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Sunday, February 28, 2010


said the cab driver
as he swooshed and swirled
through the desi roads
with cars and carts
and men and machines
rushing, idling, squeezing
with a foot on the pedal
and a hand on the horn
'it is not my fault'

fault? blame? confession?

adam would have smiled

quakes, tsunamis,
holocaust, ethnic cleansing
greed that blinds
individuals and nations
precariously countered
by grit, will and concern
for adam's progeny
by eve's children
who descend to salvage
flustered dignity

conflict borne of heaven
fermented by earth
moving in circles
between the many dazed
and the unconfused few
who whirl

hirsute adam
unabashed and shaved
would have revealed
mona's first smile
(leonardo tells me)
metonymy for

seeking help from those who fan it, keeping it in the family, zia

Maxim Cartoon

India seeks regional cooperation from S. Arabia they must know that this 'interlocator' is the one funding the wahabi extremists in Pakistan
Let’s keep it in the family, why not, Zardari is doing it too

Zia Mohyeddin column - I was curious to know how this could happen in a country generally considered to be a prized democracy. "The fault" he said after a while, "lies with us, Brahmins. We should have woken up to the fact that the world was changing around us a hundred years ago but we didn't. You must understand that Hinduism possess an astonishing capacity for compromise from time immemorial. It has lived in a state of compromise between pantheism and theism, materialism and spiritualism democracy and autocracy life affirmation and life negation." He paused, "I must not bore you with our philosophy"

"No please go on," I urged.

Tendon explained patiently that the Brahmins became the highest representatives of priesthood, about 2500 years ago, The Brahman divinity was the Hindu supreme god under the name given by the Brahmins. They performed all the rites but they showed no interest in the higher development of religion of the people. They were not occupied with ethics; power was the only object of their thought. Hindu thought was governed by the notion that man must devote himself to the aim of seeking redemption from the world. The early Brahmins were worldly people who had a family to look after. So they lived for their families and their possessions until their sons grew up and established their own households. They then resigned from the world and devoted their lives to asceticism and meditation.

With the passage of time the Brahmins claimed for themselves power which was of the same nature as that of the gods. They believed that the sun would not rise if they failed to celebrate the sacrifice of fire in the early morning. They supplicated the gods to bestow on those who provide the sacrificial gifts, wealth and great success in all their undertakings. He quoted a hymn from the Vedas:

"If I oh Indra, were like

thee the only lord of wealth,

then would he who sang

my praises be the owner of cows."

Tandonjee's discourse was fascinating. I thought I had gleaned enough about the Hindu philosophy from the works of Nirad Chaudhuri, but I was wrong. I must take up a translation of the Upanishads.. Trouble is that one lifetime is too short a span.

A Response to Mary Bowers' Response, CHILE EARTHQUAKE: 8.8 Magnitude Quake Hits Chile, King Solomon's Wall Found—Proof of Bible Tale?

Hawaii braces for tsunami

Family donates record $12M to U of S

Claude Monet

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Window to Pakistan's Wildlife - Guess who is talking about Karachi?

Ajmal Husain, a painter of the very first rank and one of Pakistan’s most prodigious artists, has become a legend in his lifetime. During the last 60 years he has produced an astonishing variety of one-man exhibitions that have received considerable critical acclaim, both at home and abroad.

A Window to Pakistan's Wildlife Beautiful Pictures and Music sent in by RJ

“Karachi, the city in symbolic defiance against terrorism and violence and intolerance, is experiencing and inspiring a true cultural renaissance,” began Liz. “What’s happening today is an explosive cultural surge that is evidenced in arts, music, theatre, dance, literature, the new media, fashion, lifestyle, architecture, newer institutions of higher education. The work being produced is world-class level. They are beginning to garner world attention and awards with talk of bigger prizes to come.” Liz’s ‘mini-lecture’ resumed as we sat hearing young authors read from their wonderful works at the ‘Second Floor.’ The place brimmed with people one had known over the years. “Why can’t we have something similar in Islamabad?” I said. But Liz was now truly a Karachiite who was all praise for the city government. “The mayor and his deputy, even if not acknowledged or appreciated by all because of one or another's differing political affiliations, have done much to encourage this cultural urban flowering through city-wide programmes calling for the people of Karachi to take pride in their great city — to take ownership by proudly claiming it as ‘our Karachi.’”

