About me

Raza Ahmad Rumi is a Pakistani writer and a public policy specialist currently based in Washington DC, USA. Most recently he has been a fellow at New America Foundation (2014); United States Institute of Peace (Sept 2014-March 2015) and currently a visiting fellow at National Endowment for Democracy. Raza continues to be the consulting editor for weekly The Friday Times, and a senior fellow at the Jinnah Institute in Islamabad. In addition, he has been a commentator and a current affairs talk show host in Pakistan and is affiliated with the Express TV, Pakistan. He contributes regularly to Foreign Policy, Huffington Post, New York Times, The DiplomatFair Observer, CNN and Al Jazeera, Daily O, Scroll India, The Hindu and Indian Express. His columns for the Express Tribune can be accessed here.

Prior to his foray in journalism, Raza worked as a governance and capacity development specialist for the Asian Development Bank, the Government of Pakistan, a number of Pakistani nongovernmental organizations, and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. He has also been an academic adviser to the Network of Asia Pacific Schools and Institutes of Public Administration and Governance (NAPSIPAG); a public policy adviser to LEAD Pakistan, a nonprofit focused on sustainable development; and is an advisory board member of both the ASR Resource Centre and the South Asian Institute of Women’s Studies in Lahore. As a freelance policy professional/consultant he continues to advise international development organizations, governments and NGOs.

 Mr. Rumi contributes regularly to Pakistani and international papers and news outlets on politics, policy and governance, history, and South Asian arts and culture. He is also the author of Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveler (Harper Collins, 2013).

He holds a Bachelor’s in Economics and a Master’s in Social Planning, both from the London School of Economics. He has also been trained in law and public administration at the Civil Services Academy in Lahore.

In March 2014, he survived an assassination attempt in which his driver lost his life. Within weeks, he left Pakistan for security reasons. [Read this post by Committee to Protect Journalists].

P.S. Jahane Rumi started as a blog and now a personal a website devoted to Sufi thought, the arts, literature, and cultures of South Asia. Raza also blogs at cyber-magazines Pak Tea House & Lahore Nama . ‘Raza Rumi’ was adopted as a nom de plume in 2005 to keep his personal writings and opinions separate from the day job[s] in government and development institutions. Raza Rumi’s alter-ego has several development reports, academic and policy publications to his credit.

Raza Ahmad Rumi on Linkedin

RazaRumi.com Abstract

Raza Rumi’s Interview at TPS 

Raza Rumi

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  • Samar


    Sir I was just wondering that this other blog “Pak Tea House”, also run by you(if I am correct), mostly has stories/articles on Pakistan written by many Indian writers/journalists. I am happy that many Indians have a lots of interest that what’s going on in Pakistan. I am also surprised to see their thorough researches on Pakistan and it’s affairs. Wouldn’t be it nice if we can also know what’s going on in India too, instead of just negative articles about Pakistan. I felt that some articles can just increase disbelieve among many Pakistanis.
    Take it as my humble request, I would love to read articles about India where some one is trying to open “inn k kacchey chatthey” also.

    Thank you
    Khush rahein,
    sabb k hath me Pakistan ka topic aaya hua hey, behti ganga mein nahaney bethey huey hein sab….!

    • Imran Aziz

      I fully agree. I totally disagree with the way Raza Rumi is propagating Pakistan’s issues in a silo not considering the global pressure this country had been exposed to throughout. Just saw him on TV bashing on Pakistani soldiers and policies in Bangladesh not have the slightest courage to condemn the illicit death sentence given to an innocent supporter of Pakistan in Bangladesh, Abdul Qadir. He has failed to understand that at that time, even Qadir was thinking in the interest of Bangalis to stay with Pakistan so how can he be termed as ‘traitor’. There were millions in Bangladesh who still wanted to stay as part of Pakistan does not mean they were traitors. They were thinking in the interest of Bangalis not to cut off from Pakistan. It is our moral duty to at least launch a protest to Bangladesh to stop victimizing people just because they once supported unity. Why are people like Raza apologetic and loyal to any who is our enemy. Has he forgotten the Agarthala conspiracy by Mujeeb ur Rehman who himself was assassinated by his own people? How can we ignore Indian involvement and call it our own weaknesses when they were involved. How can you extend friendship to Indians and only focus on internal “meer jaffars” and call it our weaknesses first then others involvement. This is a foolish approach and I am amazed that people like Raza Rumi are called ‘experts’. It is a shame that others have launched a protest to Bangladesh government that fair trial was not conducted and people like Rumi are crying about our own internal weaknesses. Does that mean that anyone who is talking in favour of Pakistan in Baluchistan should not be supported but we should pay heed to others who are into secessionist movements? This man is talking totally out of context and without thinking what is he uttering and how can it hurt the national cause. I wonder why is PEMRA sleeping and not taking a notice of such irresponsible comments coming from such nincompoops.

