Recent Posts

The travel ban on ‘Dawn’ journalist was just a side show in the civil-military conflict in Pakistan

By | October 20th, 2016|Categories: India, Politics, Published in Scroll, terrorism|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The real issue is about fighting non-state actors, the ongoing street protests and Nawaz Sharif's impending decision to appoint a new army chief. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was initially chosen and groomed into power by the civil-military bureaucracy in the 1980s, who clearly miscalculated that they had found a [...]


By | October 18th, 2016|Categories: Pakistan|Tags: , , , , , |

Blog posting written by Rebecca Cox, Cinema and Photography, ’16, FLEFF Intern, Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Of the multiple times I have visited Ithaca College’s intimate Handwerker Gallery, its capacity has never felt so full as it did Thursday, March 30 at 6 p.m. There were a few dozen black chairs angled [...]


By | October 18th, 2016|Categories: Extremism|Tags: , , , , |

Mr. Raza Rumi, Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College, is an author, policy analyst, and journalist from Pakistan. His writings have been published in Foreign Policy, Huffington Post, New York Times, The Diplomat, Fair Observer, CNN, and Indian Express. He continues to be the consulting editor for The Friday Times, [...]

Odd spaces and new media

By | October 11th, 2016|Categories: Arts & Culture, media, Published in The Friday Times|Tags: , , |

Raza Rumi talks to artist Faisal Anwar, whose work plays with space and time in the digital era Faisal Anwar is a renowned interactive, new media artist/producer based in Canada. He is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Habitat-LAB and was earlier trained in graphic design at Lahore’s National [...]

uphill battle

By | October 9th, 2016|Categories: Pakistan, Published in The Friday Times|Tags: , , , |

One-year review of Pakistan’s fight against extremism and terrorism Nearly a year ago, Pakistani security forces announced the killing of Malik Ishaq, leader of an anti-Shiite terrorist group named Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). He was shot dead along with other top leaders (11 members in total) in a police encounter. LeJ was [...]

Portfolio: Local yet global

By | October 8th, 2016|Categories: Arts & Culture, Pakistani Art|Tags: , , |

Recently, Aicon Gallery in York exhibited Monomania — the first solo US exhibition of Karachi-based artist Adeel uz Zafar. The title of the exhibition summed up the themes that the works encapsulate. Monomania presents a commentary on the shades of insanity where thoughts focus on a specific cluster of subjects; [...]

Odd spaces and new media

By | October 11th, 2016|Arts & Culture, media, Published in The Friday Times|

Raza Rumi talks to artist Faisal Anwar, whose work plays with space and time in the digital era Faisal Anwar is a renowned interactive, new media artist/producer based in Canada. He is a graduate of [...]

uphill battle

By | October 9th, 2016|Pakistan, Published in The Friday Times|

One-year review of Pakistan’s fight against extremism and terrorism Nearly a year ago, Pakistani security forces announced the killing of Malik Ishaq, leader of an anti-Shiite terrorist group named Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). He was shot dead [...]

Farewell, Abdul Sattar Edhi

By | October 7th, 2016|human rights, Islam, Pakistan, Peace, Published in The Friday Times|

Raza Rumi on the man who defied a callous state and society, unbowed in his love of humanity The death of Abdul Sattar Edhi after an extraordinarily productive and unreal life stirred emotion in every [...]

The party line

By | April 15th, 2016|books, History, Pakistan, Poetry, Published in The Friday Times|

My exclusive interview for the Friday Times with Kamran Asdar Ali about his book and the history of the Pakistani left Your book employs an interdisciplinary approach with literary texts playing a major part. What [...]

