. This attitude has deeply permeated the psyche of several generations in the subcontinent born before or after the partition. The emotional and pessimistic attitude of these generations, who remain aloof from their social realities,…