Category: Editorials

Mashal Khan’s Murder: An Act of Collective Cowardice

Last week a mob of students of Khan Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan performed a collective act of cowardly murder of one of their fellow students. In any other country, this news would have come across as ‘fake” or sensational but in what has now become of the so-called “Land of the Pure,” this…

Disappearing Acts: What is at Stake for Pakistan

In a recent spate of unexplained disappearances, at least eleven social media and other activists have suddenly gone missing in Pakistan. At this point neither any terrorist organization nor any state agency has claimed the responsibility. There are no ransom demands or any other announcements about these disappeared activists. I am only aware of the…

The Incredible Pettiness of Mr. Trump

America has had its fair share of not too intelligent presidents, but in most of the cases when such people got elected they made up for their intellectual shortcomings by either being compassionate and kind, or by simply projecting a popular I-am-just-like-you-all persona. That Mr. Trump does not have the required experience and intelligence to run…

We Need to Re-Read Iqbal More Critically 

A few years ago I presented a paper on Allama Muhammad Iqbal at a conference in Islamabad. It goes without saying that in Pakistan, Iqbal holds a larger-than-life status and is often remembered as the Poet of the East, the Poet Philosopher, and as Musawwar-e-Pakistan. Thus, my paper, encouraging a different and more nuanced mode…

Lahore Massacre: Mourn and Then Stand Up for Our Children!

Another day, another massacre: target, our children. This is the sad reality of Pakistan, a country gone so wrong that to put it on the right course of history (if we can collectively figure out the right course) seems to be a task beyond human capabilities. This time the same perpetrators–those who claim to know…

Mumtaz Qadri: A Case of False Hero Worship

That we Pakistanis are always seeking larger-than-life figures to, somehow, lead us out of our mediocrity is almost a cultural truism. We have Maulvis, cricketers, businessmen, ex-generals, and now–thanks to our inner micro fascist tendencies–a murderer to give us hope of a better future. As you might be aware, Mumtaz Qadri, who murdered Governor Salman…

Several Captors Hold Kashmir Captive

“Gloom is writ large on the faces of young professionals, students, and lay people. A lack of purposefulness; a paralyzing atmosphere of fear and paranoia; a suffering populace whose voice is stifled by those who claim to be ideologically motivated and fighting for a “just” cause; the complicity of state-sponsored agencies with self-proclaimed guardians of…

The Ambiguous Identity of a Kashmiri

The ambiguous identity of a Kashmiri is one that some of us have had to live with for a while now. Indian nationalists are quick to claim their intractable hold on Kashmiris; Pakistani nationalists are just as quick to claim to speak for Kashmiris. Kashmir, despite having a real internal history and a place in…