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Pakistan Needs Deradicalization Programs. Force Alone Won’t Cure Intolerance

March 30th, 2016|Extremism, Pakistan, Published in The Huffington Post, terrorism|

  Even by Pakistan’s warped standards, recent turmoil in the country is extraordinary. On Sunday, a suicide bombing in a public park in Lahore killed more than 70 people and injured at least 300. Most were women and children. A Taliban splinter group that treats non-Muslims as inferior claimed the Lahore attack was an assault on Pakistan’s small and marginalized Christian community, taking advantage of the tradition of celebrating religious festivals in public spaces. While Lahore was still grappling with the immense tragedy, a rally in Islamabad turned violent. Thousands of demonstrators had turned out to protest the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, a former policeman who murdered a governor who had dared to criticize Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws. The demonstration was organized by groups that follow relatively peaceful branches of Islam in South Asia. The protestors burned vehicles and reached the Parliament building in a high security zone. Their demands — other than declaring the executed policeman an official martyr — include the imposition of an Islamic system in Pakistan. […]

A Young Pakistani Physicist Who Loves Nuclear Reactors

October 26th, 2015|Published in The Huffington Post, science|

Last week, I was in Dallas, Texas to speak on a panel regarding the elusive peace between India and Pakistan – two neighbors that have yet to acquire the ability of living as responsible adults. The event was organized by Project Pakistan – a budding network, which aims to work on peace-building between communities and nations. It was during this hullabaloo that I met a young Pakistani student Ahmad Shabbar who is currently studying Mechanical and Energy Engineering at the University of North Texas. Shabbar is a mild-mannered young man of immense talents. As a student of Physics at Reed College, Portland, Oregon he became an ardent student of the science behind nuclear reactors. By a stroke of luck, and obviously academic performance, he worked at the Reed Research Reactor. It is a small reactor facility that caters to various thesis needs of science students, and can tell what a substance is made up of by using a technique called Neutron Activation Analysis. This facility is run entirely by undergraduate students, and it trains young scientists on how to move forward with their careers. […]

Save Palmyra From ISIS’s Rampage

June 26th, 2015|Arts & Culture, History, Published in Huffingtonpost, Published in The Huffington Post, Religion|

  Photographs of Palmyra by Felix Bonfils, Myron Bement Smith Collection, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery have placed on view a relic from ancient Palmyra in Syria. In addition, the galleries are displaying images of 18th century engravings and 19th century photographs from its archives. In the wake of Daesh or the Islamic State’s offensive in Syria, this exhibition has attained a symbolic significance. Being held in the capital of the world’s only superpower with a questionable Syria policy, the display reminds us of what is at stake. It was exhilarating to be connected with this rich past of humanity and at the same time extremely devastating to remember that we live in a world where our ancient treasures can be wiped out while we look on helplessly. Haliphat – a limestone funerary relief bust on display at Sackler- stares at you with an intense expression. Her two fingers on the chin represent modesty and virtue. For a moment it seems like a reflection on what is happening in Palmyra today. Halpihat has been dated back to 231 C.E. The almost-alive figure displays Roman and Aramaic artistic styles, reminding us of how Palmyra was the bridge between the East and West. The Islamic State reportedly has planted mines and bombs in Palmyra. It is unclear if ISIS intends to destroy Palmyra or is using the threat as a strategy to deter attacks by Iraqi forces. Nevertheless, our collective heritage under grave threat. […]

Islam Needs Reformation from Within

January 18th, 2015|Blasphemy, Extremism, Islam, Pakistan, Published in The Huffington Post, Religion, terrorism|

“Would you permit me to teach my children that God is greater, more just, and more merciful than all the (religious) scholars on earth combined? And that His standards are different from the standards of those trading the religion” — Nizar Qabbani, Syrian poet. Much has been said about the French magazine Charlie Hebdo and its slain cartoonists and their provocative cartoons about Muslims. Satirical representations of the Muslims in Europe do merge with racism and evoke destructive passions. But the barbaric killing of journalists exercising their right of free speech is beyond condemnable. It strikes at the heart of press freedom. Muslim communities in most Western countries view themselves as besieged collectives. Issues of integration, racism and the colonial baggage resonate each day. But in the past two decades especially with the rise of violent extremism as global phenomena, these complexities have become even more intractable. By brutally killing staffers of Charlie Hebdo magazine, the violent extremists have offended their faith far more than the perceived blasphemy of the magazine. Theirs is a political ideology — of using terror as a weapon — to avenge a history, to settle grievances and to assert power through violence. Billions of men and women who practice Islam often have little input in shaping such narratives of hatred. Such violent ideas emanate from the minority schools of thought within Islam, which rationalize the killing of ‘infidels’ and their ‘associates’. This ideology is the same that hounded Salman Rushdie, and killed Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam for a film. Ironically, the main targets of this ideology have been Muslims themselves. From the mass killings of Hazara Shias in Afghanistan and Pakistan to the ongoing killing spree in Syria and Iraq, it is the Muslims that bear the brunt of this violent mindset. Dozens of Sufi shrines and hundreds of schools have been blown up in Pakistan by extremists. Most of the 50,000 Pakistanis killed in the last decade were Muslims. And in this day and age this ideology prevents the majority of Pakistanis to access YouTube simply because somewhere, someone lampooned the holy figure of Islam. […]

