State Control, Corporate Interests, and Media Independence in Pakistan

During the past two decades, the media sector in Pakistan has grown immensely in terms of scale and influence. With the deregulation policy and…

As Pakistan approaches a crucial election, its media watchdog bans critical voices from TV

On 18 August, Pakistan’s media watchdog directed all TV channels to stop giving airtime to 11 people: a group including journalists considered close to former Prime…

Reform Is A Political Process. Unelected Elites And Technocrats Will Fail, Once Again

Last month, yet another conference on policy ‘reforms’ was organised by the World Bank and its local partners. This must be the umpteenth such…

Nawaz Sharif Will Return To Imran Khan’s Pakistan

The electorate blames the PML-N for the inflation that’s making their lives difficult, and Imran Khan owns the anti-establishment narrative despite being locked up.…

With Fractured Civil Society & Complicit Politicians, There’s Little Hope For Pakistan’s Christians

The ghastly attack on the Christian community in Jaranwala is yet another testament to the systemic violence and discrimination faced by religious minorities in…

Imran Khan Vs Military Establishment: The Final Showdown Begins?

The ugly scenes of excessive shelling, PTI workers pelting stones at the police force and the eventual incapacity of the government to arrest former prime minister Imran…

Pakistan’s Ruling Classes Squabble As Masses Endure Hyperinflation

The ongoing polycrisis exhibits the longstanding contradictions within the Pakistani governance system, wherein there is no consensus on who will run the country. Are…

Tackling Pakistan’s Polycrisis Requires Clarity And Consensus. Both Are Missing.

The reluctance of former Prime Minister and chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan to participate in an All-Parties Conference called by Prime Minister Shehbaz…

The almost forgotten radical message of Iqbal

I am reposting this old blog on Iqbal Day: God, You created the night, I made the lamp You created the earth, I made…

Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s Search for a Modern Muslim

I grew up in Pakistan where we are taught about Sayyid Ahmad Khan throughout our school years as the grandfather of Muslim Nationalism in…

Afghanistan: no cooperation, no stability

This is a shorter version of a brief which was prepared for Pakistani Senate’s standing committee on Defence. Also published here. Full report here…

Destruction of Lahore’s Walled City is rampant as restoration efforts remain sketchy

One of my three reports published earlier this year in Herald’s annual issue on heritage Lahore fabled Walled City is now a grand metaphor…

The land of his dreams

Professor Javaid Iqbal Syed’s memoir traverses the political and the personal, the mundane and the sublime, and weaves a narrative that reflects the decades…

Before it’s too late

Pakistan’s radicalization is now a threat to its society and the region. Whilst General Zia ul Haq will be remembered for institutionalizing extremism, most…

On secularism, Jinnah and Pakistan

My contribution for Jinnah Institute’s secular space What are we fighting for? What are we aiming at? It is not theocracy, not for a…

Beo Zafar – Pakistan’s ace-comediane

A short piece that I wrote on Beo, Pakistan’s ace-comediane whose talents are diverse and ever-blooming. Beo [Khala] as I have known her for…

Music sans frontiers

By GEETA NANDAKUMAR Song of the soul Farida Khanum ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo, haaye mar jaayenge ham to lut jaaenge, aisii baatein…

Pakistan’s crumbling institutions

Published in The News (Sunday) Pakistan’s instability is a clichè, almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. All the theoretical ingredients for stability are there: an elected…

Rickshaw and truck poetry from Pakistan

My old friend Raza Bokhari sent me these golden lines used by our rickshaw & truck drivers to express their angst, emotion and sense…

The Speech of Mr. Sris Chandra Chattopadhya (Opposition to Objectives Resolution, Constitutent Assembly of Pak, 12 March 1949)

This is a historic speech and a document that posterity will re-examine. Seldom has one piece of legislation caused so much trepidation. Thanks to…
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