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.
A Pakistani journalist, writer, and public policy practitioner, Raza Rumi’s life exemplifies the intersection of the personal and the political. In 2014, his work in broadcast media brought him under surveillance of Islamists in Pakistan. He narrowly survived an assassination attempt by a militia linked to the Taliban, and fled to the United States. He […]
India, the US and Afghanistan are keenly watching Pakistan and China work through CPEC’s challenges
Andrew Small is a transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the author of ‘The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics.’ The Friday Times interviews him on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the shifting nature of geopolitics […]
Steeped in the past, and yet, modernist in its application, neo miniature is the new face of Pakistani miniature painting and art. Having evolved as a genre that is entirely indigenous in its expressions, it has also globalized Pakistani cultural idiom and has inspired a generation of artists within and outside the country
Pakistani miniature painting and art. The survival of a revival
Raza Rumi believes the neo-miniature movement is located within the resilience of Pakistani society as well as its struggle to reinvent aesthetic and cultural parameters of identity.
My detailed report for DAWN:
Nearly two generations of Pakistani artists have experimented with the traditional genre of miniature painting and art; some have even gone on to expand its scope and vocabulary. It is on the shoulders of such artistic endeavor and innovation that Pakistan’s neo-miniature movement has now turned global.
Neo-miniatures retain traditional techniques while incorporating contemporary themes, and some have even deconstructed the format and articulated sensibilities that otherwise would be identified with post-modernism.
Its entry into Western markets — galleries and private collections — is are recognition of the rigorous technique and innovative thematic inferences employed by Pakistani artists. Undoubtedly, Pakistani art has found a discernible niche in the global art market. […]
Modi’s short visit to Lahore on Dec. 25 was welcomed by almost all the mainstream political parties in Pakistan. That betrays a consensus within the political elites there, unlike in India where the opposition parties are playing politics over bilateral diplomacy. The truth is that it was Modi who took the initiative, even if driven by the need for good optics. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, for all his goodwill, could not take the decision to visit Pakistan.
Pakistan’s foreign policy, however, is not the sole domain of its civilian governments. They have to take the security establishment on board. No one knows this better than Sharif. Given this home truth, the diplomatic efforts are not likely to proceed without a nod from the powerful military. The key to this is largely related to Afghanistan.
In sync with the US and other Western powers as well as China, Pakistan is engaged in a tough effort to help facilitate a settlement between the Afghan Taliban and the Ashraf Ghani administration. The process has been far from smooth. It broke down many times. Infighting within the Afghan Taliban also impinges upon the peace efforts.
Something primal and deep is at work. And could be linked to the most cherished South Asian male sexual fantasies.
Many years ago, Dr D Pressed, a senior Pakistani psychologist, told me: “Basically a good cricketer is judged by his capacities in two areas: How hard he can hit and how long he can play.” Was this not similar to what men consider the key elements of being great lovers?, she added. Locker room talk in India, Pakistan and possibly the world over literally glorifies such techniques when men boast of their sexual exploits. Whereas one stud tells of how many hours he could perform – literally echoing the goal of every cricketer: “Mein ney uskay chackay churaa diye (I scored many ‘sixes’)”.
Over time, I have learnt more from the Jungian practitioner, and to clarify, how to deconstruct the game of cricket and its enduring popularity in South Asia. Something primal and deep is at work. And could be linked to the most cherished South Asian male sexual fantasies. And more so about how men think women could be “satisfied” with their performance. Male fantasies tend to revolve around the vital organ, which according to lots of current research, in the words of Dr D “is the great redunda for many women”. This is why cricket is an extension of this syndrome. […]
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. […]