Books and Documents

Current Affairs

The persecution of Cyril Almeida is now the center of a clampdown on Pakistani media
Mohammed Hanif

At the heart of the Pakistani establishment’s idea of national security is a self-aggrandizing notion of respect. Almeida refers to the army as “the boys,” sometimes cheekily. The establishment thinks he’s not respectful enough. It asks: Why did he call the army chief, not General Raheel Sharif, but just Sharif? A prime minister tells Almeida, on the record, that he has different ideas from theirs about national security? How dare he go write that up in a newspaper just under the picture of our founding father?...


No American who values a free press should forget Khashoggi’s murder—or let Prince Mohammed bin Salman forget it, either
Dexter Filkins

It seems nearly certain now that Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist, died a slow and agonizing death, the kind that none of us could dare imagine for ourselves. It seems equally clear that Khashoggi, a Virginia resident and a columnist for the Washington Post, was murdered, probably on orders of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. The latest evidence pointing to M.B.S.’s direct involvement is the identities of members of the team sent to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi: several of the individuals identified by Turkish officials were part of the Royal Guard, responsible for protecting senior members of the House of Saud. “They answer directly to M.B.S.,’’ Bruce Riedel, a former Middle East specialist for the C.I.A. and National Security Council, told me....

First of all, Khashoggi was not a Western analyst or commentator, so the regime could not dismiss his criticisms as a foreigner's smear attempts. Moreover, he was not only a Saudi citizen but also - unlike many Saudi opposition figures who were forced into exile decades ago and have since been detached from the Saudi society - was a prominent member of the Saudi society and establishment until very recently. He had worked in local newspapers for years, was once a trusted adviser to the monarchy...


Christians in 21st-century America now face our own serious “rhetorical problem.” We must work together to revive sacred speech and rekindle confidence in the vocabulary of faith. If we cannot rise to this occasion, sacred speech will continue its rapid decline — and the worst among us will continue to define what the word “Christian” means....


Whether truth wins in particular historical conditions is not an issue. People often forget the distinction between divine will as expressed in scripture or revealed law and ontological will that ultimately prevails. For instance God forbids murder and injustice but these things happen in His world by His leave though He is not pleased with such acts. What is real is what prevails and that is no less divine in its roots or thingness/being than is scripture. At the root of certain difficulties arising in understanding Karbala is prior misconception regarding religion understood in nauseatingly sentimental/moral terms...


The macabre case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi raises the question: did Saudi rulers fear him revealing highly damaging information on their secret dealings?
Finian Cunningham

Even more intriguing are US media reports now emerging that American intelligence had snooped on and were aware of Saudi officials making plans to capture Khashoggi prior to his apparent disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. If the Americans knew the journalist’s life was in danger, why didn’t they tip him off to avoid his doom? Jamal Khashoggi (59) had gone rogue, from the Saudi elite’s point of view....


Therefore, dragging the CII into this publication problem is irrelevant and arguably unconstitutional as well. Hence, the publication error and its negligence must be treated as what it actually is and must not be transformed...


In the case of Pakistan the growth of ideology has been palpable through the growth of religious seminaries
Khaled Ahmed

At the time of Independence in 1947, there were only 137 madrassas in Pakistan. According to a 1956 survey, there were 244 madrassas in all of Pakistan (excluding East Pakistan). In Pakistan at present, a reasonable estimate based on multiple empirical and journalistic sources suggests that there are between 20,000 and 25,000 madrassas. Any one student can be persuaded/pressured into becoming a suicide-bomber to kill in the cause of Islam....


What we need is a Supreme Court that is not influenced by popular opinion
Nizam Pasha

The purpose of this examination of judgements and proceedings of the Supreme Court over the last two years at this juncture is merely to say that while celebrate this victory we must, we must be conscious that the theatre of the battle perhaps lies elsewhere. What we need is a Supreme Court that is not influenced by popular opinion or governmental pressure....