Book review: Asphyxiation of the ‘American dream’ —by Afrah Jamal

Home Boy: A Novel
H M Naqvi Shaye Areheart Books; Pp 288

Nine-eleven (9/11) fiction can be a high wire act; making it the centrepiece is a temptation many newcomers might succumb to. Several things set H M Naqvi’s debut novel apart from other books of the same genre, books that draw upon 9/11 for inspiration. The author, by comparison, never allows that instance to eclipse the stories of his central characters or their fractured world even when the lengthening shadows reach out to swathe their lives in momentary darkness. Consequently, the boom is muffled, and instead of a sudden fall into chaos, the descent is slow. In Home Boy, H M Naqvi grapples with the complexities of a new world order and the communities caught in the throes of this change.

El-Baradei with Moussa, Islamabad ready to deal, Khan Academy: How to Calculate the Unemployment Rate

El-Baradei with Moussa
Islamabad ready to deal
The El-Baradei phenomenon
A writer with a different agenda
India and Pakistan talk - all over again
THE MOGAMBO GURU : Stupidity guaranteed
The epistolary duelling of Anna Ford and Martin Amis Kathryn Hughes
Michael Tomasky: Vocabulary quiz, puzzler's edition
Mainstream Media Questions Inaccuracies In 9/11 Story
Five hundred Montreal artists speak out against Israeli apartheid
Khan Academy: How to Calculate the Unemployment Rate And he was right: Thousands of students and others are brushing up on their math by going on his Web site, Khan Academy, or on YouTube, to review trigonometry, geometry, basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, calculus and dozens of other subjects. But as a true renaissance man, Khan wants to go beyond math and post lessons on everything from biology and physics to history and grammar.

Mahmoud Said

Friday, February 26, 2010


After a wave of ethnic tension and political violence that gripped Karachi earlier this month, Rumana Husain’s book ‘Karachiwala’ comes as a relief. With over 60 different ethnicities converged in the 330-page book, she aptly describes Karachi as a “sub-continent within a city” and focuses on the personal stories of ordinary individuals.

The book elaborates on the lifestyle, language and values of all the communities residing in Karachi and attempts to reveal how they create a cosmopolitan character of the city that gives Karachi its resilience amidst the ethnic tension and social disparities.

How To Empower Women And Then Ridicule Them

Extended Interview: Mosharraf Zaidi,I Should Have Read My Islamic Marriage Contract, Tony Williams's poetry workshop: Commodity

Pakistan spends roughly $4.5 billion a year on its military but less than $400 million on education. What does that tell you? Read here Mosharraf Zaidi's reply

James Rosenquist

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Grain In My Empty Bowl, Governing governors,

A Grain In My Empty Bowl

A crusader for justice is silenced. Actually not, says AJIT SAHI

1977 - 2010
Incredible life Azmi went from insurgent to rights lawyer, studying law to serve the poor

HAD SHAHID Azmi been gunned down in Russia, China or Iran, his news would have been all over The New York Times the next morning. Working on the principle that the enemy’s enemy is a friend, the western media offer spectacular support to internal dissent against regimes that appear in eternal conflict with western governments and businesses. But Azmi lived and was assassinated in India, fighting the brutal police State that the Indian democracy has become in its dubious war against terrorism. Because the Indian State is hand-in-glove with the western powers, and because India’s dominant middle classes solidly back that relationship, the western or Indian media are unlikely to hail Azmi, who was killed in Mumbai on February 11, as a martyr to the cause of bringing justice to hundreds of the poor, mostly Muslims, falsely accused of terrorism.

One man, one man alone, is responsible for the mess we are in today, writes Roedad Khan. Wonder who could that person be? Adam? Jinnah? Liaquat Ali Khan? Zi(n)a, Yayha? Bhutto?

Jundallah arrest proves timely for Iran

DISPATCHES FROM AMERICA : Fixing Washington ... in Afghanistan

FIVE QUESTIONS 5 questions with Heather Ecker, curator of Islamic art at the DIA

Pakistan proved right in Regi case

Coming out of the nuclear cold

VIEW: Governing the governors of Pakistan —Syed Talat Hussain

In the last 62 years, except for the brief spurt of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's public diplomacy, much of the country's relations with the US have remained a complex network of deals and personal understandings the rulers of the day give to the American negotiators dangling short carrots on long knives

Maxim Cartoon

Take Hamid Mir Off, Ibne Safi in Hindi, The Bhaiyya, The Bandit And The Bak-Bak Artist

Hamid Mir Violates Ethics and the Law - Whether Hamid Mir did this programme because Sheikh Rashid's victory would put a stumbling block in Geo's attempts to oust Zardari or whether he actually indulged in financially corrupt media practices, I cannot say. However, I think there is a strong case for Hamid Mir and his programme to be taken off air for a while as punishment and for Geo to be fined and prosecuted.