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Global terrorism — myth and reality

By | December 3rd, 2015|Extremism, Pakistan, Peace, Published in the Express Tribune, terrorism|

A new report by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an international think tank based in Australia, brings to light some hard data on global terrorism. During November 2015, a series of terror attacks in Beirut, Paris, Nigeria and Mali reignited the debate on the global ‘challenge’ of terrorism. In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, another coalition is being gathered to bomb Syria to eradicate the Daesh or Islamic State (IS). It is unclear if a militaristic response would yield results in Syria, given the complexity and competing interests of Middle Eastern actors, Russia and the West. In fact, the lack of a multilateral approach has only served to benefit the IS in the recent past. The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report confirms that terrorism, globally, is on the rise. Since 2001, there has been a five-fold rise in terrorism. The year 2014 was deadliest with 14,000 terrorist attacks in 93 countries, leaving 32,000 dead. The number of terror victims was 80 per cent more than in 2013. At the same time, countries that battled 500 or more terrorist attacks have seen a staggering increase by 120 per cent since 2013. The other startling fact, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace, is that Boko Haram, the Nigerian militant group, was the biggest killer in 2014, and not the IS. During the last year, 6,644 deaths attributed to Boko Haram signified an increase of over 300 per cent compared to the deaths occurring in 2013. The IS was the second-most lethal group as it killed 6,073 people. Tactics used by Boko Haram are deadlier as it indiscriminately targets private citizens in its attacks. […]

Nawaz Sharif’s shift to the centre

By | November 22nd, 2015|Pakistan, Politics, Published in the Express Tribune, SouthAsia|

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s chequered political career may have entered a new phase. His third term is beset by the same old challenges usually presented by Pakistan’s political landscape. A resurgent military ostensibly calling the shots, enduring turbulence in the neighbourhood and decreased negotiating space for policymaking to improve the economy. Unlike his past two terms, Nawaz Sharif has not taken on the military power. Instead, adopting a sobered version of his past self, he has chosen to ‘work’ with the permanent establishment to ensure that a systemic breakdown is avoided. That moment came last year during the street protests, but he survived, in part due to the military’s resolve not to intervene directly. Despite these protests and lack of tangible results on many fronts, the political base of the PML-N seems to be intact. The recent two phases of local government election and barring the Lahore by-election where the opposition PTI almost won, the PML-N seems to be firmly saddled in Punjab. This is one of the flashpoints as the military’s support base is also located largely in Punjab. Nawaz Sharif’s brand of politics — of asserting civilian power, trading with India, etc. — therefore comes into conflict with the ideological framework of a security state. Earlier this month, the prime minister said that the nation’s future lies in a “democratic and liberal” Pakistan. He also emphasised the importance of a thriving private sector. Perhaps, the use of ‘liberal’ was a reference to economic liberalism. However, for the country’s chief executive to make such a statement is noteworthy. Nawaz Sharif also spoke about making Pakistan an “educated, progressive, forward looking and an enterprising nation”. He was immediately berated by religious leaders for negating the ‘ideology of Pakistan’. […]

Faiz Ahmed Faiz: A window to what could have been

By | November 14th, 2015|Arts & Culture, Pakistan, Peace, Poetry, Published in the Express Tribune|

