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…

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…

No priests needed – search of a Pakistani identity

With a demographic revolution in the making, a depressed and cynical youth is a time bomb that we are living with. Things will have…

In Memory Of The Inimitable Madam Nur Jehan

A common Punjabi aphorism, loosely translated, states that there never was and never will be anyone like Nur Jehan. With her incredible talent, fiercely…

Let the cynics froth and fume

This is the magic of Lahore and its deep-rooted cultural mores. No other city can boast of such individuals, movements and trends. Hopefully, 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…

Anchorless rambling

We did it again. A hallmark of Hillary Clinton’s visit to Pakistan was her meeting with the stars of the Pakistani media – the…

Remembering Parveen Shakir (1952-1994)

Parveen Shakir (1952-1994) has defined the sensibilities of several generations and beyond. At the relatively young age of 42 years, Parveen Shakir died on…

‘I belong to Ranjha’ – the syncreticism of Lahore’s Shah Hussain

Lahore, the ancient city of Loh, the age-old halt for invaders, is also the home to eclectic Sufis. Men and women who shed conventions…

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…

My Travels to Delhi

Finally, I wrote a piece on Delhi …… Delhi’s present day chaos cannot belittle its grand past, which created a civilisation and shaped the…

Book review: Challenging martial histories

This book review was published in The Friday Times (June 19-25 2009 issue) This was a hot May afternoon when I found myself at…

Sufi hearts in Delhi

This was published in The Friday Times in the May 22-29, 2009 issue Getting a visa to India is a nightmare for ordinary mortals.…

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…

Brewing storms

 Raza Rumi laments the tragedies of our times, and says that the state cannot be absolved of its responsibility to protect citizens against terrorism…

Civil society speaks

Zinda dilaan-e-Lahore say no to Talibanisation, reports Raza Rumi Never before have we citizens been traumatised with an uncertain future and the knocks of…

Reclaiming melody

Izzat Majeed was raised in a household where good music was an object of reverence. His late father, Mian Abdul Majeed was an avid…

Nightingale of Peshawar falls silent

My piece published in The Friday Times The bombing of Rehman Baba’s shrine is more proof that we are slipping, inch by inch, into…

Chronicles foretold

A piece that I wrote with Asad Sayeed for The Friday Times. This piece was written before the long March and the subsequent developments…

Capitulating Rajas: why Taliban might not be resisted

My new piece for The Friday Times South Asian history is a tale of capitulation of local elites before external invaders. Be it the…
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