Ibne Safi in Hindi
Goldman's golden sunset moment
Iran gets its man

Pakistan is believed to have played a key role in the arrest announced on Tuesday of Abdulmalik Rigi, the leader of Jundallah, a Sunni insurgent group active in southeastern Iran. Tehran is delighted, but thanks to an earlier about-turn by Islamabad, the now al-Qaeda-linked Jundallah could emerge stronger. - Syed Saleem Shahzad (Feb 24, '10)
The Bhaiyya, The Bandit And The Bak-Bak Artist - Most Indians of the post-Independence era know the Awadhi aristocrat as frozen in the Chaudvi Ka Chand mould. On either side of this frozen image lies, well, whatever is not Awadh. “The Purabiya has historically looked down upon the Pachhain (western UPite) as a boor, rich but uncouth, while the Pachhain thinks of the Purabiya as uncivilised and poor,” says Alok Rai. The ones in the middle, of course, do not think much of either. Much of this pride stems from Lucknow’s fabled tehzeeb. Just like the average Mumbaikar does not see himself as merely Maratha, the average Lucknow-ite thinks of himself as poetic, refined, special. Unlike the country bumpkins to the east and the domineering Jats and Rohilla Pathans to the west, which got its fair share of swordplay and looting since it lay en route to the seat of power, Delhi.

M. F. Husain gets Qatar nationality

Arshile Gorky

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A journey for peace, Blasphemy laws, Prisoners of archaic laws,

A journey for peace It was an unusual gathering at Karachi’s Cantt railway station, where over 100 people from civil society organisations, intellectuals, political and trade union workers, and journalists had gathered for a peaceful cause. Sixty of those gathered, including more than a dozen women, were part of a Peace Caravan that left Karachi on February 13 for Peshawar to express solidarity with people of Peshawar and the Frontier Province. The women participants in particular, mostly trade union activists and labour leaders, were enthusiastic to join the caravan as it offered an opportunity to meet the womenfolk of the area worst affected by terrorism.
the blasphemy laws have become convenient instruments in the hands of anyone who chooses to target minorities. Rafia Zakaria - These laws, contained in various sections of Pakistan’s criminal code, forbid the damaging or defiling of a place of worship (Section 295-A) and outraging religious feelings (Section 295). Section 295-C states: “Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.” The trial must be presided over by a Muslim judge in a sessions court. Defaming the Holy Prophet (pbuh) can lead to a death sentence and defaming the Quran can lead to life imprisonment.
Anjum Niaz - "Shahbaz Sharif thinks that by making think tanks, he's getting somewhere. But the tragedy is he isn't. Nothing substantial appears happening," the retired bureaucrat who has just witnessed the goings on at the CM's secretariat tells me. "Besides, the junior officers are insecure and unsure of their boss. They don't know when he may fire them on the spot!"

Rigi's arrest a godsend for Pakistan,The Word - Yeah, right - Do we need a new punctuation mark?

Ron Paul’s CPAC Win Highlights Raging Rift Between Libertarians And Social Conservatives
Jon Stewart Take on Conservative “Woodstock” (CPAC)
Who's Really In Control of the White House? Maybe Not Obama
Does Twitter Create a Daily Me or a Daily We? Microblogging, awareness systems and the future of newspapers
The Word - Yeah, right - Do we need a new punctuation mark?
Cross-border militants strike back -"They [those arrested] were aces in the hands of the Pakistan military, which could have used them to its favor, but now they are lost," a militant leader told Asia Times Online. "Why? We are all wondering, but the fact is that now the Taliban realize that they have no option but to join forces with al-Qaeda in a regional battle against the US and all its allies, including Pakistan and India," the militant said.
THE MOGAMBO GURU : Death by trillions of dollars
Harvard center condemns, then defends, fellow's pro-genocide statements
Dr. Ali Binazir: Why Do Smart People Make Dumb Decisions?
Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Afghan Mask Slips

Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Saying "Shukria", Shahid Sajjad — Pakistan’s living legend,

Maxim Cartoon

‘India forces change in Pakistan delegation for talks’ - chess moves
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin resigns -his personal business is more important. A hint for Zardari?
Helmand hullabaloo - spill over?
Sher Khan: Saying “Thank You”, especially to someone subordinate or lower than one’s self in the social order, does not seem to come easily to us as a nation. so true!
Capital Gains Tax to be implemented from July 1
COMMENT: Our quasi-feudal political parties —Babar Ayaz
Shahid Sajjad — Pakistan’s living legend
What a way to grab all for the family, Mr Ambassador!

Mosharraf Zaidi- The "Principles of policy" section has a total of twelve articles, Article 29 through Article 40. Of these twelve articles, two are devoted to the definition of the section, and ten articulate the actual principles. Pakistanis are often bludgeoned with stark reminders of how far short their country falls on international indices of performance. Whether it is the ambient level of human development, or the openness of Pakistan’s markets, or the perception of corruption, everywhere Pakistanis turn, they find their country being ranked among the world’s bottom-feeders.

Book review: A book for all —by Samia Saleem

Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time By Karen Armstrong
Harper Collins; Pp 249

Reviled by her critics and
applauded by her admirers, Karen Armstrong has revealed her story-telling skills, brilliant perception and painstaking research yet another time in Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time. Written expressly with the purpose of removing misunderstandings about Islam in the West in the aftermath of 9/11, the book goes beyond simply highlighting the tolerant and pluralistic character of the faith proclaimed by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in 7th century Arabia while recounting his life’s journey. She brings it alive through her vivid narration and insightful interpretations. And this is what makes this book a priceless contribution to the literature in the West on early Islam.

Islamic schools try to lift veil of suspicion, Dubious in Dubai, Zadie Smith's rules for writers

credit groundreporter and MB

The Trappers and the Trapped
The Unstated Script of the Wiesel Open Letter to President Obama
China to avoid investing in PoK for Indo-Pak talks success
India slaps dumping duty slapped on steel, tyre imports mainly from China
Wit and wisdom at Toronto's salon nights
Islamic schools try to lift veil of suspicion
Dubious in Dubai
Israeli Abusive Administrative Detentions
A History Lesson for Obama
Rahimullah Yusufzai on the Taliban, Al-Qaida and the ‘Af-Pak’ theatre
Dolphins Turn Diabetes Off and On -- Hope for Humans?
H.V.F. Winstone: Writer, scholar and authority on the Middle East
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: If you don't want immigrants, will you then do their jobs?
Robert Fisk’s World: An eventful, yet typical, day out with Our Man in Jerusalem
The Most Amazing Libraries In The World Part Two (PHOTOS, POLL)
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: The Voice Of Pakistan
Harvard Fellow calls for genocidal measure to curb Palestinian births
Jerusalem families come out against museum built on ancestors' graves
Chandra Muzaffar On Allah Controversy In Malaysia
Communal Violence Bill: How Useful To Victims?
Zadie Smith's rules for writersLink
Will Self's rules for writers
Michael Moorcock's rules for writers
Pluralism: Shari’a and minority rights in Egypt
So Long Pakistan!
Diplomats Could Hold Key to India-Pakistan Talks

A G Noorani-- KERALA is a devastating refutation of Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s two-nation theory and its corollary, Muslim “homelands” are only in Pakistan provinces. Islam came to Kerala before it reached northern India and is practised with greater devotion and with none of the sectarian bigotry witnessed in Pakistan. It strikingly resembles Kashmir and not just in the beauty of the land or the exquisiteness of its food, its Muslims have a distinct ethos and are proud of it. The architecture of the mosques in Kerala as in Kashmir is altogether different.

These five books must be appraised along with their publishers. Other Books is an independent book distribution and publishing initiative by a collective of university students, academicians and social activists to widen contemporary discourse on various subjects distributing and publishing books that seek to embrace alternative and critical perspectives.

