Tag: Pakistan

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…

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…

Mullahs and the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act

Just recently, the Punjab government (And I am no fan of them politically)  passed, Unanimously, the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act. I consider this a huge first step in making the Pakistani public and private sphere better and safer for women, and my hope is that the federal government and other provinces will…

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…

On Hate Speech and Hate Crimes in Pakistan

(We will act against literature, newspapers and magazines that are spreading hate, [ideas of] beheading people, sectarianism, extremism and intolerance. (National Action Plan, Pakistan)   In the wake of the Peshawar massacre, the most important trend that has emerged in the Pakistani public sphere is the focus, both by the government and the civil society, on…

Peshawar Attack: The Way Forward

After we have buried our dead children and taken care of the wounded, we as a nation must come together to decide our future. The massacre of our children by the terrorists who call themselves mujahideen is a great tragedy and we should remember this day as a day of great loss but also as…