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Abject surrender

My piece published in The Friday Times
How can I remain unaffected and quiet after seeing that my country might be disfigured and my roots pulled out, to be replaced by an ideology alien to my thousand-year old consciousness?

April 13 will be remembered as a black day in Pakistan’s history. This is the day, future historian will write, when its pampered and stuffed-up political elites opted for a grand surrender. We have to live with the pain, infamy and ignominy of the December 1971 surrender at Ramna Park, Dhaka. That black moment was faced by a General who shall remain the face of Pakistan’s atrocities against its own citizens, the interference of an irresponsible, vengeful neighbour and the bravado of Bengalis who had been excluded from the privileged ‘martial race’ category by none other than Field Marshal Ayub Khan and his junta. This exclusionary act by the Field Marshal, later recorded in his memoirs, set the tone for an agenda of discrimination that was subsequently responsible for the second amputation of South Asia in less than 25 years. […]

April 26th, 2009|Islam, Personal, Published in The Friday Times|4 Comments

World’s first oil paintings found in Afghan caves

Bamiyan is no ordinary location. This was the place where the giant Buddhas that stood for centuries with their message of peace were destroyed by the Taliban. And, now this startling revelation. There is tragedy laced with irony here.

Forget Renaissance Europe. The world’s first oil paintings go back nearly 14 centuries to murals in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan caves, a Japanese researcher says.

Buddhist images painted in the central Afghan region, dated to around 650 AD, are the earliest examples of oil used in art history, says Yoko Taniguchi, an expert at Japan’s National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. […]

January 27th, 2008|Afghanistan, Arts & Culture, History|12 Comments