Most of us recognize Faiz Ahmed Faiz for his immortal poetry. Few are aware that Faiz Ahmed Faiz was also a prolific prose writer and that too in English. In 1947, he was asked by the great progressive of his times, Mian Iftikharuddin, to edit The Pakistan Times. In addition, Faiz was made the head of the editorial board of the Urdu daily Imroze and was also associated with the literary weekly Lail-o-Nahar. Faiz Ahmed Faiz This foray into journalism came after a five-year stint with the welfare department of the British Army that hired Faiz in 1942 for its publicity wing. This decision to join the army was made due to his clear stance against fascism. After Independence, Faiz Ahmed Faiz wrote for The Pakistan Times for four years until 1951, when he was arrested for supporting the Rawalpindi Conspiracy. Faiz wrote extensively on a variety of issues in the voice of a conscientious commentator. The writer was less of a revolutionary and more of a journalist trying to pursue a balance. In an editorial dated September 13, 1948, Faiz Ahmed Faiz paid rich tributes to Jinnah, the founder of the nation. He also added how India and Pakistan in quick succession lost two great leaders — Jinnah and Gandhi. Faiz had termed Gandhi’s assassination in an earlier editorial as “one of the darkest crimes in history” and “comparable only to the crucifixion of Jesus.” […]

Abdullah Hussein: alive in his vision

By | July 8th, 2015|Arts & Culture, Published in the Express Tribune, South Asian Literature, SouthAsia, World Literature|

The great Pakistani writer Abdullah Hussein is no more. Perhaps, he has been relieved of the agony that he underwent as a cancer patient, suffering in his last years all by himself. To say that he was a towering literary figure would be an understatement. Hussein was a trendsetter and a chronicler of our weary generations. Written in 1963, his tour de force, Udaas Naslain, remains the most memorable, grand novel, second only in its expanse to Qurratulain Hyder’s Aag Ka Darya. Both Hyder and Hussein were torchbearers of the modern, non-conformist sensibilities in contemporary Urdu literature. Hyder weaved the 5,000-year story of the Indian subcontinent and for her depiction of 1947 as just another moment in the grand continuum of history, was rebuked in Pakistan and soon left the country. Hussein’s characters in Udaas Naslain recount the upheavals that Indians had to engage with since 1857. The novel’s formidable brush depicts the early 20th century milieu of Punjab as its protagonist experiences the rapidly changing political events. Hussein presents a panoramic, existentialist view of the First World War and how that impacted the ‘natives’ in the Indo-Pak subcontinent. The most moving parts of the novel concern the Partition of 1947. Towards the end, the book’s main character, Naim Baig, grapples with a new reality along with immense emotional and historical baggage. Not unlike Hussein, his almost anti-hero, Naim Beg, is an idealist, but is swept away by larger historical forces. It is Naim’s persona that struck a chord with the post-independence generation, for it was as unfulfilled as him. As Pakistan’s chequered history evolved, the incoming generations have also found a voice for themselves. The novel has an innate absurdist streak, which fits in well with the society that we have created in the preceding decades. Fifty years later, Udaas Naslain remains in print with dozens of editions keeping it accessible. Its everyday language enriched the scope of Urdu fiction. Some found its language obscene and before the morality brigade could strike, the state awarded it the Adamjee Award. […]

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Exile for me and others

By | October 25th, 2015|Categories: Extremism, Pakistan, Published in the NEWS, terrorism|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pakistan needs to remember those who wanted to but could not stay back Little did I know that a sojourn to recover from a trauma would turn into exile for me. Exile — forced, self-adopted or incidental — is banishment from your context. Almost a liminal space; where you suddenly know no belonging. In the discourses of diaspora, the exiles are a marginal story. The ‘diaspora’ for a middle-income country like Pakistan is a source of remittance, a vehicle of transferring jobs, knowledge and skills. The exile is an odd feature of the story — a continuous affront to the nationalistic pride, contrary to the ‘image’ that states want to project and diplomats to peddle. For decades now, a good number of Pakistanis have lived in such a state of being. Under the various military regimes — especially in the 1960s, 1980s and 2000s — several political activists, writers and even high profile politicians had to be away from their countries. Intellectuals such as Prof Fazalur Rahman and Daud Rahbar who were the rationalists that our society needed, spent their lives in academia abroad. Their works are cited globally but have limited or virtually no traction within Pakistan. […]