  • Awais

    I wished to share this poem from Faiz with you..

    My Window

    Many crosses have been planted before my window;
    Each is marked with the blood of its messiah to be
    And yearns to unite with its divinity.

    On one they sacrifice the clouds of spring
    On another the shining moon is murdered,
    A grove of proud trees is cut in two on a third,
    On yet another dies the soft breeze of morning.

    Time and again,these gods of love and beauty
    Drowned in blood,find thier way to my sorrowful cell,
    And each time, before my eyes, thier martyred bodies
    Are taken away, whole and well

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz

  • Muhammad Ali Zahid

    You are an intellectual man and a polymath. Keep rocking.

  • Rana m.s.aarpan

    Wow! Such a versatile personality – especially in art and literature is rarely to be found even in the distant past what to speak of the present age of media. We, Pakistani writers, artists, classical singers, and intellectuals must feel proud to have such a matchless living legendry amongst our social life. Raza Rumi! My hat off to your sublimity and deep involvement in the field of cultural activities.
    Because our so-called intelligentsia is cocooned in only self-projection with hackneyed tactics to say the least.Very very few writers and intellectuals have touched the subjects relating to our Singers and Musicians for obvious reasons apart from religious constraints.


  • http://tariqraheel.wordpress.pk ???? ?????

    You are an intellectual man and a polymath. Keep rocking.

  • http://www.globaljusticeonline.com Courtenay Barnett


    If glory be in war;
    Call to fighting cause.
    Sounding trumpet, bugle blare;
    Forward body, nation’s duty, spirited care.
    Arms and regiments, bodies dead with empty stares.

    Held with spellbound stare;
    Pausing, thinking, wondering, looking, hoping.
    Regal dress, early morn;
    Firm bodies lined in splendid form.
    On fields with buttons ready – press!

    Leaders, heroes, wealthy dealers;
    Spurring, urging, telling, convincing – fight!
    Just cause at dawn;
    Belief, action, halt, retreat.
    Life has lost its normal beat.

    Horror at sights in view;
    Crying, wailing, maiming, slaughter, death!
    History speaks, sad regrets.
    History speaks sad regrets.
    Victor, vanquished, tears of fear, hearts upset.

    Count the dead, write strategies won;
    Planning, removing, rebuilding, stop killing!
    Another wrong, and convolute;
    Duty, action, questions fall.
    Human beings dead, lies fed – salute!

    Poem by Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

  • shahidain

    Razi Sahab. Happy to see you still holding the fort. Will soon inshallah contribute some thing in Sufi peotry.

    Take care

  • http://pk.linkedin.com/in/razarumi Raza

    Shahidain – thanks for coming back. Please send the contributions. You have been missing ….

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  • shahidain

    A Bait from Sultan Bahu. Raza may like to dish this out.

    “Haafiz parh parh karan takabbur,
    mullaan karan vadaaee hoo
    Saavan maah de badalaan vaangoon
    phiran kitaabaan chaaee hoo
    Jithe wekhan changaa chokhaa
    parhn kalaam savaaee hoo
    Doheen jahaaneen mutthe jihnaan
    khaadhee wech kamaaee hoo”

    The Hafiz is proud of of his learning
    the priest thrives on self promotion
    Like monsoon clouds they are continuously on the move
    with books under arms, selling their honour
    Wherever they find a promising household
    they read scripture in loud, fervent strains
    for lucrative commission.

    O Bahu! They have put God’s name on sale
    just to make a living.