Luis Melendez

Monday, February 22, 2010

Turkey Detains Top Military Brass In Conspiracy Probe, The Bankruptcy Boys, Both sides of the debate: why talk to Pak, why not

Luis Melendez

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ali Eteraz, American Takfiris, View from US: An affair to remember, Next Haiti,

Writing now Ali Eteraz's spiritual balm

American Takfiris - The theological justification for al Qaeda's wholesale slaughter of civilians was provided by Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, also known as Dr. Fadl, one of the founding fathers of al Qaeda. Because the murder of innocents is forbidden in Islam and the murder of Muslims in particular, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden required some sort of theological framework for justifying terrorism. This was provided by al-Sharif, who essentially argued in his book, "The Compendium of the Pursuit of Divine Knowledge," that apostates could be murdered, and that approach, takfir (which has come to be known as takfirism) allowed al Qaeda to, for all intents and purposes, kill anyone they wanted by declaring them to be apostates without violating the laws of Islam. In other words, Dr. Fadl helped provided a theological justification for something that everyone involved knew was wrong.
Choose Your Weapons: The British Foreign Secretary by Douglas Hurd Book review
View from US: An affair to remember
Ardeshir Cowasjee - Karachi, with its dense population of over 18 million, lies in the upper moderate seismic zone 2B, close to the confluence of three major tectonic plates: the Indian Plate, the Arabian Plate, and the Eurasian Plate. According to geologists, four active fault lines are identified in the immediate vicinity — Karachi-Jati, Allah Bund-Rann of Kutch, Surjan-Jhimpir and Pab. On two occasions in the past 65 years, in 1945 and 1985, earthquakes of lesser intensity have struck. So far, we have been lucky.

Peace is hard work

Peace is hard work

A Pakistani and an Indian begin an email exchange, attempting to share their thoughts honestly, without fear and hostility, exploring what divides our countries, and seeking ways to bridge the divide

By Dilip D’Souza and Beena Sarwar

February 16 2010

Dear Beena,

I started writing this before Pune. When I heard about those 11 more senseless deaths, I decided to rewrite it. I want to start by saying how difficult horrors like this make it to remain committed to the idea of peace, of speaking the language of reason. Here’s the bottom line: most Indians believe that this latest attack, like previous attacks, was conceived in Pakistan.

Now I’m one of those who believe India has simply winked at a lot of its own home-grown violence: Delhi in 1984, Gujarat in 2002, Mumbai in 1992-93, these weeks of carnage and others left thousands of Indians slaughtered in the most ghastly ways imaginable. In no way are they less horrible than the blasts in Pune, or the massacre in Mumbai in November 2008.

Yet we have never found the will to bring justice to bear on all that Indian-conceived and Indian-executed barbarity. Far from it, we even elect to rule over us some of the apologists and cheerleaders of the barbarity. I cannot help wondering, why doesn’t this leave us Indians as angry as 26/11 did, or Pune does?

Yet that question, while necessary, carries an air of futility, especially at such times. The reality is that there is that anger towards Pakistan which clouds every other attempt at reason and perspective. I wonder where the climate for peace is at times like these. Where’s the constituency for those who say, "This is the time, above all, to keep talking"? Or "Anger and hatred is exactly the measure of the terrorists’ success"? Or "Hatred is easy, but peace is hard work"?

In other words, what I’m asking is this. Indeed this is the time to try to understand each other, rather than succumb to easy stereotypes. In the light of 26/11 and Pune, what can you tell us that will help ordinary Indians understand an ordinary Pakistani’s perspective on the violence that threatens to consume us all? How can we together build that constituency I mentioned a few lines ago?

Do write back, and let’s keep this going. I have to see hope in dialogue, or I’ll lose my hope in humanity itself.




Feb 18, 2010

Dear Dilip,

Thanks for your characteristic honesty and introspection. It helped me realise how difficult indeed the situation is for you and for other Indians who are committed to peace.

You ask me to help Indians understand a Pakistani’s perspective on "the violence that threatens to consume us all". Your phrase partly contains the answer: the violence does threaten "to consume us all" — which is why it is crucial to unite in combating it.

Secondly, consider how Pakistan itself has been caught up in a cycle of violence. With around 8000 civilians and 3000 security forces personnel killed in ‘terror’ attacks across the country since 2003, people here are stung by Indian accusations of Pakistan’s involvement in cross-border strife. Pakistan has been unable to protect its own territory from fanatical militants, how can it control what such militants do across the border?

Remember where this violence comes from — it is at least partly, if not largely, due to the short-sighted policies of successive Pakistani governments, especially the Zia regime, and their pro-jehadi, anti-India stance. This home-grown violence now threatens to consume us.

