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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Zia Mohyeddin, Nadeem F. Paracha, Irfan Hussain

Zia Mohyeddin column My poor ankle
I remained on call throughout the next few weeks. The routine was ridiculously similar: the second or third assistant director would tell me to be on the set, ready and made-up, (there was no call-sheet) by ten' clock the following morning. He knew that the make-up and costume people -- even the sweepers -- didn't turn up till after 10, but he had his instructions. I obliged. Punctuality had been drilled into me as the first tenet of an actor's bible. We were both slaves to our inflexible incorrigibility.

Smokers’ Corner: One-unit-faith - Nadeem F. Paracha -Its people constituted Urdu-speakers (Mohajirs), Sindhis, Pathans, Siriakis, Baloch, Bengalis, and many others; and also people belonging to various Islamic sects and sub-sects. By imposing the ruse that Pakistan was ‘one unit’ (a collective body of homogenous Muslims) was a naïve evaluation that only ended up alienating the many ethnically distinct strains of Muslims and the minorities that made Pakistan their home. In other words, Pakistan’s identity and ideology should have been squarely based on a democratic acceptance of its ethnic, religious and sectarian diversity, instead of the establishment’s rather convoluted ‘one ideology for all’ brand of Islam. We are not an ethnically and culturally homogenous nation following a singular version of Islam, or of the state for that matter as far as religious minorities are concerned.

Irfan Hussain - The reality is that we have virtually blanked out our real problems, and concentrate instead on issues that may make for good television, but do not advance the core national agenda. Among the recommendations made in the Next Generation report, two have stuck in my mind: “Policymakers need to start planning for the long term”; the second one suggests: “Pakistan must start to build momentum behind a national mission for change.”
Frankly, I don’t see us doing either, given our unhealthy preoccupation for pulling the chair from under every (civilian) government.


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