    In this world they live spiritually bankrupt
    robbed of all honour, they go to the one beyond

    (Translation by J.R.Puri/K.S.Khak)

    For urdu or shahmukhi, the reader may use this


  • shahidain

    Raza sahab. I sent a biat from Sultan Bahu for posting in blog. Please confirm the receipt. Thanks

  • shahidain

    Another bait from Sultan Bahu for my friend Sammad Waheed

    “Dil dariaa samundron doonghe,
    kaun dilaan dee jane hoo
    wiche berre, wiche jherre,
    wiche vanjh muhaane hoo
    Chaudaan tabq dile de andar,
    tamboo vaangan taane hoo
    Joee dil daa maihram hove,
    soee Rabb pachhaane hoo

    The heart is deeper than the ocean—
    who can fathom its mysteries?
    Storms come and go on its surface,
    while fleets sail through it,
    their crews wielding their oars.
    inside the heart are the fourteen realms,
    stretched like canvas tents,
    Only the one who knows
    these deeper secrets of the heart
    can know the Creator, O Bahu

    Translation by J.R.Puri/K.S.Khak)

    For urdu or shahmukhi, the reader may use this


  • shahidain

    Bait from Sultan Bahu by Shahidain

    My Master has planted in my heart the jasmine of Allah Name.

    ” Alif-Allaah chambe dee bootee
    murshid man wich laee hoo
    Naffee asbat daa panee milias
    har rage har jaaee hoo
    Andar bootee mushk machaaiaa
    jaan phullan te aaee hoo
    Jeeve murshid kaamil Baahoo
    jain eh bootee laaee hoo

    Alif-Allaah chambe dee bootee
    murshid man wich laandaa hoo
    Jis gatt utte sohanaa raazee
    oho gatt sikhaandaa hoo
    Hardam yaad rakhe har wele
    sohanaa uthdaa bahndaa hoo
    Aap samjh samjhendaa Bahoo!
    aap aape ban jaandaa hoo

    My Master has planted in my heart
    the jasmine of Allah Name.
    Both denial that the creation is real
    and my embracing of God, the only reality
    have nourished the seedling down to its core
    When the buds of mystery unfolded
    into the blossoms of revelation
    my entire being was filled with Gods fragrance
    May the perfect Master
    who planted this jasmine in my heart
    be ever blessed, O Bahu

    My Master has sown in my heart
    the jasmine of Allah Name.
    He has taught me how to captivate
    the heart of my charming Beloved
    He keeps me in his thoughts eternally
    He always makes me do his will
    He himself grants me his wisdom, O Bahu
    He himself molds me into his own real Self.

    (Translation by J.R.Puri/K.S.Khak)

    For urdu or shahmukhi, the reader may use this


  • shahidain

    SULTAN BAHU – BY Shahidain

    “Parh parh aalim karan takabbur,
    haaftz karan vadaaee hoo
    Galiaan de wich phiran nimaane,
    baghal kitaabaan chaaee hoo
    Jithe wekhan changaa chokhaa,
    Parhan kalaam savaaee hoo
    Doheen jahaaneen mutthe jihnaan
    Khaadhee vech kamaaee hoo”

    The scholar is proud of his learning,
    The hafiz thrives on self-promotion!
    With books under their arms
    They swan around, selling their honour,
    Wherever they find a promising household,
    They read the scripture in loud, fervent strains
    for a lucrative commission.

    O Bahu! They have put God’s name on sale
    just to make a living.

    In this world they live spiritually bankrupt;
    robbed of all honour, they go to the one beyond.


  • shahidain

    Raza sahab, You may like to post these Abayat from Sultan Bahu on Priests and Scholars- Shahidain

    “Parh parh ilam mulook rijhaavan,
    kiaa hoiaa is parhiaan hoo
    Hargiz makkhan mool nah aave,
    phitte dudh de karhiaan hoo
    Aakh chandooraa hath keeh aaiaa,
    es angooree phariaan hoo
    Hik dil khastaa raazee rakkheen,
    laieen ibaadat varahian hoo”

    Priests and scholars parade their learning
    to please the kings –
    of what avail is such erudition?
    Reading scriptures is like boiling curdled milk
    in the false hope of obtaining butter.
    No more profitable to them is their chanting
    than is chirping to the mimicking chandoor.

