The verse of freedom

In a powerful exploration of resistance poetry in indigenous languages, I discovered marginalized poets challenging mainstream Pakistani identity in moving verse.  Faiz Ahmad Faiz…

Manto women

Manto stands more or less alone in the position he takes on women, contends Raza Rumi, in an exploration of Manto relationship with his…

Through the looking glass

After a decade of epistolary exchanges, I finally met Shahzia Sikander, Pakistan’s most celebrated global icon of the arts, ironically unsung at home. Shahzia…

About suffering they were never wrong

Pakistani art going global is a remarkable story, for it typifies the ineffable contradictions of the country. In part it is a testament to…

Promoting pluralist folk heritage is vital for Pakistan future

Dr Fouzia Saeed, a scholar and civil society activist, was recently appointed as the head of Lok Virsa the premier government institution to…

Citizen of the world

He wanted variety and could not confine himself to a uni-dimensional career or vocation. Other than being a rare blend of East and West,…

‘On the wings of time, grief flies away’

Salma Mahmud’s new book is not a just a readable memoir, it sets a standard for fine writing. Quote MD Taseer with his first…

Meeting Samiya

I saw Dukhtar with the film’s protagonist, rekindling memories personal and political It was utterly delightful when my friend Samiya Mumtaz now a celebrated…

Europe faces a huge challenge in dealing with its Muslim citizens

I talked to Akbar S. Ahmed  about the perception of Islam and Muslims in the West   Mannequins dressed in brightly coloured headscarves at…

Meena Kumari, the poet

After my earlier article on the life of Meena Kumari, I explored the iconic actor’s prowess in an entirely different area of personal expression…

The legend’s shadow

Forays into analysis give resonance to Dilip Kumar’s recollections that are occasionally derailed by Saira Banu’s looming shadow, I wrote in this review of…

Meeting Salma Bhatti

I met the wife of slain Minister Shahbaz Bhatti and discovered tales of woe, marginalisation and hope   It has been over three years…

I know how men in exile feed on dreams

To the accompaniment of songs, poetry and history, Raza Rumi spent a bittersweet evening with fellow exiles exploring the state of his banishment “Our…

The Hindus of Pakistan

A seminal book on the Hindu temples of Pakistan should be read by all Pakistanis. Kataas Raj Journalist Reema Abbasi and photographer Madiha Aijaz…

‘Lahore broke my heart’

Author Reema Abbasi spoke to me about her travels across the country while researching for “Historic Temples in Pakistan”. Some excerpts from the conversation.…

Trade with India: Nawaz Sharif must fulfill his mandate

Raza Rumi India will gain from freer mutual trade, but so will Pakistan It seems that the PML-N government may well be set to…

Civil-military relations in Pakistan- History repeats itself?

It is time for Nawaz Sharif to revisit his earlier stints in power for obvious reasons TS Eliot had termed April as the cruellest…

Mullahs, mullahs everywhere

Raza Rumi It is a test for the state and the political parties of Pakistan as to how they can deal with a narrative…

Paradise lost

Raza Rumi narrates two tales of radicalization     Writing about domestic help is distasteful as it means Pakistan’s obsession with ‘servants’ crosses the…

On the Controversial US Drones’ Program in Pakistan

Raza Rumi Amnesty International’s recent publication, Will I be Next? US Drone Strikes in Pakistan has spurred a global debate on the use of…
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