On counterterrorism and human rights

From an interview that I conducted: There is, of course, a nationalist discourse, as shrill as it is bogus, centered on US-bashing and lionizing…

Post-floods: Pakistan must embrace a comprehensive reform agenda

Pakistan’s governance is a nightmare for its citizenry. More importantly, it is also an international issue now. The multi-dimensional disaster in Pakistan could lead…

Institutions, accountability and the UN Report

The Pakistani citizenry has a right to know and live in a rule-based, just society where political assassinations are not the norm. If the…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Casteism is alive and well in Pakistan

What do you expect of a country where the aboriginals are known as janglis, asks Raza Rumi It is a cliche now to say…

Lost Imaginations

Sixty one years have gone by but the creation of Pakistan is still a heated debate: contested, fractured and bitter. That history has been…

Imagined homeland

It irks me when I hear simplistic platitudes on Pakistani society, state or people. The heterogeneity of Pakistan is by itself an anthropologist’s dream,…

Data Ganj Baksh: Lahore’s oldest guide

Perhaps the greatest of the experiences at Data Darbar is to find oneself connected to a stream of humanity, shoulder to shoulder, with a…

Shoaib Akhtar – a fallen hero

There have been some avoidable outbursts by both Akhtar and his disciplinarians. Akhtar has a chequered past in the conventional sense; and perhaps his…

Nahaj ul Balagha – Looking back to Get Ahead

Fahmida Riaz is Pakistan’s premier female poet. She became a sensation in the early 1970s when her bold, feminist poetry created a stir in…

Inhospitable Reception

“While the ‘easy-white-woman’ stereotype is being reinforced, how can Pakistan become a tourist destination?” Conversing with Charlotte is always a pleasure. She’s original and…

Amrita Shergil’s Lahore

Khalid Hasan writing for the Friday Times: Amrita Sher Gil was once asked by Iqbal Singh, who was to write her biography 43 years…

Amrita Pritam: 1919-2005

Amrita Pritam never woke up on the afternoon of October 31, 2005 and the world is emptier without her musings. She embodied the fullness…

2005 Earthquake: What lies ahead

Ever three weeks have passed and Pakistan is still weighted down by the debris of the October 8 earthquake. The human tragedy has been…

Mustafa Zaidi – A poet remembered

Why would a poet of Mustafa Zaidi’s stature decide to end his life? Thirty five years ago, Mustafa Zaidi, a poet of notable standing…

Qurratulain Hyder – Writer’s muse

Conversations with renowned author Qurratulain Hyder In my otherwise uneventful life, something significant has happened. It may seem unimportant to some people but it’s…
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