Karachi Literature Festival: The great divide

By | February 20th, 2012|Categories: Arts & Culture, Published in the NEWS, Urdu Literature|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Author with Izzeldin Abuelaish Photo by Sara Faruqi/ The third Karachi Literature Festival concluded recently. I am posting a short piece of mine which was published by the News on Sunday. Another report that I wrote for TFT can be found here. Faiza S Khan’s review is most interesting. Another review by Umair found it sterile and comments on the technocratic discussions that took place on ‘national’ issues. And a comprehensive round up at DAWN’s Books & Authors magazine here. “When our lives are written about in the English language, the books become best sellers,” thundered Pakistan’s rebel poet Kishwar Naheed at the Karachi Literature Festival. This was a session where I had the rather undeserved honour of introducing and talking to Naheed and the other master poet, Iftikhar Arif. She added that there was little emphasis on quality as the books you were supposed to buy at the airports for light reading were now ‘high’ literature. This was an oblique, yet unambiguous reference to the Pakistani writing in English. The two worlds — “native” and English — remain quite separate in a manner that Kipling had envisioned. English writing from Pakistan has received global attention and is celebrated at festivals across the globe. Yet how many Pakistanis have an idea of what it is all about? This is an uncomfortable question that we need to ask and perhaps keep on asking. The Karachi Literature Festival has now evolved into a serious annual festival where writers gather and interact with thousands of readers each year. To be fair to the organisers, they have been mindful of the principle of inclusiveness from the very start. Asif Farrukhi, an eminent writer (who is my actual role model for his supernatural powers to write, edit and think with a full time job) has been organising the “regional” side of the literary ramblings at the festivals. Big names such as Fahmida Riaz and others are given due acknowledgment by holding sessions with them. Yet, the emphasis, for obvious reasons, is on the universe of English writings — both by Pakistanis and foreigners. This year, Vikram Seth, William Dalrymple, Hanif Kureishi, Shobha De, Anatol Lieven and several others attracted much attention by their readers, fans and critics. There were a few sessions on Urdu and regional languages’ literature but it was obvious that the attendees were not always the same. As a young woman confessed at the festival, “I hardly read Urdu, but do you consider Initizar Husain a great writer?” Despite the shocking nature of this statement, I was hardly surprised. The apartheid that exists in Pakistan’s education system marginalises the local and the vernacular compared to the more market-oriented, global English. Aside from its potential “benefits,” English language, for some, remains an odious status symbol. A colonial legacy, a preserve of the postcolonial elites, and a stepping-stone for entry into the deliberately constructed, globalised monoculture. […]

Asma Jahangir – A formidable fighter

By | November 8th, 2010|Categories: governance, human rights, Published in the NEWS|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Fearless and a formidable fighter, Asma Jahangir personifies the struggles Pakistanis have initiated against shameful cultural practices, discriminatory legislation and executive excess. A frail woman has kept the torch of public liberties, freedom and democracy alive for decades. Born on January 27, 1952, in Karachi, Asma Jahangir during the last forty years has become a champion of women, child and minority rights and in many ways the conscience of Pakistan. A leading Pakistani lawyer and an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Jahangir is most renowned for her role as a human rights activist, a role which has made her confront military dictatorships of General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf and the civilian autocrats. In 1972, Asma Jahangir was only 18 when she filed her first petition to have her father — who had been arrested for denouncing the genocide in Bangladesh — released from prison. In a landmark judgment ten years later, she won the case. In fact, the earliest and perhaps the only judgment against a military coup is now attributed to her name. Her resistance to army’s role in politics […]

