The Singular Experience Or What Photojournalism Can Be As Discovered In A New Pakistan Literary Review Journal

I think…[y]ou can’t write about Pakistan and get to Pakistanis – it has to be the other way around. Pakistan must be approached as Pakistanis, through Pakistanis, through singular experiences, through the stories we tell ourselves. We need these stories, even if they are never written down and exist only in words over coffee or just in our heads. These are the stories that get us through the day, through the “situation,” through the concept.

Hasan Altaf, Lifes Too Short vs. Granta December 2010

My dismay with the state of current photojournalism has been repeatedly expressed here on this blog. In a number of pieces on photographer and photojournalism I have called for photographers to step away from cliches and conventions and look to produce new stories based on a fresh, creative, new set of thoughts and ideas. Details »

An Entity Conceived In Hatred, Survives On Hatred Or How Abul Kalam Azad’s Fears Became Pakistan

Maulana Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed (11 November 1888 – 22 February 1958) was a Muslim scholar and a senior political leader of the Indian independence movement. He was a vociferous advocate for the unity of India, opposing the partition of India on communal lines. Following India’s independence, he became the first Minister of Education in the Indian government. Details »

Pankaj Mishra & The Heritage Of Indian Pluralism

Pankaj Mishra, one of my favorite writers and intellectuals, has written a fascinating essay for The National newspaper title Beyond Boundaries that speaks about India’s long and resilient syncretic traditions.

I have featured his piece, thanks to his kind permission, on my The Idea of India project website. For those who may not know, this is a long-term project I am working on documenting India’s heritage of pluralism and syncretism. Details »

Getting The Pakistanis To Sing Our Songs But Sending Them Villains And Not Violins

A few weeks ago another typically obtuse and brain dead New York Times journalist lamented the said state of affairs of the country of Pakistan where apparently her pop singers were not entertaining him sufficiently with songs against the Taliban. Adam B. Ellick was confused and upset about this and pointed out, in a piece called Pakistan Rock Rails Against The West, Not The Taliban that there is..

…a surge of bubble-gum stars who have become increasingly politicized. Some are churning out ambiguous, cheery lyrics urging their young fans to act against the nation’s woes. Others simply vilify the United States. Details »

Remembering Faiz – As If We Could Ever Forget Him!

On the anniversary of the death of the man who in many ways changed my life…once I understood how to read, hear and comprehend his works. I wrote about his impact on my life in an earlier post titled Unraveling Bitter Threads & I refer to his works in a piece I wrote about the genocide in Bangladesh called The Dust From Blood Filled Eyes: On Bangladesh And The Acknowledgement Of Crimes. Details »

Where The Head Spun: November 13th 2009

A wide range of issues came across recently and though I would love to wax lyrical about all of them I find my head space considerably limited to speak of each in some reasonable fashion. But I wanted to draw your attention to some interesting developments, a few of which are being carefully ignored in our press and oh-so-alert media Details »

Whats Happening In Pakistan? Its Not What The New York Times Will Tell You

A couple of insightful pieces appeared recently. Both, in different ways, challenge the mainstream narrative being bandied about in Washington D.C. and being stenographed by individuals pretending to be reporters but in fact are really acting as government/official stenographers out of Pakistan and the USA. Details »

Pakistan In A Nutshell Or Examples in Failures Of The Imagination

October 13, 2009 Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman of the Pakistan Air Force shows off the country's new toy

Pakistan Receives First of 18 Lockheed F-18C Fighter/Bombers for which it paid nearly $2,000,000,000.00

October 13, 2009 Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman of the Pakistan Air Force shows off the country's new toy

Details »

The Wars On Our Frontiers Or Haven’t We Been Here Before?

From Mother Jones magazine, October 2004, written by Malcolm Garcia

Kalooshah, South Waziristan, April 2004: Mir Abbas Khan sits outside the remains of his family home, destroyed by pakistan army bulldozers. The army has destroyed dozens of homes in this area of people it claims were harboring Al Qaeda fighters and collaborators. Many innocent civilians have been displaced and others have lost their homes, belongings and means of livelihood as a consequence. 2004 Copyright Asim Rafiqui Do Not Reproduce

Mir Abbas Khan stares into the camera. Behind him the ruins of his home lay strewn across the dry, hard ground. Since March, when Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Pakistan and promised President General Pervez Musharraf billions of dollars in aid, the Pakistani army has been scouring the semiautonomous tribal regions of South Waziristan for Al Qaeda fighters—bombing, burning, and bulldozing the homes and belongings of those deemed collaborators, or merely uncooperative. Details »

Guantanamo Detainee Fouad Mahmoud Al Rabiah’s Petition for Habeus Corpus Is Granted!

In a remarkable, courageous and honest ruling, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, found that the government could not credibly support its allegation that Fouad Mahmoud Al Rabiah was part of the Taliban or al-Qaida, and that the evidence against him wasn’t sufficient to justify his continued detention. She ordered the government to release Al Rabiah “forthwith [1].” Details »