    If you bring inner comfort to a heart in distress,
    you will earn the merit of years of worship.

    “Parh parh ilam mushaikh sadaavan,
    karan ibaadat dohree hoo
    Andar jhuggee paee luteeve,
    tan man khabar nah moree hoo
    Maulaa waalee sadaa sukhaalee,
    dil ton laah takoree hoo
    Rabb tihnaan noon haasil, jihnaan
    jag nah keetee choree hoo”

    They think they have acquired great learning;
    they call themselves sheikhs.
    While they perform much outside worship,
    they do not know the manner in which temptation,
    like a thief, enters to ravage their hearts.
    The soul that has attached herself to God
    is forever at peace —
    the smoke screen of illusion is lifted from her eyes.

    Only they realize God, O Bahu,
    whose hearts the world has not seduced.

    (Translation by J.R.Puri/K.S.Khak)

    For urdu or shahmukhi, the reader may use this

    shahidainDecember 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Sultan Bahu

    “Parhiaa ilam te vadhi maghrooree,
    aqal bhee giaa talohaan hoo
    Bhullaa raah hidaayat waala,
    nafaa nah keetaa dohaan hoo
    Sir dittiaan jee sir hath aave,
    saudaa haar nah tohaan hoo
    Varreen bazaar muhabbat waale,
    raihbar laike soohan hoo”

    You acquired learning, your pride swelled,
    and your mind took a downward course.
    You strayed from the path of living guidance —
    none of your learning or pride did you any good.
    If you gain the inner secret by selling off your head,
    you will not be the loser in the deal.

    But when you enter the marketplace of love,
    be sure to have a Guide who knows this inner secret.

    For urdu or shahmukhi, the reader may use this


  • shahidain

    Abayat of Sultan Bahu by Shahidain for posting

    “Eh tan meraa chashmaan hove,
    Murshid wekh nah rajjaan hoo
    Loon loon de mudh lakh lakh chashmaan,
    Hik kholaan hik kajjaan hoo
    Itniaan dithiaan sabar nah aave,
    Hor kite val bhajjan hoo
    Murshid daa deedaar hai Baahoo,
    Lakh karorraan hajjaan hoo”

    Were my whole body festooned with eyes,
    I would gaze at my Master with untiring zeal,
    O, how I wish that every pore of my body
    Would turn into a million eyes—
    Then, as some closed to blink, others would open to see!
    But even then my thirst to see him
    Might remain unquenched.
    What else am I to do?

    To me, O Bahu, a glimpse of my Master
    is worth millions of pilgrimages to the holy Ka’ba!

    ” Eh tan Rabb sachche daa hujraa,
    Wich paa faqeeraa jhaatee hoo
    Naah kar minnat khwaaj khizr dee,
    Tain andar aab hayaatee hoo
    Shauq daa deevaa baal hanere,
    Mat labbhee vast kharraatee hoo
    Marn theen agge mar rahe jihnaan
    Haqq dee ramz pachhaatee hoo”

    This body is the temple of the true Lord;
    Peep within it, hermit!
    You need no help from khwaja Khizr:
    The water of life is already within you.
    Light the lamp of love in your heart
    to dispel the darkness within
    and discover the long-lost treasure.
    Those who realize the secret of God
    Die before death and find everlasting life

    (Translation by J.R.Puri/K.S.Khak)
    For urdu or shahmukhi, the reader may use this


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  • shahidain

    few abayats from Sultan Bahu

    Allaah parhion hafiz hoion,
    Nah giaa hijaabon pardaa hoo
    Parh Parh aalim faazil hoion,
    Taalib hoion zar daa hoo
    Lakh hazaar kitaabaan pahiaan,
    Zaalim nafs na mardaa hoo
    Baajh faqeeraan koee nah mare,
    Eho chor andar daa hoo

    You have read the name of God over and over,
    You have stored the Holy Qur’an in your memory,
    But this has still not the hidden mystery.
    Instead, your learning and scholarship
    Have sharpened your greed for worldly things.
    None of the countless books you’ve read in your life
    Has destroyed your brutal ego.
    Indeed, none but the Saints can kill this inner thief,
    For it ravages the very house in which it lives.