Remember also that ordinary Pakistanis were not responsible for these policies — we didn’t elect those who formulated them, and we paid the price for opposing them. Indian voters elected the government whose nuclear tests of 1998 pushed the region into a new and dangerous age (Pakistan’s elected government tested in retaliation — a move that I and many others opposed, as you know). But Indians can vote out a government whose policies they don’t like. Pakistanis have never had that luxury.

Consider India’s home-grown violence — you’ve flagged some of the landmarks (Delhi 1984, Mumbai 1992-93, Gujarat 2002).

I believe "our" extremists and "your" extremists are two sides of the same coin. They feed off each other. They share worldviews about ‘nationalism’, women, religious minorities and the superiority of "their" own religious beliefs, and aspire to establish control over the "other" (in their rants, just substitute ‘Pakistan’ for ‘India’ and ‘Hindu’ for ‘Muslim’ — no difference).

Just as many Indians believe that Pakistan is behind violence in India, many Pakistanis believe that Indians are instigating violence in Pakistan. Why can’t we recognise that ‘taali donon hath se bajti hai’ (it takes two hands to clap). Our countries leave no opportunity pass to hurt each other. In the process, they hurt millions of innocents.

It’s time to move beyond the blame game and exert pressure on our governments and our establishments to show maturity.

All the best


‘Conversations’, conceived by Dilip D’Souza, is based on the premise that, despite setbacks, it is critical to stay on the road to peace. This road, the process and the hard work of peace — rather than easy hatred and vilification — are part of this crucial journey.

credits: amun ki aasha, beena and dilip

"The Hidden Brain": Behind your secret racism, Zionism And Nazism: Is There A Difference That Makes A Difference?

Ilya Rapin

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Irfan Husain, Evidence against agencies not to be examined: SC - backing down?Water war with India? Mullah Barada-a journey from Kandahar to Karachi


Why Spirituality is Needed in Politics

analysis: Caravans and howling of stray animals —Farhat Taj

The media in Pakistan is constantly promoting a one-sided view of Dr Aafia’s case. Nobody is expecting 100 percent objectivity from the media. But still one is surprised how some of the most important issues in this case have never been touched upon by the Pakistani media

Maxim Cartoon

Cuba's literary revolutionary, Tunku's Silly Lists, Matt Taibbi's Blasts Wall Street Again In 'Bailout Hustle'

Harry Potter author JK Rowling faces plagiarism allegations

The greatest Russian writer you've never read

Cuba's literary revolutionary John Keenan

Tunku's Silly Lists - Tunku Varadarajan’s lists in The Daily Beast of the top twenty-five “most influential journalists” on the right and on the left say a lot about what’s wrong with journalism today. For starters, there are very few actual journalists on either list. Rather, the lists are full of pundits and activists and opinion-pushers of various stripes, and the handful of true journalists who are included have mostly all transcended their humble reporter status to become, well, something more. Christiane Amanpour, for instance, is a journalist but also a media celebrity; Steve Coll writes important books and magazine articles, but he is also president of the New America Foundation. In other words, their “influence” is about something more than just their journalism.

Mohamed ElBaradei's Egypt Return: Supporters Welcome Him, Hope For Mubarak Challenge

Obama Writing His Own Health Bill To Bridge House-Senate Differences

Matt Taibbi's Blasts Wall Street Again In 'Bailout Hustle'

Pablo Picasso

Friday, February 19, 2010

Glenn Beck's Dark Past, Another week, another clash & another draw, What Karachi needs the most? The Forgotten Article

Maxim Cartoon

Glenn Beck's Dark Past by John Avlon
The Left's Top 25 Journalists by Tunku Varadarajan
Tomgram: William Astore, The U.S. Military's German Fetish
Tomgram: Pratap Chatterjee, Destabilizing Pakistan
Another week, another clash
What Karachi needs the most?

Harris Khalique The Forgotten Article - The space I use is insufficient to quote the full text but part (a) of the article says, "The state shall secure the wellbeing of the people, irrespective of sex, caste, creed or race, by raising their standard of living, by preventing concentration of wealth and means of production in the hands of a few to the detriment of general interest…" Part (d) ensures the provision of basic necessities of life including food, clothing, housing, education and medical relief. Let's see who discusses Article 38, the courts or parliament.

