Category: Commentaries

Proposed Research Agenda for Democratic Discourse

The purpose of this paper is to share observations on issues which need to be further investigated to set direction for democratic social change in Pakistan. You may add more questions and/ or volunteer to write on some of the questions raised in this paper. Class, power and Social Change Power of capital under contemporary…

Modern Day Colony in South Asia

India and Pakistan have a choice of accepting international intervention or come to a practical solution of the Kashmir dispute through a mutually negotiated agreement that also involves Kashmiris. Very few people know that there is a modern-day colony occupied by three nuclear powers right there in our neck of the woods. Not only the…

Negotiate with the TTP?

  With their hands tied together, 21 abducted off-duty Levies personnel were lined up in a cricket ground near Peshawar on December 30, 2012, and then summarily executed. Negotiations conducted through village elders with TTP militants had failed after the militants refused ransom money. Instead, their demands were purely ideological: Pakistan must accept sharia law,…

Fish Symbol: Indus Civilization to Biblical References

In olden days people said storms were nature’s way of reminding man of his fragile existence. We heard similar expressions even in modern days. When Sandy hit a large part of United States many people felt it was there to change the tide of presidential elections and hence the fate of the country and the…

Roots of Fundamentalism

The textbooks being used in Madrassas were originally written in Arabic centuries ago. The books on philosophy and logic were written in thirteen and fourteen centuries. Books on health and medicine, written in the eleventh century, are still considered relevant and books on religion were written between eleventh and seventeenth centuries. Early schooling builds basic…

A tribute to Ardeshir Cowasjee!

This is what I wrote to Ayaz Amir regarding Ardeshir Cowasjee (The Master Planner – The Doer of Things!) From: Shaikh Muhammad Ali Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 6:30 AM To: ‘winlust@yahoo.com’ Subject: The Devil – The Saint (All in one) Importance: High Dear Ayaz Amir Sahib, السّلام علیکم A very dear friend of mine…

HEC becomes a post office again!

This morning (29.11.2012) rumors were ripe at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) that on the directives of the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and through the Establishment Division; the contract of the Executive Director of HEC i.e. Prof. Dr. Sohail Naqvi has been terminated with immediate effect and the Secretary of the…

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,…