    Eh tan meraa chashmaan hove,
    Murshid wekh nah rajjaan hoo
    Loon loon de mudh lakh lakh chashmaan,
    Hik kholaan hik kajjaan hoo
    Itniaan dithiaan sabar nah aave,
    Hor kite val bhajjan hoo
    Murshid daa deedaar hai Baahoo,
    Lakh karorraan hajjaan hoo

    Were my whole body festooned with eyes,
    I would gaze at my Master with untiring zeal,
    O, how I wish that every pore of my body
    Would turn into a million eyes—
    Then, as some closed to blink, others would open to see!
    But even then my thirst to see him
    Might remain unquenched.
    What else am I to do?
    To me, O Bahu, a glimpse of my Master
    is worth millions of pilgrimages to the holy Ka’ba!

    Andar wich namaaz asaadee,
    Hikse jaa niteeve hoo
    Naal qiam rakooa sajoode,
    Kar takraar parheeve hoo
    Eh dil hijar firaaqon sarriaa,
    Eh dam mare nah jeeve hoo
    Sachchaa raah Mohammad waalaa,
    Jain wich Rabb labheeve hoo

    I offer my prayer in the temple of my heart—
    The only true place to worship God.
    I stand in supplication, I bow in obeisance,
    I tender my prayer without break in its repetition.
    Hanging between life and death
    My heart burns in the fire of separation from him.
    The path indicated by the Prophet is true O Bahu:
    Following it one can find God.

  • ali khan

    Your appearance on Dunya Today to defend the murderer raymond davis was pathetic… to put everything in a nutshell your argument suggests that if a US diplomat screws your sister than according to Vienna convention he should be free to do so..

  • Abdul

    Raza Rumi wrote:
    “we’re seeing more radicalization of the urban middle and upper class. I look at my own extended family. When I was growing up, maybe one or two people had a beard. Last time I went to a family wedding I was shell-shocked. All these uncles and aunts who were regular Pakistanis watching cricket and Indian movies now all have beards or are in hijabs.”

    so that is RAZA RUMI’S big parameter of checking increase in radicalization that his relatives starts to grow beards and woman started to wear hijab and they also stopped watching Indian movies …grow up

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  • http://muzafarmohsin.com Hafiz Muzaffar Mohsin

    Its Very Nice Web…I really Like It……Rumi was In Face A great……Name In All Over The World……….In Computer age We Should Keep the People I Mean to Say Intlactuals Like Rumi And Iqbal In Front Of Us….always……For Smooth Living While Getting Knowledge….

    Hafiz Muzaffar Mohsin

  • Syed Aalim Akhtar

    Your tweets are really nice and inspiring.

  • Raminder Jit Singh

    Hello Raza Bhai,
    I am planning to write two books based on Pakistan.I am and was always fascinated by Pakistan- The Land of my forefathers;that touchy earthy feeling which Pakistan offers.
    May be one day I visit your land and write my dreamworks and of course meet you too.
    Looking forward to meet you,
    Raminder Jit Singh
    J&K India

  • http://www.watchhindimoviesonlines.com dantesh

    uu the best writer …………keep updating thanx for sharing

  • Rose

    Salams to everyone!
    I have just discovered your blog and begun to explore it. I am from Turkey and writing an article about Pakistan. My subject is Pakistan’s religious identity and its impacts on the politics. I am interested in your lovely country and I have done some really nice readings about Pakistan. Unfortunately, sources about Pakistan are limited here. Could you recommend me some books, journals, articles or any other kinds? I would be greateful to you. Thank you in advance!

    • Kamran Sarfaraz Baig

      Dear Brother Congrats for introducing such a unique site of my taste.

      I may recommend select bibliography to ROSE(Turkey).Would it b convenient for u forward Rose’s contacts /

      Kamran Sarfaraz Baig-an Islamabad based M.Phil. Leading to Ph.D.Researcher

  • zedan rumi

    WELCOME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://uri Hafiz Muzaffar mohsin

    It Should B Up graded…..in my opinion……..

  • Munawar Ahmad Bajwa

    Dear Raza Bhai.

