In the cool interior of a mental ward in Karachi, a short, powerfully built man with a flowing snow-white beard and penetrating dark-brown eyes is standing at the bedside of a distraught young woman. She has covered her head with a sheet and is pleading for news of the two children her husband took from her.
?I know you are suffering terribly, but this is no way to bring back your children,? says the man with stern compassion. ?You have a college degree. You can do many things to help the other patients.?
More photos on flickr: Continue reading “Humanitarian to a nation”
In this lovely interview, Salima Hashmi, who has played such a vital role in promoting Pakistani art, talks about her father Faiz Ahmad Faiz. About writing poetry under military rule, about his meeting with Pablo Neruda and his feelings about the birth of Bangladesh.
Recorded at the Bellagio Centre in Italy in 2013.
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Memory, Justice, Healing evening at Making Democracy Real 2014 with Salman Rashid, Rajmohan Gandhi, Archana Rao and Rahul Bose
A week earlier, he had received a letter from his youngest sister Tahira. Having completed her higher secondary school exams, she was visiting with her older sister Zubaida whose husband was then a surveyor with the Survey of India and posted at Solan midway between Kalka and Simla. Tahira had written that Solan was rife with communal tension and that she wanted to be with the parents in Jalandhar. She asked her brother if he could come for her to take her home.
Continue reading “Memory, Justice, Healing”
In 1971, the Pakistani Army had free rein to kill at least 300,000 Bengalis and force 10 million people to flee.
In the 40-odd years that America and the Soviet Union faced off in the cold war, the people who presumed to run the world started with the knowledge that it was too dangerous, and possibly even suicidal, to attack one another. But the struggle was fierce, and what that meant in practice was that the competition played out in impoverished places like Cuba and Angola, where the great statesmen vied, eyed and subverted one another, and sometimes loosed their local proxies, all in the name of maintaining the slippery but all-important concept known as the balance of power.
The peace held, of course ? that is, the larger peace. The United States and the Soviet Union never came to blows, and the nuclear-tipped missiles never left their silos. For the third world, where the competition unfolded, it was another matter entirely. The wreckage spread far and wide, in toppled governments, loathsome dictators, squalid little wars and, here and there, massacres so immense that entire populations were nearly destroyed. Continue reading “Collateral Damage”
UNTIL 1971 Pakistan was made up of two parts: west and east. Both Muslim-dominated territories were born out of India?s bloody partition 24 years earlier, though they existed awkwardly 1,600km apart, divided by hostile Indian territory. Relations between the two halves were always poor. The west dominated: it had the capital, Islamabad, and greater political, economic and military clout. Its more warlike Pashtuns and prosperous Punjabis, among others, looked down on Bengali easterners as passive and backward. Continue reading “The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide.”
The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore saroop.ijaz@ tribune.com.pk
The passing of the first death anniversary of?Neil Armstrong?last week is an opportunity to reflect on our own connection (admittedly flimsy) with the first man on the moon. Two years before Armstrong landed on the moon, Ghulam Abbas wrote?Dhanak, one of the best satirical short stories (The short story has been ably adapted by Shahid Nadeem into a play named?Hotel Mohenjodaro) of all times, and unnervingly prescient. Written in 1967, the story begins with the first man landing on moon, not Armstrong, but a Pakistani PAF Captain, Adam Khan. Local and international dignitaries gather on the rooftop garden of the 71-storied Hotel Mohenjodaro in Karachi to listen to Adam Khan?s message from the moon. His brief message is, ?I am Captain Adam Khan. I come from the district of Jhang in Punjab ? I have landed safely. All praise to Allah ? Pakistan Zindabad.? Continue reading “The Dark Side of the Moon”
Abdul Sattar Edhi
The most remarkable man I’ve ever met. If ever a man deserved a Nobel Prize… but then he’s a bearded muslim from Pakistan, so Kissinger and Obama and Peres will be given the Nobel Prize, but Edhi will not. Neither of course did Gandhi!
Pakistan: Hope amidst the chaos
Humanitarian to a nation
By?Mohammad Shehzad?13 APRIL 2013?Newsline
This interview was published as part of a?special report on recent attacks on Pakistan?s Christian community.?
Allama Tahir Ashrafi is chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council and a member of the Council for Islamic Ideology. He was the first cleric to raise a voice in favour of Rimsha Masih, a minor girl with Down?s Syndrome who was falsely implicated in a blasphemy case by cleric Khalid Jadoon at the behest of the land mafia in August 2012. She was acquitted in November 2012. Continue reading “Interview: Allama Tahir Ashrafi on Blasphemy Laws”
Note from Shreela Ghosh.?Director Arts, Wider South Asia, British Council
The British Council is expanding its Arts Team across the South Asia region ? we are looking for new people in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with arts expertise.
Partnerships are very important to the British Council (BC) so it is vital that the person has excellent communication skills and an entrepreneurial outlook.
Experience shows us that working for a large international organisation like the BC (operating in 110 countries) can be demanding for those from the South Asian creative sector as most people are likely to be working in small to medium sized companies ? I am afraid the bureaucracy is just a part of life ? so we need to recruit people with the right aptitude who can rise to the challenge even if they haven?t worked for a large organisation like ours, before.
I am attaching the Role Profile for the Head of Arts (Bangladesh) and hope that you will circulate this widely through your networks. The deadline is 7 April, so candidates will need to complete the application this week. My colleague Nahin and I will be happy to speak to anyone who wants more information about the role so please ask them to contact us.
Over the past 18 months we have created a strategy for increasing the impact of our Arts work across the region but this will only be possible with the right team in place. You are all very well connected within the creative networks in Bangladesh so I am asking you to help us identify the right person for this post.
Below you?ll find a link to our website where there?s also information about a more junior role ? yes, we need more than one person to run the arts programme as the BC?s profile continues to grow ? and people can also download the application forms by following the link.
Finally, some of you may already know of Culture 360 (based in Singapore) ? they want to do a mapping study of Bangladesh. This would be a very useful resource I think and benefit us all so if you know anyone who might be interested in doing this research please pass on the information to them.
Many thanks for your help ? Shreela
Shreela Ghosh, Director Arts, Wider South Asia, British Council, 5 Fuller Road, Dhaka 1000 mobile + 88 017300 92487