Rethinking foreign assistance —Gulmina Bilal Ahmad - We cannot take another country’s taxpayers’ money and then spit in their face, but unfortunately that is exactly our attitude towards foreign assistance. After almost 63 years, we should be footing our own social services bills. The fact that we cannot is our failing. If allegedly we have been “exploited under the guise of foreign assistance”, we are the only ones responsible for it. Why should another country look after our interests if we cannot look after our own? Pakistan has not been raped.

Tom Flatearth Friedman: The fact that it has snowed like crazy in Washington — while it has rained at the Winter Olympics in Canada, while Australia is having a record 13-year drought — is right in line with what every major study on climate change predicts: The weather will get weird; some areas will get more precipitation than ever; others will become drier than ever.

Tomgram: Pratap Chatterjee, Destabilizing Pakistan

Vandalism at Nashville mosque pulls faiths together, Asia in war of words over Google Books

Tony Taylor

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Essay: Why Orwell Endures, SPENGLER : The case for an Israeli strike against Iran

Books" href="" target=_blank>Essay: Why Orwell Endures
Danger from the New Brahmins
CANADA: Khadr Case Raises Broad Questions on Child Combatants
SPENGLER : The case for an Israeli strike against Iran
Outgoing Nazim reviews city govt’s four-year achievements

'Reforming' the constitution' Part II - To strengthen the parliamentary system, the bare minimum would be to restore to the prime minister the powers of appointment of the Governors, top posts in the military and the judiciary, which the 17th Amendment transferred to the President. In addition, the other changes made by Zia in Articles 90 to 96, which deal with the election of the Prime Minister and his removal through a vote of no confidence, should also be scrapped and the original language of these Articles should be restored. One of the leftovers of the Zia regime is that the president still enjoys the power to require the prime minister to obtain a vote of confidence from the National Assembly. In a fluid political situation, this would enable the president to destabilise a sitting government and replace it with one of his choice. This should not be allowed. Besides, the original Article 96, which provided for a "constructive" vote of no confidence, should be restored. This means that a vote of no confidence would only be passed if a successor is named in the same resolution.

COMMENT: Supporting the anti-acid bill, not NGOs —Miranda Husain

We must recognise that here, in Pakistan, patriarchy is not always the sole subjugator of women. At times, those very
non-governmental organisations that profess to promote the safeguarding of women’s human rights are party to their servitude

Wasily Kandinsky

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Google fixes privacy issues in Buzz, What will you be doing on Israeli Apartheid Week?

Regina Jose Galindo

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday Pakistan delivers a Taliban treat, Times misrepresents views of Amnesty’s Sam Zarifi

Georges Seurat

Monday, February 15, 2010

Un-Common Sense, Domestic violence: Remembering Aasiya Zubair, How To Make The News And Other Mistakes

Maxim Cartoon

Domestic violence: Remembering Aasiya Zubair
Staying friendly, wooing the young intelligentsia and using kamikaze vocabulary: Colin Marshall talks to Michael Silverblatt, host of Bookworm
How To Make The News And Other Mistakes
There Are Seven Big Bad Countries In The World -- Is America The Worst Of Them?
Only Indians killed, so no security breached?
Is ChatRoulette the Future of the Internet or Its Distant Past?
Zardari biggest threat to democracy, says Nawaz and Mehmal Sarfaraz: Wise words from a very wise man guilty of letting a charged procession attack the Supreme Court back in the 1990s.

Postcolonial fiction discussed

Un-Common Sense: And without any disrespect to the authority of the Supreme Court or the president, I would most humbly suggest to them that our country faces problems much graver and dangerous to our survival than the question of who sits in the Supreme Court. So gentlemen, please find a mutually acceptable and honourable way out.

More Un-Common Sense: Reassessing Liaquat Ali Khan’s role —Riaz Shahid

Liaquat Ali Khan was the one to bring for the first time religion into politics. His alliance with the mullahs produced the ‘Objectives Resolution’, which declared Pakistan to be an ‘Islamic state’. Common perception holds Zia or Bhutto responsible for mixing religion and politics, but it was Liaquat Ali Khan under whose leadership mullahs were given entry into politics and the right to decide the fate of the nation

Asif Ezdi on restoring the 1973 Constitution: To name only a few of them, it would mean that the electoral college for election of the president would consist of only the two houses of the federal parliament; that the president’s power to address a joint session of parliament would be repealed; that the Federal Shariat Court would be abolished; that the term of office of the senators would be reduced from six to four years; and that the “Islamic” qualifications for elected office introduced by Zia would be abolished.