Pakistan’s disaster could lead to a collapse

By | August 16th, 2010|Categories: Arts & Culture, Extremism, governance, Pakistan, Published in the NEWS|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The colossal humanitarian tragedy and the imminent economic meltdown, will now shape a new Pakistan or rather, exacerbate its predicament in the months and years to come. Pakistan’s chronic political instability, structural economic constraints and a warped national security policy are all going to be affected by the unfolding drama of the national disaster, perhaps the severest, in the country’s history

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The South Asia Channel Watching Kunduz Collapse From the Sidelines

October 2nd, 2015|Extremism, India, Pakistan, Published in Foreign Policy, SouthAsia, terrorism|

The fall of Kunduz jeopardizes Pakistan’s quest for internal stability. This week, the Taliban have overrun Kunduz, the first major city to suffer such fate in over a decade. While there will be obvious security and policy ramifications for Afghanistan and the United States, what will it mean for Pakistan? For Pakistan, the fall of Kunduz means that its quest for internal stability could be in jeopardy. Pakistan has to use its leverage over the Taliban to bring them to the negotiating table. Pakistani Army chief, General Raheel Sharif, has once again called for restarting the Afghan reconciliation process for the security of the region and added that the Chinese investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor could be shared with Afghanistan. Gen. Sharif’s suggestion can only materialize once the Taliban are contained and the Afghan government is strengthened. There is a consensus among most experts that if the Taliban’s power grows in Pakistan’s neighborhood, it could exacerbate Pakistan’s internal security problems. Pakistani Taliban, currently fleeing to Afghanistan due to the military’s clean-up operations, will find support from their Afghan counterparts. The Afghan Taliban might not support the Pakistani Taliban or fight alongside them, but they will let the Pakistani Taliban regroup on Afghan soil in order to mount attacks within Pakistan which will come back to haunt Pakistan. […]

Publish At Your Peril

May 12th, 2015|Extremism, Journalism, Pakistan, Published in Foreign Policy, SouthAsia, terrorism|

South Asia remains one of the most repressed regions for journalists and by governments muzzling the freedoms of the press, the region’s democratic gains are in jeopardy. South Asia, home to one-fifth of the world’s population and growing fast, has undergone major democratic transitions in the past decade. Today, all the countries in the region are governed by democratic systems. With Nepal’s successful toppling of its monarchy a decade ago and Pakistan’s transition to democracy from military rule, the portents have never been so encouraging. Similarly, Afghanistan, the victim of perennial conflict, is also moving towards democratic governance and reform. These developments are ground-breaking given the turbulent history of the region. Yet, on one vital test of democracy — freedom of the press — the region is lagging. Between 2013 and 2015, South Asia remained one of the most repressed regions for journalists. According to Reporters without Borders, which publishes a press freedom annual index ranking 180 countries based on the freedom granted to members of the press, countries in South Asia rank discouragingly low. Most of the countries in South Asia have scores in the bottom two tiers on the press freedom index. In the 2015 index, South Asian countries remained fairly stagnant from previous years: Pakistan ranked at 159th place; Bangladesh was ranked 146th; Sri Lanka was ranked 165th; and the Maldives was ranked at 112th place. […]

Bangladesh on the Brink

March 27th, 2015|Bangladesh, Politics, Published in Foreign Policy, SouthAsia|

Unrest sweeps Dhaka after disputed elections, but Bangladesh’s problems extend much farther from the ballot box. Also sparking the flames of turmoil are a stagnant economy, authoritarian rule, and weak governance The recent political turbulence sweeping Bangladesh has cost more than 100 lives since January and job strikes have brought near standstill to Dhaka, the country’s capital and economic nerve center. Stretching back to independence, the country’s divorce with Pakistan has left a trail of political instability resulting from frequent military interventions, high-profile political assassinations and a dysfunctional democratic order that revolves around two political parties. Atop these bipolar camps are two women known as the ‘Begums’ — the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the Awami League (AL) and the opposition leader Khaleda Zia. The former is the daughter of the country’s founder and national hero Sheikh Mujib ur Rehman, and the latter the widow of the first military ruler Gen Zia ur Rehman, who was popular with the conservative sections of society. From these parties, politicians, and their resulting governance has flowed a degree of political instability in the country. The recent round of turbulence started with the disputed elections of January 2014 that was held amidst an opposition boycott. This put a question mark on the credibility of the contest. The opposition, notably the Bangladeshi National Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), had demanded a neutral interim administration that could oversee the elections. Hasina refused to budge and proceeded with a one-sided electoral exercise that clearly brought her back into power for another term. […]