What it means if Saudi Arabia murdered a journalist in Turkey
The Economist

IT HAS been over a week since Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and government critic (pictured), walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get paperwork for a marriage. No one has seen him since. Turkish officials say that he was killed by a team of Saudi assassins, who dismembered his body, on orders from the top of the royal court (see article). The Saudis retort that Mr Khashoggi left the building of his own accord. If so, when? Are there witnesses or written records? Why is there no security-camera footage? And why did 15 Saudis fly in on private jets just before he disappeared, and leave shortly after? The Saudis must provide answers, or the world will assume the worst.


Yet to those listening closely to what MBS actually says, it is clear that his top priority is not, and never has been, the expansion of individual freedom. His aim is to modernize the Saudi monarchy so as to render it sustainable under the new economic and geopolitical conditions of the 21st century — with the 33-year-old MBS on top for a long, long time....


Over the past half century, critics have often predicted the fall of the House of Saud or emphasised the fragility of its rule
Patrick Cockburn

Saudi strengths and weaknesses may have been long debated but the Kingdom’s vulnerabilities have seldom been so starkly on display as they were last Tuesday because the coincidence of two very different events. Before a rally in Mississippi, President Trump stated – brutally and without qualification – the dependence of the Saudi monarchy on US support and the price it must pay for such backing....

Goodbye Girishbhai!
Fr Cedric Prakash SJ

Finally, the best tribute I think I can pay you is to internalize and practice, in some ways the values and the lofty ideals you believed in and fought for all your life! These are also enshrined in the Constitution of India, which you always treasured! Therefore, whilst I am saying “goodbye” to you, I do believe that great human beings like you never die; you will live forever in my heart and in my life and in the hearts and lives of many others. Continue troubling us from wherever you are -until that day when the ‘rights of all’ are respected on this earth!


Is Gandhiji’s Philosophy of Sarvodaya Needed to deal with the violent sectarian politics?
Mahmood A. Madani

For Gandhiji, India’s religious and linguistic diversity was an asset, not a liability. His use of metaphors like “clay pot” and the “oceanic circle” while talking about nurturing civic nationalism is quite fascinating and needs to be emulated. Moreover, as opposed to V D Savarkar’s understanding, he wants to see a deep emotional tie between different sub-national groups.

The journalist, Cyril Almeida, a leading columnist for the newspaper Dawn, has been summoned to appear before the High Court in Lahore on Monday. The accusation stems from an article he wrote in May that featured an interview with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was at loggerheads with Pakistan’s powerful military until he was ousted last year.

No place for the IPC
Tahir Mahmood

No place for the IPC
Tahir Mahmood

The SC’s new verdict that matrimonial issues fall in the realm of civil law and need not be resolved by criminal law is quite rational. But should not the ideology be uniformly applicable to such issues for all sections of citizens? By this yardstick, should not the Triple Divorce Ordinance now under challenge in the court fall flat? Is the country’s ever-angry law minister listening?


The rules of a shout and the dangers of a murmur
Rubana Huq

In Pakistan, where the fresh wind of change was expected to blow, quite unexpectedly, the powerful military quietly, but effectively, is restricting media and is encouraging self-censorship. While the number of killings is decreasing, free speech has fallen prey to an organised control mechanism and more and more people are speaking up less. Bad news....


Mahatma Gandhi Remains a Shining Beacon of Hope for Millions of People across the World Who Seek a Life of Equality, Dignity, Inclusion and Empowerment
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

An overwhelming majority of Indians today did not have the good fortune of being a part of the freedom struggle. We could not die for the nation then but now, we must live for the nation and do everything possible to build the India our freedom fighters envisioned. Today we have a great opportunity to fulfil Bapu’s dream. We have covered substantial ground and I am confident we will cover a lot more in the times to come....


Asha Bhonsle, another great singer who charmed many generations with her captivating voice, too laments the decline of Urdu sounds in Hindi songs and notes, “Today’s singers don’t know Hindi. As far as their knowledge of Urdu is concerned, let’s not talk about it at all”. It was not the singers alone who took the Urdu diction seriously. Music directors made sure that the songs they produced met the standards. Naushad, the maestro, in a tribute to Lata on her 70th birthday mentioned: “In fact, Mehboob Saab would tell me that she is a Marathi girl, her pronunciations are not right, and I was making her sing a Ghazal....