    I’m a reader, a writer, a helper, a believer, a student, a merciful well wisher Ahmadi Muslim Brother. I a’m reading mail of Pak Tea House almost daily since past few days, and only now have I realised what a pretty blog it is. Very pretty and knowledgeful. My best wishes to the entire pretty Pak Tea House team. May Almaighy Allah bless PTH-team a peaceful, happy, healthy and wealthy long life to serve mankind in a better possible pretty way. Amen

    “Love for all hatred for none”

    Best Regards,

    Munawar Ahmad Bajwa

  • Jeniffer

    Hi Jahane Rumi,
    Couple months back , have look a article on person of pakistan who is Automobile future concept car designing ,syed mohammad ali Bushnak person who did great work could you make out where is he and write on their designing with discover their new designs .
    thank you

  • host

    We are in such chaos that we have even forgotten the art of distilling friends from foes and specially the foes that live among us pretending to be friends – such as you.

    How on earth can indians be given an opportunity to describe Pakistan? No matter how clever a criminal gets there always are certain signs or you may call them symptoms that are left behind. These, collected together, present a cohesive picture. You, my friend, are just another joker who is trying to present Pakistan the way you want to keep pumping your business of writing.

    From your defense of Raymond to your citation of radicalization give an insight to your dirty personality and motives. Remember, no matter how hard you try, Pak will not become secular. Hijab and beard will be respected by respectables while liquor / nudity will be appreciated by characterless people.

  • zedan rumi

    dear sir i am your fan.i read your articles in hareld and m really impressed from it.
    keep rocking !!!!
    please tell me why you write “RUMI” with your name????
    i am also rumi and i want to know somethig about you


    dear sir, my name is satcidanand bhagwat and i am from india.
    my first book of URDU poetry named ‘AAMAD’ has come up now.
    the sufi thoughts have always impressed me to a large extent that even the cover page of my book i have selected an image of a sufi dancing with his arms raised towards the sky..
    i wish to contribute some of my poems….can i ?

    as an token of friendship ….ek she’r arz karta hun…..
    ‘BE TA-AARUUF HI SAHI MAIN UNSE MILTA HUN…../ pehchaan yahan ki shaayad wahan ke kaam aa jaaye . SHUKRIYA —BHAGWAT’ASAR’

  • Fck Rumi

    u r a BASTARD who is selling his mother land. TATS ALL WT I THINK ABT U

    • GGN

      How daft of you to stoop to such an uneducated and sterile way of disagreeing with someones perspective. That is the very problem with Pakistan, when the so-called “educated” resort to lower measures while they posses the intellectual capabilities but succumb to laziness, how can we dare blame the “uneducated” as…oh yes, they don’t *know* any better. Education is obviously not the distinguishing factor, perhaps in just being a Pakistani you are eternally cursed with ignorance save a handful of lucky individuals. Disgusting!

  • Sada-e-Meesam

    You are a great person Mr. Rumi. You are saving Pakistan from Jahil-e-qul of Paksitan.

    Best Regards

  • http://bentio.com/billytyson619/ Jose Payan

    Taking a pair of credit cards is a great idea when you travel, especially internationally.

  • Ejaz rasheed

    Rumi sahib,
    I like ur activities on twitter.

  • Syed Feroz Shah

    Dear Rumi,
    Your article in daily The NEWS dated 12/8/2012 as “Polio and governance failure” was not according to the actual situation of prevailing polio cases in Pakistan and particularly in FATA.

  • hiba

    hi this is in response to GGN thanks alot for using tricky words by calling us a cursed nation u told us all “stay fucked” its the use of words the subliminal meanings are same… p.s. the reactions overloaded with emotions are also found by you indians the so called sophisticated nation!

  • Mrs Khorshed Khan

    My salaams and duas,its by chance that I happen to come across you on google and I must say that it was a great pleasure reading it.keep it up.

    • http://pk.linkedin.com/in/razarumi Raza

      Many thanks Mrs Khorshed Khan :)

  • Naveed

    Your family pictures are really impressive 😉 at back

  • http://Sarwataj.wordpress.com Sarwat AJ

    Great blog, very delicate appearance, heart-touching accent. A perfect blend in all. Prayers and wishes.