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Feminism is not a Pakistani phenomenon. Quaid-e-Azam does not mention feminism once in his speeches. He does not say, “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques and you are free to go to your liberal arts colleges.” If Quaid-e-Azam was a feminist, he would have ensured that his sister also emerged as a powerful leader of the freedom movement. People would have remembered her as the ‘Mother of the nation’ and be forced to add her picture to their Pakistani leaders’ sticker collections…..


The Silliness Can Wait, First the Care And Rehabilitation of the Victims…Let There Be No Fakery and Grandstanding About That
Ayaz Amir

The terrorists are not winning. Although this can hardly be any consolation for the victims, the Wagah incident is almost an admission of failure, that this was the only vulnerable spot they could target. The victims are all ordinary Pakistanis plus a few Rangers’ personnel. And the terrorists are fighting for the greater glory of Islam. Their victims for the most part turn out to be the less-privileged. This is their understanding of Islam. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is also fighting for the greater glory of the faith. One tactic for which it has earned notoriety is the beheading of real or imagined enemies. Again, all this is being done in the name of Islam. .....

Facing up to 1971
Syed Badrul Ahsan

Facing up to 1971
Syed Badrul Ahsan

The war crimes trials and the predicament of the political opposition apart, there is genuine concern in Bangladesh today about reports of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) fugitives finding shelter in the Indian state of West Bengal and allegedly planning terror operations, including assassinations of Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia in Dhaka....

Made in India
Harsh Mander

Made in India
Harsh Mander

The violence, which racked Trilokpuri, follows a standard template that recurs whenever organisations choose to organise riots for political gains. The first step is to create a context for the conflict. And the most reliable staple of communal riots since the Partition has been to stir a dispute around a place of worship. In Trilokpuri, just across from a local mosque, a mata ki chowki or temporary temple is assembled for the first time, and loud prayers relayed round the clock through a loudspeaker directed towards the mosque. Tempers are further frayed when word spreads that — contrary to tradition — this makeshift temple would not be dismantled after the festival, but converted into a permanent structure.....

Mumtaz Qadri, Prison King
Rafia Zakaria

Between these tales of dead lawyers and scholars are the tales of property takings, business disagreements, vengeance and revenge, all lubricated by an allegation whose very mention is in Pakistan, a death sentence. Mumtaz Qadri, the prison king, the arbiter of death sentences rules inside prison, but beyond the walls of Adiala is another prison, equally repressive, equally unable to deliver freedom or justice, ruled also by prison kings…..

Obama’s Tormentors
Hisham Melhem

Obama’s Tormentors
Hisham Melhem

Watching the numerous photos of Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s commander of the Quds Force, a division of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, smiling broadly with Peshmerga units and Iraqi Shiite militias, and observing his role in Syria and in Lebanon as the de facto commander of Shiite forces, one is tempted to call him Iran’s viceroy in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon…..

Bukhari, Owaisi and Indian Muslims
Yousuf Kirmani, Tr. New Age Islam

Indian Muslims have never been communal but the BJP that represents a particular section has labelled them as communal. The Muslims of the country never stood behind the Muslim League. Those who might have demanded Pakistan went to Pakistan but those who did not demand did not go and the number of such people was and is high. Sometimes they held onto the Congress and sometimes onto the Samajwadi Party and were cheated by the two.  Now BJP and its leaders want Muslims to come into their fold. Sometimes a Muslim is called a patriot and sometimes he is called a puppy who comes under the wheel and is run over. Sometimes his skullcap is put on and sometimes his skullcap is rejected.....

…the third failed attempt of its kind to assassinate prominent political figure Maulana Fazl ur Rehman – indicates a growing ideological divide between religious parties and Taliban militant groups…


What Is Pakistan’s Fundamental Interest?
Imtiaz Gul

What is Pakistan’s fundamental interest? This question has been making rounds in Islamabad’s diplomatic circles, with even countries considered very close to Pakistan wondering if the leadership realizes the futility of its obsolete rhetoric and the gravity of its imminent consequences…..


Strategic Failure of MQM and PTI
Najam Sethi

This time, however, the pretext is unprecedentedly “ideological”.  The MQM has taken umbrage over a statement by the PPP Leader of the House in the Senate, Khurshid Shah that it is an “insult” today to refer to the migrants from India into Pakistan at the time of partition as “Muhajirs”. His argument is that the term “Muhajir” connotes a temporary or transitional arrangement for foreigners whereas the “Muhajirs” of 1947….


The Love Jihad Campaign Exposes How Hindu Women Are Central Symbols of the Hindutva
Charu Gupta

The love jihad campaign exposes how Hindu women are central symbols of the Hindutva body politic. Hindutva’s cry for segregation denies free movement to Hindu women, using the threat of physical, emotional and religious harm to women’s bodies as weapons of social control. Women are thus told that inter-religious marriages are undesirable for their own good. Hindu women who indulge in inter-religious romances or marriages are depicted as dangerous to the construct of the Hindu nation.......

For 30 Pieces of Silver
Swapan Dasgupta

For 30 Pieces of Silver
Swapan Dasgupta

Even a perfunctory understanding of Islamist radicalism should have persuaded the “ultra-secular” chief minister that the political theology of groups that have grown out of Maulana Maududi’s teachings don’t recognise the sanctity of national boundaries. These groups make no distinction between Indian Muslims and Bangladeshi Muslims: to them, both are part of the same community of true believers. Indeed, more and more evidence is now emerging that the network of radical Islamism is not confined to Bangladeshi émigrés. …


India Must Help End the Evil of the Islamic State
Talmiz Ahmad

Over seven million Indians live in the Gulf who remit to their mother country over thirty billion dollars annually. Their safety and welfare are matters of abiding concern to India.  India cannot be a bystander in this situation. It calls for the definition and pursuit of an initiative by India to promote stability of the region by building a new, inclusive and comprehensive security paradigm in association with regional and extra-regional players with a direct interest in peace in West Asia…..