The Art of U.S.-Pakistan Relations

January 26th, 2015|Arts & Culture, Culture, development, education, Pakistan, Published in Foreign Policy, South Asian Art, SouthAsia|

A Pakistani theater group uses satire to question the national anti-American narrative. e U.S.-Pakistan relationship remains an enigmatic story of converging and competing interests, and above all, magnificent delusions that the former Pakistani Ambassador Haqqani elaborated in his recent book, Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding, about the mismatched expectations of both countries. The primary focus of this relationship remains security-focused for both sides — from the Cold War to the recent U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan. The large security apparatuses of the two states define how to view the other at any given moment — more so in Pakistan where anti-Americanism is an article of policy for populist politics. However, there is also a people’s story that accompanies this relationship. There are nearly 1 million Americans of Pakistani descent, and many more Pakistanis who wish to study, work, or migrate to the United States. Things are not the same after 9/11, many complain, and the Pakistani government’s complex, almost schizophrenic, perspective on the United States continues to delineate the Pakistani public’s imagination. […]

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Why fanatics of today would not have spared Kabir

September 29th, 2015|Arts & Culture, Culture, India, Pakistan, Peace, Poetry, Published in Daily O, SouthAsia, Sufi poetry, Sufism, Sufism and Sufi poetry, Travel|

The murders of rationalists and threats to writers, negate what was achieved through centuries of cross-cultural exchange and intellectually robust reformist movements. "Friend You had one life And you blew it" Encountering Kabir in Ithaca, [...]

Delhi by heart, In An Antique Land

March 28th, 2014|books, Delhi By Heart, South Asian Literature, Travel|

Another review on my book "Delhi By Heart" appeared in Outlook Magazine India. By Venky Vembu In his novel The Shadow Lines, Amitav Ghosh writes of the imagined cartographic lines that divide people in the Indian [...]

Writing from the Heart

March 15th, 2014|books, Delhi By Heart, Published in South Asia Magazine, Rumi, South Asian Literature, tourism, Travel|

What a Lovely Review on my book "Delhi by Heart" published  in South Asia Magazine! By Tariq Bashir Delhi by Heart is a passionate rendition of a great city’s story steeped in history and rich [...]

Rumi’s Dilli

September 10th, 2013|Arts & Culture, India, South Asian Literature, Travel|

Here is a wonderful review of my book in India's Frontline magazine The Pakistani journalist Raza Rumi is both an insider and an outsider as he explores the trail of Sufism to the shrine of [...]

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The travel ban on ‘Dawn’ journalist was just a side show in the civil-military conflict in Pakistan

By | October 20th, 2016|India, Politics, Published in Scroll, terrorism|

The real issue is about fighting non-state actors, the ongoing street protests and Nawaz Sharif's impending decision to appoint a new army chief. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was initially chosen and groomed into power [...]


By | October 18th, 2016|Pakistan|

Blog posting written by Rebecca Cox, Cinema and Photography, ’16, FLEFF Intern, Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Of the multiple times I have visited Ithaca College’s intimate Handwerker Gallery, its capacity has never felt so full as it [...]


By | October 18th, 2016|Extremism|

Mr. Raza Rumi, Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College, is an author, policy analyst, and journalist from Pakistan. His writings have been published in Foreign Policy, Huffington Post, New York Times, The Diplomat, Fair Observer, [...]

Odd spaces and new media

By | October 11th, 2016|Arts & Culture, media, Published in The Friday Times|

Raza Rumi talks to artist Faisal Anwar, whose work plays with space and time in the digital era Faisal Anwar is a renowned interactive, new media artist/producer based in Canada. He is a graduate of [...]

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