Unpacking the governance debate

If the intent of the unregulated media and a recalcitrant establishment is to dismiss the government to achieve better governance then this is at…

State accountability – all is not that bleak

Earlier, I had written a piece on citizen accountability and Jhang model innovated by a bureaucrat – Zubair Bhatti – who ironically resigned from…

Travelogue (Part II) – Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

Things had changed. Bombay has metamorphosed into Mumbai (shining India is also more parochial); Sahar airport had been renamed (as Chatrapathi Shivaji International Airport)…

Travelogue (Part III): India’s Silicon Valley

The tragedy of this first-ever visit to Bangalore was its short duration. Having said that, it is always better to have seen a city…

Travelogue (final) Entangled destinies

Contrary to the Mall culture booming across India, Khan Market is a high street experience. I am claustrophobic in Malls and therefore a place…

Preparing an early recovery plan

Cumulative estimates of losses are increasing (initial estimates have gone beyond $15 billion) and over 20 million people have been displaced in 71 districts…

Redefining national interest

There is simply no alternative to information flow and dismantling the iron curtain. Let the disputes remain, but allow media access across the borders.…

Saints who ruled India

‘The War that Wasn’t: The Sufi and the Sultan’ By Fatima Hussain Publisher: Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi Pages: 245 Book Review Last…

Jammed in Delhi

The more we fight, the more similar we look. After the 2008 tragic incidents in Mumbai, the Indian and Pakistani media displayed their raw…

Disaster management; which way now?

The NDMA also needs to be taken seriously by senior decision makers. Its capacity should be strengthened and the organization decentralized through investing financial…

Pakistan’s budget: Policy sans public

The government should involve the media and civil society in raising awareness and building consensus on reform. In several parts of the world, accessible…

Fatal obsession

It is a matter of public record that the founder of Pakistan had stated that Indo-Pakistan relationship will resemble that of the USA and…

Who’s afraid of Dara Shikoh’s ghost?

Raza Rumi (published in TFT this week) Madeeha Gauhar Prince Dara at the feet of his Sufi saint Emperor Aurangzeb Dara Shikoh Dara reading…

Divide or perish: creating new provinces in Pakistan

My piece published in TFT Since 1947, two characteristics of the Pakistani state have continued to haunt its legitimacy and survival. The first relates…

In memoriam – Asim Butt (1978-2010)

But it was Asim’s venture into public art and his subsequent adoption of the Stuckist creed that turned him into a major figure at…

Whither civilian governance?

My new piece published by The Friday Times While the gurus of security and international affairs continue to unpack and make sense of the…

Karachi Literary Festival: Spring in the land of suicide bombers and charlatans

Who says Pakistani literature was a relic of the past? If anything, Pakistani authors have a global audience today, and our writers are now…

Marvels of Malaysia

“Muslim societies can learn from the plurality of race and religions in Malaysia” says Raza Rumi A few days spent in Malaysia are enough…

Muslimness – shifting boundaries

Muslimness is an elusive state of being. There are watertight strictures of the theological identity defined by men, interpreted as the Sharia, on the…

Folklore sans frontiers

I was part of a delegation from Pakistan that was driving to Chandigarh to attend the SAARC folklore festival organized by Punjab’s legendary writer…
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