For Less Than Noble Reasons
Mohan Guruswamy

The Mukti Pratishtan, the mother organisation of the BMM, filed cases against Mr Satyarthi in 1996 for defalcation of accounts, usurping its property and working against its interests while employed with it. This case is still being heard in a Delhi court. There is good reason to believe that the Norwegian Nobel Committee did not do due diligence. For it is clear that the story of Mr Satyarthi it has internalised and Mr Satyarthi’s own narration of it makes no mention of the more than a decade with the BMM, as Swami Agnivesh’s comrade in arms…..

Nobel Prize: Hardly Noble Politics
Gouthama Siddarthan, New Age Islam

Nobel Prize: Hardly Noble Politics
Gouthama Siddarthan, New Age Islam

It is really a great achievement of the Nobel award committee that it has created an environment in which criticism of the Nobel prizes is always rubbished and in which controversies are taken just as part and parcel of the scenario of the Nobel awards announcements. The committee has successfully infused the global psyche with a total indifference to, and an utter contempt for any valid and reasonable criticism from really serious and progressive-thinking writers and intellectuals. This can be termed as a feat on the part of the Nobel committee.

Should the Muslims of India change with the times, taking cognizance of the big political change in India, in order to ensure their survival?   The coming to power of the Hindu chauvinists bodes ill for the traditionalist Muslims, the ones inflexible in their display of religiosity, who assert their rights under the Indian Constitution, identify themselves with the Arabs, are lukewarm toward Indian nationalism, and denounce America and its foreign adventures. They are also deeply prejudiced against the Shi’a, whether in India or elsewhere......


Sparks, Not Fires: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Vadodara and now East Delhi
Ashutosh Varshney

Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Vadodara and now East Delhi — a series of communal incidents have flared up of late. How should we understand their causes? How far might tensions escalate?....

Moutasim Billah, who has been accused by Hyderabad police of influencing two SIMI activists of Maharashtra to go to Afghanistan for terror training, says he cannot even afford his college fees, let alone fund such a trip by the two SIMI activists.....


Interpreting the Indonesian Mandate
Sudhir T. Devare

This peaceful and constitutional transfer of power from a former general to a commoner also signifies how far Indonesia has travelled in a short span of 16 years, from a military-run totalitarian regime to a full-fledged democracy, the third largest in the world. This phenomenal transition, in which the Indonesian media and civil society played a major role does not; however, seem to have captured enough imagination even within Asia. For India, which is separated from Indonesia by less than 100 nautical miles from the Nicobar Islands, the changes in this vast neighbouring country have profound implications.....


How Afghanistan Can Kick Its Drug Habit
M. Ashraf Haidari

On the whole, Afghan opium fuels a global trade in heroin that generates over $60 billion in profits for corrupt officials, drug traffickers, organized criminal groups, and insurgents, according to the U.S. Department of State. The U.S. government seems to understand the need for a comprehensive solution. President Obama once stressed a need for non-military forms of assistance: "To advance security, opportunity, and justice -- not just in Kabul, but from the bottom up in the provinces ....


Dangerous Truths: Pakistani State and Society Have To Face the Truth That the Hydra-Headed Monster of Militancy Has Permeated Every Institutional, Social and Political Portal of Power
Tariq Khosa

...religious extremism can only be curbed through zero tolerance against hate speech. The state has looked the other way for far too long. The virulent mullah-militant combine has done irreparable damage to tolerance in our society. The provincial special branches and local police should monitor and regulate the use of loudspeakers in mosq­ues and madrasas and keep an eye on wall chalking as well as printed material aimed at creating sectarian trouble....


Autumn in Punjab and the Plains
Ayaz Amir

The heart softens and you find yourself humming long forgotten songs. For the last few days a song of Mukesh has been coming back to me. While trolling YouTube – one of my favourite pastimes, I have to confess – I came across this song some months back: Ek Tu Ke Sar Utha Ke Chala Dagh Dikhane....


Have Intellectuals Been Co-Opted?
Jawed Naqvi

Indeed, the more the lumpen hordes seek to turn what remains of Nehruvian India into a veritable mob ...That questioning Indian spirit has gone perceptibly limp today. Prof Thapar wonders why academics and experts shy away from questioning the powers of the day. “It is not that we are bereft of people who can think autonomously and ask relevant questions. But frequently where there should be voices, there is silence. Are we all being co-opted too easily by the comforts of conforming?”......

War In The Name Of God
Mustafa Akyol

The majority of Muslims, in fact, rejects this militancy and seeks peace, not war, in the name of God. But there are more militant Muslims, who, like the militant Christians of the past, are willing to “smite the enemy,” or kill the heretics (“apostates”) in the name of God. They share the German battle cry of World War I: Gott mitt uns, or, in Arabic, “Allah is with us.”….


Divide and Win: Owaisi Brothers Reap the Benefits
Barkha Dutt

It is of course true that parties like the Congress and the Samajwadi Party must take primary responsibility for failing to provide Muslim voters with an imaginative or modern leadership that doesn’t box them into a corner. The fact that secularism today is increasingly seen to have become a slogan prostituted by cynical politics has only reinforced the absence of options for India’s minorities...….

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