Henri Rousseau

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It is obvious, my dear Watson A Stink Bomb

Environmental ‘strategic depth’

Help Us Reconstitute the Movement of Hope
Dick Francis obituary
The indispensable intellectual
A Stink Bomb
Murder Of Shahid Azmi, Assault On The Heart Of The Indian Democracy

VIEW: This woman scorned —Reem Wasay

While they staged rallies to bring the women’s liberation movement to the forefront in the West, we were being silenced into submission, while they rectified their divorce laws to grant an egalitarian position to the women who screamed for freedom, we were still battling with our polygamous traditions

Pakistani women are some of the most violated and exploited in the world. Cultural conventions and age-old praxis have rendered us monopolised muppets upon whom ugly precedents have been set. Women who do not employ the indulgences forgiven the bourgeois are bartered and compromised like cattle when it comes to settling a male incited dispute, more than 300 women are killed to defend blighted family honour almost every year, young girls are married off to catheter carrying old men before they hit puberty lest they be mature enough to decide for themselves, and rape is a catchphrase frequently enlisted to subdue and overpower the wilfulness of women across the country’s landscape. Against such brazen odds, the Pakistani woman is still seen persevering and emerging as a force to be reckoned with.

It is obvious, mr dear Watson - Could it be that the army rules not through the barrel of a gun but because of their intellectual superiority? Could it be that the army rules because our politicians have failed to institutionalise politics? Could it be that the army rules because our political parties do not transcend individual human intentions? Could it be that the army rules because it has structures, mechanisms of social order along with strategic thinking?

Umberto Boccioni

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The winner takes all in Afghanistan, Ten of the best unfinished literary works, Who has THE dream?

Maxim Cartoon

The winner takes all in Afghanistan
Ten of the best unfinished literary works
BOOK REVIEW : The need to engage 'terrorists'
The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can't Do Without It by Philip Ball
Charlie Wilson obituary
Parliamentarians Just Wanna Have Fun
Gazas Defiant Tunnellers Head Deeper Underground
Is A Modicum of Sanity Too Much Too Ask from Geo? What's next? Lashkar-e-Taiba's Hafiz Saeed giving his expert opinion on tourism opportunities in Mumbai? Jaish-e-Mohammad's Azhar Masood reviewing Air India's inflight entertainment? Dawood Ibrahim analysing trends on the Bombay Stock Exchange?
SC suspends presidential orders over judges' appointment
Smokers’ Corner: A herd of sheep?
A standing ovation for an innings of the ages
The establishment is worried but not divided

But nobody has a dream Babar! There can be no quarrel with the proposition that we need change – a change of policies and attitudes, and not façade. As a country where the average age is 23.5 years and 73 percent of the population is below 35, our attitudes, self-perception and fortunes can change pretty swiftly. Let us not be afraid to dream.

The French Imam, Bob Herbert, New Findings Suggest Spiritual Center in Brain, This Is Not Literature, My Love

A Deal with the Taliban?

For a French Imam, Islam’s True Enemy Is Radicalism
New Findings Suggest Spiritual Center in Brain
The Butterfly Dream - Fawwaz Haddad, The Unfaithful Translator, Beirut: Riyad El-Rayyes, 2008, 488 pages
Fluffing peacock feathers - Cotton, Climate and Camels In early Islamic Iran: A Moment in World History, by Richard Bullet, New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. PP22
HM Naqvi shoots cocaine, smart patois and energy into the tired 9/11 novel
Bob Herbert: We missed the boat then, and lord knows we’re missing it now.
Republicans and Medicare
A Calculus of Writing, Applied to a Classic
Christopher Hitchens and Claudius Galenus on Sports
This Is Not Literature, My Love Iman Mersal, These Are Not Oranges, My Love: Selected Poems, translated by Khaled Mattawa, Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York: The Sheep Meadow Press, 2008
The forgotten tribe - On the tenth anniversary of his death, Samir Sobhi pays oblique tribute to the late writer Ihsan Abdel-Quddous
Why the New Atheists are SO 19th Century
Totally Occupied: 700 Military Bases Spread Across Afghanistan