Hindu Rashtra: Dalits and Adivasis Do Not Get Anything under A Hindu Rashtra and There Is No Reason for Them to Want It
Aakar Patel

The second is that the dividing of people by religion or gender and telling them what they can and cannot do. This is the deeper aspect of a theocratic state, and this is the one that people fear. The problem of a Hindu Rashtra is that it has no text, which can be adapted to the modern world. The most prominent element of the Hindu way of organising society and the state is through caste. This is not acceptable to most Hindus. The dominant political communities across the country from north to south is the Shudra peasantry comprising castes like Patidars, Vokkaliga, Jats, Yadavs, Reddys and so on. Most chief ministers and ministers come from these castes. These communities are not going to give up their power to Brahmins voluntarily....


India and Pakistan Have Reached a Stage Where They Can’t Even Leave Each Other a Post-It Note
Mohammed Hanif

A few months ago when Mr. Khan was campaigning, his mantra was that the incumbent Nawaz Sharif was soft on India. His supporters declared Mr. Sharif “Modi Ka Yaar” (Modi’s bestie) because Mr. Sharif had attended Mr. Modi’s inauguration as prime minister in 2014 and the Indian premier had paid a surprise private visit to Mr. Sharif’s estate outside Lahore in 2015. Now the B.J.P.’s ruling party head honcho, Amit Shah, says: Look, Pakistan wants Mr. Modi gone, as does the Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi. If there is trouble at home, you throw your trash at your neighbour and call your fellow countrymen traitors....

Literary Bad Boy Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bollywood Years In The 1940s
Saadat Hasan Manto

When alive, one of Manto’s worst fears was if the Partition would also imply a division of our shared culture and literature. “Who owns all that was written in undivided India?” he asked. More than half a century after his death, it’s telling that the author is still being read in India while largely forgotten in Pakistan. It’s a twisted irony worthy of a Manto short story – one ‘hiptullha’ moment the God’s nemesis author wouldn’t have enjoyed....


South Sudan Will Likely Turn Into a Tribally Fragmented Society with the New Peace Deal
Mahmood Mamdani

The new agreement represents a remarkable turnaround from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005 and the independence agreement of 2011. All previous agreements shared a common assumption: that Sudan is the source of the problem, that Sudan must be isolated and contained if there is to be peace in South Sudan....


In all the gloom, despair, and tragedy we see, and all that we don’t, in and around us here in the streets of Pakistan, and even more across the world, as hatred and bigotry piggybacks populist politics across the globe, it’s increasingly hard to find the silver lining. There aren’t too many feel-good stories to go around in the world, or even in the land of the pure, except when the prime minister stands up defiantly for the rights of politically toxic refugees....


Unsavoury Acts with a Connection to Imran Khan’s Pious Wife Are Coming to Light
Khaled Ahmed

It was the practice of Khan’s wife when she was earlier married to Khawar Maneka to walk barefoot from her residence in Pakpattan to the tomb prostrating herself every now and then in the direction of the “Mazar”. In the last week of August, a crisis was triggered when her children from Khawar Maneka embarked on this trip in the wake of a rumour that had the Punjab administration in a tizzy: That Bushra Imran Khan herself was undertaking the holy walkathon, as in the past....

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  • What I say is very precise. Go dig it out and reproduce.'
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Fully agree with Ailia Zehra.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By hats off! )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Add to that: and ignorance and cultism flourishing among their followers.
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( By Arman Neyazi )
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    ( By Arman Neyazi )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Shame!'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Good idea, but unlikely to have wide acceptance.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Thanks Hats Off for exposing the farcical nature of the discussion that Ghulam Mohiyuddin carried out.....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "GM sb has stood the test and can be awarded the "Uncle Tom" prize for this century."..
    ( By Lol )
  • बार बार अलग अलग शहरों के नाम बदलने से अच्छा है है कि पूरी पृथ्वी का नाम ही "दिन दयाल गोला" रख दो.'
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    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
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